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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New York City elevated train motive power in HO? on: February 13, 2018, 03:16:18 PM
Scout, you're not alone. . .you might like this photo album as an inspiration:

And a group modeling the same (though it may be more strongly O scale):

A big problem, besides equipment, is the whole infrastructure.  What are you planning to use for the bridgework and third rail gear?  And then there are those switches and even the counterparts of grand union junctions in street railways, all on bridges, all open type construction (which means you see through the track?

It's an ambitious project, but it certainly won't be like much else out there!

And just for fun, an image from the Smithsonian of a non-operating diorama of the New York City el--before third rail.

2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: February 10, 2018, 08:44:07 PM
I've been looking at this thread, and am glad you--and the rest of us!--are enjoying it as much as we all are.

One of the interesting things is recognizing some of the structure kits.  Among the ones you have is a one-story industrial building visible behind a silver or grey Virginian hopper in one photo.  I don't know who currently offers it, but it's original offering, based on ads in a bunch of old Model Railroaders I have, was by Ulrich back in the 1950s. 

It's amazing how many old structure models like that are still around, reissued or still in production by other firms who bought the tooling.

A lot are still useful, too, either as kitbashing fodder, or even just dressed up with something as simple as a good paint job and window glazing.  I did that with my own version of the "Ulrich" factory, and I'm pleased with the result--red bricks and antique white or aged concrete mortar lines and "stonework."

Occasionally you'll even come across something like your corner diner--I think yours is Tyco, while one I have is, I think, AHM--which has interior detail!  Oh my, the fun you can have with paint on that one--including figuring out what colors you want to use!!

(Darn, I STILL miss Floquil paints and Champion and Walthers decals!)
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: ACS-64 Locomotive images on: January 23, 2018, 07:13:21 PM
I'd like to see Amtrak put one in a "Heritage" GG-1 tuscan 5-stripe paint job. Just because.


Would you take a New York Central Photoshop job?

4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New Tooling for older Spectrum Heavyweights? on: January 19, 2018, 07:12:56 PM
Was looking more closely at the product photos with the listings, and one thing that seems different in "new tooling" is that like the steam engines, the detail has been simplified.  What used to be free-standing wire grabs have been replaced by molded on ridges, something we wanted to get away from.
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New Tooling for older Spectrum Heavyweights? on: January 15, 2018, 01:20:19 AM
I can't say for certain if the paint colors will be a perfect match; it's possible something might be a bit different.

I wouldn't worry too much about that, though, as long as the colors were close.  It would not be unusual to see different shades in the real world, even in the old days, due to differences in weathering, age or fading, and even paint batches.  For some reason this seems to have been more noticeable on the PRR to boot!

So, to repeat, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Check out in particular the differences between the B-unit in the foreground and the two passenger cars behind it!
6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Is Bachmann's green painted Southern Baldwin 2-8-0 fact or fiction? on: January 09, 2018, 03:01:32 PM
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Is Bachmann's green painted Southern Baldwin 2-8-0 fact or fiction? on: January 09, 2018, 02:54:47 PM
No date or photographer data, but no doubt about the location.

Just some other pix:

8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Is Bachmann's green painted Southern Baldwin 2-8-0 fact or fiction? on: January 09, 2018, 02:44:51 PM
J3a - That Flicker shot looks like it might have been taken at Warrenton, VA back when we ran steam trips out of Alexandria back in the day.  Any data on the date and location?

Took a while to find the Flickr shot, but the caption says Front Royal, Va. 1979.

The engine still has plain bearing tender trucks; would it have still had them that late?
9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Is Bachmann's green painted Southern Baldwin 2-8-0 fact or fiction? on: January 08, 2018, 01:28:41 PM
Southern did paint at least 722 green--but that was for excursion service.  She wouldn't have worn that in her regular service days.
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Snowplow Project on: December 23, 2017, 11:14:27 AM
Glad to see her done; I may try to scrounge a motor and battery and such to do the same with my own sitting in its box!   Smiley

What do you plan to use for a tender or B-unit?  An oil tender would be PERFECT!!

Or, as Doctor Beaker used to say on the old Jerry Anderson animated puppet sci-fi kids' show "Supercar," "Satisfactory.  Most satisfactory!"

A bit--no, wildly--off topic, but how many of you remember this?

11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Snowplow Project on: December 10, 2017, 12:58:27 PM
Actually, even the B-unit can be a dummy.  It powers the plow, but doesn't move itself.  Movement comes from locomotives pushing, just as in steam days.  The rotaries that still operate today have a control stand in them to operate the locomotives behind them.

