Jump to content

E259 Narita Express purchase.


Sascha

Recommended Posts

I am buying a E259 end of this week, and I would like to know what is the difference between the six car, and the 3 car set and Tomix and Kato sets other than the price?Or should I go with a different retailer? I read somewhere ( can't remember) that 3 car sets are of lower quality. Is that true?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

Link to post

Oooh damn, another excuse to look at my Kato and Tomix catalogues... I guess the E259 (Narita Express) is a popular train so both manufacturers offer it as a 3-car set (which is a very reasonable thing to do in my opinion, speaking as someone who would have trouble running 6 cars). Looking at the catalogues there's only one version of the E259 from each manufacturer and the 3-car set price is not exactly cheap, so I'm pretty sure you won't be getting a lower-quality version.  Kato vs Tomix - no idea, start flame war here. Maybe Greenmax or Microace has something better, but I can't possibly comment on that (yet).

 

What I do now know is that the Kato 3-car 103 "Kokuden" sets are cheap "starter" sets (which is why I bought a couple), they lack front/tail lights (at the time I wasn't aware this is now a pretty standard feature) and the detailing around the windows is pretty primitive compared to the "standard" versions. But whatever, I still don't regret buying them.

Link to post

 

What I do now know is that the Kato 3-car 103 "Kokuden" sets are cheap "starter" sets (which is why I bought a couple), they lack front/tail lights (at the time I wasn't aware this is now a pretty standard feature) and the detailing around the windows is pretty primitive compared to the "standard" versions. But whatever, I still don't regret buying them.

 

4500yen... what? you can add more detail, and also "drill" the body to make the light so..

 

totally worth it.

Link to post

3880 yen is what I paid. However, just taking a careful look, the non-powered cars have all-plastic bogies and no way of transmitting power to the interior of the car, so adding internal lights would involve major surgery and you might just as well buy the "full" versions. I still think they look pretty good, and to be honest I'd probably make a total mess so they will run as-is for the forseeable future.

Link to post

3880 yen is what I paid. However, just taking a careful look, the non-powered cars have all-plastic bogies and no way of transmitting power to the interior of the car, so adding internal lights would involve major surgery and you might just as well buy the "full" versions. I still think they look pretty good, and to be honest I'd probably make a total mess so they will run as-is for the forseeable future.

 

buying some metal wheels and wires wont hurt..

 

i'm really interrested on those models

Link to post

I am buying a E259 end of this week, and I would like to know what is the difference between the six car, and the 3 car set and Tomix and Kato sets other than the price?Or should I go with a different retailer? I read somewhere ( can't remember) that 3 car sets are of lower quality. Is that true?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

I have the narita express from kato. Bought it in a 3 car set + 3 car add on. I am no guru on the train, but for me it is great. Has front and rear lights, they change color with train direction.

Only thing i don't really like about this set is the coupling system that sometimes is difficult to work. Other than that, details are great, quality is the usual and what is expected for Kato.

If you buy only the basic 3 car set you don't get the case, as it comes with the add-on. 

Link to post
buying some metal wheels and wires wont hurt..

 

The wheels are metal, but the plastic is very low quality and can break/fall apart easily. The control and middle cars lack the pickup wipers, so a home made solution has to be used if someone wants lights. Also i couldn't really find a flywheel in the motor unit and it can't go through an R140 curve like all Tomytec and most Tomix motors. Compared to the Tomytec diorama sets, the painting is non existent on the Kato sets, because they are meant to be starter sets and also as bases for rebuilds. I had to glue the roof on my motor car, since it kept popping off and because of this the motor kept falling into the shell. They are cheap, but imho even the cheapest Tomytec cars are better quality, both mechanically and on the outside. Considering that the Tomytec diorama collection cars use the same shell forms as the high grade sets, but come without the metal bits and the small parts, they are a higher quality base, but you will end up with the same price as a high grade set if you add everything. (static Tomytec diorama collection cars could be upgraded with metal wheels, motors, metal pantographs, even close coupling, etc.) The Kato cars are very cheap, very low grade and you can't add anything extra, so you won't spend more on them than their base price, which is lower than the Tomytec ones. I use my kokuden set as a test train for layout construction, because i'm not worried about it as much as other higher quality sets. If someone has enough patience, they can be hand painted, the lights could be drilled and leds installed, the cars could be through wired for power transmission from the motor car or you could buy two sets and make a Tc-T-T-Mc or Mc-T-Tc-Tc-T-Mc set with motors at both ends, so it's easier to add the lights. So if someone wants a base for a kitbashing project, then it's ok, but then there are the Tomytec sets and standalone powered chassises. For a good basic set, i would recommed to get a normal Kato or a standard Tomix set, they will last longer and look way better.

