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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a quick question but I'd like to preface with the fact that I'm very new here and am not too skilled with this particular forum nor perhaps where best to get information but I do try before posting questions.

With that out of the way, I've notice that Aristo has been coming out with an Amtrak E8 loco for well over 10 months now (23613). I wanted my first G scale train (other than the Playmobil one I got) to be an Amtrak train but it doesn't seem like anything good is out right now. So does anyone know when this will be available or kind of how Aristo releases their products? Furthermore, will the Amtrak heavyweight passenger cars be available to go with it? I also plan on exploring DCC if that makes any difference.

Thanks for your help, the folks on this forum have been great.

Steve
 

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Don't know about the Amtrak E8, but USA Trains had F3s done in Amtrak colors. I don't see them listed in their catalog, but I am sure some hobby shops must still have some. I know at least one shop that has an A B set. It isn't the E8 but it is at least Amtrak.

Garry NCGRR
 

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Aristo is in the process of doing a 2nd run, but not sure if doing the Amtrk unit. You could probably go to there forum and post that question. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The USA Trains F-3 is nice and available here: http://www.rustyrails.com/usa/us-locos.html
I'm not sure if Rusty Rails is a good website or not though. I also wonder what passenger trains will go with it. I really don't want to get a train with totally mismatching cars. EDIT: I see the same website has some matching cars.
Anyone else know about the Aristo one? EDIT: thanks for the reply above, I'll check the Aristo forums.

I'm not too familiar with USA Trains, do they work well with DCC and are they considered to be quality trains compared to aristocraft?
 

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USA trains work quite well on DCC but for now its hard wire but hopefully soon QSI will have PnP for most of the USA trains for DCC. I just finished converting a SD40-2 to DCC. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm a fan of transponding thus far (granted that's a ways a way) so seems Digitrax is the way to go for DCC. I've heard USA Trains eats up a lot of power. Guess I am hoping the Aristo will come out.
 

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I use NCE system along wih there decoders for hard wire. For my aristos I used the QSI PnP. Later RJD
 

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Steeeve,

I really don't want to get a train with totally mismatching cars.


Early Amtrak trains were often made up of totally mis-matched cars!! I think I remember seeing pictures of Amtrak trains made up of UP smooth sided streamliners, fluted sided cars, possibly a heavyweight. Not too pretty!!

Looks like you could also pull Amfleet coaches and be 'prototypical' with an E8A:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=227286
As a side note, I didn't ever realize that E8s ran on the New Haven, but the above picture is running on the shuttle train between New Haven, CT and Springfield, MA. Some riders of that train refer to it as the Hooterville Cannonball.

The F3A would have been a dinosaur by the time Amtrak was formed. Some F3s were rebuilt in to F10s. One or two still run on the Metro North Commuter railroad in CT. Not sure they ever worked for Amtrak. They did come from MBTA.

The USA F3 that I have will pull about 2 amps when running normally. I really like it, but I think that new E8 is really sweet. If you can wait, I would go for the E8. If you've got cash to burn, take a look at the USA Trains GG1 painted in the bloody nose scheme. You might even be able to pick one up relatively cheap, since I think you might be one of the few that actually wants to do a 70s era Amtrak train!!
 

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Steve - I've had both the USA Trains F3 and Aristo E-8. For your first "legitimate" large scale engine, I would recommend the E-8. The USA Trains F3 is a highly-detailed model of the prototype, but it sucks up a fair amount of power and is not sound-ready like the E-8. The E-8 has also been as close to a trouble free engine as I've ever owned (this is significant, as some manufacturers rely on their customers to beta test their products). I'm not sure if you have little ones in your home, but the F3s are far more susceptible to losing various parts and detail bits when handled. I live quite close to the manufacturer of USA Trains products, Charles Ro, and am planning on buying either a Hudson or GG-1 (or both) this December, but for a first engine, I think you cannot go wrong with the E-8. In fact, I'm planning on getting the QSI card for my engine this evening!



 

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Just a quick note about sound readiness of the F3, I did my own installation and it was really pretty easy. I did have to cut the hole in the bottom of the loco floor to accomodate the wires, but with a system like Phoneix, who give you a speaker as part of their kit, it only took about 20 minutes to install (not including taking out 9 screws, disassembling the front truck so I could get the 9th screw!!). The USA trains loco does have a place for you to hook up the sound unit, has a swich for sound on/off, so I would say the USA F3 is sound ready. It also has the cut out in the fuel tank for the speaker, but no hardware for mounting, I just glued it.

But I do like the E8. Really nice looking locomotive.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Haha, so I'm a rarity who likes Amtrak trains huh? I guess because I grew up taking them a lot and the fact that they are a funny organization in general.

