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I recently purchased a MTH 2-8-8-8-2 Triplex Locomotive. first off, it's heavy as heck. But the thing that bothers me the most is that the very front of the engine keeps falling away from the rest of the train. It doesn't fall off, but it falls away. I am wondering if anyone else who has purchased that same locomotive has had the same problem. Secondly, with it I purchased the MTH DCS remote control. Must I use AC power with this unit, or will any DC transformer work. I tried it with a PIKO transformer and the unit did not even recognize my train. Any help would be appreciated. Also, are there used G scale units for sale out there on some web site? I don't think my hobby will last long if I have to keep shelling out the costs for units that is associated with G scale.
 

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jbt,
welcome to MLS! :)
by "fall away" do you mean the front end keeps derailing? falling off the rails?
just need some more clarification on that before people can help you with that..


As for cost, starting with a MTH 2-8-8-8-2 you started off at the EXPENSIVE end of the hobby! ;)
there are many many locomotives MUCH less expensive than that..
I would recommend picking up a copy of "Garden Railways" magazine..that has lots of dealer advertisements that will show you what is available,
and how much things cost..
As a reference, one of the most common steam locomotives in the hobby is the Bachmann 10th anniversary 4-6-0 "Big Hauler" locomotive..
called the "annie" as a nick-name..
its a beautiful locomotive, well detailed, and sells new for about $150.
click below for some photos:

Bachmann Annie 4-6-0

Bachmann annie and passenger cars

those passenger cars sell for about $40 each.
this *can* be an expensive hobby, but it doesnt have to be! ;)

Scot
 

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What I mean by "fall away" is that when I pick it up, the front end falls away from the train. It does not come off, but just hangs there. I've looked for screws, etc, but I don't see that any have came out. I started with a PIKO set with an engine and a gondola car and a caboose. I bought a couple more cars, and the man at the shop said I should probably get a better engine. The ones he was recommending were about $2200.00 so I thought this engine at $900 was a better deal. This dealer also told me to stay away from Bachman for some reason.

JBT
 

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The Triplex is a very complicated engine (lots of parts). It will run on AC or DC. Check the manual for recommended power units.

They are very fragile. Check to make sure a front plastic part has not been broken. This is a common problem during shipping.

I would have started with a used LGB Mogul if steam is desired.

You have found the best Large Scale Forum and will receive great advice here.

Good Luck.
 

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I second the LGB Mogul nomination. They are ubiquitous and easy to find, dead reliable, require virtually no maintenance, and r good runners. Some are a little plain and depending on your tastes may need some details added, some parts aren't easy to find (but the locos reliability makes that almost a non issue), and they aren't the strongest pullers but otherwise they are great engines. prices are all over the place depending on exactly which model you are getting and any modifications, but I'd say a good used one could probably be picked up for under $300.
 

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I second the LGB Mogul nomination. They are ubiquitous and easy to find, dead reliable, require virtually no maintenance, and r good runners. Some are a little plain and depending on your tastes may need some details added, some parts aren't easy to find (but the locos reliability makes that almost a non issue), and they aren't the strongest pullers but otherwise they are great engines. prices are all over the place depending on exactly which model you are getting and any modifications, but I'd say a good used one could probably be picked up for under $300.

One thing to be aware of if you hadn't already noticed it is that "large scale" is actually like 5 model scales (1:20.3, 1:22.5, 1:24, 1:29, and 1:32) that all share the same gauge track, so depending on your tastes (and its something that gets hotly debated in here), not everything will look right size wise together. Your MTH engine is in 1:32 scale. Both the LGB Mogul (and I think the Bachmann Annie) are 1:22.5.
 

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I started with a PIKO set with an engine and a gondola car and a caboose. I bought a couple more cars, and the man at the shop said I should probably get a better engine. The ones he was recommending were about $2200.00 so I thought this engine at $900 was a better deal. This dealer also told me to stay away from Bachman for some reason.


Going from a PIKO set to an MTH Triplex is a huge leap in this hobby. Not to say it can't be done (you did it), but that's a serious investment in something that may not necessarily be the right choice for someone presumably just starting out in large scale. Before your next purchase explore all of your options, ask questions, and don't be bullied into buying something because of the salesman's pitch at your local hobby store.

Good luck and have fun.

Tom
 

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Well, you bought a pretty large loco, so a bit harder to get started with since it will require more from you in terms of electronics and trackwork. The MTH system is also proprietary (at this time) so you might consider if you want to convert your next locos to it, or maybe reconsider your remote control system.

1. As far as I know, the pilot and front truck hangs down a lot when picked up. Model trains designed for average track have a lot of up and down travel built in to keep the drivers and pilot and trailing trucks on the rails. An Aristo steamer will have the front pilot truck drop 2 inches. I don't think there is anything wrong with your loco.

2. That said, the longer, more complex loco will need better track, so you should look for "vertical" curves, like humps or dips and smooth them out. MTH trains are designed in a manner similar to LGB though, they can handle sharper curves and poorer trackwork in general.

3. You can run on AC or DC, but I would recommend DC, and a well filtered DC supply. Personally I believe that an inexpensive switched and regulated power supply will work just fine, but there are experts that claim you need an analog filtered DC supply like a Bridgewerks. In any case an "ordinary" DC "power pack" will not work well, the MTH system has a weakness in that the "signal" "rides" on top of the track power. The "strength" of the signal (in volts) is much less than the track power, so it is sensitive to interference, or "noisy" power.

Check out Raymond Manley's web site (google him) for some of the best tips on the web. Also John Allman is a great resource. You might have to google their names and restrict the search to mylargescale.com...

