Kato, Big Boy

Trains Nov 13, 2022

  1. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks. I don't believe I've bought any new trains for a couple of years. I quit accumulating and downsized four years ago. I'll be a buyer on day one of the DC version. Of course, I probably also now need to buy an excursion set to pull with it. Which means my "non-excursion" UP FEF will need to be supplemented with the excursion-correct version. Kato.... They hook you with their outstanding engineering, and then real your dollars in with great marketing. I love Kato!!! (I really do)
     
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  2. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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  3. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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  4. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well I think I will get a DC model and then put either a Zimo or ESU sound decoder inside. Nothing against Soundtrax, but all my locomotives need to use Railcom decoders and Soundtrax is not a Railcom decoder.
     
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  5. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    That would result in less pulling power because one driver set would always have to slip slightly. It could also contribute to accelerated gear wear.
     
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  6. 308GTSi

    308GTSi TrainBoard Member

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    I'm only proposing a small difference in worm pitch. Let's say enough to advance one engine unit 1/4 of a turn in 3 feet of track.
    On any corner one side is always slipping ..... probably the inner rail.
    On a 2 foot diameter circle the outer rail is 2.250" longer so there will be slip no matter how a loco is geared.
    It may make the faster driven unit wear a little more but I think there is not enough weight in N scale to induce wear on a gear. :)
    If I ever get the time I have an old Rivarossi Y6B I could modify.

    It will be fascinating to see how Kato controls the 2 motors and if they behave like full size AC traction. I used to do a lot of rail-fanning and visited the local EMD manufacturer. Their engineers explained how an AC traction loco would behave like the axles were all geared together. Apparently if you put a chalk mark on each tire where is was sitting on the rail then sent the train off down the line for a couple of kilometres all six chalk marks would remain in unison. I did not try putting chalk marks on loco wheels !
     
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  7. pmpexpress

    pmpexpress TrainBoard Member

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    Of all of the previous manufacturer releases, which were either as delivered or in service variations, depicting the completely restored UP 4014, the Kato model is a modern version of the famed Big Boy.

    Kato has recently uploaded some new Exploded Parts Diagrams for their upcoming models, which are due to be shipped in May (126-4014 DCC ready) and July (126-4014-DCC with factory installed DCC decoder and 126-4014-S with factory installed Soundtrax DCC sound decoder) 2023.
     
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  8. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well after looking at all the locomotives I have, I think as much as I would like a Big Boy, I just see no reason to have one that will sit as a shelf queen. One never ran on the ATSF tracks that I know of. But you've got to love big steam! Give me an ATSF Texas Type now Kato!
     
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  9. C&O_MountainMan

    C&O_MountainMan TrainBoard Member

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    I’m conflicted:

    I might be the one contrarian here that is not impressed with Kato’s reputation, because every Kato I’ve bought (total of 2) has been a problem child:

    2014-sh:
    Ordered a Kato GS-4 Daylight #4454. It dropped a pin from the driver linkage/valve gear while testing on Day 1. It was on the lead driver, so the front if the rod dropped and lodged between the ties and resulted in, well, an “abrupt stop.” Found the pin, and reinserted same. A couple of laps, same problem, same jarring result. Returned it.

    New Year’s Day, this year. 5:00pm-ish:
    Another Kato GS-4 (#4449). Comes to a stop on Day 1 several times, and after less than 20 minutes total runtime, never moves again.

    The extra factor that makes it particularly galling is that both locos were gifts for the same family member. (The first got dropped and destroyed three years ago. 500 miles and the coronavirus lockdown prevented me from tending to it during those three years. The new one is their replacement.)

    Brought the new one 500 miles back to my layout after the holidays, and still stone dead. Layout causes thus eliminated. It was returned as well.

    I’m conflicted because I pre-ordered the Kato on December 28. Three days before my Kato debacle #2.

    I would almost like to renege and go for the BLI (the same dealer I pre-ordered from, sells both). But the BLI is on the street now, and the Kato timeline fits my cash flow better.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2023
    badlandnp likes this.
  10. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    If you buy these when they are released from a reputable source, they can be easily fixed by Kato without any issues (or 500 mile drives).
     
  11. gatrhumpy

    gatrhumpy TrainBoard Member

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    Another Big Boy??!! Talk about an over-done lovomotive!!! What about a 2-6-6-6????
     
