Christmas is coming, and I am trying to pick out a 1970-ish, decent, cast metal body, fairly inexpensive, but attractive, Lionel Steam Loco.
Like it or not, it will probably be an MPC engine. (And yea, I know that these were not "top of the line" engines. I don't run my engines much, and I will just run it until it fails.)
In researching this, I have been looking at both the Lionel 8101, and the Lionel 8801, which (please correct me if I am wrong) are both MPCs.
What I don't understand is why people seem to hate (or perhaps distain is a better word) the Red C&A 8101, but absolutely love (to the point of cult status it seems), the 8801 Blue Comet.
Now, I KNOW that the 8101 has a tender with a terrible "chuffing" sound, and that the whistle and chuffer often short out because a piece of foam rubber under the circuit board rots away. BUT besides that, is there really a quality and performance difference between the two engines themselves? Do the both have the same motors?
The reason I don't care about the whistle and chuffer in the 8101 tender, is that I am not going to use them anyway. I will disable them. I already have a great whistle mounted under my layout which is nice and loud.
In fact, I would prefer to buy the 8101 without a tender.
So, given this, comparing engine to engine only, are there any real differences between the two. (Aside from the fact that the Blue Comet is a more attractive looking engine.)
Thanks for all actual experiences and factual information.