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196  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Track Brands and Track Cleaning on: April 23, 2015, 08:04:40 PM
So, Chuck, is there any track that doesn't get ground away by the wheels, and if so , who makes it and if not , which type of track lasts the longest? I've noticed some brass flakes in the underside of the chassis of my Bachmann 4-6-0 locos( but not on the Lionel or Hartland locos) when I run them on the 4 foot diameter rails, not so much on the 5 foot rails. The 8 foot aluminum rails from AML only get dirty and I haven't noticed any signs of wear like when I run them on the 4 foot diameter the brass tracks.. Which is why I don't understand why Bachmann (and other makers) only includes the cheap, steel alloy 4 foot diameter tracks in their starter sets since the 4 foot diameter tracks cause greater wheel binding with the larger 4-6-0  locomotives than a 5 foot diameter track(as an example) does.
197  Discussion Boards / Large / LED Lights in Jackson Sharp Passenger Cars on: April 22, 2015, 03:46:33 AM
I decided to make a  couple videos and post it to youtube showing how bright these LED lights are in the dark. I've got a couple of ideas on how to fix this and I will make another video which I will also post to youtube after I complete the project to my satisfaction. I've decided to try painting the LED's in either translucent yellow, amber, or even orange. I'm also going to try converting the cars back to battery power and see how that works. Thoughts, gentlemen?
You can watch both of the videos here:
198  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: LED Lighting Color for Jackson Sharp Passenger Cars on: April 21, 2015, 03:01:35 PM
No problem my friends. I'm finding your conversation interesting and I'm glad that you're having a good time!
199  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Track Brands and Track Cleaning on: April 20, 2015, 05:48:50 PM
Thanks! I meant steel-alloy track. I don't know why I said stainless. It's horrible track and I get rid of it immediately after I buy a starter set. I have considered Bachmann solid brass track as it seems reasonably priced and I've heard/read that it's pretty decent.
Anyway, all of the wheels on my cars are metal. This problem with greasy rails has been going on since day one with these trains. Even my H.O. Scale trains do it . I know that it's not from over lubricating the locos. I use Bachmann Heavy and Light oils with a needle bottle dispenser to lubricate the locos . I lubricate them very sparingly and wipe up any excess. I even remove the drive rods every other time and clean them as the Bachmann oils become gummy after a while. My best guess is that the grease and oil leaks out of the drive shafts during operation. The cars aren't the problem. I use LaBelle #106 grease for the wheel axles on all of my rolling stock and also on the main motor gears of the locomotives. It works very well and doesn't get gummy over time-unlike the Bachmann lubrication products.
I'm hoping to find an easier way to keep the rails clean than using elbow grease. It's tedious and time consuming. I bought a Lionel Thunder Mountain passenger starter set on Ebay back in October . The seller claimed it was in excellent running condition. Right. When I received it , it didn't want to run. One passenger car had a broken wire for the lights, and the track was covered in corrosion and what looked like brown paint on the rails. I tried to contact the seller. No response. I filed a claim with Ebay. Still no response from the seller. I finally decided to just give the seller negative feedback and restore the train myself. The track alone took me over 6 hours to clean using 2000 grit sand paper. The loco and cars took me about 4 hours to restore and repair. Today, it runs like a dream and I'm very happy with it. My fingers were cramped and filthy by the time I finished cleaning that track and I would like to find a better solution to the problem other than manually cleaning the track with either a Scotch Brite pad or 2000 grit sand paper. One thing that was suggested ,and seems to work fairly decentl , is to use Isopropyl Alcohol to clean the rail heads. I've been wetting small pieces of paper towel and wiping the rails. I've also been using it on Q-Tips to clean the wheels on all of my rolling stock and locomotives. It doesn't do a bad job.  It sometimes seems that I spend more time track cleaning than I do actually running these trains! Oh, well. Part of owning them I guess!
200  Discussion Boards / Large / Track Brands and Track Cleaning on: April 20, 2015, 02:59:34 PM
I've been running G Scale trains for over 10 years now. I mostly use Lionel track (made in the USA), which uses hollow brass rails. I like Lionel G Scale track as it's sturdy, and has track pins and there are snap-in locks on the plastic rail bed  so the track snaps together and doesn't come apart easily-unlike other brands of track that use rail joiners do. I also own a 8-foot circle of solid aluminum tracks made by American Main Line, which, with the exception that it's put together with rail joiners( which I'm not fond of), works very well for the most part. I have had, and quickly sold, Bachmann stainless Steel G Scale track. The reason that I sold the Bachmannn track was that I found that it bends very easily as compared to the Lionel or the AML tracks.
