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Many people like their engines to smoke so a working smoke unit is a must. I don't see it that way. The only smoke unit I have ever seen that puts out a considerable amount of smoke was the MTH unit that was installed in another manufacturer's locomotive by an enterprising person! For me, all you need are the main basics of r/c control. The engine needs to start and stop realistically and it needs directional as well as continuous lighting and the engine needs controlable digital sound. Oh yes, the engine needs weight and the ability to pull at least as much as the prototype.
Now, that being said, there are some things that I would like it to have (classification lamps come to mind) and things like flickering fireboxes are always a nice touch but that's pretty much it!
 
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