Need help again

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by pupparo, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. pupparo

    pupparo Member

    I never had what you call a good steam engine all mine have been the low end. Well for Christmas Santa said she would get me a better one.
    Well Dud I don't know what is a better one. Just because they cost more don't mean thier any better.
    Any help on what I should ask for.
    What are the top brands for loco's
  2. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

    Hi Joe,

    Yery good qustion to say the very least. Right now I'm modeling all steam and bought Katos, Bachman, Concor, Rivarossi and Model Die Cast. I bought two new Bachman 2-8-0s and one had a severe wobble and now has been sent back. The other one I'm breaking in and has derailed enough to knock out one of the windows. Its heading back also. I have four Kato Mikados and two run real well and the other two are back at the shop. My most faithful steam engine is the Model Power which is tender driven. As far as Concor or Rivarossi I would stay as far away from them as possible. In my opinion there over priced junk.

    They spent more time in the mail going back and forth to Concor then they ever spent on the layout. I wish I had the repair skills that many of the forum members do but I don't. On the other hand if I spend the big dollars for these engines I feel they should run at least a year without needing repairs. I have two new Model Power ordered and hoping they will be good runners but many modelers have low opinions on there steam engines. I would go with a Kato or the Model Diecast. The only problem with the Model Diecast is I think its an 1889 era. I don't know what era your modeling but I use mine in a logging operation so it works for me and has been faithful up hill down hill and thru all the switches. I have heard some reports that Concor has make good improvements and I hope they have but I been burned by them more then enough to buy anymore. I'm hoping the Bachmans come back good runners as many are but theres also a lot of bad ones so its hit or miss. Good Luck' Ron :confused:
  3. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Hi Joe,

    I am not an expert it this either but who is? I have a mix of engines like you but mine vary in age. I have an old Arnold Rapido Pacific that I bought for $17.00 in 1972. It has been in a storage box for years. I just pulled it out to try on my new layout to see if it worked. It did. A little noisy but it ran. I have also purchased 2 Kato "Mikes" and the Bachmann 2-8-0. All 3 of those engines run well on level track but the Mikes spin on my 2.5% grades with more that 6 M-T freight cars. I have ordered the traction wheel set for both of them to increase pulling power. So far the only engine that I have purchased that gave me any trouble was a Bachmann non-Spectrum 2-8-0 that quit running after 1 lap around my layour. Sent it back to B'mann and they returned it repaired, restored or replaced. It runs like a champ now.

    That being said I think that the quality of the locomotives on the market today (especially steam) is quite good IF you stick with the Bachmann Spectrums, the Kato's and possibly the new Model Power Pacific (although I have no experience with it). If you have an opportunity go to a train show event in your area or visit with model railroad club to see what they run. GATS and Greenburg trainshows are great places to see the new products and to talk with other hobbist about a variety of issues including quality.

    And continue to question and learn from the good folks on the Gauge. I have found them to be very knowledgable, helpful and a great bunch of people to know.
  4. absnut

    absnut Member

    I have had very good luck with 3 of the new Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0's and a first edition Kato 2-8-2, although, as said before, the Kato doesn't pull much up a grade.... perhaps the traction tires would be a good investment.

  5. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member


    I am looking forward to receiving the traction wheel set. It is part number KAT-11-604 at NScale Supply. For $7.18 a set plus shipping you get a Mike that will haul 11-12 cars. That is all that i intend to run with mine anyway.
  6. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

    Hi Guys,

    You will be very happy with the small investment in those traction tires for your Kato's. My one is pulling fifteen ore cars with no trouble at all. I'm by far no model train repairman but had no trouble installing them myself. I don't know if its still there but Kato had full instructions with pictures on there website on the install. I made a copy of them went out to my shop and had them in in about five minutes. Hope this helps' Ron
    ;) ;)
  7. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    I downloaded that instruction also before I ordered the sets. Just received email from Nscale Supply that they shipped today. should have a more powerful set of Mikes by this time next week.

    Will let you know how it goes.:) :)

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