Well Santa's elves and Fed-ex must have been working overtime as I received my new GP7's (and 2 PE cars) 2 days earlier than expected.
The Santa Fe GP7 is beautiful and responds perfectly to the remote. The electrocouplers do open wider than those on the AF SD70's and ES44's so using these type engines as a switcher is fun and easy to do. I had a few tiny paint nicks in the yellow on the handrails and a wee bit of paint creep from the blue to the yellow color on the engineers side of the front of the engine. I had some craft paint that matched perfectly and touched up all the nicks with a few dots of yellow color. The sound is a bit loud from the factory but it is easily changed by holding down the announcement button while turning the speed dial left for quieter and right for louder. The speaker sound quality is "OK " and it's doubtful there was any spare room inside the engine for a more robust speaker.
My UP GP7 is also a good runner with one nit to pick. For whatever reason when running short hood forward I can hear a "tick tick tick tick" sound from the wheels (rear truck I think) when rounding an r20 AF Fastrack curve. All my curves are r20. But....it doesn't do it on all of them...just maybe 6 or 8 out of more than 50 or so of them. Kinda sounds like the wheels may be touching some of the ties? That's a mystery. I put some gear lube on the gears and oiled all the axles so maybe it will quit soon. There were 2 tiny paint rubs on both sides of the short hood in the "Armour Yellow" color. I don't have a paint to match but I'm sure there's one out there. Sound was identical to the Santa Fe unit.
The thing I like best is now I can run two remote control smallish engines on my point-to-point switching track. While one engine is dumping logs into the log loader another can pick up barrels at the barrel loader on the same track at the same time.
The addition of these two engines now gives me 4 FlyerChief engines so it's time to heat up the Universal Remote and I'll be able to control 3 of them with one remote at the same time. Originally I thought the Android APP would be the way to control all the engines but then I found out you can only operate one engine at a time. You have to completely stop and disengage from the first engine to access another using the APP. Bummer. The Universal Remote is the way to go for now.
While I'm here I'll just mention the new PE cars. They are great! The add-on coach perfectly matches all the original cars as to paint color. You can see that the wiring has been upgraded so I don't expect any lighting/wiring problems with these new cars or the single bulb inside. Maybe next month I'll get around to changing the lighting over to LED like all my other PE cars so that they will all match. I also received the PE wood sided reefer. It is a neat car. As has been noted in many other posts these reefers don't have the detail of an SHS or MTH reefer but that's OK by me. This car will be my "Santa's Express Reefer" carrying all those perishable treats we receive at Christmas and will ride prominently as the first car behind the tender.
Well that's my report. How do you like your new FlyerChief GP7 engines?