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shoulda added Roundhouse to the list...............So there you go. I have no experience in Live Steam, but may consider getting on real soon!....I am personally a fan of the "little engines" from Thomas and Friends, so it doesn't have to be an American Outline...limited to less than $500.......
thanks
cale
 

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Tough one, you will have a LOT of money in the MSS loco to get it to decent specifications (see my post under Janmod) but it was worth it to me. The Accucraft Ida (also a saddle tanker) would be cheaper overall. Depends on what you want Vs. wallet Vs. if you want to do the work yourself.
 

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Caught your edit.....$500 and Roundhouse? Maybe back in 1985 or so with the Dylan....those were neat, slip eccentric reversing, pot boiler and meths firing. "The" loco back in the early days. Shame such a basic beast is no longer made....
 
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