best brands of N scale locomotives

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by CNWGP38, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    I agree the newer Life Like units are very nice, but I also run DCC, so until I get ambitous enough to put decoders in them, they must run on address 00, and the make a bit of noise. I have 10 GP20's, but only have 2 painted so far, but I may run 2 of them together and use them as yard switchers on 00. They do pull allot for a 4 axle locomotive.
  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Mike,A fast comment here..I noticed when ever a nonDCC unit is ran on 00 there seems to be a noise..Of course I am speaking HO here but,N scale should not be any different so I would not fault your GP20s..What causes this? Heck,I wish I knew. :confused: :D
  3. absnut

    absnut Member

    Brakie, it was explained to me that the noise was caused by the half-wave AC current the DCC system uses to carry signals to the loco. This can also cause a DC loco to heat up after a short time making it risky to run it too long.

  4. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Oh I know that's what it is from, I'm not faulting them because of the noise, it will just be hard to put a decoder in them. The noise kinda sounds like a mini diesel engine running!
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Thanks Dick.. :D I always suspected it was not good to run a DC engine on DCC.However,I never could figure out that sound was.
  6. engineshop

    engineshop Member

  7. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    Why Kato doesn't have a wider line of locos than Atlas?

    They DO! Its just that Kato is serving 2 (or more) prototype markets, North American railroading and Japanese. Compare the FULL loco line of both Atlas and Kato and my guess is Kato produces more different locos than Atlas (roadnames aside).

    I don't have much experience yet, but my one Atlas diesel loco (DCC equipped) ran just fine at Chantilly, as did my pre-2K Life-Like E8, and my 3 Kato diesels. My Kato Mikado has run fine, although its a bit weak (traction tire yet to be installed), and my Atlas Mogul has yet to grace my field of view. (Arrived after I left on a Rideaboot)

    Buy what you like, its a hobby! :thumb:
  8. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

  9. fifer

    fifer Active Member

    I put my LL GP20 on a Kato GP30 chassis and in DC they all run together.
    I have a milling machine so the decoder issue is not an issue.
    Atlas and Kato all the way , although my LL SW pulls my unobtainium train up and down on my mine track all day long with a little noise.

    :wave: :thumb: :thumb:
  10. sschaer

    sschaer Member


    currently i have about 30 atlas gp38. all were bought brand new. 25 of them sound like a coffee grinder while the remaining 5 run almost as silent as a kato. i had some of them checked at atlas but no result. still noisy. the shells are nice but the drive is rather lousy.

    you know, something like a woman wearing make-up. beautiful at first sight but ugly underneath....
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Well,I can't say any of my Atlas units are noisey..Nor are my LL GP20s and SW1200. :thumb: But,of course I cleaned and lightly oiled them before putting them into service as I do my HO units...Sometimes a little TLC goes a long way even with new out of the box locomotives.. :thumb:
  12. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Since you two gentlemen are having problems with your dash 8s I suggest that you return them to your respective dealers or contact ATLAS about getting them fixed.

    Do not call ATLAS or any other manufacturer names like crap or garbage again as it is in the rules that you are not allowed to do such things on this forum .
  13. cpr_boy

    cpr_boy Member

    Sorry Cat. I'm just frustrated with the performance of my product which I paid good $$$ for. You get what you pay for and I paid alot for these engines.
  14. then if they don't work, return em for replacement. Most other people here swear by their Atlas equipment. Any batch can have a lemon or two....go swap it.
  15. beteepee

    beteepee New Member

    I purchased an atlas N guage ready to run train set with power pack a long time ago. It came with a Santa Fe engine, and a 2271 Santa Fe Caboose, a 2282 ILL. CENT. Bulkhead Flat Car, a 2252 N.Y.C. Cattle Car, a 2232 Reading 41' Gondola, a 2287 Illinois Central 40' Double Door Machinery Car, Track and railroad spikes. Where can I find the Todays Value. It says on the plastic cases that hold the Trains and Cars, "ATLAS, made in Austria. Can you help me. Basil T. Puller

    PS I am retired now and I can upgrade and play with my train[​IMG]
    I looked the above numbers and descriptions up in Atlas stuff and they wont convert. Is there a book around that will give the price of the pieces and the compatible stuff to fully build a small layout, with possibly two more trains ? CAN ANYONE IDENTIFY THIS EQUIPMENT?
  16. Gavin171

    Gavin171 New Member

    I started with N gauge european then a visit to a local trade show i got talking to a guy who sold american trains i brought a N gauge Lifelike sw9 and it ran like a dream thats what got me into american shortly after that i went up to HO so i cant comment on the rest but good luck.:thumb:
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    beteepee Welcome to the-gauge!!!

    Best bet for pricing is to search e-bay, and if you find it, jus tkeep checking back and see what it sells 4
  18. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    beteepee,Todays Atlas locomotives and cars are made in China.As you know you have a very old set that was made in Austria.While these was good running locomotives they can not compare to today's quality locomotives such as Atlas,Kato(Japan) and the newer Life Like(China)..All of these locomotives IMHO are top notch.You can not go wrong buying these brands. There are other quality brands out there such as Intermountain and Micro Trains..However I am not acquainted with these locomotives..
    Atlas by far has the wider selection of locomotives and road names,followed by Life Like and Kato..There are several brands of quality cars on the market.

    I will pass this link along so you can see what is available in N scale.I feel its easier to browse then Walthers(
  19. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Apology accepted but I meant it seriously when I said return them to your LHS or contact ATLAS.ATLAS does not like unhappy cutomers as long as you act in a civilized manner with them(Not meaning to say you wouldn't).
  20. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member

    Here's a GREAT resource - the "N-scale Locomotive Encyclopedia" located here:-

    Photos and commentary on just about anything ever produced in N-scale.


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