thinking of getting a new locomotive

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by zachary, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. zachary

    zachary Member

    hello every one i am thinking of maybe getting a es44ac or sd70ace by tower 55 and would like to know how good they are and how they run and the level of detail on them thanks zachary
  2. The best out there that isn't brass. Hands down.
  3. zachary

    zachary Member

    is it better than kato and where are some good places on the internet to buy one from thanks zachary
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah, they are much better. Kato actually isn't nearly as good as people make it out to be. The handrails are fat, and the headlights are blue. I also notice their lights kinda flicker sometimes (in fact, the rear headlight will flick while it is moving forward), and its not a result of dirty track or wheels. If you run it real slow, you'll see it. The newer atlas does this to an extent to, but i don't have a problem with my other locomotives in this way.

    tower 55 on the other hand has ridiculous detail, and sound, and it runs smooth. The only problem here is that they are even more so ridiculously expensive. They are all going to be at least $250 from the start.
  5. zachary

    zachary Member

    yeah i was kinda thought thats what they would probaly be 250 or higher
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    exactly, and thats alot of money for a locomotive. Its almost more than its worth, especially since you know Athearn, Atlas, or Kato will make one evntually.
  7. zachary

    zachary Member

    yeah im thinking of just getting a atlas dash 8 with sound and calling it a day
  8. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I love my T55 ES44DC, even though I cannot run it yet. It's one of the best units I've ever gotten.
  9. zachary

    zachary Member

    it depends on if i have enough money to get one after i start my layout im going to lowes tommorow to look and maybe buy the supplies for my benchwork has anyone used sawhorses for thier benckwork thanks zachary flowe
  10. CRed

    CRed Member

    I had an NP ES44DC,great detail and pretty good sound.I paid $200 for mine and it was worth it,much better detail then Kato and they run nicely.

  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Don't use saw horses! what are you crazy? that will never hold up a layout. I think you better really rethink your layout plans and come up with something that makes sense, and i definitely wouldn't buy a $200 locomotive if i don't even have a layout yet.
  12. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    Saw horses will support a layout, but...

    Most folks prefer their layouts higher than the saw horses will be. Typically, folks want their layouts at least 42" high, with 48"-50" being more the norm these days.

    If the layout benchwork is not fastened to the saw horses, it will shift and create scale magnitude 9 earthquakes for your little people and trains every time you lean over or bump the layout side.

    Unless you use quality 3/4" plywood or heavier (which will be very heavy and costly), you will need a supporting framework for the plywood or foam. Lighter plywood isn't rigid enough by itself for a table; even 3/4" plywood is questionable. Typically, a frame of 1x4, with cross members every 16-18", is used to support a 1/2" plywood or 2" foam top.

    Books on building your 1st layout, or a book on benchwork construction, will show you what I am talking about.

    yours in building layouts
  13. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    And IMHO better than a lot of older brass, too, from an operational POV. I've been selling off some of my Athearn, P1K, P2K, etc. diesels to buy more T55s - they are so sweet! I think I have at least six or seven now.
  14. zachary

    zachary Member

    thanks for the advice i didnt get to go to lowes today it rained all day long so i was stuck in the house maybe friday
  15. diesel

    diesel Member

    hey zachary,

    i read most of the responses... hope I'm not beating a dead horse here but....
    Several of our club members have tower 55 ES44AC locos. I want one too, and an SD70ACe. Like you I bought an Atlas -8. As a result 2 club members saw it and said wow -is that a tower 55?

    So the Atlas detail is almost as nice as the tower; save the fact that tower is has brass details.... But the Atlas does have good details including the air filter under the frame, nice fuel gauges and fillers (not as nice as if you installed details west or some third party part but nice enough) ect.

    My reason for still wanting these models... Only Tower 55 makes em, and I need them (lol 'need them') for my coal drags, BNSF uses both of these on drags.

    Saw horses, yes they will support the weight, but did u mean to build some kind of frame to support the deck? will there be a deck? you could just run a 2x4 whereever you have track and use screen or something to complete the scenery but I don't like that approach. We just don't want you layout to sag and fall apart.
  16. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member


    I have seen articles where benchwork is built around saw horses (great if you have little people in your house then they can see the trains too)

    I built my benchwork in pieces, 2x3 frame, 1/2 ply on top then bolted pieces together.

Share This Page