what are the better brands of rolling stock?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ozzy, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    ok, theres been lots of posts about the best engines,,,,, but what about the cars? what do you think are the better made ones? better detail, best priced, most bang for your buck, lets put the brands into category's, like best detailed, cheapest to buy, and whatever falls in the middle,

    and why would you pick one brand over another?

    i just bought 2 peices of rolling stock, 2 bachmann 40' box cars, only 4 bucks each, but i did not have anything to pull....... so this works...lol
  2. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    I've always purchased what fits my layout and made it work. If it needs repainted, new trucks, or a rebuild so be it. That said, I think the vast majority of my N scale fleet is Atlas and MDC kits because they were relatively cheap. Now that Horizon is distributing the MDC cars under the Athearn name the price has gone up considerably and the only change I've seen is the addition of AccuMate couplers. I still seek out the old MDC cars where they're available over the newer Athearn releases simply because of price difference. I have a number of Micro-Trains, Intermountain, and Red Caboose cars in my fleet, also. They're not the largest portion of the fleet because they're simply more expensive. Someday when my income can catch up with my wants that might change, however.
  3. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Probably 80% of my rolling stock fleet is Micro-Trains. Personally, I think they're the best bang for the buck as far as quality vs. price goes. The remaining 20% is Atlas. I may end up with some InterMountain cars, because with a freelanced road, I need some undecorated cars to put my own road name on.
  4. DavidB-AU

    DavidB-AU Member

    Basically you get what you pay for.

    Micro Trains are excellent. Kato is excellent but I hate Kato couplers.

    Atlas, Athearn, Model Power, Life Like, Walthers and Intermountain are all good.

    Bachmann and Con-Cor are okay but some of the older stuff is quite toylike. Still a good basis for superdetailing. Modern Con-Cor is quite good.

    Unless you want to stick with Rapido couplers, factor in the price of converting to Micro Trains or fitting MT bogies.

  5. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

    Well I have about a 100 cars in HO scale and thay or mostly Athearn. For my money thay roll good stay on the track good and will stand the test of time good also. Plus thay dont cost me a ton of money to buy. And thay have just about anything i am looking for. Now i do have some Accurail cars and thay are very good also and some Atlas cars that work very well. So i guess it is what ever you like and wont to have for your main cars.
  6. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    It depends on your scale and era...

    I am in N scale and 1880-1900s.
    Bachmann have some old time cars, but most need severe help to get away from their toylike look. MDC, now Athearn, have a line of 36' Box, stock and reefers, but don't have flat or gondola that size. Looks like scratching for those for me.
  7. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    If they ever release anything in N scale that will be good to know.
  8. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

    Micro Trains and Atlas are my favorite picks with Micro Trains being tops. Atlas comes with accumate couplers which have been improved. Athearn and Intermountain comes next. Intermountain cars are very nice and come with Micro Trains truck/coupler assemblies but there has been some quality control issues. I won't buy Intermountain cars without inspecting.

    For only a few dollars more than Bachman, Life Like, Model Power, etc., you can't beat Atlas Trainman for budget cars. They come with quality trucks and couplers and roll very well. The detail is like Bachman but the paint quality is better. If you want to build a train real fast and want the cars to fit in when you get more serious, Trainman is the way to go.

    The $4.00 variety of Bachman, Model Power, etc. is OK for circle running. The wheels have lots of drag compared to the better cars so you can't pull many of them. The Rapido couplers aren't really suited for switching and spotted cars.

    The older MDC cars with Rapido couplers are OK if you get them cheap. The cost of upgrading them to knuckle couplers needs to be considered.
  9. DavidB-AU

    DavidB-AU Member

    Bachmann and Model Power cars run fine on Micro Trains bogies. :)

  10. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Which ever ones I can sneak in the house without her knowing!!! I have 1 Life Like that I kept for experimenting with weathering and detailing, and the rest are all Athearn and Bachmann silver series. I've ery happy with them, the couplers work and they stay on the track.

  11. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Tanker: Just how the heck do you intend to hide that ride on size train from your wife if you have to sneak small stuff into the house???
    My preference for cars is Accurail and Bachmann silver series. Of course sometimes the brand becomes secondary to whats available that fits your modeling era. I have Kadee log cars because they are supurb models and also one of the few skeleton log cars available.
  12. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Jim I don't have to sneak things in and she knows I'm thinking about the ride on ones....I tried telling her tonight that she could have fun with the grandkids buy using the train in her veggie garden with a track running to the house!!!

  13. peekaboo1

    peekaboo1 New Member

    will_annand, go to www.finenscale.com/rollingstock.html
    near the bottom they have 36' trussrod box, reefer, and flat car kits.
    also have gondola sides and tank car kits for the flat cars (there are pics
    to see what they look like when the kit is complete (if you can paint as well
    as them).
    also check out where to buy them on the left side menu.
    i have had success with these at nscale trains and scenery
    and feather river train shop.
  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Just looking at the above link, and your post, and came up with a question... In your era, how common were cars like "purpose built" tankers and gons? Seems like there would have been a lot of modified flats - i.e. with wood sides for gondolas, and with tanks strapped to the deck for "tankers".

  15. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

    Get yourself a trench coat with inner pockets and you can sneak the whole train store in the house. As long as you don't flash her with it, she'll never know.

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