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Hi Everyone - 

I'm interested in pre-ordering the C&O Hudson and passenger cars from 3rd Rail / GGD.  I've never ordered from them before and want to know if anyone has and what they thought of the quality of the products they've received, the ordering process and anything that might be applicable in helping my decision.  Also, if it helps, I'm undecided in terms on 2 rail and 3 rail.

Thank you for your help and guidance.

Original Post

In my opinion, they have the BEST models for the money, in either 2-Rail or 3-Rail. Also, they have the absolute BEST customer service! The owner, Scott Mann goes out of his way to research and make sure his products are prototypically accurate. Prior to my departure from the hobby (3RS modeling & layout), I owned & operated about 20 of their steam locomotives, and at least 2 or 3 complete passenger consists (CB&Q and SP Daylight).

Hot Water posted:

In my opinion, they have the BEST models for the money, in either 2-Rail or 3-Rail. Also, they have the absolute BEST customer service! The owner, Scott Mann goes out of his way to research and make sure his products are prototypically accurate. 

Ditto Hot Water's assessment.

If you want this train, Scott's offering is the ONLY way to go......period.

If your ambivalence re 2- or 3-rail is because the model will spend most of its life on display, not on an operating layout, I'd suggest the 2-rail version.

I have several of 3rd Rail's engines/cars.  Several more on order.  All are among my most favorite.  

Scott Mann is also a hobby peer without equal.........IMHO.

KD

As an owner of N&W K3, K2a, M1, and TE-1 engines, 3rd Rail has a very well deserved reputation of building models that no one in the industry ever has (and perhaps never will again). Each and every one is nothing short of a work of art. I am sincerely grateful to have these models.

I am confident that the C&O Hudson will surpass anything ever offered before by Lionel or MTH.

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

Prolific importer, always improving, HQ standards, incredible drive mechanism, DCC installed for 2 rail, all-brass construction for steam engines, unmatched passenger cars in their price range, ball-bearings in all recent products, unique offerings, new tooling for each project, constant communication with customer base.

Their recent E5 and TA next to high end brass... Wow!

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I a half dozen or so Sunset and Sunset 3rd/Rail steamers and 9 of the new GGD diesels.    They are all very good IMO.     As mentioned above, much better drives than the primarry 3 rail mfg usually do.    Sunset like all brass steamers I have seen, have articulated side rods which allow the drivers to adjust to curves better than the solid stampings I have seen on other mfg (non-brass) steamers.    This costs a little more, but makes a better mechanism.    The 3-rail makers usually only put flanges on the end sets of drivers and leave all other blind on 3 rail locos, so the side rods don't matter.   However, when they do a 2 rail engine, they put flanges on all drivers and it messes up how the operate on curves.  

And as mentioned above, there are not nearly as many compromises to scale made byt Sunset.    The 3-rail locos often have extended pilot decks to move the lead truck around the cyclinders or larger fireboxes to accomodate cheaper motors or use the frame from a totally different loco.    2- rail scale models is not their target market.

As for ordering and dealing with sunset.    It works fine and is fair.   They do build to order with a little extra.    So they don't start a build until they have enough orders to cover the cost of the tooling and design.      When you reserve, you put down NO money.    You don't pay until the product is in shipment to the states.     So there is no risk.   I understand if you reserve and then do not pay a couple of times, they will no longer accept you reservations which is understandable.    I have had to deal with their customer service a few times and it worked great.

As I've mentioned in the past, I "found" Sunset/3rd Rail after I had already bought more engines then I needed (MTH, Lionel, Weaver, Williams).  However, I was still looking for a few engines that I did not have.  This is where 3rd Rail got me hooked.  Except for some high end brass companies, 3rd Rail was the only one that produced engines like the PRR N1, H6, and Q1.  I bought these used and had them upgraded with ERR and was really impressed by their quality and detail.  So much so I bought their L1 and ToT new from them as well as many passenger cars.  All great stuff.  Looking forward to getting my F3 ABA from them soon.

What Hot Water said.   I still have a few 3rd Rail GN and NP steam locomotives from my 3 rail days, and I also have their current HO models consisting of two Northern Pacific Z-8, one Northern Pacific Z-6, one Great Northern Z-6, and one each of the NP A-3, Z-4, and Z-5.  Outstanding company, and I have put a lot of miles on all of my Sunset / 3rd rail product in HO and O.

 

Regards,

Jerry

 

I have 3 Sunset/3rd Rail brass steam locomotives, 6 diesel locomotive units, and 20 brass, aluminum, or plastic Golden Gate Depot passenger cars.  (Actually, the brass Railway Express reefers were branded Sunset.)

Doing business with Sunset.GGD has always been very pleasant.  Two of the steam locomotives, being small batch hand crafted brass models, each needed small adjustments after removing them from the shipping box, but after that they are workhorses.  The locomotives all run smoothly at very low speed.  The passenger cars are authentic representations of cars not made by other manufacturers.  Each time Scott Mann offers trains, they are improved over the last ones he offered.

You can't get better than Sunset/3rd Rail/Golden Gate Depot.

