Kato NW-2

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J Long

New Member
I finally got one of these little critters in CB&Q (Kato NW-2). There has been a lot of discussion on these concerning noise and pulling power.

First off, the detail and decoration is what we've come to expect from Kato. Crisp and sharp. The CB&Q Zephyr scheme has always been a favorite of mine and it is well done. The trucks are a flat grayish black. Not the usual shiny black plastic which is usually the case with N scale diesels. I hope others follow suit. It is a very nice touch. I will be ditching the couplers for Micro Trains. The stock Kato couplers don't mate to MT and Accumate as well as I like.

This engine has been geared down from the usual Kato gearing and running on the same track as an Atlas GP-9, ran at about the same speed. It has excellent slow speed and starts up smoothly and torquey. I think it pulls fine for its size. It pulls as well as an Atlas GP-9 and better than an Atlas VO-1000 or Life Like SW switcher.

The drive has been redesigned. The truck gears are self contained and driven by drive shafts. It is a tad noisier than your standard Kato or Atlas drive but you get used to it. I pulled the shell for lubricating and forgot that the drive was redesigned. Drive shafts and current contact strips popped out and disapeared on the Kitchen floor. I spent a bit of time on my knees with a magnifier finding them. But I found them and got it back together. I found when dissasembling, it's easiest to first remove the fuel tank then grab the fuel tank stub with linesman pliers and give it a smooth firm tug to remove the frame from shell. When reassembling, the current contact strips easily get knocked out of kilter and you have to be careful.

Overall, I really love this engine and it looks very nice. I had a tough time deciding between the CB&Q model and the SP zebra stripe model. I plan to get an SP sometime in the near future.


Good notes on The kato NW-2,I have one also it is a great running little switcher,mine is the santa fa one,love it!

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