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I've started a new topic because there was a danger of "hi-jacking" another thread.

It would seem that a high price does not necessarily mean that a locomotive will run & run.

Tim has commented on the excessive wear rate on a Brawa locomotive & compared it to his older Fleishmann example. He has a very good point or two, sure the FLM has coarser flanges & valve gear, but this locomotive will (with a little bit of lube in the right places) run forever. One great thing about FLM is that spare parts are still available (with the exception of some body parts) for locomotives 30+ years old - hopefully, that situation will remain with the recent ownership change.

In my own experience I had a Brawa BR232 which never was a happy runner, despite being returned to Brawa. Having said that I have a couple of Brawa E42's & V100's that are superb. I still have my "first" FLM loco an 01 220 that is now nearly 35 years old, now DCC'ed & an excellent runner despite having so much use it's probably had about 10 sets of brushes & quite a few gears replaced.

So, price is not necessarily an indication of longevity - question is - what experiences to other forum members have in this regards ?
 

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QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 19 Nov 2008, 13:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>....it's probably had about 10 sets of brushes & quite a few gears replaced.

10 heads and 12 handles, but it's still the same broom.


I have an old metal bodied Hornby N2 that still runs sweetly. I think it's got a soul, because it came to me in a sorry cosmetic state. Somebody had painted it red and added LMS to the sides with Letraset but theyed rum out of "M"s so they'd used "W"s up-side-down. Anyway I painted it LNER black and for some reason it now runs sweet as a nut even though I did nothing to it mechanically.

Andii
 

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When you take into account that some hornby locos and and some lima locos are still around for all these years I guess it's just a case if you have taken care of your stock then they will last as long as most things that area cared for. Myself I don't really have anything that is less than 10 years old that I've bought myself but I will take care of the stuff I have and hopefully I will be able to pass them onto my kids and grandkids.
 

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It's my UK models that really accrue the running hours, and I have worn many out.

The Mainline, Replica, and Bachmann split chassis units were, it quickly became apparent, short life chassis. The Bachmann design and motor is the best of them, but five or six years of everyday use and the plating on the chassis and axle stubs has worn away and they are on the scrapheap.

The plastic chassis frame used on Airfix/GMR tank engines, that passed to Dapol, and are now made by Hornby, become brittle after about 20 years and start to crack. So far araldite is holding most of them together, but it will not stop the rot indefinitely. The smaller motor is a short life unit and has to be replaced by something nicer form Mashima or similar. (The big open frame 5 pole job OTOH is a noisy illegitimacy, but apparently indestructible...)

Hornby-Dublo, Wrenn, Triang, Triang-Hornby, Margate Hornby, can all be kept going provided that there is no mazak rot in the main chassis block. Spares are still around, and for those that are not, parts can usually be made. (I had a hilarious failure on a heavily weighted T-H 9F which I had converted to loco drive using that Airfix five pole motor mentioned above: it suddenly stopped with the rods at odd angles. First thought was a broken rod (some rivets had worn away and been replaced over the years) but no, the axles had slipped inside the insulating bushes, which had gone powdery and lost strength.)

Lima, Not worth considering. Wore out a class 40 in months, complete trash, never bought anything else.

Bachmann Blue Riband. Steamers, my WD's are the oldest I have and are on torture test: always on long trains, weighted to over 400g and still pounding away. No real wear to mechanism, but I can see the day coming when the pick up wipers will need work, the tips are worn. My idea is that ittle pieces of 18 carat gold will be soldered on by a silversmith friend, the general quality of the model and its' Buhler motor suggests this is justifiable. Of the subsequent blue riband models I see little to cause concern: for the more recent examples with Bachmann motors, if these die there are same dimension Mashima equivalents available. Diesel models appear indestructible, very well developed cost down chassis, and highly repairable should that be necessary.

Hornby, post 1999 all new models. I reckon many of the steam chassis will fall apart with increasing frequency as they get older. The mechanically poor motor clamping arrangements, secured by a single short coarse threaded self tapper will be the primary cause. I have modified mine to overcome this weakness, and look forward to cheaply snapping up non-runners for spares over the next few years. The rods are in rather thin section brass, and I expect breakages, but these are readily repairable. The diesels look very good, but if they give any trouble I will probably put the simpler Bachmann style drive line in.
 