I bought 2 steam locomotives and two diesels brand new from Sunset and 1 steam locomotive second although that one had never been run. How do I know? Because it had a dead short which I fixed. I also bought two sets of passenger cars from Golden Gate Depot. Of all the stuff I bought new all of it ran great out of the box except one of the diesels of which Scott worked with me until I got it fixed. With his help I was able to find a broken wire and when fixed the diesel ran great. I recommend their products.

Last edited by Hudson J1e

There are other importers that have done quality work.  Henry Bultmann springs to mind.

The correct way to look at this is:

Sunset/GGD etc. is simply the bestdollar for dollar in O Scale.  I bring up Bultmann - his SP 4-10-2 was miles ahead of the Sunset version, but his price was triple!

I did Sunset reviews for 48/ft magazine in the 1990s and early 2000s, and got to see the Allegheny, Big Boy, NP 2-8-8-2, the various Hudsons, and that neat B&M Berkshire.  All were simply as good as you could purchase for under four grand, and the ruggedness and maintainability put them way ahead of even the very high end imports.

I was only disappointed with the smaller SP steam - the Mikado, Deck, and 4-10-2 all came with straight boilers.  But that's just me - most SP modelers are happy without the taper sections.

But again - best bang for the buck,by a mile!  Go 2-rail if you have a choice.

Opinion.

SANTIAGOP23 posted:

Prolific importer, always improving, HQ standards, incredible drive mechanism, DCC installed for 2 rail, all-brass construction for steam engines, unmatched passenger cars in their price range, ball-bearings in all recent products, unique offerings, new tooling for each project, constant communication with customer base.

Their recent E5 and TA next to high end brass... Wow!

imageimage

 

Thank you for the great photos Santiago.  I first saw them in this thread and either your a great photographer or the trains really are that nice.  I'm guessing that you have the 2 rail version on these trains as I noticed the flanges appear to be smaller.  Is this correct?

I am biased about the product but I am a huge fan.  All of my new purchases are almost exclusively Sunset / 3rd Rail / GGD.  I've got around 50 passenger cars, 4 brass steam locomotives, and over 30 diesels.  Great looking but also great running.  They always show well on the club layout.

Looking forward to the F3s arriving in about a month and very excited that Amfleet / Viewliner cars are FINALLY going into formal design as are the GP7/9s.

Phoebe Snow Route posted:
SANTIAGOP23 posted:

Prolific importer, always improving, HQ standards, incredible drive mechanism, DCC installed for 2 rail, all-brass construction for steam engines, unmatched passenger cars in their price range, ball-bearings in all recent products, unique offerings, new tooling for each project, constant communication with customer base.

Their recent E5 and TA next to high end brass... Wow!

imageimage

 

Thank you for the great photos Santiago.  I first saw them in this thread and either your a great photographer or the trains really are that nice.  I'm guessing that you have the 2 rail version on these trains as I noticed the flanges appear to be smaller.  Is this correct?

Thanks! Yes, these are 2 rail! 

GG1 4877 posted:

I am biased about the product but I am a huge fan.  All of my new purchases are almost exclusively Sunset / 3rd Rail / GGD.  I've got around 50 passenger cars, 4 brass steam locomotives, and over 30 diesels.  Great looking but also great running.  They always show well on the club layout.

Looking forward to the F3s arriving in about a month and very excited that Amfleet / Viewliner cars are FINALLY going into formal design as are the GP7/9s.

With the GPs going into “formal design” phase, it sounds like there is a good chance we will see them by the end of the year. 

this GPapalooza appears to be Very well received/ reserved. Very few road cuts. I’m sure there will be lots of Very happy customers when they show up at our doors. Scott always delivers Beautiful product !!!

Cheers

TrainBub

 

GG1 4877 posted:

I am biased about the product but I am a huge fan.  All of my new purchases are almost exclusively Sunset / 3rd Rail / GGD.  I've got around 50 passenger cars, 4 brass steam locomotives, and over 30 diesels.  Great looking but also great running.  They always show well on the club layout.

Looking forward to the F3s arriving in about a month and very excited that Amfleet / Viewliner cars are FINALLY going into formal design as are the GP7/9s.

So What do I need to save up for first? the GP project or the Viewliner Project?

I won't add much to the quality discussion, as other folks have already done so, but will add that Scott is a pleasure to deal with.

Regarding 2R or 3R, I would recommend that you consider 2R.

I went a typical hobbiest route from traditional 3R, to semi-scale 3R, to scale 3R.  I wish my last jump had been to 2R.  At the point it is too late to change from 3R to 2R, as I would have a difficult (and expensive) time, trying to replace my 3R trains with 2R trains.  Because of this, I have learned to accept the 'horrible' 3rd rail.

Jim

prrhorseshoecurve posted:
GG1 4877 posted:

I am biased about the product but I am a huge fan.  All of my new purchases are almost exclusively Sunset / 3rd Rail / GGD.  I've got around 50 passenger cars, 4 brass steam locomotives, and over 30 diesels.  Great looking but also great running.  They always show well on the club layout.

Looking forward to the F3s arriving in about a month and very excited that Amfleet / Viewliner cars are FINALLY going into formal design as are the GP7/9s.

So What do I need to save up for first? the GP project or the Viewliner Project?

sdmann posted:

GP 7/9 Probably this Fall.

Amtrak Cars, Nov/Dec 2020.

Scott

Asked and answered!

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