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Good morning all, how is everyone today?

I had visited our local hobby store, basically the only place that really sells model train stuff and I had a couple of questions.

For the engines they had the following brands available, that had engines I was interested in. Which ones should I avoid and which one is the better one? We do have a swap meet coming to Edmonton in April, so hopefully pick some stuff up a bit cheaper there. All prices are in Canadian dollars

InterMountain Railway Co. -> They had a SD40-2 5737 multimark CP for $219.99 and then they had a SD40-2W CN 5334 W/ ESU Loksound select sound decoder, Expo '86, rainbow coloured. I want this one as it is from the year I was born, it is $299.99

Proto 2000 Series -> They have an EMD SD9 GN 582 with sound & DCC for $319.99

Athearn -> ATHG69283 W/ sound (Tsunami decoder) CN 1039 SD70 for $339.99, ATHG69333 w/ sound (Tsunami 2) CN 5614 & 5602 SD70I for $349.99/ea, ATHG27331 w/ sound (Tsunami 2) CP 9301 SD90MAC-H Phase II for $389.99

Walthers Proto EMD SD45 CP 5496 DCC & Tsunami sound $389.99

Bowser -> SD40-2F Red Barns DCC with sound $319.99, They also have a few that are DCC ready with 21 pin plug for around $230

There was also a brand called Rapido Train Inc.

Thank for all the help.... I don't want to end up with junk after spending the prices they are asking. I want to make sure that I buy good quality as I want them to last a very long time as this will be my hobby for a very long time.
 

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Yipes!
All those prices look too high to me (I'm cheap).

Do you have-to-have sound? (some do, others don't)
Considerably cheaper to buy "dcc ready" units, then add a decoder yourself.

If you're interested in SD9's, take a look at "new-old stock" Proto2000 units available on ebay. Generally, you can pick up a "dcc ready" version for $90 US or less.
 

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John

I agree the prices you have posted seem
quite high.

Most often the price is based on whether the
loco is DCC 'ready' or DCC 'equipped' Ready
means it has a port to plug in a DCC decoder
that you buy later. Equipped means it is
fully operating DCC loco and will cost more. Sound on board adds even more to the price.

Ignoring the DCC options, the other
factor affecting price is the degree of detail...highly
detailed locos can be quite pricey.

However, you'll be glad to know that you can
ignore brand names. Today's market of HO
locomotives regardless of brand are quality
products. A good rule of thumb, when buying
a loco, is that if you like it's looks and you can
afford it, that is the one for you.

If you shop around you'll find a wide range of
prices for the same loco. So, check all sources
before you buy.

Don
 

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You'll find great deals at the Edmonton swap meet.....I went to the one in October and picked up a Proto 2000 GP7, new in the box, for $40.00.....fixed the cracked gears, and now it runs like a Swiss watch.....

I'm going to the April one too.....
 

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Those are all good quality locos. They're also all at the high end of the price range, and those prices do seem high (even in Canadian dollars) even for those. I'd shop around at the train show or on-line for better pricing.
 

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No one has mentioned Bachmann..Bman used to be the worst 50 years ago..Today they make excellent locos. The details on the engines are very good, they all tend to run smoothly and creep well, too. You can find them on ebay for way less than their list prices.
'DCC/sound on board' has everything..If it doesn't state that it will lack sound/lighting or even a decoder, altogether. Be hyper aware of that when buying engines..M
 

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HO locos?

Good morning all, how is everyone today?

I had visited our local hobby store, basically the only place that really sells model train stuff and I had a couple of questions.

For the engines they had the following brands available, that had engines I was interested in. Which ones should I avoid and which one is the better one? We do have a swap meet coming to Edmonton in April, so hopefully pick some stuff up a bit cheaper there. All prices are in Canadian dollars

InterMountain Railway Co. -> They had a SD40-2 5737 multimark CP for $219.99 and then they had a SD40-2W CN 5334 W/ ESU Loksound select sound decoder, Expo '86, rainbow coloured. I want this one as it is from the year I was born, it is $299.99

Proto 2000 Series -> They have an EMD SD9 GN 582 with sound & DCC for $319.99

Athearn -> ATHG69283 W/ sound (Tsunami decoder) CN 1039 SD70 for $339.99, ATHG69333 w/ sound (Tsunami 2) CN 5614 & 5602 SD70I for $349.99/ea, ATHG27331 w/ sound (Tsunami 2) CP 9301 SD90MAC-H Phase II for $389.99

Walthers Proto EMD SD45 CP 5496 DCC & Tsunami sound $389.99

Bowser -> SD40-2F Red Barns DCC with sound $319.99, They also have a few that are DCC ready with 21 pin plug for around $230

There was also a brand called Rapido Train Inc.

