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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Which TCS decoder for a Bachmann HO-scale GP40? on: December 08, 2021, 12:40:50 AM
Well, I put a DP2X into the CSX GP40 and it did the trick!
2  Discussion Boards / HO / Which TCS decoder for a Bachmann HO-scale GP40? on: December 01, 2021, 12:05:28 AM
Hey, I recently bought a Bachmann HO-scale DCC-ready GP40 locomotive, the CSX model (I got this because all the freight trains running through my area are hauled by CSX GP40s!) I don't feel like getting one of the Bachmann decoders, but I've had good luck with TCS's decoders, and they work great on the Bachmann E-Z Command system. I recall this GP40 uses an 8-pin NMRA plug, and I know it has LED headlights. Would the DP2X here get the job done?
https://tcsdcc.com/index.php/1028
3  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Train set-based layouts on: February 14, 2021, 08:20:58 PM
Life-Like isn't exactly defunct, they, and their tooling, were bought out by Walthers. The old Life-Like "Power-Loc" track is now sold as part of their "Trainline" products. They still carry the adapter to go from "Power-Loc" track to Bachmann's "EZ-Track" for anyone wanting to expand an old Life-Like set beyond the "Power-Loc" pieces available.

Len

That's right. Additionally, some of the Life-Like scenic accents, like their figures, are now sold under the Walthers SceneMaster brand, and many of the Life-Like Proto 1000 and 2000 locomotives are now sold under the Walthers Proto brand. I'd like to also see Walthers maybe bring back the Life-Like operating accessories to be sold under the Trainline brand, as they had a bunch of neat stuff (I could see Life-Like's Power-Loc dual crossing gate upgraded with nickel-silver rails and maybe a better and more realistic paint job, like Bachmann's dual crossing gate got when it was upgraded to work with E-Z Track.)

Also, one advantage the nickel-silver Bachmann E-Z Track has over the steel track is it comes in a wide variety of lengths, radii and turnout options compared to the steel E-Z Track, so it's also a lot more suitable for tabletop layouts, like my current one. In fact, in the 1970s TYCO had their "Layout Expander System" where you could start with a train set with a basic circle of track, get their Track Layout Expander and thus enlarge it to a nice 4x8 oval with passing siding and simple blocking, and then expand it with more sidings and an inner loop. The finished plan would actually be a perfect track plan for starting out with DCC; just put the track together without any of the insulation gaps or extra terminal sections! (It could even be made with Bachmann's nickel-silver E-Z Track, knowing that a but of cutting and customization would be needed for the turnouts on the two dead-end sidings on the bottom half of the plan...

Heck, if I were building such a model train layout in the late 1970s and I was a kid or teenager, I'd go with the Layout Expander System plan, using a nice mix of Bachmann, TYCO and A.H.M. products (as Life-Like was still smaller then and didn't really get big until the 1980s when they really stole much of TYCO's thunder and took their place as Bachmann's biggest rival.)
4  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Train set-based layouts on: February 14, 2021, 01:12:32 PM
A train set is definitely a great way to start out. But if you want to build an actual model railroad layout using it, you'd definitely want more track than what's included in the set. This is why Bachmann sells the E-Z Track Expander sets, in both steel and nickel-silver. Bachmann also has that Your First Railroad Track Pack so you can build the World's Greatest Hobby 4x8 demonstration layout, and there are many other kinds of track plans out there you can use, or design your own, or even modify an existing plan, like I did for my current HO-scale model train layout, taking a 4x8 E-Z Track plan from the 1998 reprint of "The HO Model Railroading Handbook" by Robert Schleicher and added an extension for the 11x8 L-shaped platform it went on.
One method I feel is that with such a train set that includes E-Z Track, for the first week of operation you could just set up the included circle or oval of track as-is on the bare platform, maybe even get this layout assortment to enhance the circle or oval of track (if the set didn't already come with such signs, poles and figures, that is), and then start making plans for a more elaborate layout. Bachmann also makes a couple of nice train set expander packs that include enough extra track to make a dead-end siding, a Plasticville building kit and an additional freight car for your train. They remind me of the expander packs Lionel makes for their O-scale train sets, and I remember Bachmann's old (now defunct) rival Life-Like trains making similar expander packs as well.
That's one of the beauties of model railroading; the possibilities can be endless!
5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: New Product Announcement! on: February 04, 2021, 04:22:30 PM
That Track King set in the new Bachmann 2021 catalog looks pretty interesting; nice to see an HO-scale Bachmann set with the Union Pacific GP40 locomotive back on the market, as that was always a staple of Bachmann train sets for many decades. It even has a nice little oval of 47x38 E-Z track instead of a simple circle! Though I'm kind of surprised it does not include the signs and poles and figures such sets used to have, but I would assume nowadays people can just buy an HO-scale Bachmann set and include the Layout Accessories Assortment (No. 42104) in the order to have the signs and poles and figures to set up with that new train set, as they can definitely enhance even a simple 38" circle of track in feeling more like an actual railroad when starting out.
Plus, regarding the aforementioned older sets, I want to see Bachmann someday make an HO-scale train set that includes an over-under Figure-8 track lay out as seen in the Steel Alloy E-Z Track Over-Under Figure-8 Track Pack (No. 44475), but maybe also include the E-Z Track blinking truss bridge and dual crossing gates like some of those older sets I mentioned did, and give it kind of an "action" theme that way. Having grown up in an era where train sets like those were often sold by companies like Bachmann (of course), TYCO, A.H.M. and Life-Like, it'd be nice to see Bachmann get back into something like that, offering it all in one convenient package.
Just a thought.
6  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Can't View Bachmann Catalog on: February 04, 2021, 04:14:10 PM
Strange; I use the latest version Google Chrome and I have Flash uninstalled of course, but I can read the catalog. It said "Powered by 3Dissue," which indeed used to use Flash, but now I think it uses HTML5. Maybe you need to upgrade your browser?
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Life-Like Diesel Engines on: October 09, 2020, 11:31:32 AM
If the coupler mounts are still there, you can use a medium underset knuckle coupler, such as a Kadee #147, on both ends and lock it in place with a Kadee #212 talgo adapter.

