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Thread: Your thoughts and opinions on Broadway Limited locomotives and sound systems.

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    Default Your thoughts and opinions on Broadway Limited locomotives and sound systems.

    I am seriously thinking of buying a few Broadway Limited Locomotives (both Steam and Diesel). I have a DC System so I would also have to buy some of their sound equipment as well.

    Since this would be a major expenditure for me to get started in the Broadway Limited world, I wanted to first solicit comments from those of you who have (or have had) Broadway Limited products. Tell me what you like and don't like about their products (especially as it relates to operating in a DC environment).

    Most of my current engines are KATO and their products are very good. But Broadway Limited has some real nice models not offered by KATO or others too hence my interest. I also like the sound availability for a DC system.

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    First hand, I had a pair of broadway limited e8's and honestly wasn't very happy with them, very shotty pick up. Now the general consensus here on NSN isn't very positive. From my time on here I've noticed this pattern of dissatisfaction: unhelpful/rude customer service, repeated QC issues and poorly engineered products.
    :bottle::bottle::gdl::mp15:

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    They have had their issues, but I found their customer support is A+. I have three AC6000's, a few PA and E8 sets and a E6 set. Plus one F3 and one F7 pair. The F3's and F7's were an issue for me - exceptionally poor pulling power. Overcame that with Bullfrog Snot, but there are design issues with the gearing in those as well. The others have been flawless *for me*. I really like their decoders, and I picked-up a Rolling Thunder box on refurb that sounds awesome with my latest units. Have that hooked-up to two subwoofers...
    Radon Gulch & Tortilla Flats Railway - the 'Good Gas' line! - a minor division of the Santa Fe Southern Railway Co. "Dust, gas and a lot of rocky stuff..."

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    I own several PA's and E8's, all DCC, nice sound , and have never had problems with any, except for maybe the need to have very clean track and powered turnouts.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

    My Flickr Pages

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    My Baldwin Centipede runs great after a break-in period. Strongly considering a pair of AC60s when another run is announced.

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    I don't own one, but I've helped people DCC program a few. Holy moly their sound engines have every option under the sun! The manual is a hilarious read too! IIRC they support F0-F28, and virtually all of them have some additional sound. Lots of consisting and lighting options too.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    I have a bunch of BLI diesels (E6's, E7's, E8's, AC6000CW, SD40-2, ES44AC). Overall, I'm quite happy with them.

    -Mark

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    I have one of their steam locos and it has been a great runner. It will cut on when the track needs cleaning but once clean, runs well. Easy to program. I thought I had an issue with it and customer service was quick to reply with several solution options to include shipping me parts if I desired. All in all, I would buy from them again. As a matter of fact, I'm still looking for one of their Freedom Train T1 locos in HO scale.

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    Sound good, look bad. BLI has the biggest worst-looking shell-to-truck gap of all the major N scale loco manufacturers (they all have the gap, but some manufacturers handle it better than others).

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    I have an E8 and a pair of centipedes. They were my first foray into DCC. I got the centipedes first and while initially impressed, the running left something to be desired with near constant stalling. It was super frustrating especially given the price. I eventually called customer service and it worked out pretty well for me. The lady on the phone told me that the run I bought was for some reason greased with non-conductive lube (why?) but since they were under warranty I was able to send them in and get them serviced for free (plus shipping). I've since got them back and they both run fairly well.
    The E8 has had no issues and I've run it for hours at my club.
    The only thing that gets me, is that no matter how much I gauge the wheels and make them as perfect as I can none of the the engines can run reliably on code 55 track, stalling at nearly every switch. Even the 9" long centipede stalls at the dang code 55 switches, but can run flawlessly over code 80.
    Over all, I would rate them OK, good detail, great sound for sure, running can be iffy with some QC so make sure you have a warranty and you should be good.

    I also reviewed my centipede on my blog in my signature if you want a more in depth opinion on it.
    Check out my Blog! I review trains and attempt to build a layout!
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    https://newportncale.blogspot.com/

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    I own two BLI Alco PAs and two F units, all with DCC and sound. Most of my other locos are Kato. From my experience there are no diesels that compare to Kato operationally. I have rarely had a Kato diesel stall. BLI have great sound, but are really really sensitive to dirt. I just spent an hour cleaning the wheels on my F units and finally got them running again. The track also needs to be spotless. There were also a lot of N scale.net folks who had problems with the gearing slipping out of alignment with those F units. I never did, but this suggested less than good quality control.

    DC will not be as sensitive to dirt as DCC so you may not have as many problems.

