Friday, September 12, 2008

Kato GG-1: It's MINE all MINE!

So I have to admit that I have been a bit cheap when buying my rolling stock and motive power on my layout. Most of my locomotives are either Life-Like Ready To Run pieces that I bought off ebay or Bachman engines that came from sets I've bought over the years. up until now I would have said that my Life-Like N scale PA and SD7 locomotives were my nicest. Well all that changed Wednesday night when I picked up my first ever Kato loco and by far the most expensive loco I now own (it's pricier than even the Lionel O27 I bought for around the tree).

The Kato GG-1 is a beautiful engine. It looks great in the pictures, but I will say that the pictures don't even do it full justice. Out of the box the loco comes "paint shed new". It's got a bit of a gloss finish to it that I at first felt looked a bit like un-painted plastic but it is painted and it's just got a waxed up finish. Great if you are using it as a showpiece, or railfain train on your layout, maybe not what you want if you are running it as an old freight car. Since Kato designed it to pull the Broadway limited it's not a big surprise to me that it's shined up.

All of the Lettering and striping on mine are well done. You can clearly read the words "Fuel" and "Water" along the lower edge of the body.

The engine runs well and is relatively quite especially at low speeds, at least compared to my other locomotives. While I have not yet taken it apart to fully examine the interior it appears to have 6 drive axles (the center sets), and it is well weighted. It came with Magenetic couplers pre-installed, i just needed to insert the metal pins into them.

At $140 for the DC version it's pricy, to me at least, but if you are a Pennsy fan or heavy electric fan it's probably worth it for a very nice piece like this. If you regularly buy nicer motive power than this is probably middle of the road pricing from what I've seen.

All in all I'm glad I picked one up. I'll try and get some pics of mine put online later, but for now you can always see what Kato has on their site at

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