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Aristo Craft GE U25-B locomotive - Bargain or Bust?

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Aristo Craft GE U25-B locomotive - Bargain or Bust?
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:09 PM
I am brand new to this and I’ve been drooling over all the options since my wife got me a subscription to Garden Railroading for Christmas. I’m out in the boonies of Southwest Colorado but between the forums and all the info on the internet, I’m slowly educating myself and making decisions about what I like and don’t like.

My first decision was that I want to go with components, not a starter set. It’s a little more expensive in the beginning but the starter sets just don’t appeal to me. My second decision is that I love the look of the workhorse diesels – the GP-30, GP-38, SD 40-2, etc.

And that brings me to a question about the Aristo Craft GE U25-B. I’m seeing that it comes with a steel caboose for about the same price (actually a few bucks less) than the Aristo Craft GP-30 or the GP-38-2 alone. I love a bargain as much as the next guy but I learned many moons ago that if something looks too good to be true it probably is neither good nor true. Hence, I’m a little skeptical.

So what are the opinions about Aristo’s GE U25-B? Is it an incredible bargain or a dog that Aristo is trying to unload on uneducated newbies like me? Would it be a good first locomotive purchase? And the Aristo diesels in general – better or worse than USA Trains locos? Can I mix the two?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:34 PM
Hi and welcome to this forum . First the GP 30 and 38-s are made by USA trains as well as the SD40 . I own both the 30 and 38-2 and are very pleased with both . They run real nice and are very durable . They would be a good choice . I also have Aristocraft Dash 9's and a SD45 . These too are good units and have been my winter workhorses here in Chicago as I use batterys to power them and dont have to be concerned about clean track . Some people would tell you that you shouldn't mix the two brands cuz of gearing and such but I do and have had no problems as of yet . That doesn't mean i'm not shortining the life of them but for me I like the look of a dash-9 and a geep together . As far as the U boat goes I don't have one but I have seen them and they are nice looking too . I know there are early runs and later production runs of them , and I am sure the newer runs are better .
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Posted by vsmith on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:45 PM
The only problem with the U-boat is that its a model of a not very successful real life engine that didnt make alot of freinds with its crews. People like popular engines and tend to repeat this trend in model RRing, Theres a reason F-units are so popular. As for AC's U-boat, quality wise its fine! no real issues I've heard of, I believe they are offering this deal simply to clear out stock. If you like the engine thiers no reason NOT to buy it.

Only one thing, be advised, sometimes with these Engine/Caboose deals, you cannot choose road names, or you can choose the engine road name but the caboose is vendors choice, so you could get a UP engine and a NS caboose(or whatever they are overstocked with). You really need to clarify what your choices are PRIOR to ordering it, Otherwise its a great deal.

If your in a club or group you could likely swap the caboose to get the roadname you want or e-bay it (as long as its unopened NIB you could get close to full price), and use those funds to get the matching caboose. If your very lucky the vendor will just go ahead and ship the matching caboose.

   Have fun with your trains

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 1:07 PM
I have 5 of these u boats I don't run them too much Right now they are fairly cheap
I don't think that Aristo is going to make them again. For a frist engine I think they do pretty good and can be run on a fairly small dia. track and if you are not sure if you like G scale A small investment and they do look pretty good running behind a SD-45 or a dash -9 in a const. As far as running with USA I have to agree with above (you will
hear don't but I do anyway So far so good ) no problem
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Posted by emipapa on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 5:43 PM
vsmith,
I have to take exception to your comment regarding the U25B locomotive. Before I go any further I would like to know how many miles you have traveled in the cab of the locomotive in question. As a former employee of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and a crew member of a 3 tripper from Boston to Cedar Hill, New Haven on U25B we had excellent luck with them. The only problem I can remember was a passenger engineer every now and then causing broken knuckles. The U25B was the work horse of the Shoreline Freight Division of the New York, New Haven. One of the major problems that I saw was the lack of preventive maintainence. This comment is just my [2c] worth.
Happy Railroading
Ron Sgroi
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Posted by vsmith on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 6:49 PM
Ron as a non-hogger my comment was based solely on the published histories and on comments read over the years based on the mechanics of the engine, former hoggers would complain about the oil leaks that according to them plagued the engine, maintanence crews didnt like them because of this leading to very dirty repairs. When compared to Alcos they really didnt sell that many of them.

But as a real hogger I'll defer to your judgement of the engine.

