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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New PRR streamlined K4s on: August 13, 2018, 01:41:21 PM
What is the Panhandle? It means parts of either Florida or Texas down here.

It's a reference to the Panhandle Division of the PRR, or to the Panhandle Railroad (predecessor owner of the same line).  It was named for the Northern Panhandle of the State of West Virginia.,_Cincinnati,_Chicago_and_St._Louis_Railroad
2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Need help w my Uncle's Chattanooga train set's track wiring on: July 15, 2018, 01:41:04 AM
If you can, you might want to also include a better power pack.  From Bachmann's product listing, this looks like a straight DC set, so you might be able to find something a bit better than the basic power pack Bachmann has.  There's a hobby shop just down the road from me that has several such items available from an estate, including MRC units ($25 when I was there last week), and even a Pacific Fast Mail unit with a sound system!

I did find a photo of one of these basic Bachmann packs--if he has what I think he has, it's a small thing, with a wall transformer to drop the voltage and set up for the wire plugs to the track.  It does have AC terminals, but I have to wonder about its capacity of all of one amp.

You might also want to take some push button switches along, too.  I'm not familiar with what Bachmann packages with its powered turnouts, but the Walthers listing for EZ track turnouts doesn't mention them, so he might need those.  

Finally, if he is going to wind up with two locomotives, you may also want to take along the stuff for sectionalizing the railroad, allowing him to park one engine while running another. . .but then again, if the gentleman is 90 years old and doesn't have past model railroading experience, that might be a bit too sophisticated, even though block wiring is still pretty well known even in these days of DCC.

The set has a Bachmann 0-6-0 for motive power, and some 40-foot freight cars and a caboose, so I don't think operation through turnouts will be a problem.

I wonder if he would like a building or two.
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Any chart of curve track #'s? on: June 30, 2018, 07:11:58 PM
Here's a table that might help those who aren't into the mathematics.

For some perspective, a 5 degree curve is considered moderately sharp; it limits train speeds to about 60 mph or sometimes less.  It scales out to just under 158 inches radius, or more than 13 feet!!

A 20 degree curve is very tight; large engines such as 4-8-4s and E-unit diesels can negotiate them at a walking pace to get to or from an engine terminal, and do so with flanges howling.  But even that scales out at almost 40 inches!

The B&O didn't run passenger service on curves sharper than 16 degrees (49.5 inches).

Cass Scenic, a former logging railroad  that operates exclusively with geared steam engines, has curves as sharp as 40 degrees.  That scales out to something we use, at just over 20 inches!

Obviously we have to compromise considerably in our curves!

On thing that would help, both in operation and appearance, is to work in a graduated or easemented curve.  This is a curve of constantly changing radius, typically a cubic parabola, and provides a gradual change from straight to curved track.  The real roads calculate these with great precision in the field, but we can take shortcuts, such as using a flexible stick between the tangent or straight track and the actual curved radius.  It's not the cubic parabola, but it does give a smooth, flowing transition from the tangent to the curve.

This not only makes the appearance better (trains flow into the curve instead of jumping around like, like Lionel toys on sectional track do), and you get less couple swing at the entrance of the curve.  The latter can actually let you get away with a tighter radius than a curve without such a transition.  

Even a larger section of sectional track (say 22 inch radius leading into 18 inch radius) can help.  

The only thing to keep in mind is that this does cut your straight track lengths down a little.  

Your minimum easement length should be about as long as the longest car that will be negotiating the curve.  

It's worthwhile to use easements even if you're modeling a prototype with almost streetcar like curves, such as some industrial roads, and for the reasons mentioned.  Arguably, they are even more important on such a minimum radius railroad than on one with more generous curvature. 

It may not look like it, but trolley lines, with street corner curves as sharp as 35 feet, had graduated curves. 

In some cases, using a switch at the start of the curve can give you an easement effect if you are using the curved or angled leg as the curve approach--and you get a location for an industrial spur, too.
4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: I wish Bachmann would make............How about you?? on: June 02, 2018, 02:03:42 AM
Santa fe had some nice 2-10-0s That I think it has the same wheelbase is the same as the Russian, but it is American.   A non usra 0-6-0 & 0-8-0

A couple of thoughts to consider--

One is that it helps if a model can use something already existing as the base to reduce tooling costs.  That's addressed here, and also with the B&O Q-4.

The other, which applies to both something already existing and especially to a totally new model (non-USRA switchers in this case) is how well it may sell.  That would be based on a prototype either being widely used (USRA engines, stock industrial locomotives, including a Shay), or a popular prototype road (PRR, ATSF).  Glamorous history (Hudsons on the 20th Century, the Andrews raid, Warbonnets on the Super) would also be a factor. 

There may also be the enthusiasm of fans of certain roads.  I believe a lot of B&O fans, for instance, may have acquired multiple EM-1s, despite their size; Bachmann made the type relatively affordable, and you would normally see multiple examples on a division where they were assigned. 

And that brings up the non-USRA switchers.  What would be your prototypes?  Would they be something widely used?  Might you be considering a stock engine, or perhaps something from an earlier period that would look like a widely used design, such as the Omaha 0-6-0 that was sold in brass for a number of years?
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: I wish Bachmann would make............How about you?? on: May 30, 2018, 08:10:43 PM
Since we're dreaming big...

The B&O S-1a, 2-10-2 would be a big wish fulfillment.  The Rivarossi model is older than I am! 

A Spectrum version would be just right. I have a brassie, but it's so rare, and expensive, that I don't dare run it.

Please, oh please....



At the risk of going with monsters again, an alternate would be an ACCURATE B&O EL-series 2-8-8-0--not a Norfolk & Western Y-6b with a removed trailing truck and a Vanderbilt tank!

Going a little more moderate in size, what about a B&O Q-4 (2-8-2)?  I'm thinking that one could be based on the USRA 2-8-2 mechanism. 
6  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Movie train production on: April 24, 2018, 10:28:24 PM
For some diesel fans around here.
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Emily's Latest Project on: April 22, 2018, 10:31:38 PM
We all know that B&O didn't have 4-8-4s, but I like the what ifs.  What if the PRR had 4-8-4s instead of the T1s, or if Santa Fe 2-8-4s would of had 69 inch drivers instead of 63.  

Interestingly, there are some people who think we had an example of what a B&O 4-8-4 might look like--Western Maryland's Potomacs, built by Baldwin in 1947, and the last new 4-8-4 design for an American railroad.

They could be right--high mounted headlight, off center bell, and fore and aft sand domes, like a "Big Six" 2-10-2!!

But then you look at the T-3 4-8-2s the B&O did have--and then there were the second hand Boston & Maine 4-8-2s. . .who knows, really?
8  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Movie train production on: April 16, 2018, 12:37:11 PM
Bachmann's 19th century 4-4-0s are actually based on Virginia & Truckee prototypes.  Several of those engines have been used in movie work over the years, including, if I remember right, No. 22, which portrayed the Texas in "The Great Locomotive Chase."

And one of Bachmann's offerings for this American is as lettered for Western & Atlantic!

9  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Movie train production on: April 16, 2018, 12:28:40 PM
I'm surprised nobody here has yet mentioned Disney's "The Great Locomotive Chase:"

Location work was on the now long-abandoned Tallulah Falls Railway:

10  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.

11  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!)
12  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?

13  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.
14  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!
15  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
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