Apparently the 2nd run will be out in a few months so I can wait until then.

Now I just have to find some passenger cars to pair it with :) Any ideas?
 

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Posted By Steeeeve on 09/18/2008 10:30 AM
Haha, so I'm a rarity who likes Amtrak trains huh?...Now I just have to find some passenger cars to pair it with


Rarity maybe, but I like Amtrak too. I'm modeling a trainset for the Southwest Chief in HO scale.

If you want to be as prototypical as possible, an Amtrak E8 is the way to go. Amtrak only had F3 B units. As far as other locomotives, well the USA Amtrak GP38-2 is sort of like an Amtrak GP40, but not perfect. You could always go with an LGB P42 if you can find one. You could even go with an LGB/Aster GG1 or the USA version, but then you'll need catenary to look right and you'll have to spend some big bucks to get one.

Does anyone know what paint scheme the Aristo Amtrak E8 will wear? I'm assuming this:

Amtrak E8 Phase I

They might chose to do this more modern scheme:

Amtrak E8 Phase II

There was even rare #499 that made it to phase III:

Amtrak E8 Phase III

And if they want to go for a very unique paint scheme they could do this first day experimental scheme:

Amtrak Experimental

As for passenger cars, well what particular era or region are you trying to model? With an E8 anything from, at the time, brand new Amfleets, to rainbows of heritage equipment would work. To pull Amfleets by itself, an E8 would have to be one of the five (#495-499) converted to HEP (Head End Power).

For Amfleets you might get lucky and find some of the LGB cars at reasonable prices. But none come in the right paint scheme, phase I or II, for the typical E8 era.

For heritage cars, USA is a good place to start, but none come in phase I or II paint.

The following websites are good resources with photos of Amtrak E8s and some show the train consist so you can get an idea of what type of cars the E8s pulled:
Amtrak E8's 1
Amtrak E8's 2
Amtrak E8's 3
Amtrak E8's 4
Amtrak E8's 5
Amtrak E8's 6
 

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I have the Aristo E8 with a QSI and 6 pounds (3 Aristo weights worth) of extra weight. Runs great, smooth, quiet. The loco is really light stock, no weights were included.

Watch clearances, the tail can swing out quite a bit.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Anyone familiar with the LGB GENESIS DIESEL? It appears these guys got them: http://www.pizzatrains.com/lgb-trains.html
I'm a little worried since LGB is kinda gone right now but seem the website thinks they will be back up in 2009. They also got some very nice cars too.
I also want to thank Nick for emailing me about his Amtrak set. Thanks! I posted the below comment on Aristo forums:
Thanks again everyone...this forum is proving to be as nice as the MLS forums...I find in many hobbies new folks are almost "hazed" for a few years but doesn't seem to be the case here

 

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I've seen the LGB Genesis (P42) diesels in person and they look very impressive. Slightly odd scaling and some interesting detail and scale compression liberties, but overall a very nice job for such a unique locomotive in G scale. The one thing that I'm not impressed with are the blue/white LED headlights. With sunny white or golden white colors available in the sizes LGB chose for LEDs, the old style blue/white color choice is bad.

I've also heard they are good runners and sound great when equipped with Phoenix sound.

Here are some YouTube clips of LGB P42's in action:

LGB Genesis Video 1

LGB Genesis Video 2

LGB Genesis Video 3

Some online stores may still have a few, but with the recent end of LGB these are pretty hard to find at good prices. There is a full set of a phase V P42 and 5 Amfleets on eBay (link), but the price seems rather high compared to what the price would have been say a year or so ago.

Since these due show up a lot on eBay currently, below is a link with various LGB Amtrak equipment:

LGB Amtrak on eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dang, train life has no easy decisions.

I like the Old E8s with the USA Train cars but the new Phase V is also nice and available for about $300 for the loco and $200 each for the passenger cars. That $1299 set on ebay is a rip off.

Should I be concerned about LGB being gone and not supporting their product? Hmmm, decisions decisions.
 

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A few dealers were selling a LGB P42 with 3 cars for less than a grand. I am one of the few who has a New Haven version. I am looking a t a mixtire of Heavyweightsand streamliners by Artisto and some of the USA rolling stock to go with my Amtrak and Pennsy engines.
LAO
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Is LGB going to be "coming back" soon? Also, what is up with the track prices (apparently talked about a lot here I know)? Is this an economy thing where the price of metal is going up or is it a lack of producers?

Anywho, I might wait to see what the Aristo looks like before I purchase. They said it will be shown at the midwest conference so if anyone has a picture please post!
 
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