Kato USA Poll - New HO Locomotive?

Mr. Trainiac Nov 6, 2020

  1. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    Kato USA added a new web poll to their site last week. It looks like they want to do a locomotive project in HO. The last new product from Kato was the Superliner transition sleeper, but I couldn't even tell you their newest locomotive. Maybe the redesign of the P42 counts.

    It looks like many of the choices are re-runs of existing models (with handrails and details factory-applied rather than on a sprue in the box). Personally, I liked the user-applied grab irons and hand rails. I think they were fun, easy projects. They were designed well, so it wasn't really a hassle. With some of the newer SD40-2 runs, they seem to be doing all that in the factory now.


    Now for my analysis: They have both an ES44 and an SD70ACe as options. They have those in their N scale line, so they probably already have the designs. It is natural that they would propose those locomotives. They would just need to scale them up to HO. However, Athearn Genesis, Scaletrains, Intermountain, even Tower 55, already make those models. I think Athearn Genesis already has a solid product, and the 'chunky' plastic detail of Kato cannot beat the wire grabs on other brands.

    Because of that, I'd rather see them do something that has never been done before. The E5 made a stir in my club when we saw this. The E5 at IRM is paired with the Nebraska Zephyr trainset. If they made a Zephyr consist to go with the E5, it would be no-contest. They could do the Nebraska Zephyr, they already have the Silver Streak Zephyr in N scale, or even one of the more obscure Zephyrs like Ak-Sar-Ben.

    The Pioneer Zephyr is already covered by Con-Cor. Personally, I like the model. I don't think Kato could make a ton of improvements to it. Metal plating would be the best thing they could do, but since even their Superliners are painted, I don't expect plating.

    I personally voted for the Avelia Liberty. I think it would go great with the Bachmann Spectrum Acela set and the new Charger that just came out. Kato Japan made the E5 Hayabusa Shinkansen as a special-run in HO scale, so it would be cool to see another Kato high speed train in HO.
    Martin Station likes this.
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    It is fascinating how earlier diesel eras are so overlooked. What about common freight workhorses? Except for the completely overdone F units... Such as the GP9 phase III???
    Martin Station and Mike VE2TRV like this.
  3. Martin Station

    Martin Station TrainBoard Member

    It would be really nice to see their SD38-2 with all the details added already. I would even like to see them label and number their existing SD40-2 in BNSF to a down graded SD38-2 just like BNSF has done. But I agree, in HO an E5 would really be nice.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
  4. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    Honestly, I'm not sure what I need any more. Maybe some more Alcos. Specifically the centuries would be nice.

    I feel like the work horse locos have been done to death. Kato drives not withstanding.

    Since Atlas won't get off their duff and redo the GP39-2 and the Athearn one is pricey, maybe that good old workhorse would be nice.

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