    My advice: before buying a fleet, buy one from a retailer that allows returns. Test run it on clean track and on dirty track and see how you like it.

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    I have lots of BL passenger diesels. I run NYC, SF, UP, B&O, Pennsy, and CB&Q. They all run like champs. I have a two level layout and have no problem pulling the 10 cars sets up the grades. I did order the M1-A and it didn't like my grades or radius and I had the sell the engine. I highly recommend their diesels.

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    I only have one (1) BLI engine, an AC6000 with sound and like it. It looks good, sounds decent and; although I have only run it for about 1/2 an hour on a test track, seems to run well.

    You note you have mainly Kato engines, as do I so this is my comparison of the two ... Kato rate a 10 so comparing the BLI to it, I'd give it (the BLI) an 8.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Anyone planning or has ordered the BLI SD40-2’ s with the paragon 4? I jumped in on an pair of them. Because of the lengthy delay of the Atlas locomotives that are still in limbo. They are supposed to be shipping in August, according to their website.
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    I have PA-PB, F7ABBA.E5AB,E6AB,2xAC6000, and 4 SD70ACe. Only problem with a burn decoder. No isue on track code 80 or 55 from Atlas.
    I LIKE TO WORK WITH BIG SHIP ENGINES BUT I SPEND MY FREE TIME AROUND N SCALE TRAIN MODELS.

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    I've got a AC6000 and 2 more on order. Also ordered a light pacific.

    I'm running DCC, got Bachman, Kato, life-like, Atlas and micro trains engines.

    None of the other models I own look as good, runs as good or sounds as good as the BLI unit.

    So far, I have very few complaints about the unit. However, I've only ran it for a total of 1 hour on my layout since I got it. So I can not give any input about long term reliability.
    Small stuff makes me frustrated. Thats why im modeling N-scale.

    Have anyone seen my layout? Because I sure haven't..

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    Default Very detailed, and relatively slow in a good way.

    I have one BNSF loco, and it runs like a charm. However, the scale speed is much much closer that any of my other Katos and Atlasís, so I have to run it alone.

    They ruined the Cascades.

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    I heard quite a bit of "bad press" on the F units.....mainly with the drivetrain. I have several E units.......one stopped running after about a month (on DC) and went back to the factory. I was told a fried decoder which was replaced and no problems since. I also have a Mikado and a Pacific. The Pacific has had problems losing it's programming and at one point quit working completely (DC as well as DCC). Talked to the factory and was told to use the reset button in the tender to due a full reset, which got the loco back up and running, but it still forgets it's programming. I was told by the factory to "lock" the decoder after it's programmed, but haven't done it since I haven't had time to program everything........I just program the loco number at this time. All the locos come with the sound set at a high level which seems to heat the decoders up, so they sometimes start to act up after long running sessions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRLdave View Post
    I heard quite a bit of "bad press" on the F units.....mainly with the drivetrain. I have several E units.......one stopped running after about a month (on DC) and went back to the factory. I was told a fried decoder which was replaced and no problems since. I also have a Mikado and a Pacific. The Pacific has had problems losing it's programming and at one point quit working completely (DC as well as DCC). Talked to the factory and was told to use the reset button in the tender to due a full reset, which got the loco back up and running, but it still forgets it's programming. I was told by the factory to "lock" the decoder after it's programmed, but haven't done it since I haven't had time to program everything........I just program the loco number at this time. All the locos come with the sound set at a high level which seems to heat the decoders up, so they sometimes start to act up after long running sessions.
    Is this sound problem problem with their paragon 3? I wonder if they fixed the problem with the new paragon 4? I might have to turn down the volume some on the locomotives once I have received them.
    The new SD402’s were scheduled for August and now September. I hope that they will not delay the shipping how Atlas has done with their new locomotives. I thought that all of these companies have fixed the problem with the obe factory that shut down a while back?
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    Don't know about Paragon 4, but from my two Paragon 3, They are junk. I am running two Atlas 2's on dcc. One Bachmann 44 toner and they run so good!!The two NW-2's By BLI, One is toast and the other one, i am thinking about tearing out the sound decoders and putting regular dcc decoders in them. The sound boards over heat and they don't play nice with the dcc unit i have,(Digitrax dcs51). Sorry BLI, Paragon 3's suck. I have to reset them all the time. Wish i waited till they came out with Paragon4. Maybe they will be better.
    Then the train was gone,and there was nothing but rails, the earth, the moon, the river and strong silence-and the haunting and immortal visage of America by night
    Thomas Wolfe

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