Dependable Locomotive

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by mark234, Nov 13, 2004.

  1. mark234

    mark234 New Member

    Hi, I'm looking for a good running locomotive that I can just use without worry of it derailing/etc. Pretty much all the locomotives I have are athearn blue box, with some Proto 2000, a couple Kato's, and some Bachmann. I'm looking for a four axle loco, that is quiet/smooth etc and can pull a couple cars. I don't need it to be very powerful. My preferred road name is BN, but GN, Northern Pacific, and Milwaukee Road are all fine. Time period isn't of concern either as I just run what I have, not too picky :p . Thanks for the help.
  2. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    You've got Proto 2000 and KATO. I can't recommend Bachman for many reasons, but the other obvious answers are:
    -Atlas (duh!)
    -Athearn Genesis
    -Athearn RTR series

    I don't own any Proto 1000, but reviews say they are very smooth which is nice for an economicl loco.

    Stewart F units are some of the smoothest quietest 4 axles loco's you'll ever have the pleasure of running - the KATO GP35 is also silky smooth - a real pleasure!
  3. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    I have a pair of Proto 1000 F3-A's I picked up at Trainworld for $20.00 ea, still advertised at that, and they run as smooth as the $100+ locos! Just don't have the detail as the others which right now I don't care as I handle them frequently, not enough room on the layout yet. Best bang for the buck I think, but no choice of road names.
  4. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    Yeah, that is what I've heard - problem is with P1k is there aren't many choices - I have never bought any because they don't make any which are appropriate for the Rio Grande - especially post 1970 Rio Grande. I realize they painted their F3 for black Rio Grande, but it isn't the correct phase. That shouldn't be a problem for the non-rivit counters. Even still, the black scheme went out of use in the 1953/54 time frame.
  5. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Mark, Welcome to the Gauge. I have two Bachmann Std. loco's that were really inexpensive($18) one FTA and one GP 50. They both run really smooth and will pull a dozen or so cars so slow you can barly see them moving. Now alot of people in the hobby probably wouldn't be caught dead with them on their layout, because of there lack of detail, but that doesn't bother me. I bought the FT mainly for the roadname(SAL equiptment is kinda scarce) but I was very happy with the performance for the money. So I got the Southern GP50 later when I had a little cash. Same thing with rolling stock, I have a bunch of old Tyco and Athearn cars from the 70's and with a little weathering the lack of super details don't bother me a bit.
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Well,I use Atlas,Atlas/Kato,Athearn,P2K and have 3 Walther's GP15s(very smooth runners),4 Katos and 2 Stewarts..IMHO the best of the lot is my trusty Athearn BBs.These locomotives are basically trouble free and like that bunny rabbit you see on TV will keep going,going,going.. :thumb:
  7. mark234

    mark234 New Member

    You've got to love the athearn blue boxes! My only question with the Proto 1000 is how slow they can go. I'm not talking about barely creeping, but I've found that my C-Liner likes to speed up going down any type of descent. Thanks for all the help!
  8. Chris Beard

    Chris Beard Member

    I see from the posts to this question one nagging concern. While most new loco's run well they are not always available in the roadname wanted. I suggest you start out with a basic athearn kit. Strip the existing paint with brake fluid then after a good wash with denatured alcohol it is ready to paint any roadname you want. Use any type of model paint you want but for a smooth finish for decals an airbrush is required. Take the plunge, if you are going to be a good modeler you need an airbrush. Start on something cheap that you don't care if you have to strip again. After you have a smooth surface Microscale decals are available for nearly every railroad around. Use Solvaset to seat them and spray with a clear flat. All manufacturers make a good product except lifelike(not proto1000/2000, bachmann not bachmann plus, some concor, and model power. There are members of this forum that do use these manufactures with good results however. Try it all yourself. The fun of this hobby is getting elbow deep into it and learning for yourself.
  9. jdscales040

    jdscales040 Member

    Since I run mostly Alco's... RS1's, 2's 3's and 11's and a few GP7's, GP35's and GP38's all of my locos are either Atlas or Katos. I don't own any Blue Box Athearns.. And won't. Too me you just can't beat Atlas or Kato!.
  10. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    There are a lot of good medium-priced four axle diesels out there, I've had a Spectrum GP-30 since 1988 that still runs great and is a good puller. Life-Like / Proto 1000 is good (just got their Alco RS-11) too.

    BTW if you do get into airbrushing, I would try to find an undecorated unit before I got into stripping paint. Athearn undec shells are pretty cheap, with the standard Athearn line you can buy an unpowered undecorated model for around $10-12 to decorate.
  11. Bama Red

    Bama Red New Member

    Brake fluid would not be my stripper of choice (too toxic, fumes,etc) although it will work. I prefer 90% rubbing alcohol (cheap at your local discount joint). There are also products made just for this purpose, but I don't have names :confused: - others here may know the brand names.
  12. hoyle

    hoyle Member

    All of my bb locos dont run so good now i really like the Genesis SD's and the Kato's.
  13. tweet469

    tweet469 New Member

    The Proto 1000 F-3's are great locomotives. They have a littl e more detail than the blue boxes. I think the C-liners and Erie-builts arethe same drive mechanism under different shells. MB Klein has a P2K GP-9 PhII in ATSF billboard paint for $29.99. I think one of the road #'s offered is black & silver paint. Better get one while you can because the new release GP-9 is going for $89.99 no decoder or sound. Quite a price jump huh? I also found a Kato SD-40-2 snoot on the web for $79.99. I am thinking of getting this loco tommorrow if its still available.
  14. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I have a P1K F3, it is indeed a nice runner--I have plans to strip the paint and paint it in Sacramento Northern's pseudo-Zephyr color scheme. I know the details won't be exact but counting rivets is not my strong suit.
  15. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Of course the trackwork will also be a major factor here. :) :)

  16. hd8091

    hd8091 Member

    I have Stewart VO 1000 and some 660 s in NP and they are great, smooth, quiet and can run extremely slow. For road diesels I have LL (PROTO) in GN and Np and a couple of Atlas which are also nice.

Share This Page