Comments on the KATO line of trains ?

taking in all the posts from my earlier newbie post about sets sold during the holidays, I ventured over to my local train store, Berkeley
Hardware in Berkeley, CA. checking out the stuff it appears that HO is gonna be too big. Looks like N will be the best way togo. They carry the KATO line out of Japan. I was told it was one of the premiere lines.
Also it appears that my initial plan/dream for an mid 1800's desert layout is not gonna happen. Seems that stock for this time period does not exist, or is made by less than reputable companies.
Would appreciate comments on this brand.
thx - Craig
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Musicman59 wrote:

Kato is probably one of the top brands. Please define "less than reputable companies".
--
Chuck Kimbrough
A&E Railroad / Al'S REPAIR INC.
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The train guy, who has been there for 25 years, did not name a brand. We were discussing problems with carrying some brands and people were bringing the items back as they did not work. He decided then to carry only top of the line. Did not make sense to him to sell something that was not reliable. Hard enough to get a kid interested in a hobby when it does not work.
Craig

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On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 07:06:10 -0800 (PST), Musicman59

You could start with the Atlas N-gauge 19th century mogul.
The model is actually a Japanese Micro-Ace product, of a prototype built for their 3'6" gauge to run on 9mm track. It scales nicely to the right size for standard gauge.
Micro-Ace models are high quality.

Kato is very good.

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Kato is top of the Line in N-scale Craig as is Atlas, most of the newer models are DCC ready, they are aible to crawl at speeds that only H0 models could do 10 years ago, details are good to excellent. I think its great that you want to go to your local hobby shop but if they only carry Kato and their assortment of buildings, rolling stock is also that small you might want to check out online shops such as MB Klein http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=3 , WigWag http://www.wig-wag-trains.com/ or N-scale Supply http://www.nscalesupply.com/NScaleSupply.html , this will also give you a better idea of what there is available and all the brands making N-scale. I model 1959 Kansas and am not knowledgeable in the Wild west theme.
Greetz Jan
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Musicman59 wrote:

The 1800s are admittedly a less popular era for model railroading than anything from the 1920s to the present. Models are out there but you may have to go to the more complex craftsman kits rather than finding something ready to run off the shelf. Model Die Casting/Roundhouse used to make some plastic kits that were from around the Civil War up to the turn of the century but I have no idea of those are still available other than as leftovers on some hobby shop shelves. Trout Creek Engineering has some craftsman kits for prototypes in the era that you desire but you'll need the skills, patience and time to assemble them: http://www.troutcreekeng.com/tcho.html It's very rare to find them on store shelves these days so you'd probably have to order direct from them.
--

Rick Jones
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N scalee is going to be difficult to find the older stufff as it is usually the small steam locos which drive the making of such era stuff and small locos are very difficult to build and run. I'll also notte that desert layouts are best done as large around the room layouts with littttle track and lots of scenery. The vistas out there in the desert are just too difficult to do otherwise.
-- Bob May
rmay at nethere.com http: slash /nav.to slash bobmay http: slash /bobmay dot astronomy.net
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So you went to a Kato Dealer and he sold you a Kato. What a surprise! And a hardware store with a bad rep, no less!
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On 12/14/2009 1:50 AM LDosser spake thus:

>

Hey, just a minute there: I've shopped at Berkeley Ace (both the hardware store and the basement hobby shop). Never heard anything about them having a bad reputation. Wassup with that?
--
I am a Canadian who was born and raised in The Netherlands. I live on
Planet Earth on a spot of land called Canada. We have noisy neighbours.
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Google.
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LDosser wrote:

Yes. And get http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3710240453 OR http://www.yelp.com/biz/berkeley-ace-hardware-berkeley for instance, which scarcely convince an external observer that there is any problem greater than staff with poor English skills and a few customers that like complaining about very little.
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Hey, shop where you want.
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Heh.
Since he's pretty much antipodal from Berzerkley, he's not too likely to have had any first hand experience.
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wrote:

Kato makes excellent engines and cars, but I don't recall that they ever made anything that had a mid 1800's prototype.
Athearn makes a line of Overton cars and has something called, IIRC, a Big Thunder set. I believe one of the roads is D&RGW. I think the set with track and transformer was discontinued, but I believe there's still availability of the set with cars and engine. Check the Athearn web site. I can't comment on the quality of the Athearn engine since I quit doing N and went to O a few years back--hands are now too twitchy for N.
In addition to the on line sites already recommended, might also check TexNRails and Brooklyn Locomotive Works.
--
Carl Heinz
snipped-for-privacy@charter.net
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