Need help deciding on my first engine

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  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 916 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 3:56 PM
May I recommend you look into PIKO's GE 25-tonner? The little thing uses battery powered, it is now available in RC, and it looks really, really good on my little railroad. All of our curves are R1 / 2ft radius. We have an earlier version of this loco, the Clean Machine, and it is a real joy (so much so it lost all of its grab rails, horn, and bell). If you are an accomplishes kitbasher / custom painter (I am not), it would be a solid base to detail out. Aloha, Eric
  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 89 posts
Need help deciding on my first engine
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 1:05 PM


I've spent most of my life in the O guage world, mainly collecting Postwar Lionel.  While I am still working on my 14x10 layout in the basement (not much progress in the warm weather months), I've been starting to plan a garden railroad for the yard as well.

We have a Koi pond with waterfall and adjacent rock garden that are begging for some track to traverse the area (25 x 25 foot space).  I've been looking into manufacturers and types of engines and, based on my price range, I've selected two that I think I'd enjoy operating:  Bachmann's Climax logging engine and LGB's 2063 DRGW diesel switcher.  Both are on the shorter side since I'll be using LGB R3 curves (4 foot radius) in some tighter spots.  Both have front and rear couplers for switching that I'd like to incorperate. 

What do you all think of those two?  Both would eventually be upgraded with sound/DCC and both are in the $300-400 range.  Do you have any other suggestions for tighter radius, twin coupler engines?


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