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Old 02-16-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
AmericanRailfan
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USA Locomotive manufacturers

So, since I am new to model railroading, I am trying to get a perspective on the various manufacturers of locomotives. I have compiled a list of the various brands that I am aware of and with which I have had some experience.

Kato: Kato seems like they have the right blend of variety, sturdy ruggedness and reliability. They have what I think is a good track system if you don't want to tac down track on your own. They appear, through using friends' layouts, to be built for the most demanding of circumstances.

Atlas: Atlas, from what I can tell, is more expensive and they don't offer the variety that Kato does. That said, what Atlas appears to lack in locomotive variety, they more than make up for with their trackage: they appear to be industry standard in that area.

Atheran: Atheran, appears to be comparable to Kato in the rugged sturdiness department, but like Atlas, is more costly and there seems to be less variety. However, Atheran seems to be the industry standard in rolling stock. Most of the rolling stock available at my local train shop is either Atheran or Atlas, with Atheran leading the the way.


Bachman: I have been told by folks far and wide, to AVOID Bachman locomotives because they are not as rugged or reliable as the other, more prominent brands. However, this seems limited to just their locomotives, as I have heard no complaints about their layout features: structures, road systems, people figures, etc.

Since I am new to model railroading, I am going to want something that is rugged and reliable, but which still offers variety, enjoyment, good detail and ability to withstand all that a novice brings to the table. Naturally, I am not setting out to smash 'em around or anything. But lack of experience tends to place higher demands on equipment, so I am looking for something that can put up with me as it were.

Your thoughts...
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:44 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention, this is going to be for an N scale layout.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:14 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. Great to have another N-Scaler on board. This Link provides a quick look at the major manufactures: http://fiferhobby.com/html/atlas_kat...dc_n_scal.html

Kato seems to be consist in providing excellent locomotives, Backman's new line of locomotives is showing some progress toward quality. Atlas loco's are not bad. Try to stay away from old steam locomotives that may appear of ebay....they tend to lack quality.

Here is another link to a very good site regarding N-Scale loco's.

http://www.spookshow.net/locos.html

He does a very reasonable and unbiased view the the available loco's.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
Welcome aboard. Great to have another N-Scaler on board. This Link provides a quick look at the major manufactures: http://fiferhobby.com/html/atlas_kat...dc_n_scal.html

Kato seems to be consist in providing excellent locomotives, Backman's new line of locomotives is showing some progress toward quality. Atlas loco's are not bad. Try to stay away from old steam locomotives that may appear of ebay....they tend to lack quality.

Here is another link to a very good site regarding N-Scale loco's.

http://www.spookshow.net/locos.html

He does a very reasonable and unbiased view the the available loco's.
Why, thank you!

The first link is a wealth of info. The second link wouldn't open up (might just be my server or browser.)

My very first model railroad as a kid, was N scale. I like how N scale can fit into smaller spaces without compromising the quality and detail one looks for in a hobby.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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Some advice for the recent experiences of another new guy.

Be leery of any train forums that are supported by just one manufacturer. I have seen negative posts mysteriously disappear on one.

If you’re buying an expensive item, search several train forums for information first. Do not totally count on what you find from web searches.

Bob
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT_Coker View Post
Some advice for the recent experiences of another new guy.

Be leery of any train forums that are supported by just one manufacturer. I have seen negative posts mysteriously disappear on one.

If you’re buying an expensive item, search several train forums for information first. Do not totally count on what you find from web searches.

Bob
Very good advice.

Luckily, in my experience, I have been able to try out a few different manufacturers goods'.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:02 AM   #7
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RT Coker brings forward some very excellent points regarding the purchase of a locomotive for your layout. One issue that we have as hobbyists is that there no standards for the construction or performance of a locomotive so many comments concerning the performance of an locomotive tend to be more subjective than objective. The NMRA has helped the hobby by establishing standards regarding track, turn-outs, etc., but nothing on locomotive performance. I am not complaining about the lack of locomotive performance standards, just pointing pout that they do not exist.

My thoughts center around the purchase of a locomotive from a local hobby shop and that they test the locomotive performance in front of you.....fast/low speed, lights, on a slope, if possible, etc. I would further offer for your consideration, that a locomotive purchase done via the Internet, but done with the full understanding of the seller's return policies.
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