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Author Topic: Help Need HO Scale Steam Locomotive that steams and whistles  (Read 50633 times)
Martha


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« on: August 14, 2014, 05:52:11 PM »

So I am already thinking about my Christmas village I created last year and decided upon completion I didn't like the Diesel looking locomotive I had used. My question to you is ..... Do you know a brand name or model or what ever you may call it for a HO scale Steam locomotive that actually emits Steam (vapor) and whistles? and doesn't cost a fortune? Is there such a thing? If not is there one that just steams or just whistles? I don't need track or cars just a cute little steam engine putting around my village. This village is not up all year so the money spent for an engine needs to be low. As always the help I get from you all is exceptional so thanks in advance. Oh I don't need a brand new one of these, a used working one is fine. Anyone have one for sale or are we not to ask about selling stuff on this forum?
 
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richg
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2014, 06:09:53 PM »

Bachmann has one HO that smokes. Check the online catalogue.
Never heard of any HO scale that emits steam, vapour.
You would have to add a sound decoder for whistle sound, not easy to do for this type loco.
Expect to pay around $100 for speaker and decoder. Less if you go with cheap decoder.

You might try asking in the trains.com website.

Bachmann forums are mostly for Bachmann products.

Rich
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 06:13:51 PM by richg » Logged
Doneldon

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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2014, 03:45:23 AM »

Martha-

I would look for a loco with sound rather than "steam." Model steam (smoke) leaves a lot to be desired in terms of how it looks and what it does to the appearance of its loco, track and trackside scenery over time. There are a couple of models, Marklin has one if I remember correctly, with great smoke but they are outrageously expensive compared to, for example, Bachmann's Christmas merchandise, and they will still mess up the loco and its surroundings.

Most manufacturers offer holiday locos and train sets. You can see several at Walthers trains on the Inet, or just search for Christmas model trains. Bachmann's is very nice and has the (I know we're not supposed to use this word in regards to our trains) cute look that really adds to a Christmas village. However, it sees to me that most Christmas Villages are actually O-scale (1:48 proportion), not HO (1:87 proportion). That means you would need an On2.5 (AKA On30) train for it to be in the right size proportion. This means you would be running a train which is a 1:48 size reduction on HO track (1:87), making the train a narrow gauge train. And that works well for holiday set-ups because narrow gauge has a certain funky look which can be charming.

You can easily make the determine for sure which you have. The people on an HO layout are about 3/4" - 7/8" tall, so doors should be around an inch tall. If you have an O-scale set-up,  figures will be about 1.5" tall and doors nearly 2" tall. Now there's nothing to prevent you from running HO trains with your O-scale village except that they will be a bit small. This would be a major issue for a modeler but much less of an issue for a holiday village kind of thing because it is the feeling you are trying to elicit, not the appearance of a miniature working railroad. There are lots of On30 trains around -- Bachmann makes some fine models -- but they cost much more than HO trains.

Back to sound: There are some small, hand-held and -operated devices which make a few train noises and might suit your need for a whistle. They regularly show up on eBay. Typically, they make a steam whistle sound, a bell, a rather poor example of the clickety-clack of a running train and some verbal think like "All aboard" or "Merry Christmas." I won't try to tell you they emit outstanding sound but they are great for a casual holiday village or for children.

Good luck with your project. A train and village around a Christmas tree, or by itself on a table, can become a treasured part of Christmas and a real touchstone for children. I made an embroidered and appliqued tree skirt many years ago with a North Pole mail station, Santa, steam engine, flat car with sleigh full of toys, reindeer in the caboose and so on. It is a big part of Christmas now, especially for the grandchildren. We usually have a large scale steam train with all kinds of lights and animation set up on it which, unfortunately, detracts from the tree skirt, but the little ones love that, too.

