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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New York City elevated train motive power in HO? on: February 13, 2018, 07:49:54 PM
I went through my files this afternoon and located the diagram book from the ERA. For the curious.....

The passenger cars were 12'3" to 12'6" above the rail, 8'9.5" at their widest, and 46'5.5" long over the coupling pockets - the couplers were link & pin type. The end platforms were 3'5" deep, and the enclosed carbody was 39'3.5". Carbody and end platforms are measured over the frame ends, so there is a 4" difference (assuming I am doing the math right). Wheels are 30", axles are on 5'0" spacing, trucks are on 32'3.5" spacing, and kingpins are 7'1" from the face of the coupling pocket or 6'11" from the end of the frame. The floors of the coaches are 38 and 1/8th inches above the rail, while the baggage car's floor is 39" even. The window glazing is 20"x12" in the upper sash and 20"x24" in the lower, but I am not sure if I trust that. The lowers look significantly taller than they are wide. I'm inclined to say that they were actually 20"x30" - 42" of glass fits with the flat-side height of 7'0".

MofW equipment included a 40'0" flatcar for hauling rail, and a 20'0" gondola ash car (34" high sides) with a drop hatch between the trucks.

As for the locomotives, there are 10 classes in these diagrams: Class A thru J. A & J were 0-4-2 tank engines with 38" and 39" drivers respectively. B thru I were 0-4-4 tank engines with 38" (B&C) or 42" (D to I) drivers. They were 92, 93, or 101 inches wide, and 10'6" to 12'9" tall at the stack. Weight fully loaded ranged from 33,000 lb. to 47,000 lb. / 16.5 to 23.5 tons. Length ranged from 22'7" to 26'9".
2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New York City elevated train motive power in HO? on: February 13, 2018, 04:21:38 PM
Why is there no "love" button on these forums?!

J3a-614's post has probably let the genie out of the bottle / opened up a rabbit hole / set the drool factor to 11.

There is a certain beauty to many of these early railroads. They weren't ubiquitous, they weren't being mass produced to fuel booming expansion, they were unique and their builders and operators took pride in craftsmanship and presentation. It's what piques my imagination when it comes to pre-electrification ELs and antebellum (1820s to 1850s) railroads. And it doesn't hurt that the trains were pike-sized, both in terms of overall dimensions and in train length. Heck, you could even model them in 2-rail O-scale (or larger) and still fit the layout in a modest sized space.
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New York City elevated train motive power in HO? on: February 13, 2018, 04:18:43 AM
Scout, the size of car you are looking for are about 50' in length - the first IRT cars with enclosed ends were 51' and change (51'8", IIRC). The open platform cars were built to a stock Manhattan Elevated Railway design with electrical gear added. Quite probably, some or all of them might have been retrofitted steam-service cars.

The Bachmann 1860-1880 open platform coach would be a good starting point for the body.

As for powering it... the Brill trolley might work as a donor mechanism. You could also borrow a page from Athearn's RDCs and rig up a rubber band drive.

If I were to tackle this project myself, I'd go with the brill chassis and scratch build a carbody to match its wheelbase. The most difficult part is the roof, and that could be sourced from any passenger car with the right contours and just shorten it to fit.

Regrettably, pre-1904 NYC elevated lines models are an ignored breed.

For more information, you can try the railfan sites NYC (source of the photos below) and the Electric Railroaders' Association -- many moons ago the ERA published a plan book of Manhattan Elevated rolling stock diagrams with all the measurements.

I hope all of this is of some help to you. Modeling them won't be easy, but then again, all the hard work will result in a unique model of pioneering rapid transit equipment.

4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Alco RS3 on: January 29, 2018, 01:19:06 PM
One possible reason for no UP RS3 is that the UP never owned any. They bought RS-2 and RSC-2 units. Granted, the lack of a prototype has never stopped a model manufacturer from coming out with fantasy units, but just because they can doesn't mean that they will.  Wink
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Another shim ? on: January 27, 2018, 05:15:28 PM
You may have a screw loose... on the car, that is. Disassembly and inspection is your only option for figuring that out.

If your curves are broad enough, you might be best off body mounting your couplers.
6  Discussion Boards / N / Re: How to remove trucks from older F9A Amtrak on: January 25, 2018, 06:19:50 PM
Good job. Now, your next task is to pitch that antique into the trash and get something that was designed in this century  Wink



Airjockey has a nearly half-century old vintage model on his hands. He needs to post it for sale on eBay, where he can easily get one or two thousand pennies for it (+ shipping). Waste not, want not. There is sure to be a sucke.... ahem.... collector out there in need of it for his collection.  Grin
7  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: What is your locomotive roster? on: January 14, 2018, 11:32:17 PM
My roster is very eclectic because I have equipment from G to Z scales... Yes, I am slightly addicted to model trains.