From my experience, the Kadee talgo truck adapters also work great with Bachmann's E-Z Mate knuckle couplers, which is how I typically upgrade older I.H.C., Life-Like and TYCO rolling stock to run on my layout these days (using the medium-length centershank couplers.)
8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: September 12, 2020, 10:49:58 PM
Some more new pics, especially since I now have another locomotive I installed a DCC decoder into!


My Walthers Trainline BNSF "Heritage II" Dash 8-40BW heads up the main freight, with a slightly patched Santa Fe Warbonnet behind it.


To go with the two Walthers Trainline Dash-8 engines, I pulled out my Walthers Trainline BNSF bay window caboose.


The freight train passing by my farm again.


The freight passing my short BNSF work train consisting of the Bachmann "Heritage IV" GP40 locomotive and TYCO Santa Fe crane car and boom tender.


After the last set of pics were taken, I rearranged my main freight a bit and had my Walthers Trainline BNSF "Fakebonnet" Dash 8-40BW locomotive be up front with the "Heritage II" behind it, based off how I've seen some real-life configurations, even done to this day (though real-life "Fakebonnet" locomotives are rare nowadays, with many having been repainted in the orange BNSF colors.)


I also added a driveway to my TYCO Lighted Ranch House with a diagonally-cut styrofoam piece painted black. Now the car can get in and out of the garage easily!


A nice shot of the main freight stopped so a pipe section can be unloaded from the TYCO Freight Unloading Depot.


A shot of the Unloading Depot itself in action.


An overview of the layout.


The main freight switching onto the inner track loop, passing the work train.


The freight train unloading crates from the Operating Boxcar.


A neat shot of the Amtrak passenger train approaching the Arlee Station with the Skyview Drive-In theater in the background.


The BNSF freight train passing through the TYCO Operating Crossing Gate.


A nice shot of the TYCO Drug Store, with a little newsstand (a Scenic Accents pack from Woodland Scenics) in front of the store.


The BNSF freight train rolling past the Skyview Drive-In on a busy evening.


I installed a second light inside the concession/projection building to create the illusion of a movie projector coming out of the openings!
9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: September 06, 2020, 08:29:39 PM
Here are some more recent photos. This batch is from Augustů



Recently I took a couple of spare Life-Like diamond road signs and customized them to warn motorists that a side road they are approaching has a railroad crossing shortly after the turn, just like the ones in real life. I assume this modification could also be done with Bachmann's "SLOW" diamond sign.


Drive-in movie theaters are enjoying a healthy business thanks to the pandemic, and the Walthers Skyview Drive-In is no exception! The Android tablet's Wi-Fi connection is getting flakey, so I downloaded some drive-in theater intermission videos as MP4s onto a micro-SD card and loaded that into the tablet.


Just a nice shot of the farm on the layout.


An overview.


The main BNSF freight passes my Walthers DCC-equipped BNSF GP9M pulling the TYCO crane car and boom tender.


Another railroad crossing accident on the layout! Luckily the driver got out of the car in time.


The main BNSF freight unloading crates from the TYCO operating boxcar.


The Amtrak train stopped at the TYCO Arlee Station. It does make for an interesting sight seeing the Bachmann Amfleet cars next to the building like that.


The main freight having passed through the railroad crossing protected by Bachmann's non-operating Plasticville railroad crossing they've been making since the early 1970s, posed in this picture with the gates rising.

Here are some pics I took last week, with September starting...


Summer has ended on my train layout and the kids are actually going back to school! Like I said, my town is safe from the pandemic.


Another view of the schools. I might soon add an expansion to the high school.