Happy Holidays!
                            -- D
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jbrock27

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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2014, 07:31:11 AM »

Doc, I think you should provide Martha with some numbers on what the costs would be.
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Martha


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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2014, 05:24:19 PM »

See this is why I come to the Bachmann forum site. Thoughtful, smart people who aren't condescending to someone who doesn't know much about trains, scales, layouts, terminology, etc etc. I am royally kicking myself in you know where since last December for not buying what appeared to be a steam locomotive with the coal car for 15 dollars at thrift store! When I say steam locomotive, I mean the old fashion looking ones, black with smoke stack, many wheels along the sides of it. I just wasn't sure if it was HO Scale. no one there had a clue and I just was short on funds and spending 15 dollars on something I couldn't use well...... I didn't buy it. So now I have great ideas from you all to look into. My scale of the layout to HO to people to anything is a mix match of stuff. When it is all done and set up it gives me pleasure to watch it, I am sure it would make a true model railroaders hair stand on end seeing it out of scale. And I mean that in the nicest sense of the word. I might be wrong on this next assumption, planning, building, setting up, tweaking this and that basically building your layout is the more enjoyable part than just turning on power and have a train and cars going around a track. The setting up, building, planning my village is what keeps me doing it. Yes cute to see the train going around but it will be cuter once I track down and buy Sound affects as suggested and maybe not worrying if there is steam (smoke, some form of vapor) coming out of the trains smoke stack. I am already daydreaming of what can I add to it this year. I am so limited on space to set this up. the only way I can go is up and I may just figure out how to make maybe a long winding road up to the top of a mountain or something like that not for the train to go up but maybe more houses and people.  This simple village of mine is so addicting when it's time to get it out and set it up, I am pretty sure by Oct 1 I will have pulled it out and started on setting it up this year. I can only imagine how addictive (in a good way) model railroading is. Oh boy there is so many things to do with it, really cool stuff and well its one of those things a few people can understand the intense interest it can create. As for the remark of a keepsake, I hope my grandchildren will get to see it one day. They live on the east coast, I'm on the west coast. They get to see videos of it now and love it. I know I will be back to the forum as last year I still had power issues but just lived with it. I will be asking how to bring direct power to each track section I believe that is what I need to do, it slows on some sections and then goes faster on others. It is old brass colored mixed in with some flex track that's silver color. Well I have taken up enough of your time. I will go look into all your great suggestions. I will be back with updates. OH one more question. Suggestions or recommendations for the most inexpensive table type scroll saw or band saw. I do many other crafts that I think I could use one. It would be for cutting thin wood or maybe plastics, really not for sure what all I would cut but I want to cut shapes not just chop wood off. Something that I can use different blades for cutting wood, tin, aluminum. etc. I have no work shop. my dining room table is it! and my office desk Mon-Fri. and where I eat occasionally if crafts or the office use hasn't taken over. So small table topper is what I need. Thanks again! Martha
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jbrock27

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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2014, 07:41:03 PM »

Martha,  I watched your video of you table layout with all the lights and structures and scenery-looks like great fun!  Yes indeed, model railroading IS addicting.

Do not fret over the locomotive and the $15.  There is a very good chance you would have just thrown away $15 in that kind of situation where no one could tell about the loco or whether it ran or not.  I suggest, in the event an opportunity like that arises again, that you have with you a 9 volt battery and 2 pieces of wire (preferably with alligator clips at one end at least so that each one can be clipped to the terminals on the battery).  This way, should you come across a locomotive you like in that kind of scenario: thrift shop, tag sale, flea market, etc, where no one can tell you anything about it, you can at least test the locomotive by attaching a wire to each terminal on the battery and touching each wire to the opposite wheels of the locomotive.  This will tell you at least if it runs or not.

In regards to your track and loss of power in places-I remember last year, that you bought some new rail joiners.  Are all the rail joiners you have used to join the track, new?  I ask in the event the trouble spots are places where you have used old joiners-they get loose from reuse.  I would recommend soldering, but if I further remember correctly, you are not entirely comfortable with soldering.  If what I am guessing is true, maybe be time for additional new joiners.

