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"Quantity Has Its Own Unique Quality" This quote, one of my favorites, is often attributed to any of several historical figures going back to Napoleon, but most often to Joseph Stalin, who said something like this - the exact words are lost - to his generals when they complained to him about the quality of the (many) tanks they had early in WWII. 

I posted last week about the pair of new MTH Premier Santa Fe Warbonnet SD40-2s I had pre-ordered from Pat's Trains and how great they were: quality in every way, and with their shiny plating, just spectacular to watch run.  As I ran them that that day, I kept thinking that four would look so cool.  I managed to get another - his last as it turned out - from Pat early the next morning and spent most of the rest of the day, even with the helf of the "find it" feature on MTH's website, striking out with one retailer after another before locating and buying my fourth unit from Grand Central in Nebraska. 

I've seldom seen a better example of how quantity is a unique quality than with these SD40-2s. Two look really good, but four look incredible, and to me, more than two times as impressive as two of them.  I'm not sure why, but a long line of identical locos just looks wonderful, at least when they are individually this good.  And I have to say that if one is going to have four units, its great when all four have dual motors, when all four have sound, and when all four have smoke.  And the lights: what a light show these four big diesels give!  This is a most spectacular and impressive set to run.  I love them!!!


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Yes, one of these puppies will pull twelve of the Black Bonnett passenger cars i have on the layout.  What is good about four powered units is they move so smoothly yet pull so hard when going very slow.  And i am running them in conventional too: they never lose synchronization and even when not coupled, stay in formation as them run around the layout.  Good electronics!!

I'm running the Black Bonnet passenger cars with them because those cars were already on the layout.  When I get the new bridges and a bit of other work on the layout cleaned up a bit, I plan to break out my fifteen plated 18" passenger cars - all that shiny metal ought to be sintillating!!!

Last edited by Lee Willis

I run 2 rail O scale without tires and my G scale has tires. When I group 4 engines together on either layout, it not only looks impressive, the pulling power seems to be off the charts. I said I thought my one gauge Triplex could pull a tree stump. I bet four diesels, would do it even easier! Even without tires, it's hard to hold them back.

I have a grade just under 2% outside. When I load up the train with a lot of cars, it's actually hard to pull them up by hand. So I know the engines have to work at it. I explain it to our grandson, but I bet he doesn't get it fully or care? He expects them to do it repeatedly when it's near 100 degrees with the smoke on in the sun. So I add engines to make their life a little easier.

I have to imagine how good your engines look in person. I do know from experience, how good they work together to get the job done.

Some people prefer steam. I love a big diesel consist working as a team.

Very, very nice.

now where's Tommy Z?

It has been some time since I ran four units, but what I thought was interesting is that the current draw per locomotive with the train in tow actually went DOWN. The initial was around two amps for a single locomotive and about 6.5 amps for four towing the train on the club layout. Go figure. Now, the maximum number of powered units I run is three, and with scale wheels, they pull very well. Typically, I run them in pairs now as we run shorter trains when the club is crowded (or at least WAS crowded before the big California Shutdown).

2011-12-28 18.53.38


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  • 2011-12-28 18.53.38
Last edited by AGHRMatt
@TM Terry posted:

I really don't like being critical with those beautiful locomotives, but I just cannot appreciate all four diesels with their headlights on. Can the following diesels have their lights turned off?

It seems like Lee is running in conventional mode so I suspect not since as far as each engine knows, it's operating on it's own. Running them in a DCS lashup would have all the lights except the lead loco turned off.

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