ATLAS / KATO

jtomstarr Jun 11, 2019

  1. jtomstarr

    jtomstarr TrainBoard Member

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    The article and my post here took me back to the days between 1984-1990? when my Late Mother and I were building a layout loosely based on

    1 . The BUFFALO and SOUTHWESTERN

    2 . The NEW YORK PENNSYLVANIA and OHIO EX- ATLANTIC and GREAT WESTERN RR

    And my showing her the performance of 4 ATLAS/ KATO locomotives I acquired, needles to say she was impressed with the performance and how quiet they were.

    Tom
     
  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Kato's RS-3 was a landmark locomotive, bringing N Scale into an entirely new era. It was also the perfect prototype to choose. I bought three of them, all undecorated and painted two in CNJ and the other in D&H. I still run them today. The only downside of the design was the puzzling assembly, with the cab clipped on to the body shell. The cab had to be pried loose to gain access to the clips which held the body shell on.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Also interesting was the fact the Milwaukee Road version released came without a unit number. Which made adding decals very easy. I noted this to a certain large east coast retailer. Even they had not noticed and wrote it up in their next newsletter. I bought a couple, even though I did not model the MILW's eastern lines.
     
  4. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    IMHO, These engines were the best ever produced.
     
  5. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    I was never impressed with the A/K RS-3 or GP-7/GP-9. Aside from Kato's jamming a GP onto an RS chassis, which resulted in an incorrect wheelbase, I was less than impressed with their runnability. They were finicky and tended to stall on anything less than professional grade trackwork. This meant frequent stalling on my mediocre trackwork. The only way that I could resolve this was to hardwire them in pairs.

    The RSD-4 did not show the stalling problems, oddly enough. Perhaps it was the extra pair of wheels? Unfortunately for me, no road that I modelled at the time had RSD-4s.

    .............and yes, i did swap out the traction tyred wheel pairs. It helped a little, but not much.

    N Scale of Nevada did sell frames to address the incorrect wheelbase problem. I did buy two and did the upgrade, but, still had to hardwire them in pairs.

    Flywheels did seem to address the stalling problem. The Atlas/Kato SD-7/SD-9 is still one of the best operating N scale diesel locomotives.
     
  6. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Well, sort of. Not only was the wheel base wrong but they had to stretch the shell to fit over the frame. The retro-frames, I have two different versions, lengthened the wheel base beyond the 40 foot prototype to 41 foot three inches on one version and 42 foot three inches on the other. I guess this was to make them look right. Here are two of the original stretched shells on either side of the newer Atlas (China) version.
    IMG_4073.jpg
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  7. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    N Scale did not capture my attention until Atlas/Kato teamed up to produce some diesels. Specifically the SD7.
    In HO Scale it was when Stewart/Kato teamed up to produce an F7.

    As I watched N scale progress into a viable hobby solution. I wasn't impressed with the tight radius curves, the Rapido Couplers and the toy like appearance. It wasn't until we unpacked an Atlas/Kato SD7, in a hobby shop I worked for in Kettering, Ohio. Placed it on the test track that I knew we had a quality product to offer the finest critic's. Smooth running, would transition from one speed to another without jerking, crawled and creeped on demand. Amazing. An easy sell.

    In HO we discovered a Stewart F7 with a Kato mechanism and it didn't take us long to get it out of the box and onto the test track. Same results.

    Kato would team up with Concor and Atlas to produce some amazingly swell running locomotives.

    Then it all stopped. What? What? What do you mean? Don't hang us out like that.

    I don't think any of us from that time period, had reason to belly-ache for to long.
     

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