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It's been ages since I enjoyed train models as a hobby, and with a new granddaughter starting to appreciate the hobby I'm getting back into it. I've got O, N and HO lines going but would like to add an HO steam locomotive with tender to my collection. Please recommend a steam locomotive with smoke, DCC and sound are not requirements. But I'd like enough power to pull half a dozen cars. Hoping to stay under $300 (under $200 would be better!). Thanks.
 

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...But I'd like enough power to pull half a dozen cars. ...
On flat land?
Around 15" radius curves?
Lighted 80' passenger cars (more drag on the wheels than a 40' box car.)?
 

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Check out Broadway Limited Imports' 'refurbished deals' page on their website (bottom of left side index column).
 

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Unless you're looking for superlative detail, IMO, Walthers Mainline is the best bang for the buck... very 'nice' detail at a reasonabe price, and good runners.
Next step up would be Athearn RTR -- also reasonably priced.
After that, it's Walthers Proto, BLI, Athearn Genesis, ScaleTrains, Rapido, etc., at higher prices.
An additional advantage of Walthers Mainline or Proto is, you won't have to change couplers.
 

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With 18" curves, something "small-to-medium-sized" is what's going to run without problems.

You can get dcc and sound, but smoke?
Probably not so much.
 
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