Said B-unit might be painted like the plow (in other words, it might be in a maintenance of way scheme), or it still be in road colors (this was common earlier, the B-unit getting its motors installed again and going back to helping pull trains after the snow season).  This suggests some fun with sound decoders if you want to spend the dough--nah, let the club guys do that!!

Modern rotary footage from the beginning of this year.  Note that the old SP plow here still has steam from a steam generator (such as used in a passenger diesel).  That steam is useful for heating for the crew and thawing out frozen equipment and melting ice buildup--and in the past at least, still was used to blow a real steam whistle.

And here's your fictional history. . .this rotary is the last Lima plow, the one that was supposed to have been built for stock and cancelled!!

Have fun!

12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Snowplow Project on: December 10, 2017, 10:58:55 AM
You're right, Jonathan, you have an Athearn rotary plow.  

The prototype was built very late in the history of the Lima Locomotive Works under license from Alco (which held the Leslie rotary plow patents).  They used Shay engines to power the wheel, a very different arrangement than normally used on a rotary.  They were built as steam plows meant to live in a diesel world and were oil fired, with fuel and water from a tender supplied by the railroad.  Boiler orientation was reversed from normal because of this (normally the firebox was at the rear, like a locomotive, which made sense when plows, like locomotives, were coal burners).

Four were built (two for Union Pacific, and one each for Soo and Rock Island).  I believe both UP plows have been preserved, surviving to the end of service with steam power.  Most if not all other surviving rotaries had the steam equipment replaced with electric motors, their power coming from a B-unit that had its motors removed and wiring altered to supply the plow.

Check out the former C&O tender from a 2-8-8-2 with this UP plow.

In action a steam rotary sounded like a locomotive, in particular a geared engine:

If B&O didn't have rotaries, they should have.  Other eastern roads did.

Have fun!
13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Adding power to the buildings on: December 05, 2017, 11:59:22 PM
I wouldn't know without looking at your power supply.  Most don't come with a spade connector, but have screw terminals.  I forget what the size is, but it's a common one, and typically you'll wind up with a terminal strip that uses the same size--in fact, it's a good idea to deliberately get them to use the same size, cuts down on all the different stuff to keep track of (and lose, eventually!!  Cheesy )

I would take your power supply to whomever you're getting your wire and other things from to match up the size.  Most model railroad power supplies use the same size.

Typically what you'll be looking for is what's called a fork connector, which looks like this. . .

Of course, you may have something different.  Do you have a brand name or a photograph available of what you're using?
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Adding power to the buildings on: December 05, 2017, 12:36:48 PM
It's not a huge deal, you just need to run two wires from your auxiliary posts to a point where you can have the other wires join them.  You can just wire things together at that point, or you can look into the wiring supplies that are available from a hobby shop, dollhouse supplier or an electronics house like Radio Shack.  These would include things like terminal strips, jumpers for said strips, and good old wire.  

Depending on what you are using for bulbs, you may want to wire at least some lights in series.  This has the effect of reducing voltage to individual bulbs.  It cuts down on the light, but also extends bulb life considerably.  

The other wiring scheme is parallel, which is what is in your house.  All bulbs (or your appliances, etc.) get the same voltage.


Series (with return wire below):   ---O-----O-----O------O-----O------O------

Parallel:  _________________________________________

The two can be combined, depending on how many bulbs you may want in series at any point, or how much you want to reduce the voltage.  The particular arrangement shown below would reduce the voltage to each bulb by 50%, assuming the bulbs are matched.  In other words, if you have 16 volts coming out of your auxiliary terminals, then each bulb in this case would get only 8 volts.  That would be well under the typical 12 volt ratings of the bulbs in the railroad hobby, and would result in a nice golden glow instead of an overly bright light--which would also signify voltage being higher than it should and shorter bulb life, sometimes measured in seconds or less!

       [                                     [
       [-------O------O----]         [------O------O-----]

Do keep in mind that while these voltages are very low compared to your house current, you do need to make sure you have no bare wires, especially bare wires that can touch another of opposite polarity.  That will be what's called a short circuit, and even at only a couple of volts from a battery would result in an amazing amount of heat buildup and a fire hazard!  

It's not a big deal to prevent that, but it does require you take a few common sense precautions, such as what I mentioned above.  
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 0 6 0 Porter side tank Prototype? on: November 09, 2017, 11:19:23 PM
Might be. . .can you provide a link or copy of the picture you found?
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