Intermountain FT A/B diesels

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Dan Vincent, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    About three weeks ago I posted pictures of the Intermountain FT A/B locos in the newly released ERIE livery.

    I finally got to put theme on the test track last night.

    The first thing that jumped out at me was the headlight. The light is a bright white, instead of the customary yellow looking beam. Close-coupling is accomplished by a snap-in drawbar between the A and B units which makes a lot of sense because most railroaders would never use them in any other configuration so why bother with couplers?

    I bought two sets so I also tried them in a 4-unit consist of A-B-B-A and Diodes in the A units cause only the lead loco to have the headlight on. Reverse the direction and the new lead unit lights up. The headlight comes on at full brilliance at around 5-10 scale miles per hour.

    Starting was smooth and the locos are fairly quiet until you get into the upper speed ranges which I would estimate to be over 70mph.

    Just for a comparison, I also had two Lifelike Alco FA/FB sets that had never been run before so I put one FA unit and one FT-A unit on the track. The Lifelike FA started to crawl before the Intermountain FT-A but once they were both in motion the speeds were almost identical.

    In a 4-unit lashup the Lifelike Alcos had a smooth synchronized sound all through the speed range.

    In a 4-unit lashup the Intermountain FT's were a little bit more quiet up to around 60-70 and then they made some odd noises.
    In all fairness I will check lubrication and try again in the near future.

    Attached Files:

  2. txcavgr

    txcavgr Member

    I recently got my set of B&M FTs and I love them!

    Biggest issue is that headlight, it looks like a blue light. When I put the NCE Decoder boards in, nice yellow richmond controls LEDs will go in. Give them that soft yellow glow they deserve!

    I wish they had made the trucks with more relief, but with some grimy black and weathering I think they will stand out better.

    What I really couldn't believe was the weight! Super job on weight, they are going to wear out rail! No wonder they pull so well.

    I can't run them on a layout yet, its not started! But they are fun to play with on the Kitchen Table Central (unitrack loop!).

    Wish I had the $$$ to pick up another set for an ABBA!
  3. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    Do you really think the Intermountain FT is heavier than similar locos?

    I don't have a postal scale but when just hefting them in my hand my Lifelike Alco FA-1 and FA-2 locos feel at least as heavy and maybe even a little heavier than the Intermountain FT-A.

    I wonder if anyone knows the weights.

    Intermountain has announced an upcoming F3 A&B but no mention of an ERIE paint job yet.
  4. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    This is just my opinion, but I think that the IM unit looks better to me. I guess maybe because it looks rounder. :D :D :D
  5. txcavgr

    txcavgr Member

    On roadnames, (I am lucky here - MEC and BAR!) they will do them, IM seems pretty committed to cranking out every roadname they can. I had to wait a year for the B&M but it was worth it.

    I don't have any locos but Atlas, one kato SD, and now the IM TM. To me they seemed super heavy - perhaps side by side with other similar units they would be the same.

    Either way, they sure seem like super luggers!
  6. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    I just found a weight (4.5oz) for the latest Lifelike FA-2.

    Lifelike did an earlier FA-2 with a plastic frame and no flywheels but it is a good runner. Their new one has a metal Split-Frame chassis and has excellent detailing. From what I've read about it they are a very nice loco.

    I also have the Atlas GP-7's and RS-3's in ERIE and they present a very nice picture on the track.

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