Your Favorite HO Scale Manufacturer?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Tuned MP5T, Nov 5, 2004.


Your Favorite HO Scale Manufacturer?

  1. Athearn

  2. Atlas

  3. Bachmann

  4. Concor

    0 vote(s)
  5. Kato

  6. LifeLike

  7. Lionel

    0 vote(s)
  8. Marklin

    0 vote(s)
  9. Other

  1. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    kchronister, i really like it. It goes just the right speed that i want it to. I can pull 3 passenger cars on level track & up a 1% grade. I also bought it cause i am going to be placing it into passenger service cause i don't have that many passenger cars and once and awhile freight service. ( local freight only ). It is one of the best trains that i have so far. I am very pleased with the progress it makes. I would suggest you get one if you can. I could only get it in UP Scheme. I would like to get two more one in the Pennsylvania Scheme, & one undecorated. I'm not going to weather it cause it is going to be on some important passenger trains branch line trains only and it will be taken on tours of the railroad so the president can see how the railroad has progressed. Anyways enough about what it is going to do. LOL :D
  2. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    While I haven't modeled in HO for years, I did own more Athearn than anything else. I did like the early Atlas, and have four Lionel U18B's. I took one Bachmann GP30 and repowered it with what else, an Athearn. When I left HO, Athearn was tops for quality and Atlas was just emerging and Kato was unheard of. Bachmann, Lifelike and Tyco were way down on the food chain. So take my vote for what it is, sentiment.

  3. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Well, not much to say here since I only model steam power... But Bachmann Spectrum stuff has delivered amazing quality/detail in the mid-range price for me... Especially if you buy it on E-Bay for a VERY mid-range price (i.e. $50-100.00 new in box). I don't know if their diesels are equally nice for the price, but why wouldn't they be?
  4. trainwreck100

    trainwreck100 New Member

    Ya just gotta love Atlas quiteness.
  5. Knifeguy

    Knifeguy New Member

    Tuff choices, several good reasons to argue. Kato is the best. Hands down. Also, the most expensive , edging out Atlas and Athearn. I had to chose Atlas for their wide variety. They even modeled Long Island Railroad. But then again, I love all my Broadway Limited Sound that the others all lack. Ahhh...... :rolleyes:
  6. jdscales040

    jdscales040 Member

    I voted Kato and Atlas for a couple of reasons.
    First the ease to install DCC, a NCE DA-SR or KRS-SR fits just about everything I'm running right now.
    They run great right out of the box. And as they break in they get better.
    They are quiet, very quiet!!!!
    Since I detail 'em for my Proto free-lanced railroad most of the factory installed details go anyway. (Older Atlas GP7's and RS1's).
    I don't like Athearn's for a number of reasons, will not go into that subject at all. Do not own one blue box including freight cars.
    John D.
  7. Hardcore

    Hardcore New Member

    I'll be honest here. I voted for marklin purely for the reason that I recently opened my old marklin set and it ran without a hitch after 21 years.

    If that is not quality, I don't know what is.

    What are your opinions on marklin?

    BTW, first post :) and I like the forums. Very helpful!
  8. jdscales040

    jdscales040 Member

    Gee, I don't have any. My cousin had some Marklin years ago. It was an 0-6-0 tank engine of German prototype. I remember it had awful deep flanges and when I started to handlay code 70 it wouldn't run on the stuff. Other than that it was a good runner.

    Since I model mostly in the late '50's I don't have any use for Marklin. Besides Europian railroads just don't cut it for me.

    John D.

  9. LIRR

    LIRR Member

    Tie between Atlas and Life like, Quiet, detailed and rather afordable.
  10. DaytonTrainDude

    DaytonTrainDude New Member

    For value I'd say Athearn or Atlas.
    If money were no object I'd say BLI. I love my BLI engine!!!!!!!!!!!

    BTW I also love my Lionel UP Veranda. Nothing like hearing the whine of that turbine!!!

    I also run On30 and I really like Bachman stuff in that scale.
  11. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    The problem I have with this is that the poll is so broad. I really like P2K locomotives -- they run very smooth and pull great. I wouldn't however, say that all Life Like locomotives are the same. Similar issue with Bachman. Too many sub groups within that one manufacturer.
  12. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    If I could vote for MDC/roundhouse - that's what I would choose. I am into HOn3, and none of the above manufacturers offer anything I can use :( I still have standard gauge stuff, but again the period I model is pre-1920, and MDC offers (offered?) thhe most stuff for that period.

