Broadway Limited N Scale T1 Locomotive

Broadway Limited Imports BLI N Scale PRR T1 4-4-4-4 Steam Locomotive
Broadway Limited N Scale PRR T1 Locomotive

As steam locomotives were reaching their peak, along came the PRR T1 4-4-4-4 steam locomotive. Broadway Limited Imports (BLI) has captured this beauty in n scale with some awesome features. First introduced in 1942, the BLI n scale model is typical of the production model produced in the 1950’s. The prototype had a few knocks against it including being expensive to maintain and operate as well a being prone to wheel slip. You won’t have that problem with the BLI version. It has a cast boiler as well as a precision designed drive train for excellent slow speed and pulling power. Available in 5 road names for PRR as well as an undecorated model. PRR ordered 50 more units after a couple of demo models. You can find more prototypical information here at Wikipedia.

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Operating Perimeters Of The BLI N Scale T1

The BLI T1 Duplex is designed to run on code 55, 70 or 80 rail. Minimum recommended radius for the locomotive is 9.75 inches. It is set up to run with both DC or DCC. The sound will operate in DCC but if you want sound in DC, you will need to use the BLI-1011 DC Master Analog Control Module. The Paragon 3 sound system offers a boat load of sound and choices. As a matter of fact when I looked at the available sound options available, my head started spinning a little bit. I am one of those guys that would likely open the box and runt the T1 with factory settings. For those of you more detail orientated, you can dial it in to an exact setting.

Reviews Of The BLI T1

You will find a few reviews of the Broadway Limited T1 in n scale. They all point the same way. Excellent detail, smooth running, great sound and better than hoped for! This really is an iconic locomotive that has been done very well. List price is around $420 but you will find them online routinely under $300. If you are a PRR fan, you will be very pleased with your Broadway Limited N Scale T1 locomotive. For you HO fans, BLT offers one of you too!

N Scale Fire Trucks

Adding small details to your n scale layout can make a huge difference. Fire trucks are just one aspect you can add to your n scale layout that can really flesh out the scene. You can create a live action scene or just the local fire station. And now you have some nice choices in n scale fire trucks to make that happen.

What’s Available?

When I first started searching for n scale fire trucks, I didn’t think I would find many. But I was surprised to find fire trucks in n scale from the 1920’s to the modern era. One of my favorites I came across is a hook and ladder kit from GHQ. It’s cast pewter so you do need to put it together and paint it but you really can finish it to match your own local fire department if you are good with decals. I was even more surprised to realize that GHQ is based about 20 miles from my home! They have some really neat stuff in addition to their fire trucks in n scale. You can also find fire trucks in n scale from Wiking, Athearn and others as well as some 3D printed models.

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A Place To Park Your Fire Engines

Of course, you will need a place to park your fire trucks. Some of the offerings in n scale leave something to be desired but if you dig you should find something that will fit in to your layout. If not scratch building or kit bashing may be in order.

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So if you are looking to add a little more realism to your small town on your n scale layout, consider adding a fire truck either in action or in front of a station. It’s a simple addition that can really add depth with little effort.

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N Scale Train Starter Sets

If you are looking to get into n scale model railroading, a starter set is a great way to do if for a couple of reasons. First, off, many times a starter set offers a little better price to get you going. While you may be a more limited with road name and car choice, this is your starting point. Secondly, you can get a train running in minutes after opening up the box! That’s a big thing as you want to see your railroad up and running. From there, the sky is the limit.

N Scale Train Starter Set Choices.

At this time, you have a couple of manufactures focusing on n scale sets, Bachmann and Kato. Both are offer a quality product. In my opinion, Kato is a little higher grade but both make some great running and great looking products. Both have there own version of track with built in roadbed that you can snap together. They are not interchangeable but likely as your railroad grows, you may find yourself buying longer pieces of track like flex track. As you are shopping for a starter set, not that some starter sets include track and a controller and some do not.

What Will You Run?

So what kind of service do you want to offer on your railroad? Mainly freight? Just passenger service? Well that’s up to you but you but model railroading is addictive so you will most likely have both on your layout. It may be more important to pick an era that you want to model. You may want to model the steam era, or a current era. Many chose what’s called the era where steam was switching over to diesel. This on of my favorite eras. I love steam and the early diesel locomotives. You can find n scale train starter sets with either steam or diesel. If ;you want to model the modern era but still love steam, here is an idea for you. Model an excursion train on you railroad! It’s a great way to fit in your favorite steamer in a modern era.

