Posted by: Roger | January 4, 2015

Arnold U25C N Scale

I got my Arnold U25Cs from BLW on Saturday. I didn’t take them out of the box until I got to my friend’s place on Sunday. I don’t have the decoders yet, but I thought I’d see how they run on my friend’s layout using the 00 address. Short answer: They DON’T. Unlike just about every other DC locomotive I have ever seen, these locos will short out the DCC system when placed on the track. Not cool. Paul then rejiggered his logging line from DCC to DC, and I was able to run the pair on it, at least until they went into a tunnel. Halfway through, I heard a loud snap and you can see in the photo below how this one, which was running backward, came out of the tunnel.

This is definitely NOT cool for an out-of-the-box brand new locomotive.

I think the loose stanchion at the rear steps was sticking out and caught on the narrow confines of the tunnel. I tried to push the stanchions back into the holes, but they would not stay for any reason at all. The worst, and most annoying, part is that it looks like the hole for the last stanchion on the steps wasn’t drilled through all the way. I have to find my magnifier headset, pin vise and a number 80 drill to finish it, then get some type of goo to apply to the rest of the stanchion pins to keep that hand rail in place. The other loco did not have this issue.

It’s a beautiful face to be sure.

On DC, the headlights worked directionally, while the number boards stayed lighted on both ends. I like that. The red nose light could simply be an unlighted piece of clear plastic as it never came on. That would be kind of a bummer.

I’m not sure about these Z-scale couplers shown on the right. That’s a Micro-Trains 1015 coupler in a 2004 box on the left.

Teeny tiny Z-scale couplers! Why? I didn’t shell out all that cash to put these things on a shelf and say, “Wow! Look at those tiny useless couplers.” I hope they work, otherwise I will have to replace them with Micro-Trains couplers, if they fit that is.

Locos with couplers connected.

Here they are connected. They look like they will work, but time will tell. I can definitely say that the Arnold truck side frames are pathetic compared to the Kato SD-45. They look like dirty white plastic instead of silver.

It is, except for those awful trucks, a good looking locomotive.

I wonder how much trouble it would be to paint those horrible trucks with some silver paint? Probably more than I care to invest.

Bottom line in my opinion is that these locos are not worth the premium price they cost, and that is truly a shame. I have to applaud Arnold for doing the U25C, but they have some serious corrections to make if they expect to keep selling them at the price they want. They at least need to up their game to Atlas standards.

I did not disassemble them. I’m saving that chore until I get the decoders and have some patience to spare. Removing the shell means taking out the screw holding the couplers in place.


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