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16  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Cheap Train Websites on: May 23, 2008, 04:06:42 PM
Hey Guilford Guy, where do you see Spectrum DCC engines for $20 on the Model Train Stuff site?  Lowest I saw was $59.

17  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Cheap Train Websites on: May 23, 2008, 04:00:49 PM
I've found Wholesale trains to be about the lowest:

Also, fairly good service.
18  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann Product Quality on: May 23, 2008, 03:58:23 PM
Thank you to ALL of you.

Re: the track joiners.  I learned VERY quickly about the rail riding up OVER the joiner and pay very close attention to that.  The problem is something else.  SHARP edges of the rails?  Also, I've noticed that in some problem spots, the rails are NOT flush end to end.  there are spaces that I can feel with my fingers, even securely in the joiners.

Suggestions for this problem?

Maybe I should sell all my Bachmann track on eBay.  But I would likely lose a couple of hundred dollars.  That is TOO painful.

19  Discussion Boards / HO / Bachmann Product Quality on: May 23, 2008, 11:21:09 AM
I decided to get into HO railroading last November after thinking about it for many years.  Now that I was retired, I figured I had the time to do it right.  UNFORTUNATELY, I did minimal research.  I was torn between Bachmann EZ track and Life-Like Power-Loc track (I wanted a "built-in" roadbed).  I ended up speaking with the Bachmann VP who invented the EZ track and made a MAJOR investment in the stuff.

I am regretting this decision every time I run my trains.  Besides other problems, as described below, they are NOT so "EZ."  Sometimes it takes quite a bit of manipulation to get the two electrical links aligned properly over both rails.

I have constant derailments.  I have replaced with steel wheels all the old wheels on the "vintage" cars I bought and on new cars with plastic wheels. 

A knowledgeable friend suggested that I run my fingers over the track joints.  MANY are VERY ROUGH. 

QUESTION 1 - Do I need to sand/file each of these ends?  If so, I would SCREAM!

I just removed a TOPIC because the engine in question has been returned to Bachmann for replacement (I hope) or repair (I hope not).  It is a SPECTRUM engine.  Isn't this TOP OF THE Bachmann LINE?  It arrived NIB with one set of wheels NOT turning.  Poor thing could NOT pull itself!

I have bought a total of SIX NIB Bachmann engines.  I sold one NIB because I had too many.  All are DCC.  One of my early buys (Western Maryland GP40 #60337) makes a LOT of noise.  For mechanical things, this is NOT a good sign.  Nor is it a sign of quality control and quality manufacture.

Question 2 - Do others have similar experience or have I been unlucky?

I decided to go with DCC so I could operate more than one train simultaneously.  I bought the Bachmann controller #44902 that can handle up to 9 engines at the same time.  EXCEPT, if you read the papers with it, you learn that more than three at a time will cause a loss of performance.  So much for truth in advertising.

Then, when I went to connect my switch tracks (turn outs?) to the power pack, I discovered that it has NO AC output for accessories.

Question 3 - Is this a design defect, or is this an INTENTIONAL design deficit to force the owner to buy a second power pack just for accessories?

I also bought a Bachmann grade automatic crossing with double gates #44579.  I have observed a number of derailments just after the cars pass the gate.  I watched closely and see that many cars are too light and are thrown off the track by the weight sensitive gate lowering mechanism.  I have downloaded the NMRA weight chart and will try to adjust all my cars, but I see no way to add weight to some cars without making them UGLY.

Question 4 - Is there any way to adjust the spring load of the crossing gate to obviate this problem?

I bought a Bachmann blinking bridge, item #46221.  It includes a trestle set.  The box says "works with all HO trains."  To my chagrin, I discovered that the trestle set does NOT fit Bachmann EZ track.  A Bachmann VP (the only people I can reach since Customer Support NEVER returns phone calls or emails) told me that this is an OLD model.  Again, so much for truth in advertising.  Fortunately, it DOES link with EZ track, but I can figure NO way to affix the bridge to the track.  The bridge keeps working loose.

Question 5 - Anyone have any suggestions short of permanently gluing a section of EZ track to each end of the bridge?  Is there a way to pinch the electrical connectors TIGHTLY over the rails?

All in all, I am VERY frustrated.  This is NOT a good way to begin a hobby.  If I could without losing a LOT of money, I think I would sell it all and go back to my old Lionel 0 gauge trains!

If the Bach Man is reading this, I am VERY sorry that I invested around $1,000 in Bachmann products!  This is NOT a good reputation for your company.  WAY too many problems with way too many different Bachmann products!

Anyone have any words of consolation or advice?
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