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Thread: Who makes the best quality HO, N scale trains?

  1. Default Who makes the best quality HO, N scale trains?

    Atlas, Kato, Bachmann????

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmrossetti View Post
    Atlas, Kato, Bachmann????
    My best Likes are; Athearn, Kato & Stewart(most of the older Stewarts had Kato drives).
    I forgot about Atlas. I have about 6 of their engines. They have a lot of detail on most engines & they always run well.
    Last edited by Larry; 08-09-2011 at 09:58 PM.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTkyR5kFJwI

    (This is the only Video left of my Train layout before I took it apart in 2012)

  3. #3

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    Define "best". Each manufacturer has their strengths and weaknesses. Kato has (had, not really making any HO now) the best drive. Multiple units would sometimes harmonize with each other. Their paint and details were not always the most accurate, bulging pilots and radiator fans come to mind.
    Athearn used to be the best value and had a bulletproof but somewhat loud drive. The details were generic but could be customized to your hearts content. Genesis has a sometimes good drive, QC doesn't seem too important the last few years at Athearn. The details are there on the Genesis line and very finely rendered. The very fine rendering makes them somewhat delicate though.
    I only have one Atlas loco, an RS11, but it runs very well and has a fair bit of detail.
    Proto2000 is quite nice but I only have a few GP30s to measure them by. The drive is a slightly improved version of the ancient Athearn drive, close enough you can use Athearn replacement gears to fix the cracked ones in older P2K. The details are there but I got them used in the wrong roadnames so stipped them down, redetailed them and repainted them. Some other models had weird gear ratios so they will only run with themselves, Proto SD60s with Proto SD60s and so on. Currently, I think Walthers P2K is the most overpriced.
    If you stay with Athearn, Kato, P2K, Stewart you'll be fine. Bachmann has mostly been toy trains. They seem to have upgraded them recently but you can still find lots of strange shapes and odd mistakes that relegate them to toy train status. They make nice steam engines but I don't have any to comment on. I do have a 45 tonner that runs well after I did a little work on it but that is the only Bachmann I have.

  4. Default

    I tend to favor Atlas Gold Series, Atlas Silver Series, Atlas TRAINMAN, Broadway Limited and KATO HO locomotives. The Atlas TRAINMAN locomotives are great for those on a lower budget and are a little more durable than the more expensive locomotives that have better detail.

    It also helps to Google search a particular brand and model of locomotive that you are interested in to find a review and /or forum posts about it. You can often find some good information that will help make your buying decision easier.

    Best regards,
    Brian
    BRS Hobbies - We ship your order FAST!

  5. Default

    For the HO beginner MTH trains with DCS, DCC is veryhard to beat. The Athearn Genesis line is nice also, but uses only DCC. What is N scale? Just kidding.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by aviserated View Post
    For the HO beginner MTH trains with DCS, DCC is veryhard to beat. The Athearn Genesis line is nice also, but uses only DCC. What is N scale? Just kidding.
    All of my Ath. Genesis engines are DC.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTkyR5kFJwI

    (This is the only Video left of my Train layout before I took it apart in 2012)

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aviserated View Post
    For the HO beginner MTH trains with DCS, DCC is veryhard to beat. The Athearn Genesis line is nice also, but uses only DCC. What is N scale? Just kidding.
    You got to be kidding? Look around the forum to see how many people have trouble with MTH crap, a control system that doesn't like NMRA DCC standards, poor quality control and customer service, and you want to recommend it to a newbie?

    Rotor
    Jake: How often does the train go by?

    Elwood: So often you won't even notice ...


    http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x...albumview=grid

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    Undt zee flames sharte....
    Crandell

  9. Default

    You will get as many answers to this question as there are modelers and brands of locos.
    Everyone has their favorites.
    You will also get different answers for the different scales.

    Here are a few things to know:
    1}Quality and price are not always good bedfellows. Just because it is expensive does not mean it runs well. Example is the MTH ho locos. Look around the forum and you will see many complaints like the one above MTH's expensive $300.00 locos. Both about their quality to start, and about warrantee repairs and about paid repairs. {unfortunately}
    2} Detail levels vary and are also not necessarily price dependent. Typically,the more expensive locos have better detailing, but they may not run well or last long. If you are detail oriented, don't automatically expect a good runner.
    3} Some of the less detailed locos are the better runners than the more detailed ones. Strangely enough.
    4}Bachmann. Many don't like them and think of them form their 60's-70's "toy train days". I personally like Bachmann. They have a few lines: basic standard, and their premium Spectrum locos. Bachmann has worked very hard to upgrade their locos form the "toy train status". Their Spectrum premium line is much more detailed and the best runners they make. They do cost a bit more than their standard line, but many first-run SPectrums become their "standard line" later on.

    I have several HO Scale Bachmann DCC OnBoard locos, both standard lines, and SPectrums.And some I believe were SPectrums that are now the standard line. They are all good runners, out of over a dozen, I only have one that "growls" at slow speeds, but smooths out at higher speeds. They are all good runners, and all are decent pullers. I have not had any trouble with them in 6 years I have been in HO scale. Level of detail is far better than their "toy train" days, and the Spectrums are often highly praised for their level of detail by those who purchase them. Bachmann also has a good warrantee program should something go wrong. If they can't fix it, they will give you a new one, if no longer available, they will ofer you a few choices for replacement with a different model.
    I don't do sound locos, so I cannot comment on the Bachmann DCC Sound On Board locos.

    For N scale I have seen many praise Kato for their locos. But I would venture that Bachmann N scale should be as good as thier HO scales are. I have a few Bachmann N scale locos that are from the 70's that still run well on DC with little maintenance done during, oh , about 20-25 years of storage, or when brought back out to run under the Christmas tree every year sonce 6 years ago. Only 1 gives me "sparking troubles". I would hope I get as much good use out of my Bachmann HO scale locos as the old "toy train" N scalers I have.

    just my thoughts, opinions and experiences and reading on the subjects. Others may vary.
    -Galaxy
    HO and N

    Just my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences. Others may vary

    Please Forgive my dyslexic typing

    After long and careful thought, they have convinced me. I have come to the conclusion that they are right. The aliens did it.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rotorranch View Post
    You got to be kidding? Look around the forum to see how many people have trouble with MTH crap, a control system that doesn't like NMRA DCC standards, poor quality control and customer service, and you want to recommend it to a newbie?

    Rotor
    Sorry if I offended anyone....I am also a newbie.

    Just after watching all the positive reviews on Youtube about the MTH trains and DCS controller I thought MTH was verygood. It appears to be the coolest.

    Of course DC!

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