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BLI Blueline 4-8-4

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Overland Park, KS
  • 343 posts
BLI Blueline 4-8-4
Posted by dadret on Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:26 PM
I've just about decided to buy a BLI Blueline 4-8-4 but I have two questions - 1)What decoder would you guys who know more than I do recommend for this loco (this will also be my first DIY decoder but installation doesn't look too bad) and 2} what experience has anyone had with Factory Direct Trains (I've never bought anything from them before).  The loco I'm looking at is the BLI 5158 AT&SF 4-8-4.
  • Member since
    August 2007
  • 67 posts
Posted by Soo 61245 on Thursday, July 10, 2008 10:08 PM


    I purchased a Pennsy J1 from FDT a few months ago. I had also purchased one of their Trackmobiles this spring.  Both transactions went smoothly and both were Internet orders.  I haven't looked at their site lately but with the J1, there was an offer to purchase the appropriate motor decoder from FDT at the same time.  They offered a Digitrax decoder and I included it in my order.  Don't have the decoder number in front of me but it was just a matter of removing the tender shell and plugging it in.   


  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Friday, July 11, 2008 7:45 AM

I use TCS T-1 decoders in Blue Line engines and they are a good choice.

I have two of the original Broadway Limited 4-8-4 engines with the QSI sound system, and another club member recently purchased the Blue Line version.  The Blue Line sound is quite different than QSI's, and is very good.  My biggest nit to pick with the Blue Line model is the paint job -- it's too shiny.  The original was a more realistic color.

I also have the Blue Line Alco RSD-15 locomotive set and think they have the best sound of all.

Factory Direct Trains is a very good company to deal with.    When I purchased the Burlington California Zephyr A-B-A Precision Craft locomotive set with LokSound decoders from them and one of the decoders was bad, they sent me a replacement locomotive and a mailing label so I could return the defective unit to them at their expense.  That's first rate customer support.  And a price of $199 for 3 powered units, all with sound, can't be beat.  I paid $119 for the Alco RSD-15s, and recently saw the same models being hawked for $169.95 plus $14.95 shipping from a different dealer.  Factory Direct Trains shipping was free.


  • Member since
    June 2006
  • From: Sweden
  • 1,808 posts
Posted by Lillen on Friday, July 11, 2008 7:51 AM

Just about an "normal" 8-pin decoder will do.


About FDT, they are the best. I've bought a lot from them and Joe the owner is a superb guy to deal with. Whenever their has been even the slightest problem he has solved it immediately. Quick shipping to. Highly recommended. No complaints what so ever.



Unless otherwise mentioned it's HO and about the 50's. Magnus
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 3,312 posts
Posted by locoi1sa on Friday, July 11, 2008 4:53 PM

  I got 2 Blueline locos from MB klien. Better price than FTD. Both of mine have the TCS T1 decoder. Both run and sound excelent.


 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Glendale Az
  • 279 posts
Posted by ragnar on Monday, July 14, 2008 5:44 PM

Awhile back bought a sound equipped BLI 2-10-2 from FDT had a problem with it only able to run in reverse after speaking with Joe a new unit wash shipped the next day with a mailing label for return of the defective unit arrived in 3 or 4 days.

Concider their service to be outstanding Smile [:)]

The Great Northern Lives!

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