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ViTrains anyone?
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 Posted: 5 Jan 2018 15:12
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Keith M
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Although I've previously heard of ViTrains, I've never involved myself with one of their products previously, but that's just changed, as I've now received a used one of their "Class 37" loco's in "Mainline" livery. No, I haven't changed my modelling era, I want the model just for the chassis, as I'm intending using it with a "Silver Fox" models GWR 18000 prototype gas turbine body (when they have more stock of the bodyshell), so if anyone needs a Class 37 bodyshell, then I'm your man!
Out of the box, the bodyshell appears perfect, well moulded and all livery unmarked, chassis is DCC ready, although the 8 pin socket wasn't quite obvious, as it wasn't fitted with the usual type of 8 pin DC plug, just two bits of brass formed into separate 3 pin 'sub-plugs', which seems a bit 'cheapskate' to me, although it worked well enough, running beautifully on DC, even better (with front/rear lighting) on DCC.

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I thought I saw a light at the end of the tunnel.........but it was only some swine with a torch, bringing me more work!!!
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 Posted: 5 Jan 2018 15:18
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Keith M
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Although Italian made, like Lima, it seems in a different league, being quite heavily built, central can motor with double flywheels and cardan shafts driving the outer pairs of wheels on each bogie, PCB above the motor, all as per 'Heljan', so I suppose it's perhaps somewhere between a 'Bachmann' and a 'Heljan' in terms of design and quality, feels solid and runs quietly and smoothly. This is the slightly odd 8 pin DC 'plug' arrangement, the like of which I've not seen before, works OK, but looks a bit crude to me!

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I thought I saw a light at the end of the tunnel.........but it was only some swine with a torch, bringing me more work!!!
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 Posted: 5 Jan 2018 15:32
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Keith M
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The other 'odd' thing with this loco, is the seemingly non-NEMA coupling setup. There is no paperwork or couplings with this loco, not really a problem, as I'll be converting to 'Kadee's' anyway, but as you can see, although it looks on first glance to be ready to accept a standard NEMA coupling box fitment to take such as 'Kadee' 17/18/19/20's, in fact it's quite a bit smaller, although a similar style......maybe it's unique to 'ViTrains', so anyone with experience of these loco's and a knowledge of what's needed to fit alternative couplings (as opposed to maybe 'bodging' something to suit), then please feel free to enlighten me. It might be a while before "Silver Fox" notifies me that they have the body kits back in stock (I was quoted "Early 2018") so I'm in no rush to fully sort the chassis, although I have now converted it to DCC, the work of a couple of minutes, so in that respect, it's ready to go, maybe just the couplings to sort before body conversion. I'll be doubtless doing a write-up on the conversion when it happens, watch this space!
Keith.

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I thought I saw a light at the end of the tunnel.........but it was only some swine with a torch, bringing me more work!!!
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 Posted: 10 Jan 2018 12:36
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RogerWilco
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Some time back I had a Vi-trains loco, a model of a Belgian electric, when I was running some SNCB stock in conjunction with my nominally French H0 layout. That too had the NEM coupling boxes and I successfully used KD 18's (if memory serves) without a fitting problem. This is probably of no help at all, but the fact you are having difficulty does surprise me as the NEM coupler boxes are now standard on continental products and most UK models too as fas I understand. As for my loco, mechanically I had no problems with it whatsoever, running analogue - I'm afraid I'm not in to DCC.

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 Posted: 10 Jan 2018 23:04
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SRman
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The ViTrains couplings are an NEM standard, but not our usual one that most other manufacturers use. This is, of course, a pain! Trying to source replacement couplings is difficult, although as you intend replacing them anyway, it is less of a problem.

The ViTrains chassis run just as smoothly as any Bachmann, Hornby, Heljan, or DJM heavy chassis with central motor, but do produce a little gear whine; not an unpleasant sound, but just a little noisier than the competition's products.

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