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Reply to "Who makes a quality RS-3 Diesel?"

Dennis, there is a lot of good advice/opinions above.  Here's my two cents...

 

IMO, there is still no RS3 offering currently available that gives you EVERYTHING...e.g. accurate/prototypical size & body details, added-on (rather than molded-in) metal detail parts, command control, quality sound, smoke, coil couplers, etc.

 

That being said, if a moderate level of prototype details and/or pulling power are important to you, I would eliminate the Lionel version from your consideration list.  It is by far the most "toy-like" of all the manufacturers' offerings.

 

The MTH RailKing offering is a pretty good compromise.  Although most of the details (grab irons, coupler cut levers, m.u./brake hoses, fan grills, etc.) are molded in, the die-cast frame, fuel tank, pilots and truck side frames make it quite heavy and a strong puller for its size.  The sound quality is very good, and as Keith and Mark mentioned above,  MTH has finally added a smoke unit on its most recent releases.  An overall very good value!

 

I also own an AtlasO Trainman RS3 from several years ago.  Also a nice compromise!  It has a bit more add-on detail (separate wire grab irons & see-through fan grill with fan blade, for example) than the MTH version.  Finding them may be a challenge, however, as they haven't been produced for quite a long time. 

 

The good news, as Eric (SD40-2) mentioned above, is that Atlas has had a "new and improved" version in the works for several years, and plans to re-release it later this year.  Supposedly it will have several new and/or upgraded features, including improved sound and a never-before-offered smoke unit.  I have a CNJ version on pre-order and am looking forward to seeing it...it's been a long wait!

 

I admittedly do not have any experience with the Weaver or Williams BB offerings.

 

While we're all still waiting for a "fully-loaded" scale-sized, prototypical RS3 to be offered in O-scale by one of the manufacturers, as prrjim stated above, additional details can be added after the fact to any of the current offerings to dress them up a bit.  Following are a few photos of an AtlasO Trainman D&H RS3 and an MTH RailKing CNJ RSD4 that I "dressed up" (and weathered) with all kinds of added-on detail parts...

 

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Last edited by CNJ #1601
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