Kato FEF Arrival

Bfagan Nov 28, 2014

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RedRiverRR4433

    RedRiverRR4433 TrainBoard Member


    I really enjoyed your 18 minute video of FEF UP #844 in El Paso in 2011. Very well done.:cool::cool: I also had another look of The AC-9 #2 video. You did a superb job of kit bashing the Spectrum EM-1 into the AC-9. Again, very well done.:cool::cool:I'm looking forward to Kato's version of the FEF #844 which I'll run with Athearns UP 3985, or perhaps an Athearn UP "Big Boy".

  2. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter


    thanks for the comments, they are very much appreciated.

    The hobby is supposed to be fun and that's what I try to do. The 1:1 video was shot on a very cool November morning. Mike Fifer was there as well, and we both had a good time railroading. If you have never seen 844 in person you have really missed a beauty. Approx. 2008 or 2009 she came to El Paso down the Westbound line from Tucumcari, New Mexico. I stood 20' from the main line at Oro Grande, New Mexico and took vid of her passing through at 75 mph. Wow, what an awesome feeling and to a degree rather frightening. If I have another chance, I wouldn't miss it for any reason. Those old steamers , that I grew up around, are beautiful, powerful, awesome machines with alll the rod and valve gear action. Fantastic. I was visiting with the engineer, while loco was on display in El Paso, and he confirmed the 75 mph and then stated "she'll do more".

    Thanks again for the comments and BTW, I have a new AC-9 casting in the mail for another go round. If only I could find an already worn down EM-1 that somebody is disgruntled about. Let the fun begin.

  3. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

  4. omatrack

    omatrack TrainBoard Member

  5. gatrhumpy

    gatrhumpy TrainBoard Member

    That $249.99 is actually not a bad price.
  6. drasko

    drasko TrainBoard Member

    I love eBay price gougers. That's about $40 or more too high from what I've heard everyone should be paying unless had dcc already.
  7. WPZephyrFan

    WPZephyrFan TrainBoard Member

    Westfalen, thanks for posting that! I really can't wait to get mine. I have a few Kato Japanese prototype steam locos and have had no issues with any of them. It's going to look beautiful with my Athearn Challenger.
  8. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

    At least, I am glad that my post has raised some awareness and discussion, and that was my original intent. I have no bone to pick with Kato by any means, I just avoid their steamers, warranty program, and all personnel. I have since bought a lot of their other products like diesels, track, accessories and some rolling stock.

    As a former purchasing director my professional training and experience resulted in me being a concientious consumer. I recognize that some products made today have issues, and some transactions result in unfortunate problems on either or both sides.

    I am thankful for Kato's contributions to model railroading history, like calling bs to the way things were going back then, with the proliferation of junk being sold to us. The collaboration of American distributors and Kato as manufacturer was amazing.

    People please read my entire posts. I do not have a grudge against anyone, but will not back down from a confrontation. I did not slander anyone in Kato because everything I said is the truth, and from my law school training, the truth is the best defense against slander.

    My point is that I am a baby boomer who was brought up in the fifties and sixties and a couple of hundred dollars is still a lot of money in my book, and I am so thankful I have been fortunate to be in the right places at the right times to accumulate inventory and have nice layouts. I love the hobby as much as the modeling involved.

    I used to be Steamguy, and those who remember him (me) know that I am not afraid to take on a product or subject, as testified by the improved Pacific by Model Power in 2002. My intentions are not attention, but results, as I have seen hobby activities I love evaporate from existence because of several factors, one being unsatisfactory products.

    Right now in South Florida, model railroading is at its lowest range, far beyond I have ever dreamed of, hobby shops are closing, remaining hobby shops are ridding railroad inventory. Only a couple of train stores remain. Clubs and shows are now practically invisible. That distresses me. If people would get involved as they were in the early 2000's maybe model railroading would make a comeback. Right now this hobby consists of a large group of Christmas loopers, and the model railroaders have gone on their own, as I have

    You all can rip me, because I am a deeply happy person, and the cyber-ripping is at most entertaining. For those of you who get ripped off with the new publicly untested product and have warranty problems or obstacles, you have been warned. Now, Kato and Katophiles prove me wrong and I will be a happy person.

    Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman
  9. RedRiverRR4433

    RedRiverRR4433 TrainBoard Member

    No problem Carl. Us old timers have to stick together. I saw 844 about eight or nine years ago. It was quite an experience. As I said before, I was very impressed with the video you took of #844 in New Mexico. I knew that Jason had another AC-9 casting for you. A worn out EM-1 might be difficult to find. I just picked up a second EM-1 #7627 which I'll double head with #7614 to pull about 70 cars. Both EM-1's should handle that well as the long grade on my layout is 1 1/2% and runs about forty feet on the outer mainline track.

