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Choosing a new loco

1965 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  paintjockey
Today is my birthday, and I was given some money to buy a new loco. So, I'm thinking either the Bachmann Annie or an Aristocraft Delton C-16.

I've seen the Annies in person and they're great looking locos. I really like the fancy Walschearts (sp?) valve gear. It's also a pretty good size -- I don't want any 1:20 stuff. On the other hand, I'm concerned about performance. I can't afford to put one of Barry's drives in it.

I like the looks of the C-16, and also the fact that it's not as common around here as the Big Hauler. But I haven't seen one in person, and wonder if it might be lacking in detail.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Are there any other locos I should be considering? 
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I have an Annie, but don't run it much because of the scale difference. They look very nice, and I agree with you on the fancy valve gear.

The new C-16 is built much better than the old one, and it's not bad at all.

I'd give you a great deal on my 2 truck shay if you wanted it, It has very few hours, sitting mostly since I bought it, but I did buy the new style trucks for it just to keep it up to date. Zero hours on the new trucks, other than checking that they worked.

Regards, Greg
Ray, Happy Birthday!
The Annie's are great runners, and with the new drives in them, it's hard to beat. They are priced reasonable, and run great.
I'd go with the C-16 as it now a really good runner with all the new up grades. Later RJD
I've always been a fan of the C-16, since the first time it was introduced. There's just something about it that appeals to me, perhaps due to the mere fact that it's often overlooked. I was quite impressed with the one Aristo sent me for review. The drive seems to be very good, and performance is smooth. It's a little lightfooted, but there's some room in the boiler for more weight if need be. If you're doing DCC or R/C, then everything you need is right there in the tender, so there's no need to open the locomotive to do any rewiring. It is a small locomotive, but it's very well proportioned.

The B'mann 4-6-0 (I have an aversion to their "pet" names) is very well detailed, and has a great deal more visual "mass" to it. The ones I've had come across my workbench run very smoothly. I've never really felt right about the proportions on the boiler of that loco, though. Something about it has just never sit visually right with me. But it does look good on the head end of a long train.

Given your railroad, I'd lean towards the C-16. It's smaller size fits in a bit better with your theme (in my opinion). I just don't see large, heavy locos charging the grades on your railroad.


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I throw in my vote for the C-16. The plug-n-play socket and track/battery switch makes future upgrades a snap and they're purty too -

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Brian, do you have a good closeup pic of the C-16?
I like my Annie a lot. It doesn't look out of place with my 1:29th equipment. It's strong, smooth and relaible.

Having said that, that new Aristo C16 is one sweet machine!
I like the Annie a lot and think it's a great bargain, but I agree with Kevin--there's something off about it and I'm not sure what. To me it looks way out of scale with 1:29 stuff--it's a very big loco next to an Aristo Paciifc. Or maybe mine just looks big becasue I have the yellow one, the G&RG bumblee yellow. My wife likes it., but I think it looks a little cartoonish. Mine has a tendency to stop very suddenly as the speed slows down, as when, say, backing up to a string of cars on a siding.

Pluses: It pulls surprsingly well, runs quietly, and has great detail for the price

Minues: In between scale, that #$%# pilot truck, hard to take apart and put together, say for decoder install

I noticed there's a nice looking C-16 on the cover of the new GR and more inside as part of the article.

Thanks for all the advice. I'm still conflicted...


I like the size of the C-16, the scale matches everything else on my layout. The overall appearance is very pleasing too. However, it seems less detailed and more toy-like then the Annie, at least from the pics I've seen. Are the sand pipes molded into the boiler, or are they separate parts? Is the cab supposed to sit so much higher than the deck of the tender? How much backhead detail does this C-16 have? And what's with that big ugly screw head right in the middle of the cab?? That really looks cheesy.

The Annie looks awesome, with superb detail. I agree with Kevin that the boiler looks "off" somehow, but I could live with that. It's a considerably larger loco, and the scale is bigger too, at 1:22 (correct?) So it probably wouldn't blend with my other stuff quite as well. Great backhead detail too. Fitting in the crew seems to be tricky, from what I've read elsewhere.

Performance and reliability:

Both locos are getting mixed, but generally high, marks for performance. Smooth, slow speed is a must, IMHO, so I'm a little concerned about the reports of the Annie suddenly stopping at low speeds rather than coming to a smooth stop. The new drive in the C-16 is supposed to be good, though I wonder how well that belt drive will hold up, pulling a load up 4% grades all the time?


The annie easily wins out on price, which may end up being the deciding factor. Ridge Road lists the C-16 at $264 but none are in stock. I don't know yet when they'll get them in, or whether the price will remain the same.
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If Ur into kit-bashing, the Annie can rather easily be converted to 1/29 scale with a bit of work...
I did that to an old big hauler some years ago and put a BBT 2-8-0 drive in it here a year or 2
ago... It turned out very well, and looks very much like the std guage proto-type I modeled
it after...
Paul R...
Slow speed is very good on both. It actually doesn't have much of a fast speed. I don't have much experience with the new gear set up but it seems as strong if not stronger than the old version. My old ones will pull 4 cars up a 3% grade on stainless track. It never stalls but the drivers will just slip. Sand lines are brass wire. Very little backhead/cab detail. The new version does sit lower. Not a lot of detail on the loco but the prototype was fairly simple too. Fletch has done quite a lot with them - http://4largescale.com/fletch/index.htm.
Too bad they are sold out as that included a free caboose (a pretty nice AristoClassic one).

Apparently this is the wrong time to buy a loco. Everyone's out of stock on both brands, prices have shot up, and Bachmann's doing inventory and won't ship to dealers until the end of the month. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif
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Hmm, so I have to take the DCC decoder out of the Annie?

I have 2 annies, one is a shelf queen atm moment awaiting a new cab, but the other does full time duty around the Christmas tree pulling a 4 car consist in a constant circle. It runs about 12 hours a day for 2 months straight and after 3 years stilll runs like it was new outta the box (yes it is cleaned and oiled). Annies can have a few problems that are simple fixes, and Bachmann has a great warranty.

My friend has the new C-16. It too is a great runner and pulls good for it's size. He had some minor problems with his and Aristo did a good job taking care of him. The loco is less detailed but as mentioned above the proto type is a more simple design as well.
Good luck with your choice. I don't think you can go wrong either way.
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