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Topics - p51

On30 / New trench locomotives?
November 02, 2020, 05:53:33 PM
I heard from an online hobby magazine that there apparently was another run of Baldwin Class 10 'trench' engines coming out.
What road numbers/names? I'd love to see Bachmann come out with one in black and white Army lettering for the timeframe after WW1 until they stopped running them at the end of WW2...
On30 / Trench engine starting and stopping
August 26, 2020, 01:04:33 PM
I have a trench engine 2-6-2T and thought I'd broken it in. But every now and then, it'll just stop for a moment, and sometimes the sound will just keep cranking along. The longer I run the thing, the more unreliable it is when I run it.
It's not dirty or poor connectivity track work, and it doesn't happen all the time. I looked at the wheels and they don't seem dirty.
It's always been iffy going over unpowered frogs, as if the 'keep alive' inside it doesn't know it should still be cranking past that. Bit again, sometimes it works well, other times, not so much.
Anyone seen this problem before?
I'd thought it would get better over time, but to be honest, it is becoming by far my most unreliable engine (as I only have the Whitcomb 50-tonner and the rest are the ten-wheelers, all with long footprints for contact and smooth running out of the box).
I'm starting to regret the good review I gave of it in O Gauge Railroading magazine at this point, even though the review paid for the locomotive and the details parts I put on it...
On the new On30 2-6-2T 'trench' engine, there's supposed to be an option for a firebox glow. I followed the DCC guide that came with it, and I think I hit the right buttons but nothing.
Has anyone got theirs to glow? How'd you do it?
On30 / 'Trench' loco arrived, very nice!
December 20, 2019, 04:56:23 PM
I've had time to break in my 2-6-2T 'trench' loco and I'm very happy with it.

I've written a review of it for O Gauge Railroading magazine, so we'll see when they run that.
It needs some breaking in out of the box, so don't think you got a lemon when you first run it. Even 10-20 minutes later of running, I noticed it ran much smoother. I saw someone else saying they through it on test rollers for half an hour and it was fine after that.
The sound is amazing. When you cut the throttle, you're hearing the clanking of the rods, then the engine picks back up after a few seconds, just like a real steam loco. And when you accelerate, the volume increases, as it does on grades.
Mine is the black version, as I wanna make it into a WW2 era one (the OD green and 'Mash' style stencil one is inaccurate, based on the wrong-painted davenport engine on display at Ft Benning) with white "USA" and engine number down the sides.
She also pulls like a beast. Ten cars and not a bit of slipping.
My only complaint is only apparently the 6 drivers have electrical pickup, so it's unforgiving of dirty track. But at least they mounted a 'keep alive' inside to counter that for the most part.
The builder's plate looks great. That was the one thing about Bachmann engines that drove me nuts before this; the builders plates were the opposite of how they were in real life (black lettering on a bronze background on the model, the real backgrounds were black with bronze characters).
Anyway, they did a great job and I'm very happy with this!
On30 / "Found" photos, circa 1943...?
November 13, 2019, 12:33:54 PM
The 4X4 inch negatives were marked for July 1943 in the old, dusty box.
Sid Richardson, photographer/artist for the Elizabethton Star, was taking shots of the ET&WNC Stoney Creek branch, a rare doubleheader passing through Winner, Tennessee.
Exact date is unknown:

I created sets of scale builder plates, each with the right serial numbers and dates for ET&WNC ten-wheelers 9, 11, 12, and 14. I also used photos of the real number plates to make scale versions of them.
Bachmann did a great job on most of the engines but they always do their plates are opposite images of what they should be (black lettering on bronze which of course is opposite of how they looked in real life).
I converted a #12 to 9, rather easily, but the number plate had my stymied until I managed to find a good photo of the real one, then I added a light color background to the number as period photos (and movie film) of #9 during WW2 clearly show it wasn't red like 11 and 12's were.
So, you just print these on photo paper, 4X6 and they should be scaled right. I also included some 'no trespassing ET&WNC" signs as well and some period RR crossing signs I used on my own layout.
Click here for the images of the plates:
I then punched them out using a "Maxi Punch Set" stock #473660 from Hobby Lobby. It's largest die was EXACTLY the right size needed for the front number plate.

From there, once you have it punched right (you'll need to punch a couple to get the right position), I suggest running a dark yellow marker around the edges so it doesn't look like a paper disk when viewed from the side. I then glued them to the existing number plates using white glue. The finished product, I think, doesn't look bad:

