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481  Discussion Boards / N / Re: MT 1133 or 1134? on: May 20, 2007, 11:09:42 PM
If you are going with truck mounts, 1133s should be fine on eleven inch curves.  If you have some B-mann locomotives that have body mounts that take 1133/1134, you might want to use 1134s.  If they are truck mounts, 1133s should be allright. 

If I recall correctly, the SPECTRUM F-units take something else, but I forget what it is.  The SPECTRUM steam takes 2004 on the tender.  The SPECTRUM steam are body mounts; there is no allowance for truck mounts.
482  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Bachmann Spectrum F7 A-B-B-A config on: May 11, 2007, 03:45:12 PM
You should be fine with the Bachpersonns.

Beware, however, if you do purchase certain Con-Cor or Model Power locomotives, as some of them have been wired backwards.  If you get some wired backards and try to run them in a motive power consist with some that are wired properly, you will have problems.

I have never seen any Bachmanns that were wired backwards, SPECTRUM or Standard Line.
483  Discussion Boards / N / Re: slow spectrum 2-8-0 on: April 26, 2007, 08:40:04 PM
I am assuming the SPECTRUM 2-8-0 and not the Standard Line 2-8-0, which, I understand, is currently out-of-production.

How much break-in time does it have on it?  I have a number of these.  Some are slower than others (and I like my consolidateds S-L-O-W), but some ran EXTREMELY slowly at first, but loosened up with subsequent break-in.

If it has the break-in hours, it could be a number of things.  The retainer plate for the drivers may be on too tightly.  This is a recurring complaint with this one.  If you will loosen the screws EVER SO SLIGHTLY, a VERY light flick of the wrist will do it, that might help.

Another problem is that the grease does not get onto the gears at the factory, only in the slots.  If you will remove the cover plate, scrape the excess grease from the gear slots, replace a VERY SMALL amount of grease on each gear, then resume break-in, that might help.

Make sure that all drivers are in-quarter and rods properly connected.
484  Discussion Boards / N / Re: What would you use???? on: April 19, 2007, 12:58:53 AM
Yes, TGD, I did get the e-Mail.  I will go into my passenger car box and see what I have.  I will then get back to you off list.

It looks like anyone who wants to paint N&W passenger cars will have to fudge the road names and car numbers from the steam locomotive sheet, as the font on the passenger cars was the similar to  that on the steam locomotives.   The spacing might be a bit funny, though.  Then, maybe there is an old NorthEast set out there, but I do not know.

If you look at shows, sometimes you can find N&W passenger cars, but you must look.  You can also join the ya-HOO! group, N Scale Yard Sale, and post a 'wanted'.

The only N scale J ever manufactured, of which I am aware, is B-mann's.  They had a Standard Line version of it.  They recently upgreaded it to SPECTRUM. which was not a boad move.
485  Discussion Boards / N / Re: What would you use???? on: April 18, 2007, 08:12:30 AM
C-C- Con-Cor
MP-Model Power
PRR-Pennsylavania Railroad
LW-lightweight, or streamlined cars

You could buy the HW cars made either by RR or MP in the PRR roadname.  They are already the proper color.  You can erase the PRR roadname and numbering and replace it with N&W.  Finally, add the clearcoat of your choice.  The MP cars are actually PRR prototypes.  The font on the lettering on the MP PRR HW cars is incorrect, anyhow.

I do not know if the N&W had any PRR passenger cars that it bought used from the PRR.  The N&W did buy some used PRR equipment over the years.  The PRR controlled the N&W until some time in the 1960s.  It was N&W dividends that kept the PRR out of bankruptcy court all those years.

Buy a magnifying lamp; it will make the job of decalling much simpler.  If you are going to buy a set of C-C LW or HW cars and strip them, buy some with black roofs.   On the C-C cars, the window glazing is part of the roof casting.  Since N&W passenger cars had black roofs, if you buy a set of cars with black roofs already, you will not need to expose the glazing to stripping solution.  Any stripping solution might discolor the clear plastic.

To strip the cars, you can use any of the stripping solutions out there or ninety-one per-cent alcohol.  I have also used brake fluid, but I am VERY careful how I use it and try to avoid using it.  I will not use it on the products of certain manufacturers, such as Life-Like (LL).  Certain Bachmann (aka B-mann, Bachpersonn, B-personn) products also will not stand up to brake fluid.  If you do use ninety-one per-cent alcohol, get a an old stiff bristle toothbrush and plenty of elbow grease.

If you are interested in those N&W cars, contact me off-list.