   Have fun with your trains

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Posted by emipapa on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 9:29 PM
vsmith,
As I stated above, the main problem I saw was the lack of preventive maintainence. When the unit was not maintained properly and the engine filters (oil - air - breather) were not replaced or cleaned and serviced as per the mfg. the engine would blow engine oil out of the breathers due to possible back pressure in the crankcase. I never was on one that broke down on a run.
As far as I am concerned "THEY TOOK A LICKING AND KEPT ON TICKING"
Ron
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 6:19 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by DryHeatDan

I am brand new to this and I’ve been drooling over all the options since my wife got me a subscription to Garden Railroading for Christmas. I’m out in the boonies of Southwest Colorado but between the forums and all the info on the internet, I’m slowly educating myself and making decisions about what I like and don’t like.


As you're a GRR subscriber, check page 66 of the April 2006 issue. Jens Bang's comments about installing USA motor blocks in Aristo locos might interest you. Personally, I'd rather buy just the USA diesels and save myself that hassle.

FWIW and just my opinion. [^]
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Posted by trianman707 on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 4:54 PM
I have 2 U-Boats. One was the 2nd diesel I purchased back in the early 90's. I've replaced the motorblock/wheelsets 1 or 2 times over that period of time. Not because they were defective...just that I ran the daylights (no pun intended) out of them. I've been very pleased with their performance and double head them from time to time. I would definately recommend their purchase. They are lighter than some locomotives and added weight would help their pulling capacity.
MG Scott http://www.heather-ridge.com
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Posted by Marty Cozad on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 8:03 PM
I had two of the older units and they ran great. Sometimes the price maybe cheaper if IFD they are the older ones just to move them out. I had mine for years and the guy who bought them still run them.
If your new, save some money, enjoy the hobby and see if you want to stay in it.

Is it REAL? or Just 1:29 scale?

Long live Outdoor Model Railroading.

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, April 6, 2006 5:59 PM
I have two U Boats and I use them to haul my period freight cars. No problems so far and these are the earlier production runs.

mikadousrp
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Posted by bman36 on Thursday, April 6, 2006 7:30 PM
DryHeatDan,
Just wanted to say WELCOME to the forum! Aristo makes great products. The Uboats are a great deal. As far as mixing two different manufacturers locos in a lashup goes...you may run into problems where the two do not run at exactly the same speed. Best to keep like units together. Hope you enjoy the forum. Great bunch here. Later eh...Brian.
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Posted by gck49er on Thursday, July 5, 2012 2:18 PM

The GE U25-B by Aristocraft is a very good starter engine. It was/is not one of the more popular engines ever made (for real life) but the model has great pulling power. It has an 8' minimum turning radius so smaller curves am be a little tight with 'hang- over' issues.

I had the Burlington (which I gave to my brother as a starter gift) and own the ATSF/ Santa Fe version.

As to Aristocraft vs USA Trains, that is a tough one. they are the main two that I deal with specifically. I guess it all boils down to, do they have the product your looking for? I have been very pleased with both and they match up well.

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Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Thursday, July 5, 2012 2:50 PM

gck49er - Welcome to trains.com! Cowboy

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Posted by dwbeckett on Thursday, July 5, 2012 3:41 PM

First Welcome to Big Trains, I have seven U25B's, 4rs-3's and 3 Fa/b's all have the same drive as the u-boats all run the same and draw lees power then any of the USA Trains engines that I have ( 9 ). Ihave added wheight to the 4rs3's only beause I had fuel tanks off for repainting. as far as I am concerned give me aristocraft anyday. they take -a -lick'en and keep on tick'en

 

Dave

The head is gray, hands don't work , back is weak, legs give out, eyes are gone, money go's and my wife still love's Me.

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Posted by piercedan on Sunday, July 8, 2012 6:05 AM

Concerning using USA motor blocks on Aristo engines, I consider it a smart move if the original Aristo blocks fail.  These had the axles that went through the side frames.

USA has sliders that help clean the track, Aristo does not (Battery users do not care!!!).

USA has a lower out of pocket cost for their blocks.

Disadvantage is the rewiring and finding connectors for the USA pins on there motor block., but the newer Aristo blocks needed rewiring if replacing the older original blocks.

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Posted by rbrr on Thursday, March 24, 2022 8:34 PM

USATs  have had a history of  cracking axles !

 

And for more U-25B related info ;

http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips1/brick_fix.html

Thank you George S. !

And from P'S';

http://www.phoenixsound.com/library/am_diesel/u25.htm

 

 

D'

 

"G-gauge may not Rule, But it GROWS on Ya !! " djc'99
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Posted by Curmudgeon on Thursday, July 7, 2022 6:22 PM

uh...no. Never cracked an axle (but I can see some yay-who dropping a motor block off a 10-story building to disprove that). But: They cracked the sleeves on the gears! At least parts are available! If you see cracks before they hit the gear, brass sleeve them. Funny, this thread started what, 17 years ago? Horovitz was editor, GR Magazine was a thing.

I never bought into the Aristo mentality. Like Mac versus Gates.

TOC

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