Favorite N Scale Locomotive Manufacturer?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by David, Mar 13, 2001.

  1. David

    David New Member

    Mar 13, 2001
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    I have caught the N Scale bug.

    I am starting to learn about and collect N Scale Locomotives and Rail Cars as well as clearing out the basement to start work on a train layout.

    My question to everyone out there is:
    Who do you think makes the best quality N Scale Locomotivs? RailCar?

    I thank you for your opinions and answers in advance.

  2. dbn160

    dbn160 Member

    Dec 17, 2000
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    I would buy the best quality locomotive you can afford. Among the best brands are Atlas, Kato and the newer LifeLike units.

    Bachmann Spectrum and Bachmann Plus units
    and ConCor can also be good locomotives.

    Bachmann, LifeLike and ModelPower "train set" locomotives are the least expensive, but tend to be less well-liked by most experienced N scalers.

    To get a look at what is available, visit your local hobby shop, or see some N dealer webpages like BLW, N Scale Supply, Rio Grande Hobbies, TexNRails.......






    You asked about freight cars Quality brands here include Micro-Trains, Bowser, Intermountain, deLuxe Innovations, Atlas.

    Other brands include ConCor and Walthers.

    Bachmann, LifeLike and Model Power make
    "train set" freight cars which are less expensive but tend to be less popular with more experienced N scalers.

    Again, see your local dealer or the websites listed above.

    Personal opinion only No affiliation with any shop or manufacturer

    Don Brown
    Tucson AZ USA
  3. Craig Martyn

    Craig Martyn New Member

    Mar 2, 2001
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    Well, if you had asked me this two months ago I would have said Atlas is the best, but I have spent hours upon hours upon hours with both manufacturers locomotives and I truly believe Kato is better.

    First off, Kato's shell qauility is a lot higher than Atlas. Even the plastic that Kato uses is stronger. The hand rail connected to the walkway is another great idea by Kato. Some things on a model can be changed but are VERY hard, take the SD60's steps for instance, they are just WWAAAAAYY out of scale, while Kato's steps are nice and thin. And look at the C44 fuel tank, yuk, they could have done a lot better job than that. As for the painted hand rails, thats OK but takes two seconds to do anyway. I can rant an rave more on Atlas but its time to talk about the mechanisms.

    Kato's drive is smoother than Atlas's and seems to be more well thought out, and more precise. Also, -9's and SD60's are about the same size, but the -9 can pull more than the SD60.

    So my choice is Kato, Atlas in second, and new Life Like in 3rd.

    Craig Martyn

    N Scale Detail Pa
  4. Art Lamb

    Art Lamb New Member

    Jan 5, 2001
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    I like Atlas, Kato and LifeLike locos the best, but I have to say that Kato has become my favorite. They run strong, slient, and all pretty much the same speeds. Atlas seems to vary all over the place... (that is with about 30 atlas locos) and LifeLike pulls strong and runs good, but is a wee bit slow if you want to run Kato, Atlas, and LifeLike on the same tracks... Maybe with DCC this isn't a problem but I don't run that.