ATLAS / KATO Connection ...

jtomstarr Jun 10, 2019

  1. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    My Atlas/Roco or Atlas/Mehano GP9, GP30, GP40, E7, RSC-2 and SD45 locos all failed by emitting the 'magic smoke' sooner or later.
    By comparison, a couple of Mehano-made MRC RSD-15s are still running.
    Several Roco-made FA1s are still running, too.
    No problems with any of my Arnold-Rapido locos from that same era.
    Good for you if you have Atlas/Rivarossi FM C-Liners that still run - and run well.
     
  2. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Let's just say I developed skills, early on, to keep them running well. :D

    I agree that Arnold locos were probably the most reliable.

    Doug
     
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  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Funny! :D
     
  4. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    My remarks won't fit in here. Not with the present tone of things.

    I watched as N scale developed into what it is today. I wasn't impressed with any of the early Atlas/combo's, PMI, Lima, Lone Star, Bachmann, Rapido Couplers, Model Power, Life Like and/or any of the aforementioned offerings.

    It wasn't until Kato teamed up with Atlas and ConCor to produce what became the turning point for N Scale as well as HO. Up till then we were getting what you'd hear me referring to as "Junk." as well as other expletives... :censored:..!!

    To consider them collector's items? Don't expect me to buy into that. Whose leg do you think you are trying to pull?:confused:

    Well, just my two cents worth. :cool:
     
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  5. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    Ah, but you're omitting Minitrix. The only reason I stayed in N was because of them.

    First loco: used Trix F7A. Still have it, repowered, but still around.
    Second loco: Atlas GP40 (Roco), engine fire, melted body shell
    Third loco: Used Atlas FM. POS, traction tires out of round, would hop off the rails at full slip.
    Fourth loco: New Trix U28C. We have a winner.... and let the roster take off from that. I was mostly a Trix and Rapido runner for many years. Ran better than they looked, so learning to paint, decal, detail, do wire handrails came not long after.

    That Atlas/Kato RS3 though, it sure caught my eye, but I didn't own one.

    I still have four repowered/rebuilt RSD15's on front-line service.
     
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  6. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Omitting Minitrix? Yes, I did because that was the best we could get...for a long time. A lot of my Minitrix Units have been re-motored but that's about it. Right there with you.
     
  7. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    I always thought the Rivarossi FM was the worst-designed mechanism I ever saw, closely followed by the Lima GP30/FP45 (pancake motor design, single truck power) and then anything Roco with single-truck drive. The most hours I ever put in to a failed attempt was an Atlas (Roco) RSC2 that I attempted to make into a two-truck drive by grafting two frames end to end and jamming a Trix F-unit motor in the middle. That was probably my first major N scale mechanism rebuild attempt and it was pretty much a failure.
    One of the most radical I ever did that actually worked was a home-brew Trix U23B by hacking up a U28C and discovering that the FM switcher trucks would actually work under it just fine. Used a friends milling machine to cut out the center of that cast frame and shorten it, shortened the driveshaft, lengthened the nose, yeah, it was a very reliable unit and ran very well with all of my Trix chassis rebuilds. About 10 years before Atlas did their U25.
    To a certain extent, that's why I still shake my heads at the guys that criticize a new RTR model because the fuel tank filler cap is in the wrong spot. Fine. Does it actually run? That was never something to be taken for granted when I started the scale in '72, let alone if it was the right phase and if the airhorns were correct to prototype.
    Yeah, the RS3, that was a game changer. So was Kato's GP38. It actually coasted from the flywheels.
     
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  8. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Just for the record, the Atlas RSC-2 was Mehanotehnika (Mehano).

    Doug
     
  9. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Yeah, that and the Rivarossi E8 which was basically the same. I ended up re-powering mine with the guts of the Con Cor/Kato PAs. I had to shorten the chassis wheel base down and bash the front truck to get rid of the extra axle and incorporate the side frames from the C-Liner. They run quite well now.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    My original Atlas/Kato RS3s were among the first diesel locomotives I purchased and among the most forgiving for bad track work. I used to joke that they could run on the carpet if you could get electricity through it.
     
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  11. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    While the RS3's were good, especially compared to what came before, I think the finest running Kato was the U30C. Anything with the flying saucer motor is junk
     
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  12. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting! I've been in N since 1968 and have never seen one of these. I should consider myself blessed it seems.
     
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  14. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    My first N scale train set was a AHM / Lima trainset and thankfully it was not the Q1B abomination :ROFLMAO: My set was the AHM / Lima F7 freight set in the New Haven Mcginnis paint scheme. The F7 actually ran pretty good right out of the box. It still runs to this day, but not as good as when new.

    DSCN1962.JPG

    Most of the track has been lost to history on former N scale layouts, but I keep the rest for remembrance sake.
     
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  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That is so cool that you still have that. Mine was Arnold's set with the C&NW Baldwin, cars and track cradled in a yellow plastic nest, very much like this New Haven set. I still have some of the equipment, but the box is long gone. [Photo Courtesy Trovestar]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    The trick with the Lima pancake motor locomotives is to get the mechanisms loosened up. Stock, they are pretty tight with the flat spring sometimes contacting the gear behind it and various gears too tight on the shafts, etc. Once freed up, they can run acceptably. My recently acquired Q1b actually surprised me with how well it runs as I had read the condemnations too..

    Usually, back then, it was not the design itself so much, as the execution of the design in production.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019 at 6:34 AM
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  17. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Doug, I would also venture to say mine does not run as good today as it spends most of it's time in the box. It probably needs a good cleaning, but because the model is approaching 50 years old I'm half afraid of trying to disassemble the model and having the frame break. The last time I ran it, I could see the notorious "Ring Of Fire" indicating the commutator plates need cleaned. So I leave it in the box as a remembrance, this was a Christmas present given to me by my Maternal Grandparents who are no longer with us. I felt like the luckiest kid in the world, not only was I getting trains from Santa (my parents) but I was getting trains from my grandparents. (y)
     
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  18. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    In essence that's how I got started. Never mind that my step great granddad and granddad were Rails, engineers for the Santa Fe railroad. Always there to advise and show me hot to get'r done. Thanks guys...it won't be forgotten RIP.
     
  19. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    The thing about Arnold and Rocco they were trying to make things better. I recently picked up some AHM N Scale Souther Pacific Heavy Weight Passenger cars. Arnold made for Rivarossi right on the package. Sorry, no pic's. Maybe film at 11:00 p.m. if I can find my time machine.
     
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  20. JBrown

    JBrown TrainBoard Member

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