Who makes the best model diesel locomotives?

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
#41
I also ordered my Bachmann Alco S-4 like the one in the link about 5-7 years ago. I've never understood why Bachmann doesn't offer these locos in either DC or DCC and sound, since as Greg states removing the shell is easy, just remove the coupler boxes and lift off the shell. I got to thinking why not buy one of the DCC & Sound Value S-4s and swap the body, ending up with a nice Northern Pacific Sound Value S-4! So I purchased a Milwaukee Road S-4 with DCC & Sound, swapped shells and sold the older DC model with the Milwaukee Road shell on Ebay. I didn't quite get the price of the DC version of the Northern Pacific S-4; but, it wasn't to bad. I have run the heck out of my model and it did develop some problems, returned to Bachmann for repairs and supposedly it's on its' way back to me now! The problem was the wheels became loose on the axles!
 

blackz28

Active Member
#44
bachman BITD was horrible but starting in the mid 2000,s they really upped their game , I have a EM1 2-8-8-4 I runs awesome
scale trains is great.
they all have their good points & bad
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#48
Iron Horse, you left out IHC ! ( I've always heard that their steam run very well, but lack detail ).
Well I didn't "forget" them. The topic was diesels. I was trying to focus on current production stuff. I don't know anything about their (IHC) diesels. By the time IHC came on the scene I was way past the toy train type stuff and never even considered them. But if they were the same as the old AHM line (Of which I have many), they would be near bottom of the list.
 
#49
Well if you want to start an argument about it ..I merely said you left it off your list, because you said "Ummm who am I missing ?".
 
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CambriaArea51

Well-Known Member
#50
Intermountain makes good running diesels,I have a few of the modern engines but they make F units with dcc and Loksound.
https://tonystrains.com/store/train...in?cat=107&p=1&product_list_limit=96&scale=14
As far as the current keeper goes Scale trains is the only one that comes with them factory installed.I've added ESU current keeper to the Loksound in my ES44AC pretty easy to do,they have 2 different sizes depending on room under the shell.The newer Gevo was tight and had to trim the shell just a tad with a file due to the changes they made making the engine heavier.The older ES44AC is lighter in weight and was able to easily fit the current keeper under the hood where the dynamic brake would be behind the cab.
Streamlined backshop is good prices are the same as elsewhere but shipping is cheap.
SBS4DCC.com type in ESU in the search and about 3/4 down the page is the mini and maxi power pack current keepers


Here are a few pics of it installed in the Gevo.
IMG_2521.jpg
IMG_2553.jpg
IMG_2556.jpg
 
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trailrider

Well-Known Member
#55
I think I would agree that Intermountain makes good F7A/B and also FP7A's. Walthers' P2K and other units are also pretty good, though the earlier ones suffered from cracked axles. That was easily taken care of by purchasing Athearn geared axles, which are made from a different type of plastic than the Chinese used in the LifeLike models. Also, NWSL has brass axles, but they are quite a bit more expensive if you are replacing four axles (advisable) per unit. Don't know about keepalive capacitors for diesels. Soundtraxx Tsunami 2 steam engine decoders can have their KeepAlive's (purchased extra) that just plug into the decoders.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#56
Just an aside, I was at Walther's Showroom this morning and they have a large completed layout they use for photo shoots of their new products and have two trains running for customers on the double mainline that run all day long. I asked one of the Walther's representative how long do the locomotives last running as long as they do and he replied that the record is two years with regular maintenance.

The two Wisconsin Southern locomotives running in a consist where there on my last two trips to Walthers in March and February.

So I guess if it runs a long time, has detail and looks good, then it must be a product to consider.

Greg
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#57
Why has nobody mentioned MTH?