Link to post

The Kokuden sets I have seem OK from a quality point of view, they don't look like they're going to fall apart or anything. Just very basic. Which doesn't bother me all that much to be honest, they were good cheap starters which convince me of the viability of N-gauge. I'm sure as hell not going to spend time and money improving them in the foreseeable future.

 

Anyway that won't be an issue with the E259 the OP was asking about.

Link to post

The NEX trains are good. Both the Kato and the Tomix. There is no quality difference between the basic sets and the high quality ones. Actually when someone purchases a bookcase extension set, there is space for the basic set, which can come from either the starter set with tracks or the separate 3 car box. Both versions have the same cars. Lower quality sets of Kato are called Kokuden and Pocket line, while lower quality sets and buildings of Tomix are released under the Tomytec name. There are high grade or high quality sets from both manufacturers released in bookcases, but the difference is usually minimal and most standard sets could be ugraded to high grade by adding the optional upgrade parts. (like close couplers, interior lighting, etc.)

  • Like 1
Link to post

The only differences I see between the 6 car and 3+3 car sets are the car running numbers.  Everything else look identical.

 

Tomix does do a second version, it the one that runs on weekends only and goes to a resort town.

Edited by katoftw
  • Like 1
Link to post

HHmmm is there a difference? I think there's not much of a difference... Both makers Kato or Tomix makes 3+3 and limited 6 cars sets, of which the later (the 6 car sets) are mostly sold out. I really can't tell the difference between the two, and I don't have a E259 so physically I wouldn't be able to tell too...

 

But that's going to change soon though as I hope to get this: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10287687

 

The E259 Marine Express Odoriko. Exactly the same as the E259, but bearing a logo for the Marine Express. I think there's the one Katoftw is referring too. Bad side to this set, it doesn't seem to have an add-on and it's only available in a basic set with controller and tracks...

  • Like 1
Link to post

Great guys. Much thanks. I'm going with the 3 car set from Kato, and get the 3 car add on later since I have a budget that I will stick too, or I will be broke every month.  :sad1:  I didn't knew there is another E259. Guess I have to get this one too, since I love the design.

Link to post

 

The E259 Marine Express Odoriko. Exactly the same as the E259, but bearing a logo for the Marine Express. I think there's the one Katoftw is referring too. Bad side to this set, it doesn't seem to have an add-on and it's only available in a basic set with controller and tracks...

Is there a difference between the normal nex and the marine express besides the fronts? Because if there is none, then maybe it's possible to use the normal nex expansion set for this too.

Link to post

When I started in the hobby 1-1/2yrs ago, seeing the face of NEX made me go 'wow'! 

 

As I progressed deeper into the other aspects of the hobby, unfortunately the NEX acquisition kinda stayed behind in the back burner. Thanks to the OP and to the other members who have shared - it reminded me to revisit the old desire. 

 

With both brands being equal and with what I have read in various topics here in jns, does the following factors in deciding which brand still holds true to this specific (NEX) train?

 

Kato - inclination to DCC

Tomix - all car pickup / better interior lighting under DC power

 

Mardon

  • Like 1
Link to post

Tomix does not use all wheel pickup.  It has basic rapido coupler between cars.

 

Kato uses a tomilson style TN coupler between each car.  Dunno if Kato E259 is DCC friendly or not.

Edited by katoftw
Link to post

Tomix have a limited edition 6 car E259 that has TN couplers between the cars.  So there must be conversion pieces available to ditch the rapido if you want.  Or buy Kato.

