This is my first real train engine. I bought it on reccomendations from other gauge members it cost me a whopping 28.50 brand new!!! I bought it from ToyTrainHeaven.com and aside from a little slipup in delivery time they are great . SO ... i'm going to do my best to review this engine from a complete noob's prespective. Link to full sized images: http://www.skyersfamily.com/gallery/v/Trains/Depot/AthearnBBF7A/ First Impressions: 1) I like the box. I know it's shallow but the box is nice . 2) It's heavy! It is at least 50% heavier than the lifelike and tyco toy engines i have downstairs 3) From the reccomentations i thought it was going to be bland... but compaired to the toy one (see picture) it looks stunning!! 4) Shame on Athearn including plastic knickles. Charge me the 2$ more and send me Kadee's!! Running it: Haven't gotten there yet, bot oh boy am i gonna!! I have to install some couplers on it (i have kadee) and get all the accessories installed. I'll post when i've run it around the track a couple times . 12/31/2006 I've installed new Kadee #5 on my loco, and on a couple of cars, put it on the track and gave it a good run. q 1) It is QUIET, i mean like whisper quiet compared to the other toy grade locos i have. 2) It runs extremely smoothly even over a purposly unpowered section of track it just keeps on rolling. 3) It is an incredible puller. I actually ran out of cars to put on it so i don't know how many it will pull but right now it is up to double +2 more (13) than the lifelike F7A toy grade loco it is replacing 4) Did i mention quiet? 5) Slow speed performance is great, i can pull more cars at a much lower speed than my lifelike toy grade. My take on this loco is that it is perfect for me. I dropped it (i know don't ask me how) from about 4 inches off my table and all was well, not even a scratch in the paint. The couplers were at the perfect hieght w/ no adjustments needed. I have only 2 complaints and both being minior. My first complaint is Athearn didn't include any instructions on how to install the optional accessories on my model. I don't even have an incling of a clue as to where to glue the pieces shown on the white lined paper. The second is there is a buzzing sound the engine makes when i am at super low speed (did it before i dropped it hahaha) seems like the motor needs just a little more juice to get going? All in all i LOVE this loco, did i mention how quiet it was? It looks great runs great and i'm looking forward to adding more models of this quality to my yard. See photo's above and check out the movie here: http://www.skyersfamily.com/gallery/v/Trains/Depot/AthearnBBF7A/?g2_page=2 It is encoded in mp4 (psp i think) only thing i had on my system that actually allowed me to crunch the mpeg down. You can hear the difference between the f7a and the toy train in the back ground. It's faint but you can hear it. Check out the pictures above.