ranking loco's quality by manufacturer...

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Boy you can say that about Bachman , It takes awhile for them to fix something and return it !
Hey buddy...

I'm still waiting, too! Its been a couple months. However, I will admit that the holiday season is the worst time to send trains in for repair! I have LGB trains too and they are taking forever to return my krokodile!
 

Petz

New Member
Top quality:
Atlas, Kato, Gützold.
Trix and Rivarossi some models running too fast.

Standard quality:
Mantua, Walthers, Roco, Fleischmann, Kleinbahn, Klein - Modellbahn are ok.
Bachmann, Proto, Athearn would need a stronger motorization for proper running at low speed.

Rebuilding need Products:
Model power, IHC and old Mehanos i have rebuilt with new motors, flywheels and added current supply points for better running.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
Top quality:
Atlas, Kato, Gützold.
Trix and Rivarossi some models running too fast.

Standard quality:
Mantua, Walthers, Roco, Fleischmann, Kleinbahn, Klein - Modellbahn are ok.
Bachmann, Proto, Athearn would need a stronger motorization for proper running at low speed.

Rebuilding need Products:
Model power, IHC and old Mehanos i have rebuilt with new motors, flywheels and added current supply points for better running.
Welcome to the forum :)
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
I'd say:
Athearn BB
Bachmann Spectrum
Overland
Athearn RTR tied with Athearn Genesis
Proto 2000
Kato
Atlas
BLI & Tower 55

Personally I think Athearn with 50% better on the RTR Dash 9 then the Genesis SD70 series! My rating range is based on detail mostly, with Kato & Atlas topping higher because of the drives, and BLI & Tower 55 for the sound. The new P2K & Genesis offerings with sound can push up there now too.
I've seen a lot of praise for the Tower 55's, but my personal experience was less than satisfying. I had a pair of the 'black widows' of SP that I picked up from a friends shop. The detail was very good, but the sound was far less than satisfying. I think the speakers mounted in the fuel tanks very close to the rails was problematic. BLI is much more satisfying, particularly the AC6000's. And I believe the BLI is superior in traction force.
 

malletman

Alcohaulic
Here is my 2 cents for the steam end of things as I run predominatly steam. Bowser/Penn line, great running if built correctly. Can motor kits out there if need be or Bowser has a skewed armature/dcc ready open frame avaiable. Excellent almost unbeatable pulling power being all diecast metal. Mantua, can be good with some tuning on the older models, newer ones come with can motors already. BLI/PCM, excellent running on DCC, so/so on straight dc power. Pulling power is poor without traction tires, with it causes side rod issues on the PRR I1 Decapod. The PRR K4 is one of the best being diecast metal. Proto 2K, I only have a late production NKP Berkshire without sound/dcc, runs excellent, pulling power is ok, very fragile feeling. Bachmann DCC equipted steam. Excellent running/poor pulling power, I had the NKP Berkshire, very nicely done model if you dont want to pull long trains, I sold it off as it would barely haul anything up the grades at the local club. Comes down to what you want to pull. Long trains with decent grades, Anything diecast metal, be it a Bowser kit, old Penn Line(which was aquired by Bowser), Mantua with tuned drive system. If you want a brass quality detail engine without the kit building work, its BLI or Proto 2K. Brass steam is a whole nother ball game, older needs tuned and usualy a good tear down and servicing and many times painted. New brass is way out there in the price dept. I havent mentioned MTH which while using diecast metal for thier engines, produce them needing well in excess of the industry standard 12vt dc and will barely reach a decent road speed on many controlers. I refuse to buy any till they quit trying to force modelers to adapt to thier DCS system.
 

CIOR

Central Indiana & Ohio RR
Don't blame the sound on T55. This is PURE DIGITRAX. This was a rush development job and shows.

When it comes to quality of drive, its hands down the drive of the T55, followed by the Kato/Atlas drives in my opinion. The Newer Proto Drives are next.

I think shell quality if very subjective. Some people like tons of detail, others like the mold detail. I think finding the perfect mix is the key.
 

Ericsauto

Active Member
NOTE: In my point of view, a diesel locomotive is more track-friendly in most cases, while a similar sized steam engine may be trouble-provoking. Steam engines must be made to a better standard and can stand much less tolerances in HO scale.
I am glad you posted this note. I could not agree more. I love steam but the bad thing is, no matter what brand ,you better make sure your track is damn near perfect. Diesels can handle a "little less than" perfect. I have BLI , Bachmann, Mantua,& MTh steam and they all have there quirks mainly with front trucks. I wish the manufactuers could improve these. Drives me nuts sometimes. Seems they give you problems when someone is looking at your layout.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Eric: you are so right. I always use my Lionel Challenger to test new track. If it makes it without problem, then I know the track is near perfect. The biggest track fault to cause the pilots to jump is a slight kink (did I say slight) at the jointer, particularly in curves. Just a tiny rail misalignment that you can only feel and not see is trouble. (My diesels don't even know they are there :D.)
 




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