The hobos still hanging out in the railroad yard.


The Center Street School (a TYCO kit) back in session.


I find a railroad yard like this a perfect place to put older operating accessories like the TYCO Prestomatic bins for my operating boxcar and log dump car, the Life-Like coal tipple and lighted yard tower, the TYCO lighted factory and the AHM freight carrier. The Pola trucking terminal (Walthers Trainline version) also looks good there too.


For now I've switched to GE power for my main freight, with a pair of BNSF "Fakebonnets" (Walthers Trainline Dash 8-40BW with TCS decoders hardwired into them) hauling the freight cars.


During this operating session, when I was running the Amtrak train, something went wrong and the second Amfleet car ended up uncoupling from the first car and the F40PH locomotive (a Walthers Mainline model). Luckily I noticed what happened before a wreck could happen, and set up so that my little BNSF work train would push the uncoupled Amfleet cars back to the rest of the train, similar to real-life railroad operation.


Another shot of my BNSF work train pushing the Amtrak cars, consisting of my Bachmann DCC-equipped GP40 that came with my E-Z Command unit pulling the TYCO crane car and boom tender, the Santa Fe versions of course!


The Amtrak train all together again pulling into the downtown station, only a little late.


The GE Fakebonnet-led BNSF freight rolling past the Skyview Drive-In Theater, now with a playground! (The Bachmann playground set, of course!)
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: September 06, 2020, 04:32:31 PM
I'm gonna try and see if this works for images.

The following photos were taken in March:

Spring comes to my town, with the snow melting! (In reality, the decorated styrofoam snow pieces were removed and placed in storage until next Christmas.)


There was still leftover bits of foam and "snow" material from the removal, but I left it there for a month to create the realistic illusion of the winter-spring transition, combined with the barren trees.


The freight train rolls over a small pond and river underneath the Bachmann E-Z Track blinking bridge.

The following photos were taken in June...

Now the transition from spring to summer is happening on my layout! All the snow is melted away, and I swapped out the barren trees for spring trees!


That couple is back up at the Lover's Lane, even with the new billboard for the Skyview Drive-In being there!


The swimming pool behind the Plasticville Suburban Split Level has been reopened, and the family next door are having barbecues again!


My town is NOT being affected by the current coronavirus crisis, and everyone is well and businesses and schools are thriving. But many of the residents here that work as doctors and nurses have to frequently commute to the big city via Amtrak to treat and test patients during the crisis!


Even the Skyview Drive-In Theater is reopened and doing pretty well!


Another family gets ready to go on a picnic, like in the olden days!


The freight trains are still busy here, like this one unloading logs at the TYCO Prestomatic bin. One of the boxcars is also loaded with toilet paper to ship during this crisis
11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: September 05, 2020, 11:01:52 AM
Hey Wiley, you still working on your railroad ?  I know you got a lot of stuff crammed in there, but it was
you that got me started on my long trestle and water features.  We'd sure like to see what your you're
up to.  How about checking in ?   Huh?

Well, here's a video I shot early in the spring. Not much has changed with the layout, except I do have "water" under my blinking bridge now...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvWexsXOO7M
12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: My ingenious method for a snow-covered HO-scale layout! on: January 19, 2020, 12:21:41 AM
I can't see any of the pics Wiley.

https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?p=2491784#post2491784
I posted them here. I can't use Photobucket anymore because you have to pay steep fees to use it and for your existing photos to be unblurred.
Also, here is a YouTube video showing the progress...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLNd57o9hIQ
13  Discussion Boards / HO / My ingenious method for a snow-covered HO-scale layout! on: January 18, 2020, 09:40:18 PM
Back in December when the holiday season was starting up, I decided to start covering my HO-scale 11x8 model railroad layout with "snow" for the upcoming winter. I had a stroke of genius in devising a way to come up with snow... using 1/4" Styrofoam sheets cut to fit parts of the layout and decorated with Woodland Scenics "snow" material!




The Christmas train, pulled by my Bachmann Spectrum ATSF 2-8-0, makes its' way through the snowy landscape!















Of course, any "snow" that comes loose I vacuum up so it doesn't get into my trains' motors! And then when spring arrives, I can remove the styrofoam snow sections and store them until next winter!
Pretty cool landscaping technique, huh?
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How do I replace the cowcatcher on the Bachmann Baldwin 2-8-0? on: April 14, 2019, 07:48:51 PM
Yep, I got the pilot/cowcatcher replaced! Thanks everyone.
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How do I replace the cowcatcher on the Bachmann Baldwin 2-8-0? on: April 14, 2019, 12:48:23 PM

Exactly. Bachmann still makes the Baldwin 2-8-0, but it's not under the Spectrum name anymore, even though it retains the high Spectrum quality. (The same can be said for some new models that are not Spectrum-branded but have the same high quality, like the ACS-64 locomotive.)
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