Model Train Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am at the point where I'm ready (at least I think I'm ready) to add passenger service to my HO layout. Now I want to find which manufacturer(s) provide quality equipment.

A quick search for GN equipment showed Con-Cor, Rivarosi, IHC, and Life like offerings in GN livery. My experience with Con-Cor freight cars has shown they leave a lot to be desired; I have pretty much stopped running them. I wonder if their passenger equipment is any better?

The others are a mystery to me, so I'm looking for feedback/recommendations. If you have other manufacturers you recommend, I'd like to learn that too.

Thank you for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,743 Posts
The only passenger cars I have are Bachmann Spectrum, and they are good looking and run very well. I'm not sure what your objection to the Con Cor cars is. Operating issues, detailing / prototypical accuracy or what, but Con Cor is definitely what zi would call a budget brand, not high end.

I think Rapido and Walthers Proto are probably the top of the line cars on the market today. I don't know about GN livery on either, though. Walthers has been issuing one "name train" a year for a while now, so they might have something.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,332 Posts
Rapido did passenger cars in the GN scheme, but good luck finding them now.....they are indeed beautiful.....

Walthers (pre Proto) also did GN passenger cars a while back, also probably hard to find now....they were very nice as well.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,743 Posts
You're in luck. I see in the December issue of Model Railroader that Atlas will be offering a line of heavyweight passenger cars in GN livery (among others). It may be a few months before they're actually available, though.

Atlas products are generally good quality.

Given the state of the industry right now, there is likely to be a limited run and then they will go out of production. You may want to consider pre-ordering.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,332 Posts
Seems to me that Atlas is still recovering from the production issues that hit the model train industry recently.....they are very, very slow in releasing new product.....check their web-site for a confirmation of that....:eek:hwell:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,810 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,743 Posts
December issue? Good grief, it's not even November yet! :sly:
I forget why, but most magazines are a month ahead, so the December issue is published in November, etc. Because I get the digital edition, which is pushed to subscribers the same day the print copy hits stores, I tend to get it 3-5 days before the publication month, so the last week of Oct for the Dec issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
I am a BIG fan of Walthers. Their “Name Train” series are great models. I have the complete 12-car Santa Fe El Capitan train and the complete Santa Fe Super Chief.

Love them both.:):):)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
Con-Cor & other omnibus brands

I am at the point where I'm ready (at least I think I'm ready) to add passenger service to my HO layout. Now I want to find which manufacturer(s) provide quality equipment.

A quick search for GN equipment showed Con-Cor, Rivarosi, IHC, and Life like offerings in GN livery. My experience with Con-Cor freight cars has shown they leave a lot to be desired; I have pretty much stopped running them. I wonder if their passenger equipment is any better?

The others are a mystery to me, so I'm looking for feedback/recommendations. If you have other manufacturers you recommend, I'd like to learn that too.

Thank you for your help.
BikerDS;

Con-Cor is more of an importer than a manufacturer. They do make some of the stuff sold under their brand name, but most is made by other firms. This can be good or bad, depending on who actually made the item.
As an example, some early N-scale locomotives, an Alco PA-1, and a J-3 Hudson steam locomotive were sold by Con-Cor, but manufactured by Kato. Both were renowned as smooth runners, back when most N-scale ran anything but smoothly!

IHC (International Hobby Corporation) can be another "Who actually made it?" brand. Like Con-Cor, they make some, & buy some from elsewhere.

Rivarossi is an actual manufacturer. Many long years ago, before I got into N-scale, I owned some Rivarossi, HO-scale, passenger cars. They were decent-looking, for that time, but had absolutely none of the detail level of say, a current Rapido brand, passenger car.
My old Rivarossi passenger cars also had truck-mounted couplers. (back then they were horn-hooks) The couplers were mounted on long, projecting, plastic, tongues so that the cars could operate (sort of) on 18" radius curves. The cars were all plastic, including the wheels, and very light, so pulling them through that tight a curve I sometimes had them fall over on their sides. I was a teenage "newbie" back then, and didn't know that those cars did not belong on that tight a curve. No matter what the manufacturer claimed.

Life Like is another multi-source brand. Like Con-Cor and IHC, LifeLike can be like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, "You never know what your going to get!" I have a very smooth-running N-scale locomotive labeled Life-Like, but I have also seen a lot of absolute junk sold under that name.

My own favorite brands of (N-scale) passenger cars are Micro-Trains, and Kato. Both are excellent quality cars. I also have some Rivarossi N-scale passenger cars. They are O.K., but not in the same league as Micro-Trains and Kato.
In HO-scale, "Micro-Trains" is called "Kadee" and Kato is still Kato. Whether either of these companies make HO passenger cars, or not, I don't know.

good luck;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,387 Posts
IMO, MTH is the gold standard of passenger cars...
Not only are they impeccably detailed, and beautifully painted & lettered, but absolutely nothing rolls better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
You'll have to experience a Roco passenger car one day. It's like they're on ball bearings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
They used to a long time ago but have since dropped the line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
I am at the point where I'm ready (at least I think I'm ready) to add passenger service to my HO layout. Now I want to find which manufacturer(s) provide quality equipment.

A quick search for GN equipment showed Con-Cor, Rivarosi, IHC, and Life like offerings in GN livery. My experience with Con-Cor freight cars has shown they leave a lot to be desired; I have pretty much stopped running them. I wonder if their passenger equipment is any better?

The others are a mystery to me, so I'm looking for feedback/recommendations. If you have other manufacturers you recommend, I'd like to learn that too.

Thank you for your help.
Can you specify what cars you are interested in?

Off the top of my I think that IHC and Life-Like will not satisfy you.

Rivarossi might. Some of their cars are quite nice looking, though though IIRC most are not lighted and many are without interiors and unless you get a great deal, adding those can bring the price up quite a bit. On the other hand it's not inconceivable that you may come across a Riv set that's already had various upgrades applied.

Con-Cor is a mixed bag depending on which line you purchase. They do make some higher end products but generally their stuff is more on the affordable end of things. I like my budget Con-Cor Superliners, but they are very modest on detail, unlit and without interiors. I doubt you'd be happy with them.

If I were you I'd look and see if Walthers, Kato and MTH have the GN cars you desire. I often ogle the Walthers cars that I see in my local shop. I don't think they will be to quite the same level as MTH or Rapido, but they seem quite well done, are not as expensive and IIRC, they are known to be reliable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
732 Posts
I just recently saw the “empire builder” cars at the train show in my area. I think they were athearn blue box models from the looks of it but can’t be exactly certain. I have passenger cars from about all manufacturers and my favorite are either athearn blue box or walthers proto. Due to me being a Santa Fe guy I have it easy because about all model manufacturers have made some form of a Santa Fe painted car
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top