3.06.2011

Locomotive Roster: SNCF CC 7100; Star Train 60129

The Alsthom CC 7100 was the worlds high speed record holder for just about 50 years.  Yes, this somewhat unassuming (what we would almost call a 'boxcab' in the US lexicon) set and held the world high speed record for a locomotive for 50 years.  Yes, its true...I read it on the internet.
This model is from a 'new' name in the N Scale business...Star Train.  Well, in truth, they only seem new because many of us are not in Espana modelling tren miniatura, in which case you would know that Star Train is the model train division of the Spanish toy company Soldat.  At least that's what I can determine...its really something of a mystery.  As I peruse the internet trying to track down who this company is, everyone from Roco and Mehano, to Hobbytrain seem to be involved (or rumored to have been involved) in the production of this locomotive.  In fact, I was surprised at how big model railroading-even N Scale- is in Spain.
This is an SNCF locomotive of course.  The model is really well done, and its the somewhat surprising yet consistently good quality of these smaller producers that amazes me (by 'smaller producers', I'm thinking of Piko's N Scale offerings compared to traditional giants Minitrix, Kato/Lemke and Fleischmann).  Colors, detail, printing and all the castings look correct (to me, I've never seen the prototype, but what I see looks convincing), 
 
The paint is actually really well done....it may be hard to pick out in the photos, but between the silver trim work that extends the length of the locomotive, there is a neatly applied strip of blue (like the prototype).  Again, really nice work by Star Train on this model.  It also features reversing white/red LED lights, although this is one area where I think the model falls a bit short...the LED's are the older 'blue-ish' type and are fairly dim.  They are on in the above and below photos, so you can get an idea of just how 'dim' they are.
My model came pre-installed with a decoder from CT Elektronik, so I haven't had to yet open it up and look at the guts (this is a feature in my book!).  The locomotive runs really nice and leaves little to be desired.   I like it so much that I am tempted to get the similar Dutch versions of these locomotives, but there are budget limits and with so many other interesting trains available these days, I may have to limit myself to just this one.

9 comments:

  1. Two questions if you don't mind...

    1. Have you ever dabbled in live catenary in N scale? I'm betting some of your extensive fleet can operate off the wire.

    2. Do you have a write up on how you have your layout wired for both DC and DCC? Assuming of course you do have it wired both ways... maybe you only run decoder equipped motive power? I want to be all DCC, but it isn't going to happen for a while, a long while. I'd like to be able to run some old stuff at times, never together with the DCC, as I heard that is a recipe for disaster. Is it as simple as a DPDT toggle switch converting the entire layout from one to the other? Any insight, as always is tremendously helpful.

    THANKS!!

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  2. Hi Thomas!
    1. No...I haven't really considered live catenary, you are correct that all of my electrics have the option of using the Catenary (except for the Thalys and Japanese trains) but its something that I've avoided investing in. Some 'fake' catenary posts are in the planning stages for being installed however!

    2. The only part of my layout that is not DCC is my tram line, which is just plain old DC with a reversing unit. It is a pain sometimes that I can't run trains that need a decoder installed, but as I'm new to the hobby and always had it planned to be DCC only it was easy to go this route....I feel bad for folks with large collections that want to move to DCC...wow, that would be some work! I think there are some simple explanations for how to set up something like you are describing online somewhere, similar to what you described with a DPDT (it should be that easy as far as I know). Thanks for your comment!

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  3. Hello Jerry,

    a very good choice as the purchase of this locomotive. normally it runs very well and as you say the model is very beautiful.

    missing A1A A1A 68000 from Mabar;-))

    Pascal

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  4. Thanks Pascal! I am thinking of the Mabar A1A, but I can't decide what color to choose! Fret or Blue? :-)

    Also, I am still trying to decide if I should get the organge Sybic as well....I see these a lot in photos and I kind of like its looks!

    But the wallet is telling me to slow down... :-)

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  5. The 7100 you bought before 7100 is the great general tour (GRG). After his GRG (1970), his appearance was changed: removing skirts, removing the upper lights, etc. ...

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Thanks a lot for this review

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  8. Jerry ,

    "but I can't decide what color to choose! Fret or Blue? :-)"

    Blue is the most beautifull color of the French diesel engine !!!!!

    :-)))

    Now you have the right to buy a fret ...

    Pascal

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  9. Hi Jerry!
    You are almost right about the StarTrain history; Soldat (now soldat Toys) is the distributor of some "big Fish" Brands like Fleischmann or Kato/Lemke in Spain. Sometimes they are contracting a product to the producers under their own brand (like the 269 series locomotives and AVE 100 series of Kato) based on very similar models on brand cataloge. Soldat was paying the developement and Kato is selling the material in Spain through them.

    But sometimes Soldat is developing their own projects (from zero) and launching them to the market under their own brand, Startrain. They are very very good quality models in general (only the 252 series was not properly working, and they retired it from the market immediatelly).
    If you liked this French loco, try to see with your own eyes a diesel 319 series in "Estrella" lyber or the CC 7100 spanish cousin, the 7600 series. It's crazy not only from a modeling point of view, but also running. The speed is in real scale!!
    Regards from Spain.

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