All of my trains are indoors only and the issue that I have is that oil and grease build up fairly quickly on the rails and I spend a lot of time just cleaning them before operating my trains. I've tried dry Scotch Brite pads, Scotch Brite pads with soap and hot water,and 2000 grit sand paper ( which does the best cleaning job of all but is tedious, finger cramping work but the cleaning job it does is fantastic as I can get in there and polish the entire railhead and it lasts the longest between cleaning sessions.). I see rail cleaning cars on Ebay that use Scotch Brite pads on Ebay running in the $60.00 range. Are they worth it or is there something that will do a better job ? What do you guys use to maintain your rail systems?
201  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: After Market Smoke Unit Preferences on: April 19, 2015, 04:02:58 PM
Thanks for your excellent replies and advice Bill and Chuck. At this point I'm probably only going install a working LED headlight powered by a 9 volt battery in the cab of the dummy and forget about adding a smoke generator. I might decide to run wires from the tender to the headlight, but I think the cab will be fine.
202  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: LED Lighting Color for Jackson Sharp Passenger Cars on: April 18, 2015, 10:59:40 PM
I tried looking for the parts but I was a little confused as to which type and voltage/amp rectifier and capacitor I should buy for the lights. There were several choices and I'm not sure what to buy. Suggestions? Thanks again, Chuck! PS: Those cars look great!
203  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: After Market Smoke Unit Preferences on: April 18, 2015, 10:54:08 PM
I could install a switch in the front of the boiler to turn it on and off. I would just have to figure out how to add power pickups to the dummy so the unit would be track powered . I really don't think that trying to power the smoke unit with batteries would be a great idea,but I decided to throw it out there and see what others might think of the idea. I have been using the Bachmann smoke fluid indoors without a problem. It  dissipates quickly and doesn't seem to hang in the air and I don't seem to detect too much of a smell coming from the fluid.. I have asthma, and it doesn't bother me. The only thing that I don't really like about the Bachmann smoke fluid is that it spatters all over the top of the locomotives and I have to clean them after most uses. What would be the best way to route track power to the smoke unit and headlight?  Thanks Chuck!
204  Discussion Boards / Large / LED Lighting Color for Jackson Sharp Passenger Cars on: April 18, 2015, 09:59:40 PM
Hi, again! I have installed LED lights on 4 of my passenger cars. The lights give a bright white color, which is too bright and unrealistic looking. They are powered by the track. I have a couple of questions . First, I was wondering what color LED lights give off the most realistic look. Secondly, they only light when the train is going forward. How is this problem solved? Should I convert them back to battery or is there something I can wire into the cars to fix this? Another thing, could I paint these white lights with a transparent paint to correct the color? Thanks guys!
205  Discussion Boards / Large / After Market Smoke Unit Preferences on: April 18, 2015, 09:52:07 PM
I bought an Anniversary Edition Dummy 4-6-0 on Ebay a couple of months ago. Recently, I converted the useless front coupler to a working coupler for doubleheading purposes. This loco has no guts-it's just a shell. I've been considering purchasing a new, working chassis for it, but I'm probably going to leave it as-is for now. I was thinking that it would be cool to add a working headlight and smoke unit,either powering them via battery or track power. I'm considering purchasing another Seuthe #7 smoke generator for it, but I was wondering what your thoughts on the subject might be. Also, would a 9 volt battery be enough to power the smoke unit and the headlight, or would it be better to buy something with a higher voltage since the Seuthe #7 is rated for 11-16 volts. Suggestions?
206  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Installing metal passenger car rails - need help on: April 18, 2015, 04:39:07 PM
I have 8 of the J.S. cars (4 Denver&Rio Grande and 4 Virginia & Truckee) and have been tempted for the last couple of years to up grade them with the metal railings. That gets rather expensive.For me, the biggest drawback of the metal railings is that if they somehow get bent then they'll likely look bad when you try to bend them back. The plastic railings may break more easily, but they're cheaper and more easily replaced. I've recently gone and used hot glue on the undersides to make the railings stand up better on my J.S. cars. It seems to be working and the hot glue can be removed easily if I should decide to upgrade to metal.