Thank for all the help.... I don't want to end up with junk after spending the prices they are asking. I want to make sure that I buy good quality as I want them to last a very long time as this will be my hobby for a very long time.
jonvosh;

I saw in your introductory post from yesterday, that you were very short on space, particularly layout width. So short in fact, that you could not fit an HO-scale loop on the table width you had (32")
Given all that, are you sure you want to invest a lot of money in HO-scale locomotives? I replied today to your first post, pointing out that N-scale would be a better fit for the narrow space you have available. Have you ruled out N-scale for some reason?
Have you decided on HO-scale, despite the space limits? Have you decided to forgo continuous running and build a point-to-point switching layout? Have you acquired a bigger space? Have you read my reply to your first post?
It's your railroad, and that means you can do whatever you want. It does not mean that a five foot wide loop of HO-scale track will magically fit onto a 32" deep shelf. What is it you want to do?

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Those are all very good locos however they are all 6 axle locos and will require
at least 18" radius turns but some will require 22" curves, it takes at least 48" to run that size curves.
6 axle locos will need #6 turnouts to run good, some will do #4s and others won't.

If you're short on space I'd suggest 4 axle locos, EMD F units or GP9s.
My EMD SD70ACe will run on 18" curves but doesn't like #4 turnouts.
It's sitting right now derailed on a #4.

Magic
 

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I'd echo the concerns of big locos on short curves. Is 32" wide really the limit for you? That's going to limit you to 15" curves and maybe not even that. at 32", you're looking at a shelf, switching layout. That's fine but you wont' have any looping back.


If you can get to 18" curves (36" Diamter between track centers, requiring around a 40" table.) then see if your train shop have any EMD GP series locos? GP is the designation for the 4 axle Locomotives made by the EMD company. They are still in use today in many switching yards.

I applaud you for wanting to support your local store. If they can accommodate you that's great, otherwise, if you're short for space, check out the sale section for the online dealer trainworld. They have Bachmann GP's in DCC and DC for less (sometimes much less) than $100. Not as much detail as the $200+ locos, but they're reliable runners and will be a good starter loco to see how trains operate on small curves.

Good luck whatever you decide, but I think a bit more planning is in order before committing to a locomotive purchase.
 

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One thing I do at least is cross reference to the big online retailers for model trains, then add some in for shipping. I like to support my local hobby store when I can so i see if they are close with those two added together and then buy. I haven't tried negotiating though but been tempted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No one has mentioned Bachmann..Bman used to be the worst 50 years ago..Today they make excellent locos. The details on the engines are very good, they all tend to run smoothly and creep well, too. You can find them on ebay for way less than their list prices.
'DCC/sound on board' has everything..If it doesn't state that it will lack sound/lighting or even a decoder, altogether. Be hyper aware of that when buying engines..M
Bachman seems to be one of the main companies that Hobby Wholesale in Edmonton carries the most of. I was looking at their products and they seem to be pretty decent. I want lights for sure, sound isn't a big deal for me, just want at least one of my loco's to have it.

Those are all good quality locos. They're also all at the high end of the price range, and those prices do seem high (even in Canadian dollars) even for those. I'd shop around at the train show or on-line for better pricing.
I took and looked online on eBay and the prices there aren't any better in store after you factor in shipping to Canada. I think the reason they are quite high is because Hobby Wholesale in Edmonton basically has a monopoly on the hobby as I can't really find any other hobby store in the area that sells train stuff.

You'll find great deals at the Edmonton swap meet.....I went to the one in October and picked up a Proto 2000 GP7, new in the box, for $40.00.....fixed the cracked gears, and now it runs like a Swiss watch.....