G-scale: a 1:29 scale doodlebug from Aristocraft (sp???)

3rail O-scale: post-war and 1970s Lionel - two FA's, an ARMY critter, a gang car, a 1970s MPC era Blue Comet 4-6-4, and a pair of 2-4-2s (or the like)

2rail O-scale: a trio of Atlas critters and Red Caboose GP9

HO-scale: There are too many to list individually, but they come from Varney, Bachmann, Lifelike, Tyco, Walthers, Scratch or Kitbashed one-of customs, AHM, NPP (brass), Mantua, John English (pre-Bowser), Kato, and Stewart. (and possibly others)

N-scale: an RS11, RS1, U-boat, FA2, a trio of EMD F-units, and a GP40-2 from Bachmann, Lifelike, or Atlas, a Bachmann doodlebug, and a pair of Kato RDCs (and I might be forgetting one or two)

Z-scale: None.

And in case you are wondering, I am presently working on shelf layouts in my apartment for the HO and N, and a portable display layout for the 2-rail O-scale. Did I mention that I have an addiction problem???

8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: ho turntable on: January 11, 2018, 06:06:30 PM
You can also file the ends of the Code 100 rail so that it tapers into the Code 83, or you can use Code 100 on the approach / stall tracks too and connect them to the Code 83, thus keeping the transition away from the edge of the turntable.
9  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Vintage Set Value on: January 11, 2018, 06:02:56 PM
With apologies to our host, old Bachmann train sets ain't worth half of what you paid for them retail-wise. That said, many of us who model in HO got our start in HO via such sets, and so their true value comes from the doorways they opened into the land of the imagination. So, open the box, setup the train, and I hope it is the start of a long and magical journey for you and your child for many decades to come.
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: differance between sd40-2 and gp40-2 on: January 11, 2018, 05:50:49 PM
I am looking at a couple engines. one is a sd40-2 the other is a Gp40-2. I am pretty sure the GP stands for General purpose. can someone tell me what the SD stands for. also what would be the  difference between the two.

SD = Special Duty -- in many minds at the time of early diesel development, 4-axle locomotives were considered the norm, and anything with more (or less) was "special". The 6-axle units were developed for several reasons, but the original reasons were to spread out the tractive effort and / or weight. Except for passenger units (E-units) and the FL-9, all of EMD's 3-axle trucks had three powered axles. ALCO, on the other hand, produced 6-axle freight units in RSC (outer powered, middle idler) and RSD (all powered) variants.

As to the differences between an SD40-2 and GP40-2.... aside from the trucks and the frame length, the two models were basically the same beneath the hood. How they were used depends on the railroad in question. Rightly or wrongly, my personal rule of thumb is that Geeps were assigned to lighter,  faster, high priority trains, while the SDs were assigned to heavier, slower trains. There were and are exceptions to that - especially today where it seems that every train on the mainline is pulled by 6-axle units regardless of schedule. Refer to photos and other resources to see how your prototype or favorite railroad did / does things.

On a model railroad, the GP40-2 will take and look better on tighter curves than an SD40-2 will.
11  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: 1-4 on: January 04, 2018, 01:46:33 PM
I am sorry for your family's loss, and thank you for his service. God bless.
12  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: HO Freight Car Box Inserts on: December 21, 2017, 04:00:11 PM
My goto are Really Useful Boxes ( The 4 litre is my default box, with the 9 litre for taller models, junkers, and N-scale models in jewel cases. The 11 litre is perfect for steam or 85' +/- cars (HO scale). The 4 and 9 stack with each other, but the 11 doesn't with them. Eventually, I will add something larger for my 2-rail O equipment, but I've not yet decided on a default box for them. (yep, I model in multiple scales)

Other sizes are handy for electronics, weathering, paint, wiring, DCC, magazine storage, etc. Walmart and other big box or crafting stores sell them or something similar. Any one of them will also work, but make sure that the box is rigid (doesn't twist or flex under a load) and that the latches are snug.

13  Discussion Boards / N / Re: New to N scale on: December 20, 2017, 12:10:18 PM
Today being the 20th, I would strongly suggest that you "get thee to a hobby shoppe" (to paraphrase Hamlet). You could use a broader radius than the set track - which is probably 11.25" (it should be cast on the underside of the track) - or you can use the same radius and just use straight filler pieces to split the half circle into quarter circles.
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Flex Track Radius on: November 22, 2017, 06:21:39 AM
Just because you can do something does not mean that you should do it.  Cheesy
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Flex Track Radius on: November 21, 2017, 01:33:55 PM
Flex track will make extremely tight turns - 5" radius or less, which is tighter than 99% of models will be able to go around. For your 30" board, that means you need a radius about 13" +/-, which might be too tight for your equipment to use. You might need to enlarge your board.
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