Micro Trains Line Z Scale
At the 2nd Annual BAZ BBQ we were treated to a special
surprise by Loren Snyder. He had brought down a pre-production sample of the MTL
GP-35, and we gave it a workout.
This model was painted gold, and as we discovered, the road
names that will be released are still a closely guarded secret. The shell is
very nicely done, with crisp edges, finely molded details, nice lacy handrails,
and lighted dual headlights and number boards. The windows and number boards are
glazed with this second Z Scale release from MTL.
The walkways had very fine diamond tread around them, and
the handrails even have a sagging chain molded in the middle of the ends at the
front and back. The grills and vents are nicely molded too.
The locomotive has truck mounted couplers which will allow
the model to run on tight radius track work, but when I get mine, I plan on
cutting off the front coupler and building a snowplow and pilot mounted coupler
for appearance. I will leave the rear truck mounted coupler for functionality.
The fuel tank looks good, and sits very low. The trucks were
molded crisp and sharp, and we were told the trucks have a wheel wiper built in
for better electrical pickup. So we can see that it looks really nice but how
does it run?
We started with a small 10 car hopper train, removing my NP
Mikado , and putting the GP to work. First we ran around the track a couple
times to get a feel for the throttle, and much to our satisfaction, it is a
slow, smooth, and quiet runner. Setting the locomotive down to approximately 1
volt setting, the locomotive crawled. We let it run at this speed, and the
locomotive went around a 4 foot test loop in about 15 minutes. No stalling, just
We ran the locomotive with 20 car trains for a few hours,
letting everyone get a turn at the throttle, then checked the locomotive for
dirty wheels and to see if it was hot, and remarkably, it was running cool, and
the wheels were still clean. Well we decided to kick it up a notch and see what
this baby could really do. We put 40 cars on and throttled up this workhorse to
see what would happen. We were pleasantly surprised to see that she could pull
all these cars by herself.
We added cars till we reached the limit this locomotive
could pull without wheel slipping on this layout, which was 47 cars. It should
be noted that this track work is all hand laid code 55, and had been sitting in
the sun warping all day long, and the turns are 11" radius super elevated a
scale 4"on the outside rails, with a balloon curve.
I did not take photo's of this, but we did test the MU
capabilities with the MTL F7, and the F7 runs a bit faster, but with the GP-35
behind the F7 as the lead unit, the pair ran quite well together.
The locomotive ran admirably in our opinions, and will be a
welcome addition to any Z Scale layout.