Why HO scale diesel fans should consider Broadway Limited Imports.
HO scale steamers, this post isn’t for you (see our Tsunami Versus TCS Wow Sound blog post for steam sound info). Let’s talk ho scale diesel locomotives with DCC sound. SoundTraxx Tsunami DCC has been the “favorite” in sound systems for diesels for years. Notice I didn’t say “leader.” SoundTraxx units sound good, can be temperamental as hell and cost a bunch for a full featured non value line system. Train Control Systems (TCS) isn’t a player in the diesel sound market – yet (rumor has it – soon). Until TCS jumps in, have you heard a Broadway Limited Imports diesel? Better yet, have you seen the low prices on the old Broadway Limited Blueline discontinued locos? Sure they sound great but what about the problems with the DCC interface? Have we got a treat for you, restless diesel pushers.
We took a Broadway Limited Blueline SD9 and an SD40-2 for a spin on the test track. If you can find an old blueline unit with the factory installed decoder, like our SD9 came equipped, what you get is a great sounding, great running unit (after you reset the decoder back to factory settings - set CV8 to value of 8). Take a look at the video we shot of our Ex PC SD9 with the factory decoder installed. We ran it side by side with a new Paragon 2 integrated interface (lots of $$$) and it performed just about as well. Compared to Athearn Genesis, the Broadway Limited loco was louder and had one sound that made it much more realistic. Rail creak. Not a big deal unless you have actually run a real diesel locomotive. Some call it rail drag, because it is literally the sound of the rail being pulled against the ties and tie plates as the locomotive stops or pulls a load. The weight of the locomotive deforms the rail slightly causing the ties to creak sort of like a wood floor expands or contracts under the weight of the back pressure from your foot as you walk. I never noticed how much I missed that until I ran the Broadway locomotive. Now, I can’t stand the Genesis locos without it. Our blueline SD40-2 came with factory DC only so we installed a TCS DPX2 with the extender. Wow, what a difference. Not only does the loco sound great, but it creeps tie to tie and has rail creek. The video wasn’t ready as of this post, but as soon as it is, we’ll post the link here.
The bottom line, these Broadway Limited blueline locomotives are as good if not better than the new integrated units with a TCS DPX2 decoder or factory installed decoder for a lot less money. And with BLI you get heft. These tough, heavy, fantastic sounding underestimated performers are well worth a second look. If you’re lucky enough to find someone who is dumping them for the new integrated Paragon 2 units, you can get an incredible deal. Yesterday’s technology? Hardly. Yesterday’s prices, maybe. If you have a comment or a topic suggestion you would like us to cover please feel free to contact us at FineTrains.Com.