Oh, and one more thing, the N&W never had any vista-domes.  The only road East of the Mississippi River that had vista domes was the Baltimore and Ohio.  I have heard rumours of a Southern vista-dome, but I have never seen a photograph of one.  Except on the B&O, the tunnel clearances in the East were too low for vista domes.  Speaking of B&O, do not buy C-C sets to strip in B&O.  There is something about the paints used for that scheme that make them difficult to strip, even if you use brake fluid.
486  Discussion Boards / N / Re: What would you use???? on: April 17, 2007, 09:20:15 PM
If those are the Model Power corrugated side cars they are going to look really silly behind a J.  They are really out of scale for any prototype.  They would look allright running behind a four axle passenger diesel on a pike with sharp curves, but they would look silly behind a large diesel or behind any kind of steam that regullarly pulled streamlined cars.

If you are going to paint and letter, you would do better to buy a set of Con-Cor smoothsides in any road name, strip, then paint and letter them.

If you want to buy an airbrush, associated equipment and the paint, there are several manufacturers of good equipment and good paint.  If you are just trying your skills, you may want to buy a couple of spray cans and see if painting and lettering is something that you like to do.  Floquil sells cans of PRR Tuscan Red, which was the color of the N&W passenger cars.  When you use it with the finishing and coating porducts, it gives good results. 

MicroScale does sell N&W decal sheets, but I do not know if they sell a passenger car sheet.  If they do  not, you can always buy the locomotive sheet and fudge it.  I doubt that you will find a Pocahontas or Powhatan Arrow logo on that sheet, but at least you will have the correct roadname.

If you do not mind running  heavyweights behind your locomotives, you could buy a set of Con-Cor PRR HWs, erase the PENNSYLVANIA roadname, substitute NORFOLK AND WESTERN, then apply the clearcoat of your choice.

If none of that appeals to you, contact me off list.  I may have three or four C-C N&W smoothsides that I am not using.  I will look.

In your position, I would not buy and paint the MP cars.
487  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Ol'#97 on: April 16, 2007, 12:37:06 PM

Southern numbered its Class F-14 ten wheelers 1085-1112.  There are photographs of a few representatives of this class from #1085 through #1111.

Compare them to the English ten-wheeler on FeeBay and you will see that you have your work cut out for you.  First, the English locomotive has a BelPaire firebox.  If the Southern EVER had a steam locomotive with a BelPaire firebox, I have never seen a photograph of one. 

The primary users of the BelPaire firebox in the United States were the PRR and GN.  GN had oil burners with BelPaire fireboxes.  Some other US roads had BelPaire fireboxes on some of their power in the nineteenth century, but most went to the radial stay fireboxes by the twnetieth century except for the PRR and GN.  The GN did have many locomotives with radial stay fireboxes, though.  Other exceptions to the radila stay fireboxes were the anthracite roads (CNJ, Reading Company, LV, D&H, L&NE, to name a few).  Anthracite burners, for the most part, had Wooten fireboxes.  There were some B&O experimentals that had water tube fireboxes.  ATSF flirted with the Jacobs-Schuppert firebox for a while.

The next problem is that the English locomotive has piston-valve cylinders.  Baldwin delivered the F-14s with slide-valves.  Remember, Broady wrecked that train when the locomotive was not even one year old.  It does appear that Southern did rebuild some of the F-14s with poppet valves or inclined piston valve cylinders, but that was much later.  Rebuilds could alter markedly the appearance of a locomotive to the point that locomotives of the same class would look different.  Much depended on which shop rebuilt the locomotive.

You would also have to add the correct domes, stack and light fixture.  You would need to re-work the cab extensively.

The next problem is the tender.  You would have to cut down the coal baords and, the big thing, you would have to remove the three axles and add two two-axle trucks.

The real killer on this is the drivers.  The drivers on the English locomotive are much too large.  The altered cab would have to cover too much of the aftmost driver.  When you consider that the runnability of these things has been the subject of much debate, I would not bother using these chassis.

You might have better luck cutting down an old Rivarossi pacific chassis.  YOu do have to be careful when working with very old versions of this as the power chassis is a zirmac casting that gets so brittle with age that it could turn to powder in your hands (this has happened to me).

N scale is in sore need of a US prototype ten-wheeler.  If our hosts would produce the ten wheeler in N that they did in HO, that would be a better donor, although the drivers might still be a bit too small, it would be a better starting point for bashing an F-14.
488  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Ol'#97 on: April 15, 2007, 10:44:58 AM
Hauling the mail has always paid the railroads well.  The mail kept many passenger trains running long after the fare receipts had ceased paying for the given train.  In many cases, the train came off the tracks only after the Post Office Department had taken away the mail contract.

