Galloping Goose - product review

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by TrainNut, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    CON-COR N scale Galloping Goose with factory installed DCC decoder
    Today, I went down to the LHS to pick up my Digitrax UR91 and spied this little beauty as I was about to walk out the door. I should have kept walking. The information on the box says, CON-COR The Rail Baron Collection... A Collector's Edition. That last part says it all. This is for collecting and sitting on a shelf - NOT running on the layout.
    Let me begin...
    First off, I was reading the decoder instruction sheet and it appears that it was written by someone who got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. It says things like, "This factory installed Decoder only has a limited number of functions as outlined below. Please do not contact us to ask if more functions can be added, or addressed, they cannot." It then goes on to discuss how this is to be used with DCC and they say, "We can offer only very limited help to you on the phone, or via Email as this is a very technical subject and you need to do your own homework on the subject." Now I know that they probably get tired of answering the same questions over and over but by golly I'm the customer who just spent a lot of money on their product and they should not be telling me to not call them if I need support or have a question - no matter how stupid or bothersome it may seem to them.
    At first glance, it's an awesome little creation. As I pulled it out of the box, it was hard not to notice how small, light and frail it seemed. As I gently placed it on the tracks, I was elated with anticipation. I selected the factory 03 setting, turned up the throttle... more... more.... more.... nothing. So I did the jiggle it a little bit thing. AHA, there we go... lights! Must have been a dirty spot on the track. Well, to make a long story short, the track for this has to be immaculately clean! Any little spec of anything and it stops dead in it's tracks - which it did many times. Plus, it builds its throttle from a zero setting, so if it stops due to dirty track, it has to start all over again. Now that it has lost it's momentum, we have to play the dirty track game again. Push it, push it, ahhhhh, finally it has enough momentum to make it over the dust specs. The engine is too light and does not have enough weight to make good contact on the rails. It's also too light to achieve good traction around some corners and up some of my 2% grades with its ONE powered truck. Oh mannnnn!!!!! - it just stopped inside the tunnel. Out comes the rescue GP to act as a pusher to get it out of there. Also, the leading truck is so light and flimsy that it won't go straight through my switches without derailing. I'm using PECO switches that I don't have problems with ANY of my other equipment. I shouldn't have to tell you this 'cause you've probably already seen it coming but the insulated frogs... you got it... dead stop unless your on full blast and have the momentum to carry you over. The only way I could get this goose to go all the way around was at full blast and even then, I made sure the pusher was close behind.
    The price tag says $199. I got it for $170. I'm sorry boys and girls, it's cute as a button, but for that price and this dismal performance, this goose is galloping back!
    Keep in mind that my layout is a long ways from being finished. I know that there is no ballast and no weathering on the rails just yet and some of the pictures are not crispy clear but with that disclaimer said, check it out!

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  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    "and", I don't believe the GN had any of those. They were a 3 foot narrow gauge, homemade creation.
    In connection with the very definite instructions, I had a collegue once who was into astronomy. He bought a very expensive telescope. When he struggled to get the complicated case open, the first thing he found was a note that said "Really now, did you read the instructions before you tried to open this case"? Must have been the same guy that wrote yours.
  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    I have the Con Cor Galloping Goose in HOn3, and it runs very nicely. The problem you describe,(instruction comments excluded, what were they thinking!??) is unfortunate, but one which I have found in some HO products. It is part of the nature of the beast with DCC that track, and wheel cleanliness is an absolute requirement. In most cases, there are things you can do to correct the "flakyness". All wheel contact is almost universally necessary, and it doesn't hurt to have a track cleaner in every train.
    Your experience, is one of the excuses I use for not building my outside frame 2-4-4-2 in Nn3. Keeping my HOn3 version running for the last 21 years has been an "education".
    Pete
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Yes but I think it is so light that it does not have enough weight to make proper electrical contact. I don't have any problems with any of my other DCC equipment. It's already gone. I took it back this morning and ordered a Santa Fe bud car instead with a decoder that will also have to be installed. It is made by Kato though and will hopefully have better performance.
  5. Bones

    Bones Member

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    I have a DC version of the CC goose. I haven't had any of the problems described with electrical pickup, or stalling.
    Could just be the DCC version.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Some DCC decoders do strt over again from 0 after a power interruption.
    I don't think you would want to replace it with one of those uninterruptable chips?
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Looking at your goose, I think the solution would be to power the trailer and add a little weight there as well. I'm assuming that the cab unit is powered and pulls the trailer. If that is the case, by powering the trailer and adding a little weight to it, you could have all 6 axles powered and enough weight to handle the grades. That being said, the Galloping Geese were Colorado Southern prototypes, a narrow gauge line that teetered on the edge of bankruptcy for a number of years before they finally fell over. They built the Galloping Geese because they were less expensive to build and operate than steam engines, especially for passenger and parcel service.
  8. Bones

    Bones Member

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    This is very true, but don't forget....
    The D&RGS didn't build them only for their own use. The low cost, and ease of maintenance for these geese was very appealing to other roads as well. I'll try to find a reference for you (I believe it's in one of my Narrow Guage books...) which details the geese contracted to be built by D&RGS for other railroads. 12-15 were built for narrow guage and standard guage, and shipped to roads all over the country.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. I knew the Colorado Southern built them because they were cheaper to build and operate than passenger trains, but I didn't know they built them for other roads as well.
  10. Uintah Dave

    Uintah Dave Member

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    Colorado Southern didn't build the Geese. They were a RGS creation. I have never heard of them running on any other railroad. The CC goose is an representation of Geese #3, 4 & 5 after they were rebuilt with Wayne bus bodies in 1946. Goose #3 is now at Knotts Berry farm I believe, #4 is in Telluride, CO , #5 is in Dolores, CO.
  11. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

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    Bachmann needs to do On30 Geese...ideal for On30.

    On30 is a perfect fit for the Galloping Goose type stuff, railbus, whatever.
  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    I've never heard of non-RGS Geese, either, except as models.
  13. jefelectric

    jefelectric Member

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    I know this isn't relavant to the review, but just wanted to say that my 3 rail version by MTH is a great runner. And sounds great as well. Don't know what the originals sounded like but mine sounds sorta like an older John Deere tractor.

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  14. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    That's great to hear. Mine was just too darn light to make good electrical contact and gave me nothing but headaches instead. MTH.... isn't that G scale? I'm not familiar with that manufacturer. I guess I'll have to look them up.
  15. jefelectric

    jefelectric Member

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    Not G scale, but O gauge 3 rail (like Lionel).