Regards, Greg
 

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The MTH Triplex is a model of a very large
ARTICULATED locomotive. The front end "hanging down & loose" is normal
for this type of locomotive. The "Triplex" is a variant on the "Mallet" type; the front engine assembly on the prototype is designed to swivel side-to-side to accommodate track curvature. On a full-scale (& some model) Mallet's, the rear engine is solidly fixed to the boiler. On some models, manufacturer's "cheat" a bit & allow the rear driver assembly (the one under the cab) to swivel as well (my own Bachmann Mallet & I believe most of the LGB Mallet's are in this category, not sure about the MTH Triplex); this allows the models to negotiate much tighter turns than the prototype would.


I think your dealer's a bit out of date
on Bachmann; I'll agree their earlier products had some problems, but their "Spectrum" line is generally fantastic.
I have a large roster primarily of Bachmann products, have generally had exellent luck with them.


Tom
 

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Give Ray a shout out he is the expert on this engine and it's functions. I could get it to run on my MRC 7000 transformer but ended up running the TIU unit (which you need with the throttle to get to all the functions in the engine) It Will run on DC but you will only get the engine chuff sound, and not sure what else, but to get all the really neat functions you need the TIU and throttle.I had to run the TIU and through the Aristo Ultima 10 amp to get enough power to really run the engine properly. Ray can tell you how to do this, don't remember what the term is on how you wire it through the TIU to the Ultima but Ray can advise you on it!!n I had to send my boiler to Ray to fix the front smoke unit on it. I have been in the engine a couple of times. NO fun there try to avoid if possible!! Neat engine if you use all the functions on it. I am including in this post a video of it with most of the functions on it from you tube. And Rays website for your informational questions, but look at his website and then email him, he is very knowledgeable and an all around nice guy to work with. Regal

http://www.youtube.com/user/7485jerry

Here is Ray's Website and his You Tube site
http://www.rayman4449.dynip.com/Gardenrr2004.htm

http://www.youtube.com/user/rayman4449


Ray's your technical guy on this, you can view it running on my channel with alot of the functions. It is the neatest engine I know of out there with tons of special effects on it!!
 

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I was at Mizell's in Denver, and a gentleman had purchased an MTH Triplex, and requested that the store assemble and test the loco before he paid for it. Which Mizell's gladly did for him, with me as a willing audience! IIRC, the front engine was packed seperately, and had to be screwed to the rest of the locomotive. It was wired to it, but not actually attached. I'm thinking you probably just set the front engine on the track with the locomotive and the hole on the stud without the screws?

I learned three things that day: MTH's shipping package is bulletproof, and getting the locomotive out of the box took more work than putting it together, the sound was awesome, and convinced me I needed to buy a sound card for my locos, and MTH makes beautiful locomotives. Very impressive model. I briefly considered buying one, however, it would have looked kind of silly double headed with my K-27's!

I hope that helps, Robert
 

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Their packing is NOT bulletproof,I've heard stories of damage even though it is good! engine is awesome, BUT look elsewhere to buy, Mizzell's is the highest priced retailer in Denver, and Caboose isn't far behind either. Lots of less expensive places to buy anything. I used to live in Denver and been there many times, also Caboose H. and couldn't believe the asking prices for several things. I used to go to Caboose just to look at an actual item, and then would always find it for way less on the net. I did buy my first piece of Bachmann "crap" at Caboose, promptly took back and did exchange + some cash for an Aristo RS3, and before I really became a savy shopper bought (on sale) a LGB DSP&P Forney. Be a smart purchaser and look around. What did your friend pay for the engine???? Full boat is around $1150, and they MTH had a sale going on them here awhile back were going for around $750 then???? I'll bet he paid $1100 + for it????? Just curious! Mizzell's ebay site is pricey also, along with Caboose, I usually just check the consignment section on Caboose if i'm looking for something in particular. Regal
 

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Hallo jbt,
do you have the unpacking instructions? (small white A5-leaflet). If not you can download it + operating manual from the MTH-website.
At point5. is shown the installing of the pivot screw: this bolt holds the front 4-whells to the main body.
And important: at point 8.+9.: "Always take the engine UNDER BOTH sets of the driver wheels" (otherwise this bolt may broken or the first driving unit may fall down.
I hope i could help a little
greetings from Peter
 

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Mizzel's sold it to him for the sale price, plus S&H plus 10%

I bought my K-27 from Caboose, price was under $600 + the 10% Colorado sales tax. Very reasonable.

Plus it's easier to sneak it in the house past the wife if it doesn't come from a big brown truck!

Thanks, Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the help. I will check with Ray. I've read some of his forums and he seems a very knowledgeable person.

jbt
 

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I recently purchased a MTH 2-8-8-8-2 Triplex Locomotive. first off, it's heavy as heck. But the thing that bothers me the most is that the very front of the engine keeps falling away from the rest of the train. It doesn't fall off, but it falls away. I am wondering if anyone else who has purchased that same locomotive has had the same problem. Secondly, with it I purchased the MTH DCS remote control. Must I use AC power with this unit, or will any DC transformer work. I tried it with a PIKO transformer and the unit did not even recognize my train. Any help would be appreciated. Also, are there used G scale units for sale out there on some web site? I don't think my hobby will last long if I have to keep shelling out the costs for units that is associated with G scale.
If you so like to trade for two engines please contact me buy email thx Danny
 

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For my articulated locos I make a carrier that will sit on the track, then roll them off some, then lift the carrier and slide the rest of the loco on the track.
60829
60830

I used Velcro strips now. Just 1/4" ply with wood strips on the bottom edge to lift it even with the track. Lightweight.
 
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