Just picked up my BLI CSX AC6000CW (CW60AC) from a local dealer. The price of $212U.S. in hindsight appears fair for a model of this functionality and quality. I have no "buyer's remorse" as with some other plastic models by other manufactures.
The intricacies of the details and paint colors are accurate and on par with Atlas Master line or above. The model runs smoothly and quietly at all speeds and weighs in at 28oz. Add on details such as MU hoses, grab irons and coupler cut bars are pre-installed. Some other details are molded on, such as spare coupler faces.
The sound is great and is played through a pair of speakers mounted in the fuel tank with baffles for full sound. I was not aware that BLI used dual speakers which do give the model fuller sound. Several sounds and features where not advertised and made for pleasant surprises. Pressing F10 causes a verbal report of the ID Number (i.e. five, zero, one, six) and status when at rest (neutral is not spoken). Four different states are possible, neural, disconnect, standby and shut down. At speed, pressing F10 gives a verbal report of scale speed. According to the manual, when MUed with other QSI equipped engines, all engines will report when the lead is queried. Cool!
Lighting seems to be provided by L.E.D.s. Lighting is not bright, but is white with a slight hint of blue; yielding less than convincing head on view because of the lack of intensity. Ditch lights function independently and prototypically with horn. Adjustments for ditch light hold over time are handled by CV adjustments.
I only replaced the coupler with Kadee #58 which fit perfectly with a Kadee draft box and gauged correctly with no adjustment. Use care when removing the BLI draft box as it is not designed to slide, or be pulled through the front of the pilot faces. It must be disassembled from behind the pilot once the coupler is removed from a separated box. I presume that design minimizes the pull on the coupler box at the screw when under load. Considering the weight and draw bar pull, it's not a bad design!
When MUed with a Proto 2000, the CW60AC, I was able to match speed very well using Digitrax DCC (DT400 and DCS100). All sounds function as properly described in the small, but complete manual. There was no set up time. The defaults are set to put the loco on DCC track and operate with no further user adjustments for full operation.
Four digit addressing is set under NRMA CV practices, as the model conforms to CV's1-4, 7, 17-25, 29, 33-46, 66-95. There are other QSI specific CV's which needed no further adjustments to operate simulating prototypical operation.
In conclusion, this is a worthwhile model to add to my stables. It was made for DCC but many of the complex features function with DC power. It was the first BLI model I purchased and I look forward to receiving the next number in the series when released. I may even reconsider my choice not to buy the BLI SD40-2!