Link to post

Then again Tomix has constant lighting features, but Kato has very good detailing down right to the destination being printed on. Tomix usually has an ugly empty glass slot where the destination sign is...

 

Usually Tomix only has power couplers on Shinkansen models so far... Yet to see them on commuter or express type trains. All wheel pickups meaning powered bogies whereby there are springs to pick up the current for interior lighting yes they have, and so does Kato. The older models like the old 500 series I had didn't have all wheel pickups (missing the springs) hence the interior lighting couldn't even work on them.

 

Power couplers are a different thing, providing copper strips at the connections for smooth power flow throughout the train and not just the motor car. I find it makes travelling really smooth even on dirty tracks and at very very low speeds...

  • Like 1
Link to post

 

Tomix have a limited edition 6 car E259 that has TN couplers between the cars. So there must be conversion pieces available to ditch the rapido if you want. 

Yes, they are available as simple snap under pieces. You could even add them to the cheap Tomytec range of build it yourself trains. The rapidos are only used on the standard sets, but even those usually have the working shibata imitation close couplers on the front cars. (like the 113 series) The only problem is, that the close coupler solutions of Kato and Tomix are incompatible and the only thing compatible between all brands is the rapido.

 

I would ike to add, that the all wheel pickups are a good thing, even if you don't add interior lighting, because the wheel tip pickup bars mean that the metal wheels rotate in metal journal boxes and not in the bare plastic of the sideframes. This means a longer lasting train and it's easier to replace a pickup strip than a full bogie H frame.

 

The Tomix constant lighting is just a design approach for the lighting circuits and a technology in the controllers. Any rolling stock following CL rules will have CL with a CL compatible controller and even Tomix stock won't have it with a Kato pack or other conventional controllers. The positive side of CL interior lighting with DCC but without a lighting decoder is that they tend to flicker less than conventional ones.

Link to post

Yes, they are available as simple snap under pieces. You could even add them to the cheap Tomytec range of build it yourself trains. The rapidos are only used on the standard sets, but even those usually have the working shibata imitation close couplers on the front cars. (like the 113 series) The only problem is, that the close coupler solutions of Kato and Tomix are incompatible and the only thing compatible between all brands is the rapido.

 

I would ike to add, that the all wheel pickups are a good thing, even if you don't add interior lighting, because the wheel tip pickup bars mean that the metal wheels rotate in metal journal boxes and not in the bare plastic of the sideframes. This means a longer lasting train and it's easier to replace a pickup strip than a full bogie H frame.

 

The Tomix constant lighting is just a design approach for the lighting circuits and a technology in the controllers. Any rolling stock following CL rules will have CL with a CL compatible controller and even Tomix stock won't have it with a Kato pack or other conventional controllers. The positive side of CL interior lighting with DCC but without a lighting decoder is that they tend to flicker less than conventional ones.

 

Do you mean to say if I have a Kato controller and a Tomix train with the constant lighting feature (which I presume to mean trains with a ON/OFF switch for lights?), the constant lighting feature won't work?

 

If I replace my Kato controller with one made by Tomix, would the train's light be able to turn on even when not moving? Does this apply to only interior light or directional lights and destination light as well?

 

Thank you for the input.

Edited by locidm
  • Like 1
Link to post

 

Do you mean to say if I have a Kato controller and a Tomix train with the constant lighting feature (which I presume to mean trains with a ON/OFF switch for lights?), the constant lighting feature won't work?

The on/off switch is used to disable headlights on connected sets. Lately they leave the head/tail lights on even on the prototype, so it's mostly good for JNR era trains.

 

Tomix CL is a feature that keeps the headlights and interior lighting of your train lighted even when the train is stationery and the headlights change when you change direction even stopped, like with DCC. This won't work with a Kato controller or a non CL Tomix controller. Interestingly Rokuhan also has a Z scale controller that supports CL and both Tomix N scale, Rokuhan Z scale and a few asian designed Maerklin Z scale locos (like the V100) work with it. Older Tomix trains don't have it either. Many people don't know about this, so if you do run your trains in analog and with a Tomix CL pack and Tomix interior lights, it's a good feature to look for when you buy the trains.

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...