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Hi,

Another newbie question on my part...but at least this is the right place for them.

I am just wondering about the quality of HLW and experiences with them. They are made in the US from what I can gather but seem to be priced less than Aristo-Craft and USA Trains which are made in China. So is the quality worse or better? Why is there a price difference? Why aren't they making Diesels and more products!?


I can't find much on these guys.

Thanks.


Stevfe
 

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Good quality running stuff but most is non-prototype, roughly 1:24 scale and a bit toy like. Most is made from old Kalamazoo molds and a some old Delton passenger car olds. All the steamers are from the same parts. They do have a bit of a niche in the trolley and electric market and their mini line is fun for bashing. Their motor blocks are known to be durable.
I just got a pair of Birneys that will be detailed soon -



-Brian
 

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Details can always be added by the purchaser. When it comes to sheer guts and pulling power,
Hartland units are hard to beat. I set a Bachmann Heisler for the NMRA polarity (opposite the large
scale norm) to see how well it would fare against the smaller Hartland Big John. Big John dragged the
Bachmann Heisler backwards as it struggled to go forwards.

No diesels available from Hartland. The closest to a diesel is the Mack "gasoline mechanical"
(well, it's really a sparkie like all their other power units). The Mack prototypes had a 4 cylinder
Mack gasoline engine under each hood. Depending on how many cars needed to be moved, the
engineer cranked one engine or both engines.

So far my Hartland motive power includes: Big John (loosely based on the Dunkirk geared steamer), the
4-4-0, the Mack switcher, the Birney trolley, the interurban combine, and the steeple cab electric (another
adaptation of the Mack switcher chassis and cab).

All these units run and pull well, without my having to fuss much with them. For me, that is the real beauty
in a piece of motive power.

Yours,
David Meashey
 

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At the Chicago Botanic a mac switcher took the place of the *&# cog engines that wore out on the cog railway.

The old heartland trolly continues to outlive the 2 A*# trollies that wore out.

They just don't stop working.
 

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The quality is excellent. They just keep going and going and going and going. I run 10 or more of their power trucks in their locomotives and ones that I've bashed. As Tom posted, I've changed the other rack locomitive drive with Hartland.


They are easy to fix, parts are readily available and they are sooooooooooooo 'bashable... :) :) :)
 

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Good Stuff, used the Macks for several bashes, they just keep going and going and going so I'm a happy camper!

















Great source for making Critters...

Sometimes I think I'm their best customer...at least for Macks!!!
 

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Even after V Smith has had his way with them, they keep working.
 

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HLW engines and rolling stock are vey durable. I have yet to hear anything negative about them. I currently have the Big John and Mack. I also have a few flat cars, mini series log cars and a caboose. They are very easy to kitbash. They are not as detailed as Bachmann but they are much more durable and you can easily detail them. I am a hudge fan of HLW products bth for quality and price.

Big John with HLW flats repainted.


HLW mini series log cars with LGB porter, all repainted


HLW caboose (Still have to repaint ect...)


HLW flat mini series. (Currently being made into a small tender for my porter.


HLW mini series gondala converted into a tender (Currently my snow plow)


HLW gondola (was tender)


This just give you an idea of what can be done for very little money
 

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I did some checking in my reference book History of Mack Rail Motor Cars and Locomotives, and
thought it might be interesting to post the information for everyone's benefit. The prototype to
the Hartland Mack locomotive was unique for two reasons: 1. It was a gasoline mechanical
locomotive. All the others were either gasoline electric or diesel electric. 2. It had a special frame
to hold the transmission, which was designed to accept power from one or both gasoline engines.
The other locomotives which used the AC type hood had much lighter frames.

The locomotive was completed in May, 1921. It served the various Mack manufacturing plants in
Allentown, PA from 1921 until 1946, and was designated as switching locomotive number 1. Each
gasoline engine had 40 horsepower, for a total output of 80 horsepower. The locomotive weighed
33 tons. Its top speed was a very modest 9 mph!

I modified my Hartland Mack to resemble the sole photo in the book of plant switcher number 1. I
have added Kadee 831 couplers since the photos below were taken.







Have fun,
David Meashey
 

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I would be very surprised if HLW came out with a diesel model anywhere in the foreseeable future. With the exception of the Mack and the trolley models, the HLW line is based on a series of molds from Kalamazoo and Delton. Phil Jensen has been upgrading various molds and adding new parts and details over the years, but a diesel would mean making all new tooling; an expensive step that some might consider unwise in this present economy. Still Hartland has pulled a few surprises over the years...
Chris
 

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Phil was eyeing my Whadahellizit's (the pics above) at the last BTS
, but yes some surprises indeed may be in the works, the 2-6-0 was entirely new tooling. its pehaps the ONLY engine on the market that I really really want. Grizzly Flats version of course.
 

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The Mack could be easily reworked into a representation of a GE 25tonner like this, but with the Bachmann Davey already out there I doubt they would want somthing so similar:



BUT >>> I think HLW would have Winner if they did a second Mack-type engine based on the GE 25ton Boxcab:



This engine would be easy to use the same drive brick from the Mack and minimal reworking of the Mack chassis, all that really needed is a new body shell.

Some neat info about the Boxcab:

http://sbiii.com/jfcageir/ageir40.html
 

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Their web site does not offer a “cart” for ordering on-line, but I have had good customer service when calling Becky Cable at 219-362-8411.
Bill
 

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From what I have read online, the new 2-6-0 motor block is designed with great flexablity in wheel arrangements, So I would be looking for variations in thier steam line up. I myself am hoping for a V&T ten wheeler based on thier 4-4-0. Phil bashed one for himself, and many times those models become a HLW model in the future. The V&T ten wheeler is an excellent starting point to bash a ICRR 4-6-0 like Casey Jones rode to glory in 1900. I am doing some swapping with a fellow member tonight for a HLW 4-4-0 to run on my line. I have heard nothing but good about thier line up as long as your not looking for the scale realism of some other brand offerings. But for my tight and check railed curves, the HLW 4-4-0 fits the bill perfectly, and its made here in the states! Well mostly made here, I am not sure where they are sourcing the motors from, but the rest is molded and assembled up in Laporte IN. Cheers Mike and Michele T
 

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Vic,

Just noticed that this thread's been dead for awhile going by the dates.

After scanning thru it, I believe HLW has hit on something they may possibly not be aware of:

1) Build acceptable (define as you like) offerings that can be 'up-detailed/graded' by the buyer.

2) Build durable power bricks.

3). Put effort into customer relations.

4) Offer parts (like spoked driver sets) separately.

5) Price all of the above reasonably.

Would that B'mann would catch onto this--but why should they? They're fat.

Les
 

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I have always found HLW to be interesting, and have always heard positives about the product. Honestly, if it were not for the large collection of LGB, this is probably the direction I would go in terms of comments about the durability and the items in the product line.
 
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