In regards to scroll saws, I love a CRAFTSMAN one I bought about 14 years ago.  It may be more expensive than one available through a place like Harbor Freight, but when I buy tools, I buy them with the idea that I will also be using them around the house, not just for the trains and for more than one or two times.  Different blades for different purposes are inexpensive and are available in packs.  Depending on other things you may or may not use the scroll saw for, you may want to do some cost comparisons and weigh how much you will be using the tool.  Just keep in mind, more often than not, you get what you are paying for.  Good luck, in everything!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 08:35:10 AM by jbrock27 » Logged

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Doneldon

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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2014, 10:24:03 PM »

Martha-

Based on what you said about your needs for a saw, I think a scroll- saw or jig-saw would suit your needs better than a band saw. Band saws are more suited to production work and tasks like resawing wood (sawing already rather thin stock into even thinner stock). A jig- or scroll-saw is ideal for craft work as it makes cutting delicate shapes pretty easy. The better style is the table version. Hand held, portable jig saws are very useful tools but they don't give the kind of fine control you would be likely to need in craft work. jbrock's suggestion of a Craftsman saw is an excellent one. Craftsman tools are among the bet available unless you want to go into seriously professional and seriously expensive ones. In the case of a jig- or scroll-saw, quality is very important. You want something which will have the control and precision which is only available on quality tools. You can get away with a less expensive tool if it's something like a drill because the results of using a drill are mainly dependent on the skills of the user. With a jig saw, even a top level worker needs quality to get quality.

That said, I have a Craftsman corded drill and a high-level Makita battery drill and I have to say, I don't at all regret having purchased those tools, even though I paid a lot more than I had to. A friend's father once told me "you'll appreciate the quality long after you've forgotten the price," and I have found that to be absolutely true.

Another piece of information: HO rails are approximately 5/8" apart. Rails about half that distance are N-scale (1:60) and rails a little over an inch wide are O-gauge (1:48). Those rough sizes will allow you to easily tell different scales of track and trains apart. There is one exception, On2.5 or On30. That's the narrow gauge O-scale (1:48) train which runs on HO track. There were many narrow gauge railroads years ago but only tourist railroads still run on narrow gauge. The very thing that caused people to build narrow gauge railroads (tight curves, nutsy hills and lower cost) means that the funky equipment used on narrow gauge railroads has an innate charm which makes for a terrific Christmas tree set up. As I mentioned before, however, On30 trains are much more expensive than HO and even O. Be aware, however, that this merchandise is always heavily discounted. eBay is a great place to find such items and prices should be near their lowest now when here isn't so much demand. A good seller there is the Favorite Spot. You can also find many online stores if you do a Google search like "buy model trains" or more specific like "Christmas model train," or "HO Christmas train."
                                                    
                                                                                              -- D
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 10:23:47 PM by Doneldon » Logged
jward


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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2014, 12:18:34 AM »

some thoughts on your locomotive.....

your chances of finding a decent locomotive in a thrift store are very slim. you'd probably wind up with a 30 year old train set quality locomotive that hasn't been maintained and may not even run. even if it did, the quality would still be low. you'd probably experience erratic running, possibly binds in the side rods and a whole host of other problems.

the best bet would be to look into buying something new. for a basic steam engine, I am impressed by Bachmann's usra 0-6-0. the two I have are good runners, and can pull a reasonable number of cars on the sharp turns and steep grades of my layout. I believe mine, both of which came in train sets I purchased at hobby lobby for under $100, have smoke generators though I never use the smoke feature. the "smoke fluid" is actually an oil which smokes when heated, and the smoke tends to cause dirty track.

