I had a lot of Tyco stuff...
Back in the day, I regarded them highly.
Sorry, but my regard for them now is little more than 'storage stuffers'.
But that's only because in the intervening decades, my tastes have changed, with the help of the market's growing technology.
I still have a few active Tyco and Varney cars.
I still have some of my old Tyco cars, some last six month purchased ones that are similar. An old Santa Fe chief engine and cars. Parts to two golden eagle diesels. Quite a bit of Tyco track. And two power supplies.
I have retrofitted all my original cars with new wheels and kadee couplers. These work well enough. I started on the others but got lazy. I have all the necessary items though.
Then I replaced all the couplers on the santa fes items with kadee ... Took a little work. I had to drill out the original pin that held it together and get it all back together with a kadee. I used glue. they seems to work. But I haven't used them yet.
On the golden eagles... I found a Stewart hobbies diesel that's a near perfect fit for the golden shell. So I bought two of these.
(I found someones description of this on the web)
But the Stewart's have problems in the motor to wheel assembly couplings (ball head to cup). It took me awhile to figure it but I contacted Bowser and they directed me to the parts and this is now fixed. I also bought some railing and stuff like that from them... so I got stuff to make living golden eagle.. But what I don't have is a DCC decoder for it.
So that's not finished. In fact my interest waned. It seemed such a great idea after I dug out all my old ho stuff and realized how much I had to get it going again... I even bought LEDs thinking I could add lights. I even figured out which prime mover is close to the fake real diesel it's partially modelled after... Etc etc...
But... I dunno after a bit it seemed pointless. I mean why sink all that time and effort into it when the items being offered today are so much better than any result I might come up with....?
So I set it aside... unfinished. I will probably not let end there but it's not my top ho thing to do at the moment.
I've got a few Tyco items on the roster. Some 40' Hi-Cubes, covered hoppers, and a few flats. The shell of my Model Power GP20 is old Mantua/Tyco tooling albeit with a more modern 8wd chassis . There's a bunch of guys here who are wizzes at repairing Tyco locos.
Though I'm a scrounging, barrel-scraping, cheapskate I've phased most of my Tyco stuff out. Partly, because there isn't much available for my 80's/90's layout. Also because if you're patient, Athearn BB (my ideal balance for detail and durability) and similar stuff can be located for about the same price.
Still, it can be a good source of cheap cars, especially if you're doing late steam through late 60's. Even figuring in the cost of couplers and wheels (not always necessary) it's tough to beat the value of a one buck train car.
As a kid, my favorite car was my Tyco unloading hopper car. I used that as the starting point for designing a layout in the last few years, which i hope to build some day. In the meantime I had to figure out a way to hide the toy-like qualities of the cars and came upon an idea to modify them based on a car that was built as a transition between wood and steel hoppers. The result requires adding drop-sides and rebuilding the center ribs. I also stripped all the grab-irons, ladders, and stirrups and replaced them with metal pieces. And of course Kadee all-metal trucks and couplers. I've collected over 30 of these cars of poorer quality which I don't mind hacking up for this project, plus I also have some saved back of higher quality, representing the 14 different paint styles applied by Tyco and Mantua.
It took a lot of work to get this car rebuilt (and I still have to apply decals) but I'm happy with the results as something pretty unique but still in operating condition. I do love the idea of being able to fill and unload automatically, and will love seeing a whole string of these cars moving their loads some day.
Your post reminded me that there was a poster here some time ago that had Tyco trains, I believe they were Midnight Special. He posted photos of his Tyco layout. I have not seen a post from him in some time.
I remember those photos and layout but the one I was thinking about had several Tyco Midnight Special Shark units and I did not see those locos in the photos so I'm not sure if they are the same layouts.