Thomas & Friends

BNSF FAN Jul 28, 2020

  1. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    While watching the Virtual National Train Show several days ago, Bachmann discussed the upcoming NYC Hudson which was what I was wanting to hear more about. Then they brought up something else that peaked my interest.
    Bachmann said that the Thomas line had been very successful for them and that they now planned to expand the line in N scale. I have a Tomix Thomas and I'm sure there are others here that have some of the Tomix Thomas & Friends stuff as well. We know it helps bring interest from kids and grandkids alike plus it's just fun. Now that will be cool I though. With Bachman doing a bigger Thomas line, it's really a 2 for one if they do because you can have a bigger Thomas collection which would be cool but that possibly means new steam chassis will be available as well. Am I wrong thinking that?

    Also, I saw where the Bachmann Thomas Troublesome Trucks have been released. Sitting here thinking I should go ahead and order them :D
     
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  2. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    When I was still doing N-TRAK, one of our laments was the lack of a Thomas in N. It did not go unnoticed when we did shows with HO or timplate hobbyists. They had Thomas and the children were interested more in those than N-TRAK.

    At one point, I was at a Greenberg and found a soft plastic (or was it some kind of rubber?) Thomas bubble stuff toy:



    I bought the thing as well as Clarabelle and Annie. I then hollowed out the bottom of the Thomas and shoved it onto the power chassis of an old Atlas 0-6-0T. The thing looked funny, had two speeds: very fast and not-at-all. I cut up some N scale freight trucks and glued them to the bottom of Clarabelle and Annie. I jury rigged something to couple them to the Thomas. Onto the loop of private trackage they went. Those children either did not notice or did not care that it looked a little funny and ran a little too fast. The only thing about which they cared was that it was Thomas, Clarabelle and Annie who were running around the track. "THOMAS!" was what you heard and smiles on their faces was what you saw,

    It lasted until the plastic armature bearing cracked. I went looking for another power chassis. Shortly after that, some changes in my life compelled me to quit N-TRAK.

    I do have the Tomix. I have read complaints that there are some plastic parts that do crack in the locomotive, as well. Mine has not shown that,
    not Y-E-T, at least. All the same, I do welcome B-mann's producing it in N scale. I would probably buy only a Thomas with a Clarabelle and Annie, but, still, I would welcome it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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  3. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    A train club I was in back in VA had a portable Thomas layout that kids could operate. I mention it in another thread but this would be a fun thing to also build in N scale. I am now doing T-Trak and have a few modules, but also having a small Thomas layout based on the Island of Sodor would be a great addition for the little ones.

    Even now at 45 I still like watching Thomas and Friends!
     
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  4. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    I do not think you are wrong in thinking new steam chassis will be available. How detailed they'll be will be the real question? I've watched several online reviews comparing the Bachmann HO Thomas and Friends locomotives to the Hornby OO Thomas and Friends range. The one opinion is Hornby uses existing chassis for their Thomas and Friends locomotives while the Bachmann HO Thomas and Friends locomotives more closely matched the locomotives from the TV show. If Bachmann continues this practice with the N scale line, then we could see a few more N scale wheel arrangements available.

    On a side note, that N scale NYC Hudson really caught my eye I'm looking forward to adding it to my collection.
     
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  5. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well I have been looking at some Thomas to run for the Grand kids. So far the only player in N scale has been Tomix and you pretty much have to order them from Japan. Vendors here in the States seem to only stock HO Thomas. And there can be some outrageous prices on Ebay.
     
  6. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Thomas ALWAYS trumps anything else on the layout with the kids. We run T-Trak all the time at shows and as soon as I take out my Thomas, Bingo!, I become the pied piper. Even my fellow club members get a kick and always tell me to take out Thomas when there are kids around.

    As John said, you have to get Thomas from Japan on the Evil Inlet from purveyors like PlazaJapan as nobody here in the US has them on a regular basis. I bought mine 10 years ago.

    When I was at the Amherst show in January, I saw Thomas and the gang at the Bachmann booth. They are slightly bigger than the Tomix version, just slightly. I also asked the Rep if they will be offering the series in DCC versions and unfortunately they will be no DCC version. :mad:
     
  7. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

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    I saw the Thomas items at my favorite online dealer and I'm contemplating placing an order, even though I just placed an order a few days ago. I hope they expand the line to include some of the other characters. It's good for N scale. It brings the youngsters into the hobby, and potentially into N scale. I've always wanted to get some of the Tomix stuff, but I've never pulled the trigger. Bachmann will be easier to buy.
     
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  8. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I probably saw the same thing and am in the same place. Made an order last week. Hate to do another so soon but I have to wonder if those will be gone if I wait until August.

    Last night Bachmann was live with one of TB's advertisers and said more about Thomas in N. You can find it on YouTube now. The coaches and troublesome trucks are out now. Tank cars are coming next and a Thomas and a James will be late this year or early next year.

