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  • Topic: Polks Gen. Next 0-4-0

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    • February 26, 2015 10:14 PM EST

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      Polks Gen. Next 0-4-0

      The April issue of Garden Railways has a full page Polks ad singularly featuring their long-time 0-4-0 offering. Having owned one of the previous models (year 1995+), I caution any purchaser to affirm that the stated "Updated gearbox and drive" includes drive wheels that are either plated or stainless steel. The problem previously is the wheels were an alloy that accumulated insulating tarnish in short order -- resulting in continuous cleaning per a very short run time.

      Hopefully, the proclamation: "This little engine is the best small G Scale Model Train on the market" testifies to the improvements that have been made.

      For those who purchase this newer version, please give us a report.

      Wendell

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at February 26, 2015 10:15 PM EST
    • February 27, 2015 8:31 AM EST
      • Fremont, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Wendell,

      Just to be clear, is your concern that Aristo is still making the loco with cast wheels?... or that dealers may still have old stock that do?

      I just got in a new FA-1 from the first PGN shipment, and i can say the quality is excellent.  The Aristo date stamp on the end was 2011.  

      ____________________________________

        Rockwall Canyon Railroad

    • February 27, 2015 9:33 AM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      When I replaced the motor in mine I got replacement wheels for the cost of shipping. They were trying to resolve the issue, I'm pretty sure Scott will be on top of that.

      John

      Edit; I had forgotten about the last shipment. No comment.

      This post was edited by John Caughey at February 27, 2015 11:49 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • February 27, 2015 12:40 PM EST

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      Rockwall Canyon asks:

      "Just to be clear, is your concern that Aristo is still making the loco with cast wheels?... or that dealers may still have old stock that do?"

      Both.

      I have ordered both Bachmann and Aristo products and was very specific in wanting the latest production. That request can be hard to perform as identifiers are not easily determined unless the product is examined. However, the yellow box with Aristo has been a good guide.

      Wendell

    • February 27, 2015 9:02 PM EST

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      You can probably look back on the Aristo site and see the reviews of people.

      The locomotive does use a new gearbox, but as I remember it is not identical to the "prime mover" units in the newer diesels.

      The wheels are definitely not SS, Aristo only made a short run of replacement motor blocks with SS wheels, and the gauge and contour were a problem for most.

      Regards, Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • February 27, 2015 9:58 PM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      I'm sorry to ask but isn't anything still being sold NOS from before the fall? IIRC the ONLY reliable version of this was the earliest versions. The last incarnation was utter crap. I know because I still have one... broken of course, loose wheels of course.

      ____________________________________
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    • February 27, 2015 10:43 PM EST

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      Vic and all-

      Yipes! From Vic's report, here are three questions:

      1 -  Will Scott report to the LSC audience that the wheel problems have been resolved?

      2 -  What will Scott report is a customer-trusted product identifier if an 0-4-0 is purchased outside of POLK ?

      3 -  What about TRAINWORLD and other vendors who offer the loco at below "msrp" prices, will they guarantee their products to be identical to what Polk is advertising and selling?

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at February 27, 2015 10:44 PM EST
    • February 28, 2015 1:26 AM EST

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      Vic, you have one with the all new drivetrain?

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • February 28, 2015 11:00 AM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Vic, you have one with the all new drivetrain?

      Greg

      How would I know? I have the version that was sold in the last full train set version (engine, boxcar,caboose, track) being offered before they hit the iceberg. The wheels are loose on the axles.

       

      I bought the replacement kit at a show last year, just haven't gotten around to fixing it yet.

      ____________________________________
      Have fun with your trains
    • February 28, 2015 11:55 AM EST

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      Vic asked the big question "How would I know?" The answer is he wouldn't unless there were significant external identifiers -- such as the "bump" on the bottom of the previous Annie locos. One of our own made and publicized the observation. Even the catalogue numbers are the same for those products which have been improved. Let alone the "improvement ads" that extoll quality control, better runability, as though these features were value added. Still, what are the identifiers that ensure purchase of the improved model? If its an internal improvement and not cosmetic the problem is compounded.

       

      In short, because the hobby is one of replicating the real world of past and present, we choose among things that continue to resemble each other. Unless the packaging has changed, it is difficult to tell the old from the new.

