Class J in ho scale

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Sat Oct 23 20:38:31 EDT 2021

That's a difficult question, and the answer is that unfortunately no one
makes the "best".

I have one of the first run MTH models, and it's fantastic, except for
protosounds. The software will occasionally crash on me and until you cut
power to the loco the sound completely disappears.

The BLI one, aside from any issues you have, seems to be good. But it
doesn't have marker lights, and the smoke unit can melt the boiler if you
aren't careful.

I don't know much about the 2nd run of MTH J's, except that they're using
the "improved" drawbar, which if it's the same that the H10 uses, was
horrible. Supposedly the ProtoSounds has been improved, but I have no
experience with that.

ScaleTrains bought the MTH tooling, so I would assume that sometime in the
future ScaleTrains will release a quality J that's every bit as good as the
MTH version, but without the flaws. If you have no need to get one now, I'd
wait for that one. That's what I'm doing, but I already have a perfectly
good one so I'm not in a rush.

I didn't mention the Bachmann one. There's (AFAIK) 3 or 4 models from the
80's onward. The old ones from the 80's and 90s have white gears that
split, and are a pain to work on. The later models might be better, I think
the latest is a DCC + Sound version, again I really don't know. Maybe check
youtube for reviews on it.


On Sat, Oct 23, 2021 at 7:32 PM NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at>

> Hi guys I was wondering if someone could please tell me who makes the best
> go scale class J model of 611? I habe had many and can’t seem to get one to
> last. I habe BLI one right now but it has spent more time in the shop than
> on my layout. If anyone can please give some advice it would be much
> appreciated. Thank you abd I look forward to talking with you guys?
> Sincerely,
> Jeff Mueller
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> NW-Modeling-List at
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