    Bachman also showed more on the Hudson. It looks really cool. they also plugged a GP38-s with DCC and sound that looked nice along with some nice looking 3 bay coal hoppers.
     
  9. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Be careful: it looks like Bachmann is coming out with Thomas and Percy in N scale, but there may be some engines currently out that are HO scale narrow gauge designed to run on N scale track...
     
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  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes. They have already produced more than one, in HOn30/HOe scale.
     
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  11. SVRailroader

    SVRailroader TrainBoard Member

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    The HOn30/HOe equipment is based on the Skarloey Railway from Thomas and Friends/The Railway Series, not the main railway. So that equipment should be distinguishable from the N Scale Thomas equipment. If you have doubts, just check online to see if the character is standard or narrow gauge.
     
  12. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    According the the Bmann's web site the Thomas series is not on the street yet. Bmann's prices are $125 for loco and $29 for a car.
     
  13. 501

    501 TrainBoard Member

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    The only ones available right now are the coaches Annie/Clarabel and the two Troublesome Trucks. Are those Rapido couplers?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    20200730_000644.jpg 20200730_000742.jpg 20200730_000750.jpg

    This is my Tomix version. Mine is made in China. I purchased it many years past in the brick and mortar establishment of a rather well known East Coast hobby store that used to be near the former freight house of a certain railroad. It did not cost me very much. E-R brought it into this country at one point. At least there is an E-R sticker on my box. E-R had some good stuff. Too bad that it could not remain solvent. I understand that they fetch high prices from e-Tailers and when one comes up on FeePay, there is a snipe war at the end. Supposedly, there are some problems with the locomotive, but I forget what they are. Mine does not show them. In fact, I put it onto the track just now. I have not run it in years. It runs as well as it ever did.

    I see that B-mann's will be factory DCC. It looks nice. As long as mine keeps running, though, it will be good enough.
     
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  15. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Where did you hear there will be a DCC version? I hope that's the case but the Bachmann rep at Amherst said there will not be a DCC version. I had to DCC my own (Tomix).
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  16. Atani

    Atani TrainBoard Member

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    I'd hope that they do a DCC version of them. I'd likely pick up a set of them if they were DCC ready at least (especially if there is a sound decoder option)
     
  17. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    I don't think you can put a sound decoder version in there, at least for Thomas. There's absolutely no room.

    When I DCC'ed my Tomix version years ago, there was no room for the decoder. It had to be put "outside" in the cab. The motor takes up the majority of the space for Thomas. I have not looked into the other two. Maybe one day....

    When I talked to the Bachmann Rep at Amherst he too said no room for a (normal) decoder. I doubt Bachmann will custom manufacture a small one just to fit the locos in this series.

    Again, I hope I'm wrong but looking at the constraints it's doubtful.
     
  18. Atani

    Atani TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, I was expecting this unfortunately. At least it should be feasible to stuff the decoder inside Annie with a small bundle of wires for control / lights. Adding sound would definitely be a much bigger challenge but certainly would be awesome to see (and hear!)
     
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  19. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    That looks just like the Tomix set I have. Mine was ordered from Japan back in mid 2000's. Doesn't have much run time on it but it runs super smooth. Didn't even know there are supposed to be issues with it.

    As for the Bachmann msrp prices for these, that means the will be fairly reasonable from the discount sellers.
     
  20. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    In the advert in the post above mine, posted by @501 , it shows a N scale "Thomas with Annie and Clarabel" NEW!. The banner over it reads, in part, "E-Z Command® Sound Value Train Sets. B-mann calls its DCC system "E-Z Command®, correctamundo? This is where I am getting the impression that it is DCC.



    I had not run mine in years when I put it onto the track last night. I applied current and it took right off running without the slightest hesitiation or sputtering. It ran as well as I remember its running. I remember its running well. In fact, I wanted to buy another one so that I could use the chassis to bash something, but, when I called the well known hobby store where I had bought it, they had sold out of them. It still runs very nicely. I recall being surprised at how well it did run, when you consider that it has those external gears on one side of the chassis. Several older locomotives had that same construction. Those that would actually make a loop around the track had two speeds: very fast and not-at-all. This one has pretty good slow speed control. The little ones, though, usually do not want to see it creep or even run slow. They want track speed or fast.

    I left the Rapidos on mine. I do not plan to run it with anything else, so I see no need to convert it. If ever I do get a fly up my nose and decide to run it with something else, I can use one of my transition cars.


    My price references were more to the prices that I see for the Tomix sets on line or the rare occasion that one does come up on FeePay. Just as you do, I expect that street prices on these will be at least tolerable; better if you purchase them from certain sellers. There used to be this one guy on FeePay, but I have not seen him in some time. I hope that he simply decided to move on and nothing happened to him.
     

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