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I am looking at buying a USA Trains Speeder to add to my little layout and am wondering if anyone has any experience with them, good or bad. Any comments are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
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I have one. I like it very much, but I will say it takes a lot of power to run and it tends to sputter a lot if you haven't run it for a while. I have a friend who has one and he's had no trouble with his so it might just be mine. I like to run it around the track as it goes pretty fast and the dogs chase it. Also at a train show last year, I ran it in and around all the other locos that were running on the layout. I could come up behind them, fall back, back up and catch them on the other side, etc. It was very cool and the kids loved it as it was almost like a little mouse darting around the layout.

Ed
 

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I have one. Runs great. I have to keep it moving at a fair clip thru my crossover switches tho as it sometimes has a tendency to stall on switch frogs if speed is too slow, but it's fine just looping around on the regular track and they are a lot of fun...
It is interesting if friends are over looking at my layout, the speeder ("gee that's cute") attracts more attention than say a GP9... which doesn't bother me as long as I can get them interested in large scale trains!

One thing...they have a little plastic coupler hook 'thingy' on the back for linking to a trailing car that has a tendency to fall off, so my advice is to just take it off and store it. Mine is lost ... One of these days I'll add (build) a tool car for it to pull....or run a couple of them together

Have fun
Gary



 

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Posted By Jerry Barnes on 01/01/2009 3:48 PM
I have an MDC speeder, they are a bit larger than the USA which is about 1/32nd. MDC is about 1/24 or such. Was one on ebay the other day. Mine runs fine, but is new.

Jerry, I think you will find rhey are made from the same moulds, even the crew are the same. I have an MDC unit, and it is definately 1:32, very small compared with my othef equiupment..
 

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The MDC speeder is quite different, one thing is that it has spoked wheels.



Perhaps you are referring to a K line speeder, which is where USAT got theirs.

I there is a significant thread on this already, try searching for speeder.

Regards, Greg
 

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No problem! We all had to go through this before, because several of the early companies sold their stuff to another manufacturer.

I hope you did not mind me swiping your picture Jerry!

Regards, Greg
 

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I have the old K-Line version. It's been working fine on my indoor layout for about seven years.

I've installed a small decoder in it. This required cutting away some of the weight behind the seats. If anyone is interested I did a writeup detailing the installation, including disassembly instructions.

Model Railroad News made some measurements and believe it's close to 1:27.

 

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I have a K-Line version. I'm not sure if there are any differences between K-Line and USA other then the name.

It needs clean track and clean wheels to work, and then you have to crank up the track power fairly high to keep it going. I personally don't like the power wipers. Too flimsy, and they get bent easily. The speeder also seems underweight. After adding weight, performance improved but she still would sputter at certain track spots that were not that dirty. It appeared that if the wheels, which can move side to side a bit, got too far one way the speeder would stop working.

I got so fed up with the running characteristics that we just cut the track power wires and wired up a 9volt battery with an on-off switch directly to the motor and light. I wrapped the battery in black tape and taped it to the speeder roof. You can barely see it because of the black tape, and it sort of looks like some kind of air conditioner inside the cab. Interestingly there seems to be a molded spot complete with screw holes for a small on-off switch in between the speeder seats. That's were we put our switch.


With 9 volts you get a very realistic constant speed, the headlight looks ok, and it doesn't sputter or stop anymore. You just have to watch her if you go the way we did since there's no speed control.


Almost forgot, the speeder fits perfectly into the 1/24 scale Pacific Coast Garden Railway Supply handcar shed (#9703)
 
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