sound will cost a bit more, but can still be had fairly cheap if you know where to look. my recommendation is the Bachmann, alco 2-6-0, a sound value locomotive. I picked mine up online a couple years back for about $100 but they may be a little more expensive now. this is a small steamer that will handle the 18r curves that are a standard in train sets. it looks good and sounds great. this engine is dcc equipped, so you may want to look into an inexpensive dcc system to access all of the programmed sounds.

both of these engines are smooth runners, which have caused me very little trouble in the two or so years I've had them. to me, they are well worth what I paid for them.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
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jbrock27

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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2014, 08:46:30 AM »

While I agree w/Mr. Ward's point about buying a new locomotive (see the ending of my last post about getting what you pay for) and his point about the lessor possibility of finding a quality locomotive at a thrift store, flea market, tag sale, etc,   I would like to point out that finding such a locomotive in that kind of setting is not impossible.  It can and does happen.  Therefore the effort to look in such places (in addition to other places) should not be diminished.  The very worst that happens is you spend $15 and while it runs (see my above test suggestion), it may turn out to be toy train junk (this assumes that you are not able to identify locos as such-perhaps this assumption should not be made??-this is where doing some research ahead of time, pays off, no matter where you end up shopping, if you have not been doing some research already).  The best that happens is you hit a home run, getting a great loco for a great price.
If the size of your layout that you have in your video is going to stay the same, then you may want to consider how necessary it is for you to have a locomotive that can pull a great many cars, as this may not be necessary for what you have to run the loco on.   

Some folks have the time, some folks have the resources, some folks have both and still more have one or the other.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 08:52:28 AM by jbrock27 » Logged

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Jhanecker2

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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2014, 01:46:53 PM »

To Martha : Make sure your scroll saw has variable speed adjustment ,  5 inch blade length  is the current standard and will allow you to saw thicker stock . Blades do come in various sizes & materials to  make some jobs easier  .  Tiltable tables  make some types of cuts easier too. John2.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2014, 10:21:04 PM »

Martha-

While I agree with Jeff that the Bachmann 2-6-0 is a good candidate for your holiday layout, you don't need to invest in DCC. All of the B'man's DCC decoders are dual mode meaning they will run on either DCC or conventional DC. Your ability to control sounds under DC will be limited but not to the point that it will be a major disappointment. Running on DC will let you continue with your present power supply which will save much more than the loco's price compared to even the most elementary DCC system.
                                                 -- D
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ACY

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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2014, 10:59:48 PM »

In some cases when you have limited funds and/or resources, it is not always possible to get what we want. Luckily we all have something for such a scenario, our imagination. We already use it to an extent in any model railroad, so it couldn't hurt to use it a bit more to picture the smoke and hear the whistle.
 On the Bachmann online store the cheapest locomotive with sound is $235 

http://shop.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=258_276_621&products_id=4604

Even through various online retailers the locomotive still sells for $180-200 on average, granted if you look long enough and are at the right place at the right time you might be able to get one for only $150. Unfortunately for the OP this locomotive does not have smoke and installing it would not be easy for someone starting out.

Also if the OP wants a whistle, the 2-6-0 will require programming with a DCC system to make it sound in certain predetermined scenarios as desired by the OP. Or if the OP desires the ability to sound it at will then the purchase of a DCC system for an additional $100-$150 will be required.

As we all know a locomotive meeting the exact wishes of the OP exists, although not made by Bachmann, one such company that produces locomotives with sound and smoke is MTH among others but I don't think the OP is willing to pay $600 for obvious reasons. And you would still need a DCC or DCS controller to sound the whistle on demand.

I guess the moral of the story is that model railroading is not a cheap hobby and that we sometimes have to make concessions. I would suggest that the OP purchase a Bachmann 0-6-0 as it is a very good option for their needs and has a smoke unit as desired. As far as the sound goes, having a locomotive with sound is likely cost prohibitive, but Bachmann produces or used to produce a warehouse with a steam whistle enclosed.  It is available for only about $30 and allows the OP to sound the whistle as desired and is very budget friendly and can be used with any steam locomotive and does not require any technical knowledge or skill unlike DCC sound options.