I did the builder plates much earlier and did them with an exacto knife, which is why I had to use a punch for the number plates. With this, I think you can improve the look at the front end of these, as well as making a #9 if you want one (Woodland Scenic dry transfers makes a set that is a perfect match for the cab and dome numbers)... If you try it, let me know how it worked out!
Just keep in mind, the number plates are from photos provided by the ET&WNC historical society and I created the builder plates myself, and they're copyrighted by me. Please don't print and sell them...
On30 / "Prototype" 4-6-0?
December 26, 2018, 06:01:55 PM
A pal of mine recently scored a unfinished On30 ten-wheeler off eBay and it's cast in different color plastics than the production ones. For example, the coal pile casting it in silver-color plastic, not black. It's a mix of silver and black colored castings.
It came with an extra tender (damaged and without trucks or internals) so he sent that to me. I have every intention of keeping it as-is as I strongly suspect that this was a pre-production example that perhaps Lee Riley might have owned.
I've heard rumors that this might have been an example used in the hobby press to show the pre-production of the engines.
Has anyone ever seen a photo of one of these in the hobby press or anything else I could learn about it?
I can't recall if I brought this up or not here already, but I had an op session on my layout and someone asked why Bachmann doesn't make any ET&WNC-lettered cars?
There are four ET&WNC lettered ten-wheelers (11 in black, 12 in green/gold and black, and 14 is green-gold) but not a single car lettered for the same railroad?  ???
Some of the cars aren't translatable to the ET&WNC but some would make good representational cars (for example, the real ET&WNC boxcars were almost 40 feet long). The tank cars, for example, are very close to the ones used to haul gasoline.
I had to buy a lot of decals for my layout, and it would have been great to have had a few RTR cars marked for my favorite RR, especially as so many locos are available with that road name!
On30 / Excursion car
January 25, 2017, 04:45:55 PM
I was at the WGH show in Puyallup WA this past weekend and saw the prototypes for the On30 excursion cars.
Man, they look great.
If these had been for sale at the Bachmann booth, I'd for sure would have bought one as I think I could justify one for a troop transport car (which were common on stateside RRs around Army bases in WW1 and WW2).

I talked with one of the Bachman guys I'd remembered talking On30 with at the Portland NMRA convention. Real nice guy and I think he said he's also going to have an article in the On30 annual this year.
The cars aren't out yet, according to this link:
Though I only want to run stuff that makes sense for my layout (and nothing that isn't appropriately weathered), I'm tempted to get one of the Lee Riley ones, as-is, out of respect for what he did for Bachmann and On30 in general...
I know several people looking at possibly getting into On30 and all asking where they can find the Davenport gas mechanical 'critter' as they can't find them except for crazy prices on ePay.

I was never under the impression that they were poor sellers and several companies still make conversion kits for them.
So, does anyone know why they're no longer being made? You'd think with the 'shorty' freight cars, there must be a market for a diesel to match?
I went to the National Model Train Show in Portland with some pals yesterday. It was a long and somewhat stressful trip due to the weather. There was a big storm front raging northward right during the show (hundreds of thousands of people in Washington were without power by nightfall) and caused some white-knuckle steering along I-5 heading right in the front. Thankfully, most of the damages was well north of Olympia, so I didn't get affected other than being pushed left and right along the drive heading down to the show, and being worried that a tree might fall on us.
Anyway, the show took the entire Expo Center just south of the Columba River. We were able to hit every hobby shop in Portland, and chase some 1:1 trains in the Vancouver. We also went to the engine house which houses SP 4449 and SP&S 700 and an ALCO PA. It was along but cool day.
There was a massive N scale modular layout which looked great along with numerous other module groups. I talked with the Editor of Model Railroader as well as the guy who had a lot to do with On30 at Bachmann. Real nice guys, both.
Surprisingly, I didn't buy much at all. I bought a loading dock laser kit in O scale, a White Pass & Yukon pin, a few magazines and a book the entire day. Typical; when I have the money as a show, I can never find anything I can't live without.
Here are some totally random shots I took with minor captions. It's not to be considered an overall review of the entire show at all. I hope you liked some of these shots. I didn't take a great deal of photos as I decided experiencing it was more important than recording it.
There was only one On30 display that I could find at the show:

While I'm no big (pun intended) fan of Z scale, I really liked what I saw in the module groups in that scale:

Note the rotors spinning on this scale Chinook helicopter:

Lots of N scale stuff at this show. I'm a big Freedom Train fan and loved seeing these well-done AFT cars!

Woodland Scenics had their pilot models out, including their new O scale rural depot. Such a neat model in person!

Tomy had a neat booth, but nobody manning it could speak English. I wish I could have asked more about this really neat modern Japanese trolley layout:

And I couldn't resist this, as you just had to wonder what this was about, alongside a module of a open pit mine:

In Vancouver, evidence of the weather as the Amtrak Cascades had just hit a tree, breaking out a ditch light and parts of the tree were stuck in the plow..
I had my first op session ever on my layout on June 14th (not bad considering all this was a stack of lumber and boxes of rolling stock and modeling supplies as late as the end of last July. Two guys showed up, one of which was the guy who did most of the DCC wiring for me.
You'll probably notice that the locomotives are all Bachmann ten-wheelers (I have 4 of them, all ET&WNC marked) and all but one coach and a caboose are Bachmann, as well.

The session lasted just shy of 3 hours.

I knew ahead of time I was out of my depth in regard to any schedule and concept for the movements and told them so, in that this was a work in progress and was mostly to determine the best course in operations.

