In 2008, I posted a set of questions to the MaineOn2 Yahoo! group list under this title. I felt that the Yahoo! group postings had been dominated by other topics such as ”bashing brass and brass owners” in the verbal/written sense not the converting to another type sense, and by complaints about the poor running qualities of particular examples of brass loco’s, and that it was time to encourage other brass loco owners who had been quietly enjoying positive experiences with their collection of loco’s to post about them.
The questions were chosen quite deliberately to allow different locomotives to be selected, recognising that some owners may have a favourite loco which they would not necessarily recommend as a suitable choice for a newcomer.
My thanks to all the contributors for their comments and especially to Bill Kerr for updating his replies showing how they have changed over a three year period, and for the “Pearls of Wisdom” from a former Moderator of the Yahoo! Group and long term On2 modeller about starting today.
The collected views have been re-edited in 2013 to present a consistent loco/model naming format to facilitate links etc, and finally posted to the new style FAQ’s site.
What’s your ***** loco? – part 2
What is your best locomotive? and why?
Terry Smith: A Portland Products F&M Forney, because it is so reliable.
Bill Kerr (2008): Car Works SR&RL #23, currently being reworked and sound added.
Bill Kerr (2011): Car Works SR&RL #23, purchased in 1997, reworked to get it to run and sound with cam, $1500 tied up in what is now a $650 engine ;^)
Jerry Kitts: Car Works SR&RL #23. Because it runs better than any other brass locomotive I own. It came with a few faults, like some parts ACC’d on the frame, but following some clean up and quality time with my torch all the parts are now soldered in place.
Trevor Marshall: Custom Brass SR&RL #24 – it has been tuned and is a very smooth runner.
Chester Louis: It will be my Hinkley when it is finished. Because I built it.
Jace Kahn: Do you mean best runner? or most suitable? or best-detailed? Hard to say, although I could cite a couple of lemons.
Bob Schlechter: Again, the Forney (the Custom Brass SR&RL #6) as it was used on several of the roads making it versatile. The Custom Brass SR&RL #24 and the Eustis engines (Custom Brass SR&RL 20, 21 & 22) are a close second.
Gerry Cole: Not brass, but nonetheless the Bachmann On30 inside frame SR&RL. Purchased to run well when converted (hopefully by somebody else on this list) to proper On2. They seem to be economical, good running locomotives, very practical, but not the right gauge. If I can’t get it converted to On2, I’ll probably be able to sell it for about what I paid for it on eBay.
Dean Brown: I’m not sure of the criteria here, but the Car Works SR&RL #10 is good in many respects, so it may be “best”.
Matt Coleman: The Portland Products SR&RL #1 produced by Bob Werner/Hobby Barn Portland. Looks great, is small and runs very well.
Matthew Latham: Car Works WW&F #7 as it is my only one.
Doug MacLeod: Laurel River & Hot Springs, 2-6-0. Nice looking locomotive.
John Rogers: My best running loco is a Custom Brass SR&RL #18 with a coreless motor and gear head and Grandt Line 2 to 1 bevel gear on the axle. It runs like a Swiss watch and I have bought motors and gears to redo several of them.