Loblaws/PC locos?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by RobertInOntario, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Just wondering if anyone can comment on the quality of Loblaws/Presidents Choice train sets. I heard recently that the quality & detailing of the locos is good, but that their motors are a bit weak.

    I have a Loblaws/Presidents Choice CN 2-8-2 freight loco. I think my Dad bought this new in late-1994 when Loblaws first sold this train set. It looks good & runs well but can't cope with too many freight cars -- so it would seem that it does have a weak motor? It really struggles if I add more than 6 or 7 freight cars. And its wheels easily spin when it reverses.
    I guess I could add more weight to this engine, but would that put more strain on the motor and possibly wear it out?

    This past Christmas, Loblaws sold a nice Hudson CN loco train set. I saw these on sale after Christmas for about $80 and I was really tempted to buy one. I fully realize that you essentially buy these sets for the locomotive only, since the freight cars are very tacky (decorated with Loblaws graphics!) and the track is bronze, etc. I'll be very curious to see if Loblaws introduces a new train set this year or if they try to resell the Hudson from last year. Is this train set worth buying?
    I recently saw some of these train sets selling for good prices at a recent model train flea market, both as actual sets and individual locos.

    Thanks, Rob
  2. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    My club bought several of the hudson sets for use on the club layout. It pulls about 6 athearn passenger cars up a 2-3% curved grade without slippage and very little slowing. I've pulled a couple apart and the motor is a fair good quality can motor with a brass flywheel attached. Hope this helps you.
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Glen. That's helpful & encouraging. What's your opinion on their appearance and detailing? Just curious. Also, do you know who actually makes them. My PC freight loco seems to be made by some obcure manufacturer in the Czech Republic, I think. Thanks again. Rob
  4. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

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    maker is IHC and lots of sets out there
  5. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Hi Rob ,
    You can buy last years model for $49,00 Canadian, at most Loblaws now.
    I bought one and I am very pleased with the performance and the detail.

    For $49 you can not go wrong.
  6. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    That's interesting (and tempting). I hadn't been able to find it at the Don Mills/Eglinton Supterstore where I first saw it, since February or March, but maybe it's still there in an obscure place. I'll check and thanks for this info. Rob
  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Stuart. It sounds like a well-established brand. Rob
  8. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Come out to Pickering the Loblaws on Liverpool road south of hwy 2 have a lot left.
  9. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    I like the detailing of the engine, I'd consider it just slightly under the Bachman spectrum line since it's an engine built for the clumsy masses and not carefully-handling collectors. The biggest thing that bothered me was the 'elephant ear deflectors on the sides and the over-length tender. I fixed both of those in an afternoon and I'm very happy with the engine now.
    Here's a few pictures of a modified one I did:
    http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=21686
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Glen. That's really interesting and your modifications are well done. Just curious if were the elephant ear deflectors were not actually used then, i.e. not historically accurate? And was the green & black colour scheme not used, as I'm sure I've seen pictures of green & black Hudsons and I think I've seen the real thing at the train museum in St. Thomas, Ont. I have a hunch (but don't know for sure) that the black colour scheme is an older version while the green and black version was possibly later? It's interesting how these PC locos are accurate in some respects but compromised in others.

    Thanks also for your note regarding how its detailing is slightly less thant the Bachmann Spectrum series. That's a helpful comparison.

    Cheers, Rob
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Chris. I'll do one last search around our Superstore and if I can find one then I'll try the Pickering store. They might be one of the few ones selling them for $49. It's great that they have lots left. Rob
  12. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

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    If you are ever in Northern Ontario stop at the Coniston Valu Mart there two left.
  13. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    The Hudsons were originaly delivered in with the smoke deflectorsbut they were later removed. The surviving 5702 on display does not have them. I'm not sure about the color schemes either. I modified and repainted the black one for a fellow club member that already had the green and black engine. I've kept mine in the green and black scheme but as I stated ealier I removed the smoke deflectors and shorted the tender. The next major modification to a true Canadian engie would be a vestibule cab but I'm not ready to do that modification yet.
  14. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Glen. Interesting with regards to the smoke deflectors. I'd be interested to research more about the colour schemes. Maybe I'll get a colour CN history book some time. Cheers, Rob
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Robert: one of our club members spent an afternoon in Loblaws with a ruler checking the castings. A lot of them a slightly humped. Some of the other parts may not be fitted on alright. I saw one where the eccentric crank was turned a half-circle out of posittion -- not sure if that is fixable.
    Th elephant ears and paint job are correct, although there are a lot of detail discrepancies. If you take off the ears, you still need the side panel on the running boards.
  16. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, David. Overall, though, people seem to have responded favourably regarding to these locos. And if there was a problem with one of them, I'm sure Loblaws would exchange it. You would, though, have to identify the problem early enough before you've used the loco a lot. Cheers, Rob
  17. Dan McDonald

    Dan McDonald New Member

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    I just bought this today at the Superstore and I'm impressed. The cars will be great to weather up and learn to scale paint...
    The loco itself is good and solid. Haven't tried it yet but there is a PC 90 day warranty card included so if you register it you should have enough time to find any problems you might encounter.

    Now if I had a layout to run it on.....
  18. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Dan -- that's encouraging. To my eye, the loco looks well detailed and attractively done. Apparently, the loco does have some inaccuracies and there have been a few problems with some of them. But then, as you say, the Loblaws warranty card should help overcome this. I'm pleased with my 2-8-2 freight loco that was released by Loblaws c. 1994.

    Just curious, as to what you paid for it? if you don't mind my asking.

    And yes, scale painting and weathering the freight cars should be a nice, creative project to reuse the cars & get rid of the Loblaws ads!

    Thanks again,
    Rob
  19. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

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    I got mine for $49.95 plus taxes about two months ago.
  20. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks. I know they have some for that price in Pickering. So I'll check around Toronto first and Pickering if need be. Rob