American Z Line GP38

shamoo737 May 19, 2020

  1. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Has anybody purchased the new Gp38, and how well does it run. I am hoping it runs like the second release, and not like the first.
     
  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I just read this morning that it has the updated mechanism in it, where the first gen has a frame than can crumble or powder.
    That said, I don't have any new ones, only the old first gen units.
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  3. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    My 1st gen runs great and its frame has no issues. I though the problem with 1st gen was poor zinc casting causing some frames to crack/crumble. Never heard any issues with poor running, except for the light board coming loose. Waiting on the new SP units, and maybe a BNSF.

    If you have a poor running GP38, AZL is selling replacement chassis for the 1st gens.
     
  4. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    What I assume to be a "first release" GP38-2 ran so good that it pulled me completely into Z-scale. It was a UP (different scheme than the current "as-delivered") and could pull 14 cars up a slight grade...I was absolutely shocked. Maybe it was an anomaly, but I guess time will tell. I use past tense because it fell apart when I tried putting a decoder in it.

    I'm hoping the rest of them will be equally good. I have an ATSF (also first run) and an undec, neither of which I've put any notable miles on yet. I ordered replacement mech's for all three. Also plan to get the BNSF that is forthcoming.
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  5. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You know it’s worthless once you add a decoder. :D
     
    Doug A. likes this.
  6. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Why do these cost so little? Are they less detailed than the other AZL locos?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  7. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    This newest run actually has better, more prototypical handrailings too! The details like all the little decals are amazing as well.

    Best loco for the money in Z!(y)
     
    husafreak likes this.
  8. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, especially in my case!

    Funny thing...just as easily as you can install a decoder, you can uninstall a decoder and bring the value right back! Besides, I have never once seen a decoder equipped loco go for less than an identical standard version on eBay. Anyway it's a moot point, I ain't running DC so a decoder is pretty important in that scenario. ;)
     
    markm likes this.
  9. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    The AZL GP38 has a long history in Z scale. It was the fist hood unit released for the US market. Rogue locomotive originally released these. AZL has since updated the shell some, but the basic tooling dates back to the late 1990s. The one difference of this loco versus others is the fact it doesn't have different detail packages. AZL prides themselves on offering prototype specific details on their locos. But in this case, it is a one version shell. AZL views the GP38 as an entry level loco. But what is really cool is that you will find the same motor, trucks, boards, etc used in this loco as you will find in the higher priced models.

    We did create a video to showcase the 2020 GP38. Here is the link:



    Rob
     
    ddechamp71, bostonjim, rray and 3 others like this.
  10. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Ah, that explains it!
     
  11. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    The GP 38-2 might be the best value in Z. I think it’s better designed than the gp 30s and gp 7/9s because they use screws not clips on frames It’s robust and runs well over track with bad geometry. Seriously this is not the test locomotive to use to test track. The length of base and weight make it run through turnouts that stall other locomotives. It’s definitely a winner.
     
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  12. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yeah, and if you can swap out the RS3 trucks with the GP38's, and RP a nice looking RS11 shell to fit over the GP38 mechanism, you got a nice new locomotive for your roster! :D
     
    ddechamp71 likes this.
  13. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Would the SOO Line GP30 with the AAR trucks work for this? I checked the AZL site, but no AAR trucks available separately.
     
  14. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I have the AZL Union Pacific GP7's, great loco's and cool history. Would these ever have run with the GP38-2's? Or are they too far apart in age? I can't find any pictures of them working together.
    Same issue with my AZL Canadian Pacific ES44AC's, much too modern to be seen working with the CP GP38-2's. I think.
     
  15. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    It’s quite possible to run GP 38 with GP 7/9 or even with modern. It’s one of those locomotives that was sandwiched between the two.
     
  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    From what I have observed, there is a prototypical photo of just about any combination of locos that comes out of the woodwork, just about the time you say "No, they never run these with those". Huh? :D
     
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  17. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Eric,

    Both the systems you ask about are so vast and varied it's unlikely that anyone can answer the question. If you are that interested in prototype modeling, check out the various picture archives for relevant consists and roster sites like http://dieselshop.us/.

    I did a bit of checking and both roads are still running GP38-2s and CP is still running a couple of Gp7s! I suspect that the major influence as to what gets MU'ed is air pollution regulations with the SD70AcEs and ES44 used in clean air states like CA.

    Let us know what you find.

    Mark
     
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  18. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    That's cool, if someone ever says they don't belong together I can say "prove it"! I appreciate your input. I'll look at the roster but you guys have a lot of experience and it doesn't seem silly to you. I'll check out the roster but to me this is a good opportunity to add some variety to the trains I have for a great price. I don't have any GP38's and they are iconic loco's.
     
  19. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Part of the interest and fun in prototype modeling for me is all the interesting and unexpected consists the railroads come up with. Add to that some railroads (WP) ran multiple paint schemes at the same time, making the consists even more interesting.

    I've noted recently that UP is running gutted-out older locomotives such as the GP38-2 and older SD70s as a caboose (control cab?) on the end of certain trains. Another interesting modeling opportunity.
     
  20. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    So true. I got one each of the UP and CP, mostly just for the fun diversity, especially with the CP as the current ES44AC's are brick red but the GP38-2 has the older color scheme. I've noticed when reading about the real loco's (I have bought a bunch of train books in the last year) that while many are retired in no time others run on for ages. Especially in the last years of steam. Anyway its nice to add a few loco's. Most modern trains I see have lots of loco's pulling or pushing them. So to me the most realistic trains have several engines. It would be cool to have the GP7's that run with the GP38-2 be the dirty old ones and the GP38-2 that runs with the ES44AC's be the dirty old one. It tells a story.
     
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