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Martha


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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 10:13:31 PM »

Okay so I am extremely excited and hope to continue that excitement once my new "baby arrives. Its' a  Bachmann Rio Grande 2-6-2 Steam locomotive and tender car. I found one on ebay, new unused, unopened, still in the box. it has lights and smokes and comes with smoke oil. jez I won't sleep until it gets here! once I know it's shipped I will be dragging my layout out of storage to get ready for the new "baby". I hope it is all I hope it will be. I don't know what the 2-6-2 means so maybe someone can enlighten me. I paid under fifty dollars so I hope that was a good price. If it doesn't work well it doesn't work. I don't remember if all my rail joiners were replaced with the new ones I bought last year and thanks for reminding me to check that. that could very well be the problem. I also noticed last year I had to shimmy and tweek the lay out so the loco would keep going and not stop. Is there a reason I had to do that? I don't have a grade so to speak for it to climb. just has to go over a low "bridge" I put in. To be honest I think I was so disappointed I had bought a diesel loco to begin with and then tried to "fit it in" with a village that is not of the diesel age. Hey live and learn. I have a grand son who has been fascinated with trains since he was 2 so maybe he will get my extra unused stuff. He's five now maybe not quite the age yet to actually set up something instead of just pretending they are running on rails. I certainly have enough "stuff" boxed up I won't use. He lives 2700 miles.
Now any suggestions or tips for using the oil to make smoke? Does the oil go "bad" from sitting around? Can any oil be used. My mind is thinking the candle type oil, scented. Yes I am female and think the jasmine or honeysuckle oil just might be nice, or for Christmas the cinnamon or pine scented but I don't want to screw up the loco so?Huh?? Oh I saw someone on youtube demonstrating there Bachmann that smokes with the oil and she was saying you had to run the engine at full speed to get it to work? Even as a novice I couldn't understand why? I thought maybe the oil just has to heat up to work? So any tips on that part.

Now on to sound. I have found on line 3 different approaches (not sure if that is the right wordage) to get me some sound to this new layout. First one Modeltronics Sounds for Locomotive "stack talk" light unit. It's on ebay for 9.99 free shipping. Next. Steam train sound music module, its a small plastic device you can choose many variations to produce train sounds. It is 9.99 free shipping. Last is the big guns MRC sound station 312 model railroad sound. 9.99 plus 15.50 shipping. the last one seems to be a bit over kill for what I am doing. a few months out of the year creating train sounds. Any suggestions?

Since I have very few visitors at Christmas, family 2700 miles away. I basically do this for my enjoyment. I don't have a problem when I power up my train to switch on a little box to make sound. Heck I am considering recording steam locomotive sounds on youtube and just playing it back.

Okay went on long enough.  oh great just got a ebay notice the Bachmann Jupiter I was watching is only ten bucks and auction is ending soon. Okay no more Ebay looking for me!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks all to you for your advice and support. oh crap, thought I heard my mailman delivering my Bachmann Rio Grande! False alarm.
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Irbricksceo


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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2014, 10:43:44 PM »

Waiting can make one anxious can't it! The 2-6-2 means that it is a locomotive with 2 leading wheels (in front of the drivers) 6 drive wheels, and 2 trailing wheels. so 5  axles. the locomotive you ordered is essentially the 0-6-0 mentioned earlier with two trucks attacked. the 2-6-0 is a different model. Anyway, the smoke oil should be fine. From what i hear, Smoke oil is actually watered down Glycerin (a sugar based alcohol) But I don't know for sure.
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jbrock27

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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2014, 07:37:13 AM »

The "shimmying" you referred to Marty could be from the joiners being loose.

In regards to using the smoke: I have only ever seen it posted here, that the advise is against using it, bc the residue from the  smoke dirties the track and layout quickly.  I am happy for your excitement over the loco.  Best of luck with it!
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