    Looking forward to your second build of the AC-9. Have fun with it. :cool::cool:

  10. omatrack

    omatrack TrainBoard Member

    Just got my notice that my FEF and water bottles are getting ready to ship. Christmas has come early!
  11. EspeeGoldenState

    EspeeGoldenState TrainBoard Member

    I don't have a 3985 yet, but do intend to doublehead it with my SP 4449, other than minor details to me, would still be legit.

  12. Xmtrman

    Xmtrman TrainBoard Member

    They are showing up in stock online.

    Won't be long now before a set shows up at my door!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2014
  13. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    Wow... I had skipped this thread... basically because I've been uncertain about getting the FEF since 'this' particular version is the more modern excursion variety which is not what I actually wanted. I really don't have a 'need' for it... but... it is a neat looking model non-the-less. I'm generally a 'KATOhaulic'... so if it is reasonably close to the era and locale I prefer to model... I end-up getting a 'sample'. So today... I ordered one.

    Unfortunately... I see that a long time friend (Ken) has gone down a path of destruction toward an iconic N scale institution which I heavily favor... Kato. Yep... Ken... normally I would jump in there with you armed with flamethrowers, bazooka, RPG and all other weapons of mass-information-destruction against a company that doesn't do things the 'right way'. I'm just not feeling the same as you with Kato... not like I was with Model Power's issues at least.

    I certainly can understand your anger if you felt mistreated... I don't doubt you feel hurt by what many of us would consider bad public relations. I know your post about your experiences with the GS-4 would have been much more positive if Kato-USA would have fixed the model without charge and have been apologetic. Knowing you... your response would have been all about the accolades toward Kato' reputation and standing behind their products.

    Sadly that is not what happened... yet... sometimes we have to tone-down our feelings on the public Forums. Not everyone is going to share the same opinions about Kato... specially when they have been producing some of the best N scale for the past 3 decades. Mistakes are going to happen with new products from time to time... Kato-USA' response should be more customer friendly... when issues occur whether they are widespread faults with the product or not. It's customer relations in a field which has a very narrow group of customers.

    I hope Kato is not riding on their past reputation... 'sitting on their laurels'... which we also call complacency. It's a sure way of losing your 'place' in the marketplace. I personally don't think this is happening with Kato... but... sometimes we see them come up short on either mechanical or decoration issues with some models. Overall though... I would still buy a Kato model diesel or steam engine... sight unseen. That is something I don't like doing for a lot of other company' products. It's hard to 'BASH' Kato... but... if issues continue to mount... and their response to those issues is insensitive... then they will hear from many more detractors.
  14. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    I am with Ken on this. After 4 brand new GS-4's that came from the factory out of quarter amongst other problems, the FEF is a pass for me too. The support was non-existent in that warranty repairs were 3/4 the cost of the locomotive. Funny how Intermountain and Athearn can take care of their customers and Kato doesn't. I have all the cars coming but they will be headed by a Challenger and not the FEF.
  15. superturbine

    superturbine TrainBoard Member

    Having confidences that I have bought more GS4s than anybody else and used the Kato GS-4 as the bases for my conversion, I can absolutely say..... There are some (1 person) that works at Kato who lack any sort of understanding of customer appreciation or etiquette.
  16. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

    AMEN, SuperT ! ! !

    For those who think IM is so great, I am about to burst their bubble, if IM doesn't come through with needed help within the next week.

  17. SuperSteam

    SuperSteam TrainBoard Member

    Did I miss something?
    What is wrong with a coreless motor?
    A coreless motor is preferred!
    Everything from Minitrix (and Key, before they closed) comes/came with coreless motors.
    These vendors produce the absolute best equipment.
    They pull hard and are bullet proof.

    This thread is why I don't post or read much here anymore.

    I will enjoy my Kato FEF as I do my Key FEF. And thank my Creator that I have the time to appreciate it.

  18. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    Speaking of missing something, when did Key close?
    They may not be importing any N scale models, but it appears as though they are still doing business: http://www.keymodels.net/
  19. RedRiverRR4433

    RedRiverRR4433 TrainBoard Member

    As Supersteam said, a coreless motor makes all the difference. The new FEF by Kato is an extremely powerful steamer.:cool::cool:

  20. SuperSteam

    SuperSteam TrainBoard Member

    I think the original concern folded, amid some strife. There is an entity titled Key doing business now and making mostly O gauge and 1 HO gauge loco. More power to em, but I miss the old Key N gauge steamers. I have most of the large ones in my collection. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of a Dreyfuss Hudson for sale, please let me know. Its the last one I need.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page