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Out of my current total roster of 18 locomotives or "powered" units, currently 12 of those are Bachmann products. The breakdown is (1)-Climax,(3)-2-Truck Shays, (1)- 3-Truck Shay, (1)-Hesiler, (1)-"Centennial" 4-4-0, (1)-"Centennial" 2-6-0, (1)-"Connie" 2-8-0, (1)- GE 45-ton diesel, (2) - "Annie" 4-6-0's, & (1) hand car - the latter, unfortunately, the only "dog" of the lot. (The handcar's motor leaves a LOT to be desired!).

Overall "bang-for-the-buck" on Bachmann's Spectrum series 1:20.3 locos (which includes the new K-27 - one I haven't yet acquired but almost certainly will!) is EXCELLENT. Detail rivals most brass (in a lot of cases, Bachmann's detail level is FAR better!), & is more tolerant of handling than most brass I've owned. I'm using DCC & track power (brass rail - Aristo track with LGB turnouts), and operation is generally excellent. The Bachmann locos generally track excellently (in the case of the geared locos, even on the R1-radius track of my original indoor layout), & pull well. Most require little care other than occaisional lubrication.

Issues? I've had a few; the biggest recent annoyance for me was the overly-fraigle wiring harness between the engine & tender of the 3-truck Shay (by FAR my most powerful freight loco - it's the only loco capable of dragging my heavy Accucraft live-steam Shay dead!). I recently came up with a solution to that problem (check my new post "Easy-disconnect wiring for Bachmann 3-Truck Shay" here on MLS under the "Rolling Stock" forum). The hand car - while probably the BEST - looking mass-produced hand car out there (excluding stationary craftsman-style kits - which it still rivals in appearance) - has a VERY poorly designed-motor & an unacceptable high "mortality rate"; I'm thinking of eventually trying to re-motor mine furter down the road. The earlier 2-truck Shays (with the older plastic trucks) DID have power pickup issues - remotoring them with the new die-cast trucks pretty well takes care of that problem. Bear in mind that until the Bachmann 2-truck Shay came out, Shay models were typically brass in the $$$$ price range! I've seen the new K-27 & it's GORGEOUS, just it's a bit further down my "priority list".

I did just recently purchase a complete USA Trains New Haven streamlined passenger set, for days when I want to model trains that ran around here. While the set is BEAUTIFUL, the long cars & Alco PA diesels showed up about every defect in the garden railroad's trackwork (mostly vertical curve transistions that didn't bother the shorter narrow-gauge prototypes Bachmann produces). The only other non-Bachmann locos I own are my 2 Accucraft live-steamers (3-cylinder Shay & "Ruby" 2-4-2), & a lone LGB rail truck!

Tom
 
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