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  12. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just be thankful it wasn't another F7...
     
  13. C&O_MountainMan

    C&O_MountainMan TrainBoard Member

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    This’ll sound kind of stuffy, but I don’t mean it that way. I’m just answering point-by-point:

    1. If the source is reputable, then it’s much faster to return for replacement than to wait for Kato to fix. The two GS-4s, purchased some nine years apart, came from different sources. Both sources (who advertise here) replaced the original lemons without issue.

    2. Buying “when they are released” is not always a viable option when they are gifts. Release dates and gift occasions seldom align. The recipients, both times, were my 80-year-old in-laws. They are not model railroaders. They are nice, reasonably energetic and fit old people who hark back to the times of train sets under Christmas trees (a tabletop tree in this case) and they asked me if I could set them up.

    3. Expecting them to deal with Kato and get these to the manufacturer is a bit much. Once or twice a year I show up as “The Keeper of The Trains” on holidays and perform dark rituals and incantations and make their experience trouble-free. And it works: Every January, they pup the tabletop tree away, and the train and the winter diorama I made for them stay out year round. They run the trains when they want to, I do the care & feeding a couple of times a year. Unless there are national health crisis events. They like a trouble-free experience, and I provide that reasonably well, and I get to play with their trains once or twice a year.

    4. The 500-mile trip was my planned return trip home for the holidays. It was not necessitated by the locomotive trouble. But it did have the unexpected need to bring that loco home with me to test on my track to eliminate their track/power as an issue.

    5. “Why didn’t you test it at your track before giving it to them?” you may ask. Answer: the new loco wasn’t even an idea before we got to their house. When I saw the shambles of their old loco, I ordered the new one pronto on Dec.23. Go visit other family, loco arrives on Dec. 28, planned return to in-laws on Jan. 1, whereupon the Kato hits the fan, return home on Jab. 2, Kato in tow.

    In something of an irony, (given my conflict) the loco I A/B tested the Kato against on my home layout was a new untested BLI. The BLI ran great. Also, it’s my first BLI. Don’t know if it’s entirely fair to Kato, though, to compare BLI diesel to Kato steam.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2023
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  14. C&O_MountainMan

    C&O_MountainMan TrainBoard Member

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    There’s a brass one up for auction on E-bay. $2200 gets you in the front door.

    As a C&O steam era modeler, the only reason I didn’t get it? Didn’t win last week’s $1.3 Billion lottery. That would have been purchase #1, though.
     
  15. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmmm...
    BLI has been announcing an HO version of the 2-10-4 Texas class as a brass hybrid. I doubt that they will do brass hybrid in N scale... though it is possible they would do them as plastic ones depending on the success of the HO versions.
     
  16. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Whoa... an Allegheny! That's another rare bird in the locomotive catalogue. Any other railroads aside from C&O and B&O own this type of engine?
     
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  17. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    DOH!!!
    Grumble... Grumble... Sheesh!!!!
    One of those dealers we cannot mention here sent me an email that the BLI Big Boys arrived today.
    Plus you have a $50 loyalty reward and free shipping available!

    Nooooooo... sucked into the rabbit hole again!

    I will soon be a proud owner of BLI Big Boys #4007 & #4012. Ugh... no will power.

    What next? They will notify me the Kato Big Boys arrived... and I'll have another $50 loyalty reward and free shipping. It will never end!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2023
  18. C&O_MountainMan

    C&O_MountainMan TrainBoard Member

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    The B&O didn’t have any. The Virginian had a few.

    I daresay if the B&O had any, we’d already have them in non-brass N scale.
     
  19. Sepp K

    Sepp K TrainBoard Member

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    In favor of Kato doing a C&O 2-10-4, it would be close to a PRR J-1.
     
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  20. Jim67

    Jim67 TrainBoard Member

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    Steam switchers! Baldwin Diesels! (AS616)! THIS is what we need, not more single-railroad articulated monsters.

    Much as I love and appreciate big steam, I’m boycotting purchase of any of these - Big Boy, Challenger, Allegheny (if they ever make one), Yellowstone… because we need more “run of the mill” locos… the ones “rode hard and put away wet.”

    (Please don’t look at the PRR T1 on my layout! It’s not articulated so I’m not technically a hypocrite!!)

    In all seriousness, buy and enjoy whatever brings you satisfaction!

    Jim
     
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