From the early days and even into the 1950s, the Post Office Department paid certain railroads an even greater premium to run certain mail trains.  There were some conditions.  The train could carry passengers, but only those that got on or off at stops for mail handling.  If there was no stop for mail handling that day at that station, there was no passenger traffic to or from that station that day.  The train had to 'own the railroad', as they used to say:  ALL trains had to yield to it.  Finally, there was a HUGE financial penalty for EVERY MINUTE that the train was late into terminals or major intermediate stops.   As an example, a New-York-Chicago Premier mail train might not earn a penalty for being late into Syracuse, but it would probably earn one for being late into Buffalo (which was a major layover, change terminal on the NYCS) and it DEFINITELY earned one for being late into Chicago.

In the early twentieth century, Southern #97 was a premier mail train.  Southern paid a SERIOUS financial penalty when it was late.  Legend has it that Mr. Broady was a speed demon, which may have been why Southern assigned a boomer to the train instead of a veteran engineer.

There are those who assert that the POD took off the mail because most roads refused to buy new RPOs, but that was only a minor consideration.  The reality is that the roads became better after the Second World War which allowed the trucks to carry it more cheaply.  The air transport costs also dropped during that time.  A letter could go from New York to Seattle in less than eight clock hours after the Second World War.  The best that the railroads could do was seventy two.

The railroads are once more carrying some mail, and there is still one Washington-Boston mail train that AMTRAK operates that never did come off the tracks.  Sometimes it is on the Public timetables, sometimes it is not.  There are times when it will even carry passengers when it is not on the public timetables, but even that is not consistent.
489  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Ol'#97 on: April 15, 2007, 10:19:02 AM
To learn if the Graham-Farrish is a possible donor for a bash, you would need to learn the English prototpye on which the Graham-Farrish is based.  You would then need to compare the dimensions to those of a Southern Railway Class F-14 ten-wheeler.  (US Southern Railway, mind you; there was also a Southern in Great Britain).

I do not know if Graham-Farrish sells an English ten-wheeler.  It did sell (and may still sell) a chassis, which would lead me to suspect that it either sells or sold a model of an English ten-wheeler, but I have never looked into that.

There would be two main considerations to determine its suitability as a donor:  1) driver size and 2) cylinder type.  To most N scale steam bashers, anything CLOSE in driver size is acceptable.  If there is a difference of ten, or more inches, that might not be, but a difference of three, or so, is usually acceptable.  Cylinder types are more difficult.  I do not know if the F-14 had piston valve or slide valve cylinders.  Piston valves first appeared in the 1890s, but the builders were still constructing locomotives with slide valves well into the twentieth century.  The first class F-14s appeared on the Southern in 1903 (yup, the locomotive was fairly new when Mr. Broady wrecked it).  The greater problem would be that there is often a marked difference between the cylinders on North American and European (or Asiatic, fot that matter) steam power.  On some chassis, you can modify the cylinders to appear North American, but on others it is difficult.

Concerning the shell, you may have to discard it and build your own.  I do not  know what the shell looks like or if you could modify it to look like an F-14.  In many cases, N scale steam bashers discard the shells altogether (in truth, they put it into their parts box.  In this hobby, you never throw out ANYthing).

I do not know if B-mann has improved the old Graham-Farrish mechanisms.  As I have stated, the runnability of the old ones has been the subject of some controversy and debate on other N scale boards.

490  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Ol'#97 on: April 14, 2007, 01:06:18 AM
NO, this one is different from 'Casey Jones'.  Just as Casey Jones' wreck on the Illinois Central actually occurred, this one happened, as well.

#97 was a Southern Railway mail train.  I forget the exact date, but  the wreck occurred in 1903 and happened somewhere around Danville, Virginia.  The locomotive in question, like Casey Jones', was a ten-wheeler (4-6-0), which was pretty much the premier passenger power of the day. 

The first pacifics had only just appeared in the United States in 1903.  While there were some 4-6-2's that someone built for the CM&StP in 1893, those were really ten-wheelers with a trailing truck. The trailing truck does not support a larger firebox, on the CM&StP locomotives, it appears that the builder put it there to guide the locomotive when it was running in reverse.

There is, or was, an N scale IC ten-wheeler out there, but it is VERY difficult to find and VERY EXPENSIVE.  I have no idea how it runs, as I have never met anyone who owns one.  That is the ONLY US prototype ten-wheeler produced in N scale. 

Graham-Farrish does sell an N scale ten-wheeler chassis, but, to avoid offending our Gracious Hosts, suffice it to say that the runnability of those chassis has been the subject of some controversy and debate on various N scale boards.  Add to that that I have no idea how close its dimensions are to any Southern Railway ten-wheeler.

N scale really does need a ten-wheeler.

