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I run "old-fashioned" trains...no DCC, lots of cheap stuff. Having said that, my opinion of Bachmann has dropped rapidly over the last couple years. It just doesn't hold up. If you're into DCC, I don't know what to tell you. If you're on regular old DC, I would recommend that you search hobby shops or the internet to find a regular blue box Athearn locomotive. Some people think they're too simple, but I've been running them for over 20 years with only good luck. If something gets broken, you can easily repair it. Heck, at this point I could build one out of spare parts and make it better than most of Bachmann's stuff.

I think the most reliable locomotive I own is a late 70's era Athearn Santa Fe F7 heavyweight. I got it off ebay. It runs smooth and steady. It's reliable. It's currently pulling three dummy locos and six passenger cars with no problem. Best purchase I ever made.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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The difference is in the motor.
Athearn thread The third pictue shows the motor, it run a lot smoother than a small pancake.




Borrowed picture from tw001 tw galllery.

I have no idea what engine is in your intended purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well thank you for all the help.
i really dont want to dump a hole bunh of money into it right now being that im just starting out in model trains.
but i dont want a crappy one eather!

i want one that would work well for people that are just starting out?
 

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IMHO, go for the better stuff. BB Athrean or maybe even RTR. i said Bach would be ok cause it actually will be, but above is better. i'm not sure what motor is in my Bachmann GP50 but the one time i run it IMO it run really well. not as well as spectrum but not "crappy" and still way better then tyco that my nefew launched of the table... i'm not throwing my Bachmann out but for future purchases i'm not going to buy any.


well, i guess i'll use this post as shameles plug :rolleyes:
http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=1966
 

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I just sold a GP 40 Spectrum that was only run a few hours on EBay for $40. If you look they do not go for that much if they are older models and common Road Names. Santa Fe is about as common of a road name as they come (not bad thing, just everyone seems to own at least one Santa Fe engine at some point). Athern Blue Box as mentioned before are better and go for the same money used a new low end Bachmann. and the used BB will out last the Bachmann most likely.
 

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If I was spending $40, I'd still go with the Athearn. Dependable, easily serviced. Bachmann's pancake motors are practically disposable. My recommendations would be to follow some ebay auctions or find a good retailer--online or otherwise, whatever you can get--and find a new or gently used Athearn blue box loco. I'd buy used Athearn over new Bachmann any day.

If you want to spend more but get something good, I'd highly recommend an Athearn Iron Horse set. They're available on ebay for just under $100. You get a rock-solid Athearn locomotive, three freight cars and a caboose, all with metal trucks, a decent little transformer, and an oval of Nickel Silver E-Z track. Just go to ebay and type in Athearn Iron Horse.

If you're really, really patient, you might get one for even less. I scored an Iron Horse set this summer for under $60. I kept the loco and transformer, then gave the rest to my daughter. Great deal for a reliable locomotive.
 
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