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I suspect that many of today's locos will be forced off the rails when the carbon brushes wear out. Unlike older motors, they're not designed to be replaceable. So unless you can get a new motor or remotor them with something else that will fit they'll have a relatively short life.

Keith.
 

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Hi All

I did not realize that there was an issue with loco's wearing out, I have bought some second hand ones that have obviously had a lot of running and had to replace the odd motor brushes

on weekends we use to run trains continuously from breakfast to lunch , not as much as an exhibition layout
but at least for 12 hours and evenings I would run them as well

But my rolling stock is 99% Fleischmann I only have 1 Roco Br290 left

Regards Zmil
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (zmil @ 20 Nov 2008, 01:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>But my rolling stock is 99% Fleischmann I only have 1 Roco Br290 left

Regards Zmil

That's one reason why FLM is the choice for many public exhibition layouts (unless you are in Marklin country of course).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (GoingUnderground @ 19 Nov 2008, 20:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I suspect that many of today's locos will be forced off the rails when the carbon brushes wear out. Unlike older motors, they're not designed to be replaceable. So unless you can get a new motor or remotor them with something else that will fit they'll have a relatively short life.

Keith.

I would suspect that many motors will be available at a reasonable price - & no doubt better quality ones will be available for after market fitting too.
 

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I think its a trade of between realism and longevity. The manufacturers could build products that would last for 50 years, but the detail would not be so fine. For example, small motors used so they can't be seen, scale size con rods, finer plastic mouldings and so on. Thats why older locos will last for longer, because they were built to last rather than for detail. I suspect the manufacturers currently have the balance about right.

Rob
 

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QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 20 Nov 2008, 10:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would suspect that many motors will be available at a reasonable price - & no doubt better quality ones will be available for after market fitting too.
Brian, Several years ago I would have agreed with you, but experience has taught me that you buy the spares whilst the item is in production, not wait until you need one which will be some years after the item has sold out.

Ever tried to buy a new battery for last year's mobile phone? There's more mobiles in circulation than locomotive models so you'd expect there to be a bigger availability of spares. however, spares are not always available for items in current production. I wanted to buy a casting from the latest DCC ready Bachmann 57xx pannier to make converting an earlier non-DCC ready one easier. I e-mailed Bachmann in Barwell and got a courteous reply that the part wasn't available. If they were assembling them in Barwell from components they'd simply have sent me one from stores. That's why I'm cynical about replacement motors being available. I've already bought some for the locos that might be affected.

Keith.
 

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Hi All

That's what concerns me about Fleischmann , Now that is part of the bigger company with Roco ,
will they keep the Spare parts as they have in the past .

Accountants have a bad habit of seeing money tied up in spare parts as a waste of capital and not consider Service to the customer.

Regards Zmil
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
QUOTE (GoingUnderground @ 21 Nov 2008, 21:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Brian, Several years ago I would have agreed with you, but experience has taught me that you buy the spares whilst the item is in production, not wait until you need one which will be some years after the item has sold out.

Keith.

Keith, I must admit that my remarks are based on my preference to "things european" who have in my experience been a little better in the past, particually Fleischmann, however, I do share some of the concern that Zmil has expressed.
 

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As for my most favorite brand, Hag, I don´t worry about either longevity or spare parts. They last forever, and should I ever need a spare part, I send a fax to Switzerland. It can be as easy as that.

Of course, Hag charges a premium for these models, but we have a saying where I am from: "A frugal person always pays twice". As for model railroads, that sure is true.
 

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QUOTE (zmil @ 21 Nov 2008, 23:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Accountants have a bad habit of seeing money tied up in spare parts as a waste of capital and not consider Service to the customer.
zmil,

I am an accountant, and whilst it is nice for you give accountants more power in companies that they actually have, what you have said is simply not true.

Accountants keep the score and point out where money is tied up.

It's up to the CEO or Managing Director to say whether the working capital tied up in a stock of spares is worth it to the company to gain a reputation for good after-sales service or not. In my view, most CEOs or MDs only have short term thinking "How can I maximise profit and or share price and hence my bonus/incentive scheme until I leave/retire?" They call the shots and they will be the ones who decide if spares are held or not.
 
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