You could probably bash the cars out of MDC or Athearn wood cars.

Thomas Benton Hart did a well known pencil drawing of the 'Wreck of the Old 97'.  If you go to  , then type 'Wreck of the Old 97' into the search engine, it will bring up the drawing.  You can click on the 'ZOOM' button to get a larger picture.  Be sure to spellout "Old', do not type " ol' ".    You can also type in 'Thomas Benton Hart'.  You want to search the imagebase.  If the link does not work, just google Thomas Benton Hart and find the drawing by title.  (I checked the link, it will work on my computer.  You can also google 'Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco' and get the website that you want.

Here is another link:

This has photographs, including one of the engineer, and some facts about the wreck.  That RPO looks to be steel, instead of wood. so the Athearn/MDC cars may not be appropriate.  I can not tell if the roof is round or clerestory, perhaps some experts on turn-of-the-twentieth century Southern might know.

If it is steel, you might be able to bash one from a RivaRossi steel RPO.
491  Discussion Boards / N / Baldwin Sharks on: April 12, 2007, 10:25:36 PM
I just noticed that these are missing from the product list.  Has Bachmann discontinued these?

Are there any plans to re-introduce them?

Thank you.
492  Discussion Boards / N / Re: N scale in the open on: March 22, 2007, 09:04:01 AM
I must agree with Jim Banner:  try it, but start with something manageable to which you can add if you dicvoer that it is workable.

You will need to keep the track covered when not in use.  N scale track exposed to the elements will get much more dirty much faster.  You mentioned that you want to run NYCS steam.  N scale Steam is very finicky when it comes to clean or dirty track.

You would have to surround the track with backdrop to shield it from the wind, as wind will blow your boxcars and passenger cars off the track.

I would agree with raising it off the ground as rain will cause water to acumulate on the ground and corrode your track if it is on the ground.

I can see why you might want to consider this, let us know how you do.
493  Discussion Boards / N / Re: n scale steam engines on: March 18, 2007, 08:32:50 PM
What manufacturer is it?

Which locomotive is it?

Is it the aft drivers or the trailing truck/wheels?

Is it the aft wheels on the tender?  (This assumes, of course, that a tank locomotive is not what is under discussion.   If it is, in fact, a tank locomotive, please state that).

Please be specific. 


If it is a B-mann 2-8-0, is it SPECTRUM or Standard Line?

If it is a B-mann 0-4-0, is it the 0-4-0T (tank switcher) or 0-4-0 with the tender?

If it is a Model Power or Rivarossi 2-8-2 or 4-6-2, what tender does it have?

If it is the RR USRA 2-8-2, is it a light or heavy 2-8-2?

If it is the MP 2-6-0, what tender does it have?

If it is the B-personn 4-8-4, what tender does it have and is the tender electrically live?

If it is the B-mann Standard Line 2-8-2 or 2-8-0, what tender does it have?

If it is the RR 4-6-6-4 or 2-8-8-0, what tender does it have?

We would be delighted to help, we just need some specifics to give the best answers.
494  Discussion Boards / N / Re: H16-44 on: March 09, 2007, 10:38:42 AM
Oh Mr. Bach-Man!?!?!

Someone forgot to do his HW on the B&O version of this one.  Either that or something went wrong in China; either they did not get the instructions correctly or someone did not give them the correct instructions.

The road number on the B&O is not correct.  No B&O H-16-44 had road number 928.  That series had numbers 925, 926 and 927.  The unit that B-mann issued has road number 928.  This is incorrect.  Please have this corrected  if Bachpersonn does this scheme in subsequent runs.

Other than that, it is a pretty good locomotive.  I did not notice this error at first, even though I posted road numbers on various places on the internet.  A Western Maryland nut noticed it.  He is posting very detailed impressions of his unit on the A-Board, soooooooo if anyone wants more information, go there and look.
495  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Fp-7 model power Diesel Engine on: March 07, 2007, 03:14:42 PM
Since magnetic coupling/uncouping is not important to me on road power, I used a UniMate of the aft; simply take out the Rapido and put the UniMate in its place.  You can also use one of the old Kato passenger car couplers, but you should remove the spring before you do that.

As for the nose, the 2004 will go and come out to the proper height (at least it did in a test fit).  You will have to do some surgery to the nose, though, to affix it.  The opening in the pilot will also require a minimum of filing to accomodate the 2004 box. 

I suppose, also, that you could simply undo the screw on the nose coupler and replace it with one of the UniMates designed for the Kato F-units, but then the  nose coupler would have no spring.

These are good runners, even the 'trainset' version runs well through the speed ranges.  Too bad that it is built using archaic and wierd construction methods.
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