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I thought this question might be interesting to ponder.

For me, I think it depends.

Sometimes I find my favorites irresistible and run them a lot; othertimes I feel it's best to only run my favorites on special occasions, such as when I have visitors, so as to minimize the possibility of them developing mechanical problems.

However, I always want to run my favorites a minimal amount to keep them in good shape. I know it's rarely good for any train to hardly ever be run.

I can expound more about this, including mentioning particular models, but let's hear from a few of you folks first.

Arnold

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I find myself always running my Lionel Big Boy with 15-20 boxcars and reefers and my Lionel 3751, three warbonnet Dash 9s for my 1992 Employee Excursion train set. I thought I would like my FEF3 Excursion and MTH Amtrak and K-Line Surfliner more (since I searched hard to find them) but steam engines with boxcars and Santa Fe plated passenger cars are my favorite.

Last edited by Jdjones24

I love to run my 1 Legacy (NY Central 10 Wheeler steamer), MTH PS 2 and 3 locomotives on DCS (several diesels and several steamers), and the following conventional engines that run quiet: Lionel modern NY Central F3s, Lionel Postwar 773 (1964 version), MTH NY Central Mohawk steamer,  Williams Jersey Central NW2 diesel and Williams NY Central F3s. I also have a very nice quiet running K Line GP38 Chesdue System diesel that is attractive and a fine puller.

I also have several LC+ engines that I love to run using the dedicated LC remotes or universal LC remote.

As I mentioned before, I limit the running of some of the modern engines with circuit boards, eventhough I love to run them. This is particularly true of the Legacy 10 wheeler and an MTH Proto 3 Long Island steam switcher.

The steam switcher, shown in the photo below, like other MTH Proto 3 steamers, has a sometimes problematic tether arrangement between the engine and tether. A connector needs to be fully seated in a socket for the engine to run. I have inserted a piece of clear plastic tubing to keep the connector fully seated.

20211223_185330

The Legacy 10 wheeler, shown below, is simply my best engine IMO:

20210501_212353

These favorites are my go to locomotives to entertain an audience, and I hope they will last at least as long as me without any need of repairs.

I run the above quiet conventional locomotives so as not to disturb my wife's sleep, and to pull 8 to 10 car trains (my limit because of reverse loops). Its no big deal to me if they break down.

Arnold

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While I have my favs, I think that whatever trains I'm running at the time (especially if they are running well) are my favorites at that time.

Amongst 12* other sets on the layout at this time, my 2343 Santa Fe F3 A-B-A pulling 6 PW aluminum passenger cars is on my upper lever. Gotta be one of the most beautiful sets, especially with the extra cars. O42, O54 and O72 curves on that level.

*Most on sidings - I can run 6 sets at one time but I usually get in trouble doing so (I have a 45 degree cross track allowing two separate loops to cross so one has to pay attention or a broadside accident will happen). 4 sets running at one time is fun, however, plenty of Post War "railsounds" from the tracks, motors and e-units.

Sorry Arnold, I know that I went well beyond your question here. I get carried away.

@Lionelski posted:

While I have my favs, I think that whatever trains I'm running at the time (especially if they are running well) are my favorites at that time.

Amongst 12* other sets on the layout at this time, my 2343 Santa Fe F3 A-B-A pulling 6 PW aluminum passenger cars is on my upper lever. Gotta be one of the most beautiful sets, especially with the extra cars. O42, O54 and O72 curves on that level.

*Most on sidings - I can run 6 sets at one time but I usually get in trouble doing so (I have a 45 degree cross track allowing two separate loops to cross so one has to pay attention or a broadside accident will happen). 4 sets running at one time is fun, however, plenty of Post War "railsounds" from the tracks, motors and e-units.

Sorry Arnold, I know that I went well beyond your question here. I get carried away.

Excellent post, John.

I tend to run my favorites.  That train however changes based on the time of day, the alignment of the planets, the weather, what I had for breakfast, etc.... you get the idea.

Right now my favorite three that I have put together but have not run because I have not been to my club in well over a year include the following trains:

  • Modern Amtrak train with Viewliners and Amfleet cars.
  • A Burlington secondary train with an E5 and a mixed consist of heavyweight cars.
  • Santa Fe #7/#8 the Fast Mail.

Prior to that it was my Amtrak Southwest Limited and Santa Fe El Capitan. 

The theme here is passenger trains though!

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