A return to the fun of HO railroading

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I doubt I will be using any of these except the switcher, but for future reference would be good to know the actual engine classification. All are 4 axle, all Bachman but one LifeLike. Excuse the dust and grime, just came out of 20 years of storage…
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Yes, post pictures. Usually a side view with a top angle shot will allow us to tell you what they are. Make sure that the trucks are also visible. If you also want to identify the manufacturer, a shot of the bottom of the loco is very helpful. I can only help with diesels from the 50's through the early 90's, but there are many others here who can ID steamers, early and more modern diesels.
Sometimes, you can Google the road name and number and offerings from E-Bay will show up that may have the correct information.
 
You UP guys will have to educate me, the history I have looked through only included the ALCO switcher and the F9…. Of course, I am ignorant as hell so who knows what I am looking at lol
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Need help…. Again….
Looking at Digitrax decoder select site, no ahm brand there. Would it be under a different brand name?

AHM were made by Rivarossi.

But while I have done it, I have to advise, I don't believe AHM locomotives are decoder worthy. Their electrical pickup is fair at best (draws power from only 4 of the 8 wheels). Plus the motors draw too much current and are not all that smooth running. I think it would be an exercise is frustration.

Something like this would be nicer to run.. https://www.ebay.com/itm/294434104760?hash=item448da3e5b8:g:wVMAAOSw4LhhJN66
I know it is not an RS-2 but the Kato brand RS-2s run $155.
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
You UP guys will have to educate me, the history I have looked through only included the ALCO switcher and the F9…. Of course, I am ignorant as hell so who knows what I am looking at lol
What sort of history are you looking for? The Union Pacific was late to dieselize because of their massive client investment in coal.
 
I don’t like the the electric or motors on any locos I have, kinda cheap shit, must be why people were willing to give them to me lol Gonna have to look for what I can afford… I noticed that about the late to diesel, I keep reading up, info info info
 
What I am trying to avoid is getting a loco introduced after 1990 on the UP line, looking for like GP 38, 40 at the latest from the looks of it…. Does anyone recommend one brand over the rest? Should I go DCC equipped, ready, or install decoder myself?
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
What I am trying to avoid is getting a loco introduced after 1990 on the UP line, looking for like GP 38, 40 at the latest from the looks of it…. Does anyone recommend one brand over the rest? Should I go DCC equipped, ready, or install decoder myself?
If you are talking about purchasing a new DC-only and installing the decoder yourself, I'd recommend buying one with the decoder already installed. You may pay a bit more as the factory installed decoders are usually DC/DCC with sound, so you could run on either power (although you won't get all the features with DC). If you don't care about sound, then buying the DC-only and installing a non-sound DCC might save a little money at the "expense" of the labor you will put in. I'd suggest going to the Walthers website and see what models are available. Then Google the particular models to see when they were introduced and how long they ran. Of course, a lot of diesels that were introduced prior to 1990 were still being utilized for a number of years after.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I don’t like the the electric or motors on any locos I have, kinda cheap shit, must be why people were willing to give them to me lol Gonna have to look for what I can afford…
Ok, glad you realize that. I never want to speak too despairingly of anyone's equipment. Sometimes it is all they can afford or are treasures from childhood.

What I am trying to avoid is getting a loco introduced after 1990 on the UP line, looking for like GP 38, 40 at the latest from the looks of it…. Does anyone recommend one brand over the rest? Should I go DCC equipped, ready, or install decoder myself?
Atlas, Kato, InterMountain, and Athearn Genesis are going to be your top brands.
Walthers Proto, Broadway Limited(BLI), Athearn ready to roll (RTR) will be next.
Then is the Walthers Train Line, Atlas Trainmaster, Bachmann Spectrum & Silverline stuff
then to avoid is the straight up Lifelike, and Bachmann

There are many other brands both current and through the years that fit in somewhere in that profile. AHM/Rivarossi being a big one near the bottom of the list, Tyco of course near the bottom. Athearn Blue Box & Roundhouse would be in the middle. Stewart, Bowser, toward the top.

Installation yourself, totally depends. Sometimes installation is open the unit, pull a plug, plug in decoder and done. Other times there is soldering and cutting and changing lightbulbs etc. So for a beginner probably pre-installed.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
If you're looking for a particular engine model, the six axle SD40-2 was produced from 1972 until 1989. With nearly 4200 produced, many railroads had a few. You mentioned GP38 of which there were 700 or so, it's successor the GP38-2 was basically produced alongside the SD40-2 and there were over 2200 made.
 
Needing to replace trucks, wheels and couplers on my rolling stock, from what I learned on info research I want to replace wheels with 36” metal, keep the trucks but tune them, use kadee non magnetic couplers…. Anybody disagree?
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Needing to replace trucks, wheels and couplers on my rolling stock, from what I learned on info research I want to replace wheels with 36” metal, keep the trucks but tune them, use kadee non magnetic couplers…. Anybody disagree?
Most freight cars need 33" wheels. Other than wheel gauge and truck height gauge, a truck reamer tool is one of the most valuable you can add to your tool box, for freight car performance.

And I forgot a Top Tier manufacture of HO trains. Rapido. I forgot them because only in the last decade have them pulled themselves up from mediocrity and emerged as a highest quality company.
 




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