Loco Comments

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by WM-N-fan, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. WM-N-fan

    WM-N-fan Member

    I want to make a special topic for n-scalers trying to find locos.. I think we should write comments about our engines, like the loco encylopedia.... Write a post, comments and a grade for engine/s you have. If someone already wrote it, write from your experiances on the same engine.
  2. BDC

    BDC Member

    I presume you're familiar with the Spookshow website? He's taking a hiatus from model RR'ing, so the brand new stuff isn't listed, but it's still a good info site.

  3. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

    The Spookshow website is a good place to look and the info is helpfull, however I feel that it only provides a general overview of the quality of the locomitives listed.
    While many of the comments are bang on, I have found that some of my experiances with certain models have differed (Sometimes dramaticly) one way or the other from the comments listed.
    Perhaps a special topic may be in order, based on our individual experiances with the locomotive offerings available. :)
    I toss the ball back into the court :D

  4. nmtexman

    nmtexman Member

    I'd like to see something like that myself. Personally, I can only speak (or write) about the engines I own. That might be something to start up on my web site.
  5. WM-N-fan

    WM-N-fan Member

    Well, I'll start now with some of mine:


    C44-9W- Runs very well (smooth and quiet), looks great, and never derails. Unlike many of my other engines, it avoids problems. I bought it off eBay and it's in CSX colors. There is nothing bad about this guy. They look great leading a drag of black 90-ton hoppers, or an intermodual train, or just any long train. Just a great engine.

    SD-80MAC- Runs quietly, smoothely, and fast. It looks great with any type of train (although I use longer ones). The SD-80 also finds all of your track problems. I have two of them and they are beautiful!
  6. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    ATLAS - I own two of these. They are excellent. The paint and detail are top notch, and both are flawless performers on the track (but see my speed comment about the SD-35). I like the Atlas accumate couplers on both of these. Saved me the trouble of converting to MT.

    SD-35. Clean, reliable, quiet. A flawless operator, except that I wish Atlas had put a slow speed motor in it. It's difficult to control at slow speeds with my MRC 220 tech 4 power pack.

    GP-38. Outstanding. The paint is as good as the SD-35, and this one has the slow speed motor!

    BL-2 (the new one they released last fall). The detail and the paint are as good as the Atlas. Perhaps the best-running loco I have. It's flawless at all speeds, even down to "imperceptable." I use it extensively as a switcher in my yard. That's not how I received it however. The assembly job at the Lifelike plant must have been done late Friday afternoon or early Monday. The shell was improperly installed. It was jerky and unreliable. It would come to a dead stop from 60 mph with no warning. I had to disassemble it, repair the power pickup mechanism and seat one of the trucks properly in the frame. I shouldn't have had to do that. Also, I wish Lifelike would can the lousy Rapido couplers (though the switch to MT was quick and easy).

    Spectrum Doodlebug. Horrible all the way around. Erratic performer. Two speeds -- too fast and stop. Derails at the drop of a hat. Jerky when it does run. Awful traction tires. Noisy. Even the Rapido coupler that it came with was twisted so that it would never work. And to think that I only paid 10 bucks more for the BL-2!
  7. WM-N-fan

    WM-N-fan Member


    SD-35- Smooth, Quiet, Never derails, beautiful to look at, steady, no problems what so ever. Can be used for 2-10 car locals, as a switcher, and leading 100 car trains. It's my workhorse, with a decoder, purchased for $45! Great loco!

    B-40-8- Smooth, slightly noisier than the KATO's and the SD-35, but quiet nonetheless. I team it up with my DASH-9 on long coal drags and with the SD-35 on 30 car mixed freights. It also never derails. The performance is flawless and smooth but the looks are what make it special... AMAZING DETAILS and a great loco!


    SD-60- This guy looks wonderful except for no glass in the windshield, but that easy to fix (If you want to). It runs smooth, but loud. It also finds EVERY track problem, due to it'[s heavy weight. I team mine up on the coal drag and as an interchange engine from the NS. I love this engine though!


    GP-38- This loco is an average one, but over time the engines seem to get worse. They do look good though. I have 5 of them and 2 run great (a little noisy and it cannot creep, but acceptable.) Two of them run very jerky, and need help. The last I bought used and lubed. It runs quiet, but excess oil burns creating smoke. I use them to run short, through trains. I think this is an above average loco overall.

    GP-20- This is a great loco phisically, and is modern inside. Mine runs pretty good, but it is loud. I think it woukd be great after a lube. Mine needs new contact strips, after I trimmed them too much.

    F-40PH- This is a great engine at high speeds. It is a little noisy though. It is very smooth. My only complaint is the over-brightness of the light, but I can fix that.

    S-7/9- This engine looks and runss great, like an Atlas. It is also not as loud as my other LL's. I love this guy. There was a problem that I fixed many months ago, but I don't remember what. This is a great loco, especially for $30!


