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1  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Semboro Sugar Mill, East Java, Indonesia, 19th August 1992 on: October 26, 2017, 03:06:47 PM
I was in Semboro about the same time and it was an interesting operation.  As well as the 29, they had some fireless cookers and mallets.  Took a cab ride out into the fields on an 0-4-4-0 and along the way the 4 wheel tender derailed.  Javanese ingenuity was put to the test.  A bale of bagasse ( crushed sugar cane used as fuel ), was employed as a fulcrum and a log as a lever.  The lift looked good until the front of the tender got stuck on the loco's footplate, leaving a wheelset well above rail height.  Oops.  No amount of fussing, heaving and swearing got the job done.  Thinking they would need to get a crew to help and seeing that the sun was headed down, I made a run for a nearby road and flagged down a bus to get me back to the mill and my car.  Man, those guys were going to be out there some time........   wrong.  As the bus pulled out, I saw the loco merrily heading back with the errant tender still at a jaunty angle and one wheelset still 6" above the rail.  Casual railroading.
2  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Micro Enginering on: May 12, 2017, 11:16:06 AM
Just had track delivered direct by phone order from them 3 weeks ago.  If in doubt, call them and find out.
3  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Bachmann 2-4-4-2 on: January 22, 2017, 01:38:46 PM
Just finishing with one of the Backwoods kits.  No worries with shipping to USA and product was well made and instructions are excellent.  Have used the Heisler kit as well and was satisfied.  A bit unusual that a saddletanker would still have a tender. I extended the rear of the frame , added a cut down coal bunker from a forney and put the tender in the scrapbox.  Now it's more compact and has a much chunkier, stubby look.
4  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Locomotive Fleet Saturation and slower On30 sales on: August 09, 2015, 03:50:02 PM
Ken mentioned the Argentinian Baldwins that still occasionally run for charters.  I went down there in October with Bernd Seiler of Farail, which was an excellent experience. Great line with fabulous scenery and gutsy locos - 30" gauge heaven.  Check out this link for my pix from the trip.
5  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Current vs new product for On30 on: August 05, 2015, 09:56:10 AM
As Bachmann manufactures in China, the prices it must charge we consumers are dependent upon wages and costs in China.  I am a long time importer of Asian goods and am also feeling the pinch of these rising expenses as previously very poor developing countries move into middle income terrirtory.
6  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Current vs new product for On30 on: July 31, 2015, 11:35:16 AM
As a frequent business traveler to China, I have seen prices there climb quickly and steadily for some years.  The Chinese currency has appreciated against the dollar and wages have been going up at an extremely high rate.  No wonder the Bachmann has been forced to raise prices, especially as model making is very labor intensive.  That said, even though I have circled the globe to find the last of steam, the choice of obscure foreign locos for production has been misguided.  In my opinion, future releases  of  more basic domestic  locos of modest proportions would be more salable.
7  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Possible new engine? on: April 27, 2015, 11:17:02 AM
Hi Ken,  The Argentinian Baldwins have that classic American look and would be a good choice for the Bachmann.  They only run for charters now, with the exception of a 16 kilometer stretch out of Esquel.  I went on a trip with Bernd Seiler, who runs a very pro operation.  Here is a link to some of my photos.   Dave
8  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: How about this gem as future release? on: December 21, 2014, 11:08:00 AM
Perhaps the most handsome narrow gauge engine ever, please make her Mr Bachmann.  The forney would be really happy having a companion.  The running gear could be used as the basis for a saddletanker or an 0-6-2, which Bachmann could market with a minimum of additional tooling expense. 
9  Discussion Boards / On30 / Argentina 30" gauge steam on: December 21, 2014, 12:29:45 AM
For some classic American style frontier railroading, check out my pix from the Esquel branch in Argentina at
  Actually 29.5" gauge, it runs only for charter service and uses Baldwins and Henschels on the very scenic line.  The october trip was masterfully arranged by Bern Seiler of Farrail Tours.  Enjoy,  Dave McLeod
10  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Cuban railways on: December 18, 2014, 06:42:26 PM
I am afraid you are a bit late, basically all regular service steam is gone.  Refer to Rob Dickinson's international working steam website for updates about special trains that occasionally run.  However, you are right that the relaxation may be good for railfans as perhaps locos will be available for sale if Helms Burton act can be repealed.  There are some real American made treasures there, although most were run until they were really worn out.  Made a trip in 2001 and it was a real window to the past. 
11  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Some questions for Bachmann re On30. on: July 23, 2014, 10:00:23 PM
Dear Bachmann,  Your past support of the scale has been amazing and I am profoundly grateful for it.  However, your posting was less than reassuring.  To say that you still have product in the warehouse is very different from indicating that old items will remain in production, let alone offering new products. 
   As a business owner, I understand the pressures of the bottom line, and that these have not been the best of times for discretionary spending.  The rapid increase in the price of labor in China is also a huge issue for you, especially as these products are highly labor intensive.  However, not producing the basics of  your existing line would cause a downward spiral of lost customers leading to less offerings, to less customers to .................  Yours,  Dave McLeod
12  Discussion Boards / On30 / Wagon top for mogul on: March 27, 2014, 10:03:53 PM
Several times before I have urged Bachmann to get more use from all their engineering by offering new locos using different boilers on their existing mechanisms.  Recent posts have asked for a wagon top 2-6-0.  I have converted the Bachmann mogul by using an old Spartan Series On3 boiler.  It took a LOT of grinding of the weights, but Bachmann could offer the same simply by making smaller weights around the motor and popping on a new boiler.  Presto, a different offering with the minimum of engineering expense.  Similarly, the Forney could be made as an 0-4-4 by simply shortening the frame and tank.  If they ever get around to building the much requested SR&RL prairie, the running gear could be used to market a mogul, 0-6-2, or 0-6-0, all in both tender or saddletank.
   This would seem to offer the synergy of a much wider line at very minimal additional manufacturing cost. 
View my conversions of the Forney and Mogul at
13  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: some neat narrow gauge engines in Java on: March 27, 2014, 09:48:56 PM
Have been to Java many times and the cane trains are the funkiest things around.  At Tersana Baru, which is on the video, I saw a doubleheader that could not get its cut of cars moving.  Much slipping ensued, and despite sanding with ash, nothing was moving.  The fireman actually got out of the cab, started pushing, and the train slowly started rolling.  I swear on the ghost of David P. Morgan that this really happened.
14  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: New engines for Bachmann to make on: March 09, 2014, 01:35:55 PM
Royce, Count me in as well.  I love the idea of the same boiler, cab and tender being used for a mogul and an American.  As I have posted before, Bachmann could make better use of theier expensive tooling of loco superstructures by putting different running gear under it for an alternative model.  My wishlist is topped by a Sandy River 2-6-2, and it could be issued as a saddletanker as well as a tender loco.  The Forney works great as an 0-4-4t, you can see my conversion at   
This only requires modification of the frame; a very cheap way of offering a new model.  It could also be made as a 2-4-2st, as Backwoods miniatures has done.
    Posted from India, home of the Darjeeling Himalayan, the world's funkiest narrow gauge.    Dave 
15  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: kitbash 2-6-6-2 on: August 19, 2012, 01:28:42 PM
Thanx Rich, I wanted to get info before buying, so this is a help. Thinking of taking an old brass On2 SR&RL prairie  and using the 2-6-6-2 mechanism under it.  I am afraid the On2 boiler will be too small to fit the motor, so if anyone knows the boiler diameter of the mallet, I would love the info. Dave
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