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DCC VS. Standard

One last think you should consider with an n scale set. DCC vs. standard DC. DCC opens a whole new world in model railroading including sound, switch control and more. It can be fairly simple, it can become very complicated. More and more sets are going to DCC. Just keep in mind, if you have any older locomotives, they may be easily converted to DCC, or they may not. If you want to keep it simple stick with DC. If you really want to get advanced, go DCC. As your layout grows, DCC make for easier wiring. NOTE: You will find locomotives that are said to be DCC ready. That doesn’t mean they are DCC. It means they are set up so you can convert them to DCC.

Model Railroading Is A Great Hobby

Model railroading really is a great hobby. Whether you enjoy building, adding scenery or just running your trains, it is so therapeutic! N scale is a great size for model railroading not only for the amount of running you can get in a small area but the scale offers a huge selection of locomotives, cars, building sand accessories. An n scale train starter set is a great way to get started!

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Vintage Atlas N Scale Trains

No doubt about it, when you think about vintage n scale, you think about Atlas. I have so many fond memories of model railroading with my brother and my dad and Atlas was a huge part of it. In the early 70’s, they offered a variety of starter sets with a locomotive, a few cars a transformer and a oval of track. I have the image of the box cover burned into my brain. I actually bought a vintage Atlas power pack to keep in my collection because the cover matched the box of the starter sets.

The more common vintage Atlas starter sets came your basic diesel locomotives, mostly Santa Fe or PRR. I remember we had more than one Santa Fe set but I think we had a Pennsylvania RR set as well. My brother and I always wanted a steam engine like on the cover of the Atlas box. Then one day it happened. My dad pulled an Atlas steamer out of his pocket, I think it was a Pacific 4-6-2 but not sure. I do remember my brother yelling “a steamer!” and my dad trying to quite him down. I guess my mom wasn’t aware of this expenditure.

Some of the classic steam locomotives from Atlas that I remember include the 2-8-2 Mikado and the 4-6-2 Pacific. My dad’s railroad had multiples of both of these. I also remember the Atlas 0-4-0 switchers that still are selling for more than they were new on ebay. If you were into n scale as a kid, spend some time at ebay and check out some of the vintage N Scale Atlas trains. It’s kind of like going back in time! You will find some of the basic sets along with locomotives and some to of those old classic vintage Atlas cars like the Blatz Reefer, Peabody Hopper, Reading Gondolas, Jumbo 4 truck tankers as well as my personal favorite, the Warren Tank Car. That is the first n scale train car my dad bought me. The original one is somewhere in a box under my brothers care. I have another one on display in my office. The cost at the time was $2.50. Today, to me anyway, it is priceless.

The old vintage Atlas N scale trains started many in model railroading. Each week I snoop around ebay just looking but sometimes I grab a piece up and and it to my collection.

The Minitrix 2-10-0 Decapod

Back in the early 70’s the selection of steam locomotives was somewhat limited. Some may say there aren’t enough now! So the Minitrix 2-10-0 Decapod was a good go to locomotive to add a little variety to your n scale steam roster. Minitrix n scale locomotives were always good solid performers.

As with many model railroad applications, the Minitrix decapod was somewhat of a broad interpretation of the 2-10-0’s you would have seen in the real world. Still they were a welcome addition to n scale. The first U.S. 2-10-0 was built for Lehigh Valley. While different railroads at least had a handful of the decapod, the Pennsylvania Railroad had a total of 598 units! That is whole lot of iron!

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Con-Cor Rivarossi N Scale Sets

Over the years, ConCor/Rivarossi packaged some very interesting collector train sets  that included a locomotive and a set of cars.  Many were done in a simulated wood grain cardboard box. Try releasing something like that today you would get laughed at! But as it is, many of these older sets are very collectible.  Con Cor/Rivarossi offered both freight and passenger train sets in these collector boxes.  Both steam and diesel sets were available.  Many railroads were covered in the Con Cor Rivarossi sets including Erie Lackawanna, NYC, PRR, Great Northern, Grand Trunk Western and even the US Army just to name a few.  Price for these sets is varied but generally in the $200 to $400 price range.  One thing that is nice about the Con Cor Rivarossi train sets is most are still in very good shape, The  box seems to get more wear than the trains ever did.   There is no doubt that Con Cor/Rivarossi has offered some true n scale icons over the years.  These boxed train sets are continuing to be a hot product!

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The complete passenger sets were always my favorites. Available in both steam and diesel, these were, and still are a great way to add passenger service to your layout. These sets are becoming more and more collectible as are many of the older sets by Con Cor and Rivarossi.

In addition to complete sets with the locomotive, you will find some nice diesel sets, both in road diesel and switchers. Con-Cor and Rivarossi also offered some nice three to six car passenger sets in many different road names. I have been around n scale since the early 70’s and I just love looking at the old Con Cor Rivarossi stuff on ebay, it’s like opening a time capsule!