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Let's be clear - there's tender drive where you have a pancake type motor in the tender and the loco is pushed by the tender and then there's the motor in the tender driving a gearbox in the loco. The latter case, I think, is the best of both worlds although I haven't done any. I have a great deal of experience with the former having started British modelling in the mid-80s - very little of it good (IMO). (Some models had pancake motors in the loco - these were no better).

I think I agree with Brian and would clarify that my definition of performance is the ability of the loco to move at a scale 5mph continuously - can the pancake motor design do that? With the ability of good quality decoders to adjust performance I wait to be convinced.

I'm fairly ruthless with my locomotives. If a particular loco doesn't perform to my liking - out it goes to be replaced with one that does. My collection is fairly small as a result.

John
 

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Brian, thanks for enlightening me on pancake motors. I have no experience with Fleischmann and lots with those "el cheapo" motors that we used to find in Hornby and other "models". I am therefore scarred for life. Even if I could be convinced that, say, a Hornby Princess with tender drive could be made to perform well, I'm unlikely to rush out to get one.

I remember starting out in the hobby in the 80s being desperately disappointed with not only performance but looks. I spent hours applying those Crownline bits and adding wipers here and there in hopes of producing a decent model.

We have been very fortunate in the last decade or so to get loco drive models with good detail and generally good performance. (I can't think of a bad one). We are now able to hold our heads up when we compare ourselves to the US and Europe.

I'm still a bit unhappy with Hornby for proliferating traction tires on recent 4-4-0s (T9 for example), but some people will insist on building impossibly steep grades.

Cheers all

John
 
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