Your Favorite HO Scale Manufacturer?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Tuned MP5T, Nov 5, 2004.

?

Your Favorite HO Scale Manufacturer?

  1. Athearn

    18.2%
  2. Atlas

    18.2%
  3. Bachmann

    9.1%
  4. Concor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Kato

    18.2%
  6. LifeLike

    27.3%
  7. Lionel

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Marklin

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Other

    9.1%
  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,810
    Likes Received:
    0
    180 votes! Wow! If only we could get that kind of response for the photo contests!
  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    0
    post more athearns, lol. that might get more voters.
  3. joesho

    joesho Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    guys guys, we all know Jordan is the best for old vehicles :D
  4. timotree

    timotree New Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I chose athern for the rolling stock. I'm looking into getting a Kato engine, so the verdict is still out on that department.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    0

    Actually a well rounded locomotive roster will include locomotives from the big 4..Athearn,Atlas,Kato and Walthers/Life Like..:D
  6. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    368
    Likes Received:
    0
    I only have a couple diesels - RS2's from Kato. They run very nicely. However, my heart is with steam - and my vote is for Trix. I purchased one of their Mikes a while back and have been so pleased with it's running, detail (close to brass), heft and engineering (super nice metal die castings that fit together perfectly that I've bought two more!

    Tony's train exchange has them on sale in the BLI range...
  7. caliban

    caliban Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    I voted for Atlas. If it's about running, Kato is still the best. But overall I like Atlas most, even their parts dept. (online shopping) is the best and has not Katos high price level. My "roster" comprises units made by Atlas, Bachmann Spectrum, Brawa, Proto 1k/2k, Piko, Lima, Walthers, BLI, Kato, Lilliput(Bachmann), Maerklin and of course Athearn, including RDC with the "notorious" rubber band drive.
    And, Fluesheet is right about Trix (Maerklin), great stuff and great price. Took my BLI GG1 to my LHS to compare it with Trix's GG1. They're close, but Trix's GG1 looks better. But even over here in Europe, you can buy two BLI GG1 for the price of one Trix GG1.

    Tobias

    PS: I appologize for any mistakes, english is not my mother tongue.
  8. spookman

    spookman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am still rather new at this but right now I would say Athern. I bought a couple new engines and two 5 pack build it yourself kits of 2 bay hoppers for coal cars. I am adding Kadee couplers and Nickle silver Proto wheels. They run smooth at glass and the athern engines are smoth and powerful.
  9. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    well i had to vote atlas for the most over all best. Now i have some proto locomotives that are just great and i like a lot of the others aswell but Atlas to me makes some of the best stuff and the online tech dep is also great.
  10. hoyle

    hoyle Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Atlas Rules.
  11. Agamemnon

    Agamemnon Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm going to go the uncultured Euro way (being one), and say Fleischmann. Just bought one of their express train cars from the 1950s, one which the seller swore was in perfect operating condition and ought to last another 50 years without issue. I've never had a mechanical or electronic fault with any of their hardware, only with their cost.
  12. xristos

    xristos New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess I’m one of the few that voted for Marklin. It seems that they are a highly rated European company here in Europe. :) I’m beginning to get the feeling that American manufacturers are popular in the USA and European manufacturers are popular in Europe. I went with Marklin because they have a great starter set that supports many of the DCC features (sound, remote couplers, realistic motion, smoke control amoung others) and very good detail.
  13. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    0
    there isn't muc demand in the united states for german locomotives, but from what i've seen, they look pretty nice. If i could afford it, i'd buy their GG1.
  14. Agamemnon

    Agamemnon Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, Märklin also has the added burden of being stuck with their three-rail AC system, which I think is unheard of in the States. Quality-wise, they are second to none, but their pricing reflects this.
  15. caliban

    caliban Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, that's true. But Märklin bought Trix years ago and since that they're offering most new and a lot of the older loco in 3-rail AC, 2-Rail DC and some even in 3-rail DC (Trix Express). Most Märklin products are still Made in Germany, that is reflected in the price of their products. Labor costs are cheaper in China, but highest quality is at home elsewhere!

    Tobias
  16. Agamemnon

    Agamemnon Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can't beat German engineering. I've cast many an envious glance in the direction of Trix, I especially want that 32-axle "Schnabel" superheavy transporter (over 28" long!), and I understand the Trix Big Boy is the best rendition a Eurocorp has ever made of one.
  17. alexander

    alexander Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would give my vote to Atlas and Atheran, Athearn is a major component of this hobby, just about everyone has at least one Athearn, while there not the greatested, there good and bulletproof

    Atlas is pricey, yes (To a 14 year old), but my SD24 is excellent, and i like the speeds it runs at.

    BTW, none of my locos are DCC/ Sound
  18. AndyWS

    AndyWS Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    I voted Athearn, purely for price vs. reliability. We have had an Athearn Milwaukee Road EMD GP9 since about 1991 that has never given us any trouble and still runs quite well. Since then we have added quite a few more Athearn engines for a total of six (2 GP9s, 1 SD40-2, 1 FM Trainmaster, 1 GP38-2 and 1 2-axle "Hustler" switcher). The only problematic ones have been the Hustler switcher (belt drive snapped) and the most recent GP9 purchase, secondhand from a flea market a week or so ago. It looked externally identical to our other Athearn GP9, but the inside mechanism seemed quite different. A member on another model railroad forum then informed me that it was a vintage Athearn from the 1960s pre-flywheel era. It runs quite badly especially compared to our other Athearns but the fact that it still runs at all after 40-odd years is a testament to Athearn's reliability.

    Coming in a close second and third are Walthers and Life-Like Proto 2000. We have three Walthers locomotives and seven LLP2K, all of which run quietly and smoothly.

    The only truly poor runners among our HO locomotives are the Bachmanns, but they are all pre-Spectrum "pancake motor" types from train sets. We have two AT&SF EMD F9s of this type and although they are the worst running diesels on our layout (until the 1960s Athearn GP9 which has been consigned to the maintenance yard for the time being) they have kept chugging after 12-13 years. The same cannot be said for the Consolidation (see the thread about the Bachmann Northern for info on that one).
  19. alexander

    alexander Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    the new bachmanns are good now, 8 wheel drive, the lot

    the old bachmanns can be ok, at running, but not much else.

    athearns are as good as bulletproof
  20. jsa115

    jsa115 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like the BLI I have GG1 it's very nice!