    F-7- My first N-scale loco. Forgot how it ran at first. Debris and ballast went up through the large opening near the wheels. It ran very bad for awhile, but now it stopped. A buddy got it to move a few feet, and then buzz. Then it stopped. It will sit in a park now, but may see action if I have a LOT of time on my hands to repair it.

    GP-50- An average loco, but very loud. Didn't run at first, but then I fixed it. It runs very slow. It occasionally runs locals. It looks ok. It is very average.
  8. nmtexman

    nmtexman Member

    Okay, you guys asked for it. We'll take them in alphabetical order:


    2x 2-8-2 (1970's) both good runners once they get started!
    1x 4-6-2 (1970's) ditto
    1x RS-1. Haven't run this one much but I like the way it looks!
    1x GP-7. This is from last years manufacturer. Nice slow runner
    1x GP-9TT. Got this in a trade and I've been running it ever since!
    2x GP-35. I got these because MRL runs them and I haven't been disappointed!
    1x GP-38. I haven't run this one much. Don't know why, it runs just fine!
    1x B23-7. Also a great runner, good slow, medium and fast!~
    1x B36-7. The Spirit of Freedom train. Like it a lot.
    2x SD-35. Run great. Love them in MRL colors
    2x SD-60. Great Runners!
    2x SD-60M. See above!
    1x U25B. I like this one so much I run it with my GP-9TT!


    1x 4-8-4. Had to have one, but don't run it much. It needs work.
    1x F7A. (1970's). This one runs okay, but either doesn't go at all or speeds down the tracks.
    1x U36B. (1970's). I only bought this one because it's SCL 1776. I haven't even changed the couplers. I use it to run track cleaning cars. I had problems with wheels staying in gauge, however.
    1x Trolley. I like this one fine for what it does, i.e., run back & forth, back & forth, back&forth, B&F, etc.

    Bachmann Spectrum
    2x F7A (2002). The look good but don't run real well on Code 55.
    2x F7B (2002). These ran faster than the F7A's but I fixed that!
    1x C40-8W. I like this one although it looks kind of chunky sitting next to my Atlas and Kato stuff.
    1x Doodlebug. I haven't run this one at all. I got it undecorated for $15.00 and plan to make it into an ATSF doodlebug.

    1x PA1 (1970's). Looks okay but is clunky
    1x PB1 (1970's). Ditto.
    1x SD50 (1980's). Talk about 12" thick handrails, but runs okay.

    2x C44-9W (1999). Great engines all around
    2x P42 Genesis (2002). Gott in himmel, these are great!!! The Kato knuckle couplers need work, however!
    3x RDC. I love these little things. No worry about uncoupling when you're only running 1 engine!
    2x SD40-2. Great.
    1x F7A. Looks great, runs great.
    1x SD45. This is my only Kodak so I'm partial to it!

    Life Like
    3x E7/8 Great runners and will pull a house.
    8x GP-20. My absolute favorite engines. I love to run all these together.
    1x F40. Disappointing but I had to have one (Amtrak).
    1x FA1. Okay
    2x GP-38. I like these little engines also.
    2x GP-38-2. Also good little runners
    1x SD-7. I'm having electrical problems with this one. Need to isolate the two frame halves better!
    1x PA-1. This one runs just fine and has bailed out my Bachmann Spectrum F7A/B's more than once.
    1x GP-18. Haven't really run this on yet. Waiting to put on decals.

    1x 2-6-4 Q1B. This is okay for a little switcher. Just has problems going across points of a turnout.

    1x DD-54. Okay for a Japanese prototype. I use it to haul my Tomix rail cleaners around.
    1x 0-4-0. This is Thomas the Tank and is loved by kids of all ages!

    I have about another dozen engines laying around, mainly Bachmann's, I think. I don't really do anything with them right now since I'm trying to get all my Atlas, LifeLikes and Kato's running.

    Well, there you have it.
  9. WM-N-fan

    WM-N-fan Member

    Two new ones.....

    Atlas B-23-7: Smooth, quiet, a joy to run. mine is decoder ready and in NS colors as an interchange train with CSX. I team her up with a Conrail SD-60.
  10. WM-N-fan

    WM-N-fan Member


    SW9/1200: Runs slightlylouder than an Atlas or KATO, but is just as smooth. It's a Florida East Coast that is used as an industrial and yard switcher. It will also run 2-3 car trains through the ex-Town subdivision, serving the small refinery and a meat packing plant in town too. It's a busy little engine.
  11. uboat

    uboat New Member

    cactus - the new Atlas slow motor will drop right in to a SD35 - I think they go for around $22 new from Atlas.

    Hope that helps.
  12. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    uboat -- YES!!


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