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I am thinking of buying this engine (sunset 2012 GS-4 Freedom Train) and can't seem to find much on it.  Any first hand information?  Pros/cons? What is a fair price (yes subjective)?  There is one on Ebay, but I think it is priced too high.

I have owned a few Sunset models but all steam,  I just purchased an older (new in box) Sunset N&W J class from the late 90's I believe, but don't have it yet.

Thanks for any information you can provide.

Last edited by roll_the_dice
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I have the black GS-4 from that run. Mine did not have DCC installed. If any did have it from the factory, it probably would have been QSI. To the best of my knowledge, all Sunset 3rd rail two-rail locos, steam and diesel, that had DCC, had QSI until a year or so ago. Most of the steam locos did not have DCC and most of the diesels do have it. The newer runs, like the most recent run of GP7s and 9s, have Loksound.


Thanks Pete  @Norton  I just want a good runner along with a good looking engine.

Thanks @EastCoastIron  I did do a search and found many many threads on the AFT from Lionel, MTH, etc, but nothing about the 2012 Sunset Brass model.  I will search again though, I may have missed something.

Thanks Jerry @Jerry Davis  I have had QSI diesels from Sunset and a new loksound equipped diesel, but no steamers.  How does yours run?  Is it smooth? 

I searched on Sunset and 3rd Rail GS-4 to see if anything was said about that 2012 run.  The few posts I found were all about the 3-rail version. For what it is worth I run 3-rail and my Sunset/3rd Rail engines run well mechanically.  I would think the innards would be the same.

NOTE.  The GS-4 pulled the privately sponsored "American Freedom Train", or AFT.  There was a government sponsored "Freedom Train" that ran from 1947-49.  It was pulled by a PA-1.

Last edited by CAPPilot

Note the Sunset/3rd rail GS4 is a one time production made from brass. Sunset models/3rd rail has never rerun their brass locomotives and cars. With the current price of brass high up in the stratosphere, chances are good Sunsets policy of one run brass locomotives  will continue.

Wile the o.p. thinks the 3rd Rail with Tmcc and Railsounds maybe high now. Wait as time marches on. While Lionel and MTH made over a thousand of these in scale die cast in several runs, for the rare collector the 3rd Rail locos with all the fine details are getting  harder to come by.

And if you think the GS4 is high. Try getting the ultra rare T&P version in the AFT scheme! A shocking Less than 15 models were factory painted in the AFT scheme!

Good 👍 Luck on your choice

I have thought about that, but I am not a good painter.  I'd have to find someone to paint it for me.  I know my limitations.  If I went that route, who made a good GS-4 in 2 rail?

If my handle was WestCoastIron, I might be able to help. I'm guessing PSC and Key imports probably did, but that's your baby. My immediate suggestion would be go to the March Meet in Chicago and O Scale West and talk to people. Other than that, comb the Net.

I have seen plenty of GS-4s in Daylight, but have NEVER (that I can recall) seen one in the scheme you want, which is why I suggested painting.

Being handy with the computer is a plus!

Good Luck!


Last edited by EastCoastIron

A solid performer in 2 rail brass for the GS4 would be the KTM ( Japan ) sold under the USHobbies importer…..I believe Max Gray also did a GS4 import, but not sure the overseas builder. Sometimes KTM GS4’s show up, especially unpainted models,….pretty much anything KTM is built like a tank….of course, you’d have to get it painted, or paint it yourself….


Another suggestion, …..MTH did a very nice AFT GS4 in die cast. I believe all were 3 rail, ….( don’t quote me on that ) ……however, a quick look at our inventory at reveals we have all the goodies in stock to perform a 2 rail swap. The scale wheel GS4 drive block is readily available, …..This would be a direct bolt in swap. MTH 2 rail stuff are solid performers,…..

Pat IMG_8125


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  • IMG_8125
@Norton posted:

What happen to the one that was on eBay when you started this thread? Wasn’t it exactly what you were looking for?


It sold.  I had a deal worked out with the guy and I told him I wanted to think about it (3-4 days ago).  I was going to send him a message this morning to buy it and it was SOLD.

I was dumb...Sometimes the time to buy it is when you see it.  I should have emailed Scott from the beginning, but I didn't think about it and I don't like bothering him when it's not about a current model.


3rdrail/Sunset was the only O Scale 2 rail GS 4 factory painted in Freedom Train colors. I believe MTH sold one in diecast but not 2 rail O. MTH also has made matching cars in 3 rail. There are no matching cars in 2 rail as yet but would be a good project for Scott since he did the engine.

I have both the 3rdrail Daylight and Freedom Train engines and they are excellent models. One of my engines did have a bad driver that had to be replaced. Otherwise they are excellent runners. The factory engines did not have DCC installed.

The KTM/US Hobbies engine would be my recommendation if you can not find the 3rdrail Freedom Train. I have one painted in the Freedom Train scheme and it is impressive and a good runner.


Thanks @dan mason!  Since I choked on this one, I will be on the lookout for a KTM/US Hobbies GS-4.  The hunt is part of the fun.  I guess I know what I will be looking for in Chicago in March!  I do prefer brass over diecast.

According to Scott, only 5 were made in 2 it is indeed rare!

I might have to get Pat @harmonyards to paint it for me...once I see my Southern Crescent he is painting now.

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