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  • Topic: Which 4-4-0 do I buy?

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    • February 13, 2009 2:37 PM EST

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      I will be going to a G Scale train show and sale tomorrow 2/14. I want an 1860's style American locomotive. The two I have found that are in line with what I'd like to buy are made by Bachman and Hartland for a few bucks difference.

      I'd really appreciate any input on these brands and models or on any other choices available.
    • February 13, 2009 2:57 PM EST
      • North Coastal, CA
         
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      David:

      Some comparison thoughts:

      Bachmann's Spectrum 4-4-0 is an accurate 1:20 scale model of what I believe is an 1880s Baldwin catalog locomotive. The paint schemes are very well done and the loco has lots of accurate detail. It runs very well, with few reported difficulties. Over the years, Bachmann has re-run this locomotive in numerous paint schemes, with several of them being historically correct as well as beautiful.

      The Hartland locomotive is really a caricature of a 4-4-0 with no stated parentage or scale. It is probably a good match for 1:24 equipment, but really falls into the size category of "large scale." Put the two together, and the size & scale differences become really apparent. The Hartland is cute, but lacks significant detail. All Hartland products are reported to be good reliable runners, but the Hartland 4-4-0 seems to be light and will probably pull less than the Bachmann.

      If it makes any difference, all Bachmann models are made in China. Hartland products are made in the US, but still employ Chinese parts such as the motors.

      Hope this helps!

      Happy RRing,

      Jerry
    • February 13, 2009 7:31 PM EST
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      I would go with Hartland because I feel they are more reliable. Yes they have less detail but you can always add detail. Bachmann has more detail but I feel they are much more fragile and not as reliable.. I hear about too many problems with bachmann out of the box. Im not sure what scale your rolling stock are using but the hartlands are 1/24 and will go with 1/22 scale boxcars and flatcars. 1/20 scale rolling stock might look too big for the hartland. I am a big hartland fan for durability and price and their products can also be kitbashed to fit your needs. I dont think you can go wrong with HLW.
    • February 13, 2009 7:42 PM EST

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      Hi David,

      I think you got two good answers above, since I am not familiar with you modeling goals I can't really offer a good suggestion. I do own an American by Bachmann (it's mine and not for kids hands-too many details), and save the few times it went around the Christmas tree, she is still in the box awaiting RCS! I do own some HLW Macks and they are great runners (HLW Products work great for kids of all ages and appear to be very rugged)......good luck! and since you posted, we'll expect a full report with photos tomorrow evening!

      cale
    • February 13, 2009 7:56 PM EST

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      Go with Hartland better quality. I have or have owned both. The Regal
    • February 13, 2009 9:17 PM EST
      • North Coastal, CA
         
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      Just to balance the reliability and quality comments, my 6 Bachmann Spectrum locomotives have given me 100% perfect performance. I don't have a 4-4-0, but my Centennial 2-6-0 with battery power, RCS control & Sierra sound is nearly the same locomotive and has operated flawlessly.

      I firmly believe both companies produce good products and stand behind them.

      As Shawn mentioned, thesize of the Hartland will go with anything between 1:24 and 1:22, but IMHO, the scale difference is great enough that the Hartland would look very small with 1:20 rolling stock. While the Bachmann is 1:20 scale, it would work okay with 1:22 & 1:24, just representing a bigger engine.

      Let us know what you get!

      Happy RRing,

      Jerry
    • February 13, 2009 9:33 PM EST

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      David.
      I have had one Bachmann 4-4-0 which was excellent.

      Years ago I did have a Kalamazoo (what is now Hartland) 4-4-0 which was bullet proof, but rather more toy like.
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • February 13, 2009 11:35 PM EST

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      I'll echo the praises on the Bachmann side of the equation. I've got one of the 4-4-0s, and (like all my B'mann electric mice) it's a great running locomotive.

      Later,

      K
      ____________________________________
    • February 14, 2009 5:05 PM EST

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      Thanks all for the input. I attended the display today at the Trolley Museum in Scranton, PA. It was not a sale as I assumed. The show is next weekend locally, but I may wait until the East Coast Large Scale Show in March.

      I did see the size comparison of 1:24 vs 1:20.3 and believe the larger equipment will work better for what I have already, plus the American is a small engine so 1:20.3 I think would be best.

      There was a lot of equipment there and plenty of good advice. The live steam choo-choos were really kwel.
    • February 14, 2009 5:20 PM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      David, Would you be interested in a Spectrum Mogul? I was thinking of bringing it to the ECLSTS. It really doesn't fit my era. I've only run it about 3 minutes to make sure it worked. ;) I'm not sure what the Hartland locos are going for, but I'm sure I can beat their price. :D On the downside, I don't have the box for it. But, if you're going to the show, it will sure save on postage!

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • February 25, 2009 12:36 AM EST
      • Kokomo, Indiana
         
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      I myself will stick a shameless plug for Hartland. The Bachman stuff is beautifull, but also fragile and looks totaly absurd going around R1 curves. I just picked up my HLW 4-4-0 from Dennis and I am thrilled with it. With the smaller rolling stock I plan to pull on my small layout, its perfect for my needs. I just wish Hartland would do the Eureka paint scheme on theirs, it would look stunning, even on that baby American. We all want pics when you get your new engine. Mike and Michele T
    • February 26, 2009 8:20 AM EST
      • Bartlesville, Oklahoma USA
         
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      Hmm. So it seems to boil down to, "Pick the one you like best, they're both great."
      ____________________________________

      In that awkward stage between preschool and death. 

    • February 26, 2009 10:59 AM EST
      • Kokomo, Indiana
         
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      Bascily, they are both good engines. Its all a mater of taste and what will run best on your railroad. Here is my Hartland, I inlaid the rods with black paint, needs a 2nd coat and true up the lines, and i inlaid the Hartland loco with metalic blue. The snow blade is a LGB mogul plow that I adapted to fit into the slats on the pilot. Mike

    • March 5, 2009 5:38 PM EST

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      What is the differences, if any, with the Bachman engine in the "train sets" and the ones we have been discussing? I understand the track leaves much to be desired.
    • March 5, 2009 9:13 PM EST
      • North Coastal, CA
         
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      David:

      The Bachmann sets have a 4-6-0 locomotive that is a reasonably accurate, but simplified model of an ET&WNC narrow gauge prototype. It is nominally 1:22.5 scale and is a version of the Big Hauler that is available separately. All Big Hauler locomotives and cars are nominally 1:22.5 scale.

      The Spectrum 4-4-0 is a detailed, accurate 1:20.3 scale model of an 1880s Baldwin catalog locomotive that saw service on numerous narrow gauge railroads of the time, and lasted well into the 20th century on many. Bachmann has produced this locomotive in several stunning prototype liveries such as the Eureka & Palisades. All Bachmann Spectrum locomotives and cars are 1:20.3 scale.

      Both are good runners, but older versions of the 4-6-0 are less reliable than the most recent Version 5 or Anniversary units. The cheapest sets might have the earlier version (New, Old Stock). Not really bad, but not as reliable as the newer ones.

      Bachmann track is made from pressed steel on non-UV resistant ties. The track has very poor life outdoors, but many folks use it for indoor layouts, especially around the christmas tree and similar.

      BTW, Bachmann has a lifetime warranty on all locomotives purchased from an authorized dealer.

      Happy RRing,

      Jerry
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