I'm going to the April one too.....
I go to the train show in Sherwood Park every year, end up taking lots of pictures. I am saving my money so that I get a bunch of decent priced stuff from the swap meet

John
However, you'll be glad to know that you can ignore brand names. Today's market of HO locomotives regardless of brand are quality products. A good rule of thumb, when buying a loco, is that if you like it's looks and you can afford it, that is the one for you.

If you shop around you'll find a wide range of prices for the same loco. So, check all sources before you buy.

Don
That is good to know. I will probably try and stick to one brand or another for the most part, to keep everything looking similar, unless it is something I really like.

Yipes!
All those prices look too high to me (I'm cheap).

Do you have-to-have sound? (some do, others don't)
Considerably cheaper to buy "dcc ready" units, then add a decoder yourself.

If you're interested in SD9's, take a look at "new-old stock" Proto2000 units available on ebay. Generally, you can pick up a "dcc ready" version for $90 US or less.
The problem with ebay, is the high shipping costs to Canada, which makes the deals almost not worth it after you factor in price conversion and all that. It would be nice if we had more than one hobby store in the area that sold train stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
jonvosh;

I saw in your introductory post from yesterday, that you were very short on space, particularly layout width. So short in fact, that you could not fit an HO-scale loop on the table width you had (32")
Given all that, are you sure you want to invest a lot of money in HO-scale locomotives? I replied today to your first post, pointing out that N-scale would be a better fit for the narrow space you have available. Have you ruled out N-scale for some reason?
Have you decided on HO-scale, despite the space limits? Have you decided to forgo continuous running and build a point-to-point switching layout? Have you acquired a bigger space? Have you read my reply to your first post?
It's your railroad, and that means you can do whatever you want. It does not mean that a five foot wide loop of HO-scale track will magically fit onto a 32" deep shelf. What is it you want to do?

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
After doing more reading and looking and all that, I think what I am going to do is still have an HO layout eventually, probably just a big loop around the room or something like that, and then I will make my main layout N scale instead. I originally ruled out N scale as it is quite small compared to HO scale, but after doing some measuring and all that, I think the N scale would look a lot better in the space I have.

Those are all very good locos however they are all 6 axle locos and will require
at least 18" radius turns but some will require 22" curves, it takes at least 48" to run that size curves.
6 axle locos will need #6 turnouts to run good, some will do #4s and others won't.

If you're short on space I'd suggest 4 axle locos, EMD F units or GP9s.
My EMD SD70ACe will run on 18" curves but doesn't like #4 turnouts.
It's sitting right now derailed on a #4.

Magic
I think I am going to go with N Scale now after more research for the layout that I am going with and because of the turn radius I would need for HO.

I applaud you for wanting to support your local store. If they can accommodate you that's great, otherwise, if you're short for space, check out the sale section for the online dealer trainworld. They have Bachmann GP's in DCC and DC for less (sometimes much less) than $100. Not as much detail as the $200+ locos, but they're reliable runners and will be a good starter loco to see how trains operate on small curves.

Good luck whatever you decide, but I think a bit more planning is in order before committing to a locomotive purchase.
Ya, I like to try and support local business, but it is a pain in the butt when they basically have a monopoly in the whole Edmonton area and can charge what they want. I am hoping to find some good deals at the swap meet in April.

One thing I do at least is cross reference to the big online retailers for model trains, then add some in for shipping. I like to support my local hobby store when I can so i see if they are close with those two added together and then buy. I haven't tried negotiating though but been tempted.
If I was to buy a bunch of stuff thru my local hobby store I would basically ask for a 10% discount or I would take my business elsewhere. If they care about you as a customer and want to keep you, then most will likely give you a bit of a discount if buying a whole bunch of stuff at once.
 

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I think I am going to go with N Scale now after more research for the layout that I am going with and because of the turn radius I would need for HO.



Ya, I like to try and support local business, but it is a pain in the butt when they basically have a monopoly in the whole Edmonton area and can charge what they want. I am hoping to find some good deals at the swap meet in April.
N scale seems wise. Most swap meets will have a table in the corner with test tracks in all the relevant scales. Don't be hesitant to ask a dealer if it's ok for you to take a loco over to the test track befor you buy or ask if they'll sell it to you on condition that you're going to test it and will return if it doesn't work.
 

