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BNSF ES44DC Review:

After receiving the two new BNSF units I was hopefully they would not experience the same issue that my UP ES44AC unit had with the DCC decoder. These turned out better than I had expected.


At first look the models are highly detailed and much better than the typical plastic handrails that usually break or bend and do not return to the original straight position. Each model came in a plastic self-contained box that makes it nice for display without having to remove the model. The models are very highly detail with razor sharp lettering. The only visible problem is with the grills not showing any depth of field.

Once I placed the models on the track they immediately started up with the horn going off 4 times, kind of disturbing. But the models ran quite well but raced across the layout much faster than my Kato or Atlas models. So, I programmed the models by changing them to the following CV’s:

CV2 = 1 (Start speed)
CV3 = 3 (acceleration)
CV4 = 3 (deceleration)
CV5 = 150 (Max speed)
CV6 = 100 (Mid range speed)

Then both ran fine against the Kato Dash-9 unit. But as each unit is different the above values might change.

The next issue is the ditch lights and contacted Tower 55 to help with the programming. BNSF and UP do not have alternating ditch lights when the horn goes of at a grade crossing. Here is the fix:


There is one draw back; the rear lights remain on no matter which way the engine runs.

F1 - Bell pretty good.
F2 - Horn Very good, genuine GE sound
F3 - Uncouple. Pretty bad and turns on top number board lights???
F4 - Random air effects. Ok.
F5 – Dynamic brakes – Excellent
F6- Air blow off. Excellent
F7 - Grade crossing horn sequence. This is a neat feature, by push F7 and it handles the whole grade crossing horn sequence once.
F8 - Mute. Works well on one unit but on the other there was a leaking of sound.
F9 - Brake squeal – this was just ok, not to impressive.

I highly recommend using JMRI version 1.7.3, which includes programming for the new ES44AC/DC models and allows changing of sounds.






























Mostly I would rate this very high up in comparison to other manufactures. Except for the fans not all one color and showing the depth of field maybe in the next models this will change. The toughest thing is to speed match with other engines, but that is why I run with DCC, with straight DC it would not be possible and could only run these units by themselves.

Overall rating (1-10) 9

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