Brakeman Hal
When I first got interested in MRL as a prototype RR'd to follow, all I could find of models of their HO scale SD70ACe diesels were MTH and I bought 2 of their early PS3 with limited DCC capability. Wasn't till quite a bit later I came to know that Athearn Genesis had done them as well. The PS3 ones were problematic in their circuitry. I have since bought another 2, but they were from their RTR DCC ready line. I am actually, just in the process of replacing the installed DC/DCC ready 8 pin lighting board entirely with Tsunami2 sound decoders. Even there, and I believe with the different motors (reputedly 12V instead of the PS3's 16V) there are some wiring quirks over other brands of similar HO locos.. Normal practice for wiring LEDS (SMD's in this case) seems to be to use the positive (Anode) as the common, the negative (Cathode) to the f tabs on the board and place the resistor into that - wiring.
Even though these are DC/DCC locos, MTH seems to have used the same LED wiring as it has in it's PS3. In the case of this MRL loco with it's headlight in the nose, all 3 of the front lights (Head and 2 ditch) are on the same mini circuit board and wired so it has only 1 - wire serving all 3 and the 3 + as commons. Luckily, MRL doesn't use flashing ditch lights, so 2 functions are not required to operate them in that way, so the 3 + wires have had the resistors inserted and connected to the common on the board and the negative, single - wire to the headlight function tab. The number board lights have been connected to another function tab. I have kept all the resistors onto the common + to be consistent. Appears to be working OK.
 
#58
Gentlemen,

It seems that many of you know in depth the history and qualifications of several manufacturers of model locomotives, so I'll present this post to all of you.

I run a single O-Scale 2-Rail short consist freight train on my 127-foot layout, and I'm looking for a Diesel Loco to pull it.

Years ago I had an O-Scale 2-Rail Atlas Gold Series GP-35 Diesel that had a dual-mode decoder and could be run on DC or DCC, and also had QSI Quantum Sound, which was available even with my straight DC analog controller.

I'm now looking for a Road Switcher to pull my short-line Local, with the same Sound capabilities as my old Atlas loco.

It would like to have a Western road name, like Santa Fe, UP, or SP, as my consist is all from Western roads.

What Diesel locos are available today that will give me Sound and DC/DCC operation with my old DC controller?

Thanks,
Brakeman Hal
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003.JPG
 
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Genetk44

Active Member
#59
I guess I’ve been lucky because 90% of my Bachmann run perfectly out of the box. I always buy new,sound-equipped as much as possible. Out f about 25 sound-equipped locos I’ve only had one that sounded not great, managed to improve it with a few tweaks. The thing is for me, when I pay the prices required fornew,DCC sound-equipped Atlas,Rapido or the newer top of the line Athearns compared to the prices of new Bachmann locos I find fewer defects in the Bachmanns. It really pi**es me off if I pay the high prices for an new Atlas or Rapido and get that awful motor hum whereas if I get it on a new Bachmann thats $100 cheaper it doesn’t bother me as much.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#60
Gentlemen,

It seems that many of you know in depth the history and qualifications of several manufacturers of model locomotives, so I'll present this post to all of you.

I run a single O-Scale 2-Rail short consist freight train on my 127-foot layout, and I'm looking for a Diesel Loco to pull it.

Years ago I had an O-Scale 2-Rail Atlas Gold Series GP-35 Diesel that had a dual-mode decoder and could be run on DC or DCC, and also had QSI Quantum Sound, which was available even with my straight DC analog controller.

I'm now looking for a Road Switcher to pull my short-line Local, with the same Sound capabilities as my old Atlas loco.

It would like to have a Western road name, like Santa Fe, UP, or SP, as my consist is all from Western roads.

What Diesel locos are available today that will give me Sound and DC/DCC operation with my old DC controller?

Thanks,
Brakeman Hal
View attachment 36565
View attachment 36564
The fact that you had an Atlas in O scale, with QSI DCC/sound, possibly could mean they were the only brand of O that came that way. I could be wrong, but O scale in particular, seems to be populated very much so, with proprietary control systems. I note that you are using one of the DCMaster control units, they were offered by BLI (Broadway Limited Imports) as an extra for sound and CV adjusting on their HO "Blueline" locos of quite a few years ago. They also were used to control those items on their early QSI Quantum fitted HO locos on DC layouts, and BLI's later "Paragon" locos.

Atlas's home page seems to be off line at the moment to check any offerings, so I looked at what MB Klein's had in stock of their O. They only showed F3A and B locos, no EMD GP's. And only 3 rail, with Lionel control.
 





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