I started a similar thread a while back about Atlas being easily outperformed by Life Like. I've had 4 or 5 really nice smooth running Atlas' that couldn't pull more than 5 cars up my admittedly steep Woodland Scenics 4% grade. So, I've been targeting Kato which has the reputation of being super-performers. I've had an F3 that ran jerkily, and now I currently have a Kato SD40 that is very heavy and...stalls out with just 7 cars!!! :angry: I'm adding video so you guys can see what I'm talking about and discuss. #1 - An old Life Like GP18 casually pulling 13 cars (with room/effort to spare, it's done more). It handles this with very low speed, and of course with more power as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HszXr0jyGiE #2 - A Life Like E8 also doing it easily. I've had LL PAs and E6s do the same thing. Yes, they are heavy, but so is the SD40 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umwbkTItJ3I #3 - A tiny British N Gauge Union Mills 0-8-0 pulling the 13 car train https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYE95-MNza0 - This guy has a little hitch towards the top, but it does that with no cars - I have a "weird" track spot there where some of my engines react. I haven't figured out what's wrong and why some locos just breeze on by... #4 - My expensive and highly regarded Kato stalling with just 7 cars (the 13 car trial was, naturally, even more pitiful)> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuhOAmBCT_g - Just dies...doesn't even come close. #5 - Finally, a $19 cheap-o Life Like Gp38 pulling the 7 cars, with room for more (I've had it with 10-11 before). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UEAD_ecEfo I get that that grade is 4% and that it's on a 9 3/4 curve (Woodland Scenics!! Oh, if I knew then what I know now), but why is it that only Life Like locos are able to pull this grade (some of them very, very casually) when the Atlas Gp9, SD60, U23, SD7 and my Kato F3 and SD40 can't? I get that my LL SW8/1200's can/will only pull 5-6 cars up that grade, but they are tiny and nearly match these Kato and Atlas locos. Also, I freely admit that the Atlas and Kato run much more quietly and smoothly on flat surfaces (though some of my Life Like are great, quiet, smooth runners as well), it's just this climbing issue I can't seem to solve with them. Rant over, thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear what folks have to say. On a side note, I'm utterly weary of the trial-and-error so I'm going to buy some Bullfrog Snot and try my luck with that.