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Discussion Starter #1
so my dad has an old set (70's era) of Mantua New York Central passenger cars that his father bought and they have never been run.

Both my grandfather and my dad bought multiple engines (mostly bachmann but also an atlas) and no engine has been able to pull all 5 at the same time.

Coming to the real question, so this year for christmas im getting him a new engine he has had his eyes on the alaskan F7 style engines. Matching isnt as important as most of his 70's-80's era engines are starting to die off and he wants one good engine that can pull all of them until he gets his setup in his basement. Then he will buy the matching engine for the cars in question. So what are some brands to look at for the best bang for your buck power wise, details aren't as important, just something reliable that will pull these cars.

I can possibly sneak some pictures of it if he pulls the cars out this year.
 

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Is it possible to post some photos of the cars? Since you only have one post, it may not be. The actual length of the car and whether it has 8 wheels or 12 wheels may help us make suggestions.
 

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need more data

I'll bet the 'other' engines are too light.
Clean the wheels and wheel bearings on the cars with isopropyl alcohol, not a whole lot, just a drop or too. Then try again.

A newer heavy weighted F7 should be able to pull them.
 

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Depending on how old the passengers cars are, the truck frames may be metal so a little light lubrication on the axle points may help them roll better.

Some passenger cars have brass/copper wipers that pick up power from the axles for car lighting. Those can add quite a bit of drag if they are pressing too tightly against the axles.
 

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How about a Proto2000 E-8 in New York Central paint?
Or perhaps another older NYC engine?

I'd check ebay with the search terms "Proto2000" and "New York Central" and see what you come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is it possible to post some photos of the cars? Since you only have one post, it may not be. The actual length of the car and whether it has 8 wheels or 12 wheels may help us make suggestions.
He is pulling them out tomorrow so I will get some pictures.

I'll bet the 'other' engines are too light.
Clean the wheels and wheel bearings on the cars with isopropyl alcohol, not a whole lot, just a drop or too. Then try again.

A newer heavy weighted F7 should be able to pull them.
He loves the bachmann trains and is wierd about trying anything else. Both of us have been out of the train world for years, are the modern bachmanns powerful enough? Or should I look at other brands

Depending on how old the passengers cars are, the truck frames may be metal so a little light lubrication on the axle points may help them roll better.

Some passenger cars have brass/copper wipers that pick up power from the axles for car lighting. Those can add quite a bit of drag if they are pressing too tightly against the axles.
I will definitely check this, I'm pretty sure the cars are completely metal

How about a Proto2000 E-8 in New York Central paint?
Or perhaps another older NYC engine?

I'd check ebay with the search terms "Proto2000" and "New York Central" and see what you come up with.
They look like beautiful engines, thanks for the suggestion

There are many brand new Athearn “Blue Box” locos available that are legendary for durability.
I will look into those, there are VERY few hobby shops around my immediate area to really shop around at anymore
 

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Did you decide on track radius? I have some Bachmann steam locomotives with rubber tires on some drivers, but they look stupid on 18# radius curves. I've been unloading them on ebay.

So, look at the locomotive wheels for a groove to see if the rubber tires are missing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did you decide on track radius? I have some Bachmann steam locomotives with rubber tires on some drivers, but they look stupid on 18# radius curves. I've been unloading them on ebay.

So, look at the locomotive wheels for a groove to see if the rubber tires are missing.
He has his Christmas platform up now, I think it's 18" curves but I would have to double check
 

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For my own opinion I really like the proto 2000 locomotives. They also have a proto 1000 c liners and Erie built locomotives which I hear are good runners. They also come in the nyc livery. I like the athearn blue box locomotives but if I get them I get ones that have flywheels or I do a can motor swap in them just because I expect them to run smooth even if track isn’t cleanest. Blue box is also relatively easy to swap to dcc if desired. I would recommend staying away from rivarossi if you’re looking to pull a long cut of passenger cars. They seem to be light so tractive effort will drop. Really any of the newer locos will be a good fit as long as it’s of reasonable quality and not a “toy”
 

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OP:

Something to be aware of re the older Proto2000 locomotives...

These are all "new-old-stock". LifeLike (who was the original manufacturer of the "Proto2000" lineup) made their last engines around 2004-2005 at which time they sold the business to Walthers.

So... you're likely going to have to go to ebay (or other used sources) to find them.

Some will be essentially "new in the box" -- never actually run (but still old).
Others will be "used, but excellent" -- perhaps pre-owned with little or no use, again, never taken out of the box.
They're almost all at least 15-20+ years old.
But don't be put off by that.

Be aware that a number of early Proto2000 engines had a problem with cracking gears on the wheel axles. This requires that you replace the gears (full wheelsets with good gears are available cheap) -- you have to pop off the "bottom plate" on the trucks, and put the new gears in. It may also be necessary to clean out some of the old grease inside (which looks like peanut butter).

But once cleaned up, these engines can run VERY well.
Two of my best "runners" are old Proto2000 GP's that I had to break down and clean up. But once reassembled -- smooth and quiet!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Although I could not get a picture the model on the baggage car is 221-22 dual lighted aluminum streamliner
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OP:

Something to be aware of re the older Proto2000 locomotives...

These are all "new-old-stock". LifeLike (who was the original manufacturer of the "Proto2000" lineup) made their last engines around 2004-2005 at which time they sold the business to Walthers.

So... you're likely going to have to go to ebay (or other used sources) to find them.

Some will be essentially "new in the box" -- never actually run (but still old).
Others will be "used, but excellent" -- perhaps pre-owned with little or no use, again, never taken out of the box.
They're almost all at least 15-20+ years old.
But don't be put off by that.

Be aware that a number of early Proto2000 engines had a problem with cracking gears on the wheel axles. This requires that you replace the gears (full wheelsets with good gears are available cheap) -- you have to pop off the "bottom plate" on the trucks, and put the new gears in. It may also be necessary to clean out some of the old grease inside (which looks like peanut butter).

But once cleaned up, these engines can run VERY well.
Two of my best "runners" are old Proto2000 GP's that I had to break down and clean up. But once reassembled -- smooth and quiet!
I'm currently bidding on 2 separate ones on eBay, they are both essentially new in box/demo/barely used so I'm hoping for the best
 

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d obie wrote:
"I'm currently bidding on 2 separate ones on eBay, they are both essentially new in box/demo/barely used so I'm hoping for the best"

Be aware that even though the older Proto2000 engines have "never-run", that they STILL may have the cracked gear problem. Age may have more to do with that then does "mileage".

Then again, they may be fine.

Buying these is kinda like what Forrest Gump observed:
"It's like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you're getting!"
 

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Discussion Starter #15
d obie wrote:
"I'm currently bidding on 2 separate ones on eBay, they are both essentially new in box/demo/barely used so I'm hoping for the best"

Be aware that even though the older Proto2000 engines have "never-run", that they STILL may have the cracked gear problem. Age may have more to do with that then does "mileage".

Then again, they may be fine.

Buying these is kinda like what Forrest Gump observed:
"It's like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you're getting!"

Update on the whole ordeal, so I was bidding on 2 proto 2000's on eBay and ended up winning both, one was a PA the other one is a NYC so I am keeping the Pennsylvania and I took it over and tested it out and man can that thing pull. So he has no idea the NYC is part of his Christmas present

Thanks to everyone for their input!
 
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