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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering a Lionel TMCC Niagara. This is the version...

Lionel 6-28069 Century Club II NYC Niagara 4-8-4.

I was curious as to any positive points or negative issues with this particular type model.

Any input would be appreciated.

Tom
 

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Tom, they are nicely detailed engines with big Pittman motors and Odyssey Cruise. They have four issues. The plastic drive shaft is weak and can break. The plastic gears in the gearbox can strip. The cab apron can easily shatter. Check to see if the one you are looking at still has the apron in one piece and attached to the cab. Some had an issue with flakey paint on the drivers.
You can get replacement parts for about ten bucks. Lionel has brass gears to replace the plastic ones and you can take a pair of metal U joints found on ebay to replace the one in the engine. The hard part is the engine has to be almost all taken apart to replace the gears. They aren't built like the majority of diecast steam but have a two part boiler. If you have a lot of patience and keep a record of how you take it apart and where all the fasteners go you can fix it yourself.

BTW prices are all over the map. I got mine for <400 bucks. I am seeing them now for twice that. I would not pay more that 500 for one. The MTH cab #6025 is just as capable and has none of the driveline issues of the Lionel engine.

Pete
 

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If it hasn't been upgraded with the brass gears, that's something you will have to do. I think Lionel still has the gears, I bought a couple sets when they finally made them in brass, just to be sure I'd have them when one of these came along. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I checked out a couple MTH engines, but they are PS2 5 v and somewhat high priced. I will continue a search for a more recent MTH engine.

With the issues the Lionel Niagara has, I would definitely avoid that situation. I appreciate the honest input and it helps me make a good decision.

Now, to swing in the other direction, I would like to consider a NYC Mikado. I have seen the Lionel and K-Line versions. I just want a decent runner that is accurately portrayed. It seems the versions I looked at have the light boiler instead of the USRA heavy boiler like the Central had.

So that is the point I am at now. Thanks again for all the input and opinions.

Tom
 

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MTH USRA light Mikados have an edge over K-Line/Lionel in detail and also have a big Pittman vs the smaller Mabuchi RS 385 in the other two.
NYC had a lot of USRA Lights, Class H6a.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah, okay. Thanks Pete! I am glad you are chiming in here. I base my research on Staufer books and the internet, so it is a great help when a person who is familiar with the subject offers their expertise.

The MTH USRA H6a sounds like a winner.

Thanks again, guys.

Tom
 
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