       

      P.S. Check the non-powered B'mann 2-6-0s for sale on Ana Kramers site. Now where did those come from?

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at February 28, 2015 11:56 AM EST
    • February 28, 2015 12:50 PM EST

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      Well, we are lucky, the new versions are significantly different, and it can be determined externally.

      I don't have the pictures on my site, but the drive train changed significantly, and all the stock available is the new type.

      Also, the new style has the Aristo socket in the tender, under the coal load.

      I'll look for pictures, but this IS on the Aristo site as I mentioned before.

      Yes, Aristo often did not change the part numbers to reflect any changes, they were pretty "smart" about selling out all of the "old" stuff when something new came along.

      Greg

       

       

      This post was edited by Greg Greg Elmassian at February 28, 2015 12:53 PM EST
      ____________________________________

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    • February 28, 2015 2:18 PM EST
      • Toronto, ON., CAN.
         
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      The early wheels that always got dirty so quickly were sintered rather than cast.  Not that cast wheels are such a great idea either. 

      Aristo did eventually change to nickel plated wheels, which  I suppose were at least up to the standard of other manufacturers, but the following problems persisted: wheels being out of check gauge (for having too-fat flanges), wheels working loose, plastic axle sleeve and or gear splitting.

      I can also report receiving one where rough treatment during packing at the factory destroyed the sound synch mechanism on the front tender truck.  Speaking strictly for myself, I'd want to inspect the new iteration with my own hands and eyes before laying out any cash.

    • February 28, 2015 11:22 PM EST

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      John-

      You are so correct: Inspect prior to purchase. However, how to inspect the intended newest version without knowing how to identify it.

      Sorry to ride this point - the energy comes from experience of purchasing what is thought to be the product advertised widely as improved and getting an older version. Of course the merchants want to sell their older stock. What does TRAINWORLD do, pull their old stock and send it back to the distributor on the condition the newer, and improved, version will be what they sell - and ONLY what they sell?  Order personnel at the on-line companies may or may not be able to, or care to, verify the products "newness."

       

      At least with so many other non-train products the exterior is made different year-to-year because differentiation is a selling point. Even the 15 million run of Model Ts from 1909 -1927 had differentiation that was easily consumer detectable. I know, I restored and showed a 1912.

      Wendell

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at February 28, 2015 11:25 PM EST
    • March 3, 2015 10:39 AM EST

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      If you buy from Scott, you will get the newest style, and you can specify "the one with the socket in the tender". I do know that is all that Scott has.

      Not sure about the earlier statement that the original wheels were sintered, I do not believe that is true, the only sintered wheels I have ever seen are the last run of the Dash 9's or maybe the last run of the SD45's (I'll have to check). I do believe they were cast, but of poor quality metal and not plated, or of a different plating.

      (simple way to prove this to yourself is take a magnet to the wheels, if they are sintered steel, they will be magnetic, I think you will see that this test fails on the original 0-4-0's)

      All other Aristo wheels were plated steel in diesels, and plated pot metal in steamers.

      Wendell, I believe there is such a glut of the new style, that if you buy from the larger retailers you will get the new style for sure. Remember that Lewis went nuts on the 0-4-0 production, and many were sold with the "free" caboose too.

      Hope all this helps.

      Regards, Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Greg Elmassian at March 3, 2015 10:39 AM EST
      ____________________________________

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    • March 3, 2015 10:45 AM EST

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      Kinda off topic: Does anyone use these for kitbashing larger locos with small drives? I've never owned one that ran (nuther story)
    • March 3, 2015 5:06 PM EST

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      No, the drivetrain in the original ones sucked, so using it anywhere else, especially a larger loco is a bad idea.

      The "new" style has a better drivetrain, but still not as robust as the "prime mover" standard in the 3 axle diesels and the GP-40.

      "not recommended" would be my answer.

      Greg

       

      p.s. put some pictures on my site:

      Old style drivetrain below: (notice no ball bearings, and poor power pickup situation)

       

      And the new style with the cover on below: (ball bearings on axles)

      This post was edited by Greg Greg Elmassian at March 3, 2015 5:44 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • March 3, 2015 5:47 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      That answers my question. I keep seeing them for give away type pricing and thought that maybe I could bash something with the drive.

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      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

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