Has anyone purchased one of these new locomotives? I am curious if they run well and if it is worth buying teh ESU decoder pre-installed. I can't find anythinr online with respect to reviews. I would love to see a video.
I am waiting for the Chicagoland Metra version to be released before I buy.
I can't speak to the runability of the loco. However, if your intent is to install a sound decoder after the fact, it is my opinion that you might as well get the loco with the decoder already installed. In the case of the ESU decoder, I believe that the installed and aftermarket decoders all have the same functions, so you are not going to "miss" any functionality by getting the pre-installed decoder. In the case of locos that come with a Tsunami, like Bachmann, the pre-installed Tsunamis generally come with some of the more advanced ability missing.
Now if you intend to install a non-sound decoder, then you might want to purchase the loco w/o decoder since the non-sound decoder will be less expensive than the sound version. What you should do is determine the cost of the decoder you would install and add it to the non-sound loco price and see how that compares to the sound equipped loco price.
Do you know when these will be released? I don't know if they already released these or plan to, they seem to be really hush on the details, so if you know when they're coming out that would be helpful. :)
Long live the J!
According to the TLT website, the Metra version has already been released.
Their website is misleading. Although the Metrolink and Railrunner versions have been released already, they have told me directly (in June 2013) that they cannot afford to release all versions at the same time.
The Metra version is yet to be released.
Looks like they just hit the stores today!
Model Railroader magazine