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Discussion Starter #1
I have been searching eBay looking for Hartland steam engines or Railbuses. I am interested in buying one of these products. Has anyone had any experience with this product line? Are they durable?
Regards, Dennis.
 

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Consider them a generic, American LGB that makes generic beefy, reliable, bashable American trains - Pretty much a fantastic market stance for them. I wish them all the business in the world so they can expand their offerings.

I should buy another mini series car...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am looking at buying the HLW Laporte steam engine. I have read that the gears were poor in this model. Any truth to this?
 

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Can't say on that loco, but I've literally driven the rims off the wheels on my Jupiter 4-4-0, at 114 air temp the rails get hotter and the glue lost it's grip. Some Super glue flowed right in and no trouble since.
Compromise scale on hobby curves, looks good to me.

John
 

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Ebay can be good, but it can also be a ripoff, depending on the person selling the item. I think some of the ebay sellers think their items are made out of gold...
 

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Our club has several Hartland engines, they just run & run & run & run...
They get kicked around, abused, little service, and still they continue to
run faithfully for literally thousands of hours... Yeah, they're tough, run
'em till the wheels wear out, put on new wheels and run 'em some more...
Paul R...
 

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I have a whole stable full of Hartland stuff and am very, very happy with their products...

As has been posted, they're reliable, stable and have great longevity. (redundant but true) :D

When repairs are needed, they are very easy to fix. Parts are readily available at Hartland Parts... 402 571-2933 Tuesday and Thursday's from 8-1...

The two power truck Big John can haul just about as much as you want to put behind it... (I have 3)

As Mike (Treeman) shared, the LaPorte is a lighter weight locomotive and does have "limited" pulling power as did the prototype. But, it's a great running locomotive and is very nice looking...
 

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I have three Hartland powered units and have enjoyed them for a long time. One of the best things about HLW is that they stand behind their products.
 

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Dennis;

I had a stiff pony truck on my LaPorte when I first got it. It had a tendency to pull the lead driver off the rails on curves or places where the track dipped a bit. The stiff spring on the pony truck also took tractive effort from the lead driver. After a little work loosening the pony truck and its spring, things smoothed out and the locomotive became a very good runner.



The photo is a bit blurry, but it does show my locomotive settled down and working.

Best,
David Meashey.
 

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I have a Big John & Princess HLW engine, like others have said they just seem like they will run for ever with no issues at all.
I also have (5) of their long passenger cars (which have recently been discontinued), they make a nice product, it's not as detailed as others, but it is well built and can take a lot of abuse.
My last HLW purchase came from Reindeer Pass, very easy to deal with and they actually return emails!.... something some other vendors should look into and maybe they wouldn't cry that there business sucks.
 

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I have an HLW Reno loco (4-4-0) I'd bought new, about 4 years ago. I ran it for the first time last summer, and on at least one drive wheel the plastic spoked hub part was warped to the point of climbing out of the track on any curve.

After talking with the Man, Phil J., at HLW, I ordered new drivers. They weren't cheap.

But, otherwise I'd agree with what's being said. The Phil Jensen story used to be in an article here, a very interesting read. Not sure if it's available anymore?
 

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And contrary to popular belief there where prototypes for Hartland produced locomotives. I haven't had any of their steam locomotives so I really can't comment on them, but one of my favorite Hartland is below. I had one years ago and they run like a swiss watch and in my opinion the best bang for the buck in large scale.

Here's the kicker, they are made in America.
(when's the last time you heard that one right)

And I believe Ozark miniatures are taking them over. But don't quote me on that.


 

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anyone have links to videos of the 4-4-0 in action? I've been intrigued by the locomotive but its proportions look a little off in pictures. I've never seen one in person and haven't found many videos of them in operation.
 

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Also worth noting that their 4-4-0's and their freight cars were originally by a company called Kalamzoo and its worth checking for that on ebay. Don't know if they made any mechanical changes but the old Kalamazoo's didn't seem too bad.
 
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