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Ya, I like to try and support local business, but it is a pain in the butt when they basically have a monopoly in the whole Edmonton area and can charge what they want. I am hoping to find some good deals at the swap meet in April.

If I was to buy a bunch of stuff thru my local hobby store I would basically ask for a 10% discount or I would take my business elsewhere. If they care about you as a customer and want to keep you, then most will likely give you a bit of a discount if buying a whole bunch of stuff at once.
Try that at a grocery store.....you'll be leaving without any food.....:laugh:
 

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I could be wrong and would like to know it... But aren't the same manufacturers strong in ho... Also strong in n?
 

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Sometimes. Roco made good N scale equipment but for whatever reason they dropped the entire N catalog to concentrate on HO. And concentrate they have.

Their HO offerings are second to no one in Austria or Germany in reliability and detail. You will pay for that though, but it is worth every Euro.
 

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Yes, and no

I could be wrong and would like to know it... But aren't the same manufacturers strong in ho... Also strong in n?
Severn;

There is no hard and fast rule about it. Not all manufacturers make models in both HO and N. Many do however, and there is a great deal of crossing over between scales. I can't think, offhand, of a manufacturer who makes great items in one scale and lousy items in the other. Generally speaking the quality is fairly consistent.

Kato is a big brand in N-scale, but less so in HO-scale, though they do make some HO products, and seem to be headed toward making more. Their quality is excellent across their whole product line, regardless of scale.

Athearn has been a major force in HO-scale locomotives for several decades. Many of us had an Athearn as our first locomotive. They have long made reliable, affordable, but not fancy, HO locomotives. They make a few locomotives in N-scale too, but are still primarily an HO manufacturer.

Some brands are sort of a "guess and grab" situation.

ConCor does a little manufacturing, and a lot of importing. Some of their old N-scale locomotives were actually made by Kato, and for their time, were the best running locomotives on the market. However some of their other imports were nowhere near as good, but they were still under the ConCor brand.

Brands also merge and get bought out. LifeLike was once synonymous with junk in N-scale and possibly in HO-scale too. Now they are owned by some other company, so who knows?
I also have two LifeLike diesels that rival Kato in performance, but at half the cost. Go figure. :dunno:

The advice to test drive before buying, or make sure you can return it before buying is really the best advice anyone can give you. ;)
As that wise philosopher, Forrest Gump, said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get."
A well-known, recommended, brand, bought from a reliable dealer, is your best insurance. Ebay is a gamble.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Im with traction fan on that. eBay can be a big gamble. If you’re not inclined to making repairs on your engines or rollling stock buy brand new otherwise you’re GOING to run into problems. I like old brass steam and I’m constantly working on them trying to get them to run like a nice broadway limited or something like that and good lord can it be a headache and a lot of work. Best thing I can tell you is if you want to stick it on some rails and run it no matter what and reliably spend the money once and buy brand new. The second hand market can be a “deal” but you can get burned really quickly too then you’re possibly out good money that can go to a new loco or car. (This is all if you don’t want to work on them)
 

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Im with traction fan on that. eBay can be a big gamble. If you’re not inclined to making repairs on your engines or rollling stock buy brand new otherwise you’re GOING to run into problems. I like old brass steam and I’m constantly working on them trying to get them to run like a nice broadway limited or something like that and good lord can it be a headache and a lot of work. Best thing I can tell you is if you want to stick it on some rails and run it no matter what and reliably spend the money once and buy brand new. The second hand market can be a “deal” but you can get burned really quickly too then you’re possibly out good money that can go to a new loco or car. (This is all if you don’t want to work on them)
:thumbsup: I have been watching/buying on Ebay for the last few years. I do buy a very specific train brand and line and fully expect to repair what I buy. There are a ton of people that find used equipment at estate sales, and garage sales. Many have no real way of testing, although it is claimed, or actually have a clue. There are legitimate sellers, don't get me wrong, and if I have decided to get something out of my arena, I look to see if the seller specialized in selling trains or more than 50% of what they sold were trains. If not I steer clear
 
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