They seemed to enjoy themselves, and gave me a lot of really good ideas, among them:

1.Running one mixed freight all the way to the end of the layout, dropping off cars in the center section. The other engineer does the switching there while the first messes around at the end of track. That seemed to keep both operators busy.
2.Painting the ends of the ties at the points near turnouts showing the furthest a car or locomotive can be and still clear the adjacent track.
3.Perhaps adding a siding near the end of track, and/or near the center for a locomotive to tie up out of the way.
The third might not come to pass, but the first two surely will.

I can't imagine anyone comes up with a good operating scheme on their own the first time, and with these guys I now have a much greater grasp of how to keep two people solidly busy even on a layout the size of mine.

We totally changed my initial idea of each working an end of the layout and passing one another in the middle, and I really liked where we went. I deleted passenger runs in favor of mixed trains. It worked pretty well. It was also odd to watch two other people run my layout, as before it's been pretty much me alone.

Even my pup, Charlie, was on the same page. Instead of bugging everyone for loves and treats, he actually curled up in the door of the layout room, something he's never done before.

A funny PS to the story, and I'm not kidding, I had the window open for the layout room and while we were talking about train flow, one of the guys pointed out the window and said, "Hey, there's a blimp!"

Seriously, the Goodyear blimp was heading North, not far from my back porch. The US Open starts next week just North of here, I can only assume they were heading up there for that...
I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day. This was something I'd waited more than 30 years for as this is the first layout I ever had you could do an op session on.
Just got back from a 15th anniversary Alaska trip with my wife. We honeymooned there in 2000...

Ah, what wonderful sights to see...

But yeah, I mostly agreed for the trains!

My long-suffering wife actually liked the ride this time (last time, she dealt with a bunch of rude Germans and wanted to start WW3 right there). Lots of Germans this time, but they were all very nice and I got to talk with a few in their native language!

No steam running (73 was outside of the shop at Skagway with the smokebox lid removed) but it's amazing to see this downtown:

Along the tundra, heading into British Columbia

Some more were posted here:
That's it for now, until I can cull through almost 1000 photos we took...
What's the exact wheelbase for both the rail bus and the railcar (that Galloping Goose looking thing)?
I have an idea of using either to mount a pre-existing body onto it, but I must know first what the wheelbases of each really are to see if either could be used for what I have in mind...
I have been gluing brake wheels and associated stuff to my On30 cars but a couple of brake wheels popped off, never to be seen again.
I looked on the site but nothing is listed for spare parts.
Is there anywhere I can get some replacement brake wheels for my cars?
I have four Bachmann On30 4-6-0s that I want to put at least engineers at the throttles, the firemen can be at the coal bunker on the tender if need be.
What commerical crew figures will fit inside the cab of one of these? I have a set of Woodland Scenics crew figures, but none will fit through the cab windows or are thin enough to fit between the cab wall and the firebox.
I need figures which can be slid through those small cab windows.
Has anyone managed to find figures which will fit?

On30 / On30 tank car decal and weathering job
April 09, 2015, 12:41:57 PM
I finished the first of what eventually will be two tank cars. The ET&WNC only had two tanks on the property by 1943, and I have created reasonably accurate decals of the tank body markings for each. The Bachmann tanks aren't perfect for the Tweetsie gasoline cars (they also had tanks for asphalt which were open frame ones, much like the 'Gramps' cars on the D&RGW) but they are easily close enough to be 'representational' models of them.
I like how this turned out. I used weathering powders for the first time and liked the rust results.

On30 / Why not a White Pass 4-6-0?
January 09, 2015, 11:49:27 AM
I noticed that Bachmann has an On30 2-6-0 lettered for the White Pass and Yukon RR.
Why the heck doesn't Bachmann make a factory-lettered ten-wheeler for the WP&Y? They had two of them in that very class (#s 10 and 14), moved up from the ET&WNC in the middle of 1942. They were both rebuilt at the Northern Pacific shops at South Tacoma, WA after a year of running in badly faded ET&WNC green. Both burned in a roundhouse fire at the end of WW2 and were scrapped in WA state afterward, but they did run on the White Pass during WW2.
Plenty of shots here:
I don't model the WP&Y, but I have ridden it on my quest to see every narrow gauge line in the US...
Each year I do a Christmas card that is dachshund themed. This was the year of my On30 layout being built. So, I couldn't resist...
On30 / Why no ET&WNC freight cars by Bachmann?
December 19, 2014, 05:31:42 PM
Hmm. They make ten-wheeler 11 in wartime black, 12 in black and the 50th anniversary paint from 1938, as well as 14 in green.
Not one car factory made with ET&WNC lettering, though. Why is that? I'm in the process of building a ET&WNC-theme On30 layout and lettering all these cars with decals that I can no longer find has been quite a chore indeed. Would have been so cool to be able to buy boxcars with proper ET&WNC markings out of the box. Just sayin'.