I was thinking that the epoxy would be more of a universal type of adhesive. The cow catcher was broken off of my Hartland G Scale 4-4-0 when I bought it off of Ebay. I wound up having to send in the entire steam chest assembly as one of the rods on the steam chest broke during a high speed test( these Hartland locos are fast! Way faster that these Bachmanns! So are the Lionel G scale locos I own. They are smaller and somewhat lighter so they will not pull large strings of cars like the bigger, heavier Bachmann 4-6-0 locos will. ) and it wasn't a repair that you could do at home. I contacted Phil Jensen, designer of the Hartland (and Kalamazoo)4-4-0 locomotive, as he also still works for Hartland Locomotive Works as a repair tech. He had me return the part to him and did a fine job replacing the broken rod. He also re-attached the the cow catcher to the steam chest assembly,but it actually fell off right after I received it! I'm not sure which type of glue he used, but it obviously didn't work. I went out and bought the Gorilla Glue Epoxy and used it to repair the cow catcher. The repair turned out to be very strong and I believe that it's going to prove to be permanent. That's why I suggested that you try using it on your railings. I'm familiar with cyanoacrylate types of glue. They dry quickly and form a strong bond on most materials. Plastic doesn't seem to be one of them. I tried to reattach the cow catcher to my 4-4-0 several times with a cyanoacrylate-type glue , but the bond was weak and it always came off. The Gorilla glue was my answer to that pesky problem. Please let us know if you find a more suitable glue for attaching the railings. Good luck and have fun my friend! Andrew
207  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Installing metal passenger car rails - need help on: April 18, 2015, 01:24:30 PM
I've been thinking about upgrading my passenger cars to the metal railings as well. I noticed from the pics of the railings that they would have to be glued in and my thought was to either try some hot glue or an epoxy such as Gorilla Glue Epoxy. I'd try the epoxy first, since the hot glue can get messy and sometimes doesn't stick to metal very well.  Hope this helps! Andrew
Oh, by the way, have you noticed how much Al is trying to get for the dummies on Ebay now? I paid $31.50 + shipping for mine. He's now asking $69.95 + $16.97 shipping. Wow! $87.92 total for a "dummy". I found a 10th Anniversary Edition Denver & Rio Grande #12(version 5)  in brand new condition on Craigslist and it only cost me $75.00 for a complete, working locomotive and tender. I think that Al wants too much money for what he's selling and what you get for that $87.92!
208  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Royal Blue Line on: April 13, 2015, 07:06:01 PM
You could also buy an Anniversary chassis. I did this with my #25 from the Virginia Truckee Prospector set and I had no problem with everything mating up correctly. Try to judge from the pics if the attachment points match up. That's how I did it and it runs perfectly. You can buy an Anniversary chassis for only $44.00 (plus $17.52 shipping) on sale right now by using the wake up promotion that currently ends on April 30th. Good luck and have fun. Check out this video to give you an idea of how many cars the Anniversary Edition will pull versus the original, standard locomotives.
209  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Repainting Pilot Wheels on: April 12, 2015, 05:28:05 PM
Thanks for your reply,jviss.I went to the local Wally World and found that exact paint, but after talking to my wife and a lady in the cosmetics dept.,I decided to try the nail polish since it dries hard. I'll see how it works, and then give the paint a try if it doesn't. Thank you for the comments on my handiwork and the Inyo's history. I love steam locomotives and rail road history, I find it hard not to get excited over her. She's really a beauty! Here's a link to a youtube  video  taken at Steam Up last year: Enjoy!
210  Discussion Boards / Large / Repainting Pilot Wheels on: April 12, 2015, 12:34:30 AM
Hey guys. I have noticed that the paint(white in this case) has a tendency to wear off rather quickly on Anniversary Edition 4-6-0 pilot wheels. I was thinking of trying to repaint them with some white fingernail polish, as it's very durable. Is this a good idea or is there something better to repaint these with?
On another topic, please check out my Anniversary Edition double heading with the dummy  Anniversary Edition locomotive I bought on Ebay. I went and added a real wood load to the tender of the powered  loco. Please take a look and let me know how you think this looks. It's made out of nearly 300 1 1/8 inch wood sticks that were hand glued on one by one over a styrofoam foundation to simulate a full wood load. I based it on a real 1876 wood burner know as the Inyo, a 4-4-0 locomotive used on the Virginia & Truckee Rail Road between Virginia City, Carson City, and Reno, Nevada from 1876 to 1937 when it was sold to Paramount Pictures Corporation and became a movie, and latter, a TV star. Its'  starring roles included: Red River in 1948 with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, The Great Locomotive Chase in 1956 with Fess Parker, and The Wild, Wild, West Starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin. Today, it's at the Nevada State Rail Road Museum in Carson City, Nevada. It has been fully restored and is fully functional. It is ususlly steamed-up once or twice a year( Mostly during Steam-Up which is an annual event held at the museum during the 4th of July Weekend. I am a frequent visitor there as I live in Reno, and I never get tired of visiting with the Inyo and the rest of the equipment that's on display there. Anyway, here is the link to the youtube video:
 Thanks guys! I hope I haven't bored you with my little history of the Inyo!
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