  13. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    I voted for Kato, own 3 of them and I like them a lot. but the price is scary. Anyways i am more of buy what I like person. I have 2 pure katos, sd70 macs, rs3 kato/atlas unit, 1 pure atlas gp38 I think. 20 or so athearns ranging from the older direct drive units with metal trucks to the dash 9 series with flywheels. 4 bachmann spectrum dash 8-40cw, what some call the babytrainmaster h??? and GP 30 and 1 bachmann plus sd 45 , 2 P2K sd 9 and gp 18. and a few other models from the early Bachmann days metal frame with the motor enclosed in the center, to the pancake motor mounted on the rear truck, a few model powers kicking around, I have the dreaded Loniel GP 30 I read about in other posts, and I have Lima, Riverarossi, AHM. even 1 tyco up and running. But if cost was not a factor I would have more katos, more atlas ( was never pleased with my first atlas product sd 38 but I got it used and abused, traded it later for sd 40 athearn) now I have brand new atlas units i am impressed with them not as quiet as the kato but nice models. Athearn is the biggest brand in my fleet because I can find them cheap at shows and such. Only bought 2 at a retail store, rest were at shows and other places. I like my spectrums very much, they run and have some good features for the prices i have paid. Ebay is a great place to buy them.

    does not matter what you own everyone has their own opinion of how good a model is or how bad it is. I like all of mine
  14. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Athearn has always been the "best bang for the buck". Their locos are solid, dependable, and easily maintained. Rolling stock is moderately detailed, and stand up to handling very well.(if I took Kadee cars to shows, the way I do the athearn, there wouldn't be much detail left on them). That's the older stuff.
    The Genesis line is very nice! I picked up one of the new Challengers, from Athearn, was so impressed, I bought another !
  15. rcline

    rcline Member

    Now, for my two cents!! From all the above posts that I have read, all I see is the same old ongoing war of which is better, the Honda or the Harley? What is a proven fact is that with a little loving care and proper maintenance, they are "all" fine running
    machines!!!!! Now don't you all agree??
    PS. - All 3-1/2 of my engines run just fine! LOL!! (One took an 8-1/2 ft' dive all the way down to the bottom of the storm celler steps!)
  16. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    Getting back into MR after 40 years

    I am getting back into HO after not doing anything for 40 years. I am now retired and have lots of time. I just started purchasing rolling stock, and am maybe buying too much before I lay tracks. I have purchased (relatively) cheap locomotives ($9.99 to $79.99) from Athern, Bachmann, Life-Like, Model Power, IHC; some new, some used.

    I Love the Bachmann F units with 8-wheel drive. I bought 2 B&O A units and 1 B&O B units for $21.99 and love the way they handle. They have good weight, work well in tandem, and seem to solidly hug the rails better than any other cheapies I have so far bougth. I bought 4 Chessie A units from M.B.Kleins for $11.99 and $14.99 which seemed to be a steal. The Chessie colors seem to me to be off a tad, (the blue seems too dark) but that is one railroad I will let on my pike, and I can repaint them at that price.

    I bought a 4-8-4 which I will totally repaint, and it seems solid, although I cannot adequately test the pulling power on my test track - a circle with 3 straight sections on a 4x4 plywood platform made up of that track that has the roadbed built in. I had to file the underside of the pilot area to get the front trucks not to bind on an 18 inch radius. I love that the pick-up units are all contained in the locomotive without using the tender.

    I bought an 0-6-0, a 2-6-0, and a 2-6-2 to see what they were like - from M.B.Klein's web page although I walked in the store and they pulled the items for me. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME ENGINE. The two Pennsy locos I bought were even numbered the same. The only differences were in the tenders and additional leading and trailing trucks. That was a disappointment, although one of the railroads on my pike is going to be the Ma&Pa, which had the small drivers and rebuilt locos from 0-6-0 locos because their timber trestles could not take the weight of larger locos. So in short, I can repaint them and use them as short line locos, but they are not big enough (2-6-2 mostly) for major railroads (B&O, C&O, etc).

    When I was into MR there was no DCC, and I am planning to start out cheaply with block control and rheostats or dual cab control to run my pike, so my evaluations at this time include no brass or expensive plastic.
  17. rcline

    rcline Member

    Hello George - And welcome to the gauge! Back after 40 years? Man that must have been one big back yard that the misses made you go out and mow! Don't worry about how much of what you have to start with, because in the end , (which never comes) you will have bought a lot of a stuff. We started with a little ho scale set and then I went crazy building a large table, spent a bunch of money on scenery, then a bunch of money on track and was really happy!! Then I noticed that I only had one engine and 3 cars. Well, today I have 3 1\2 engines and 20 cars. I use to have 4 engines but one took a long dive from the top of table to the bottom of the storm celler steps, so now its a 1\2 engine!!! But before I am through, I plan on being the railroad king of Byers, Tx.! (seeing how I am the only person in Byers to model trains) But don't worry, it won't be long before you have all kinds of stuff!
  18. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Welcome to the Gauge George. :wave: Congrats on your retirement too!! It sounds like you plan to spend it very productively. :D :D

    I'm curious about what you mean when you say the 0-6-0, 0-8-0 and 2-6-2 are all the same engine. Do you mean they all have the same motor, or the same chassis with different whell arrangements? What make are they?

    We'd love to see some photos too, if you have any. :)

  19. Livesteam

    Livesteam Member

    I voted for bachmann because i like that there prices and engines are good, also there cars, Kato is a expencvie company but i think they have the strongest engine out there but i have not been into HO for some years now ., did lionel even make a HO scale?
  20. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I own ONE diesel- Proto2K SD7 in UP colors! Best running loco ever!! Closely followed by a Heritage series 0-8-0. That's my vote. I'm surprised LL hasn't ventured more aggresively into the steam market with their Heritage line...

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