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Messages - Loco Bill Canelos

Large / Re: Sound Box
December 06, 2023, 08:18:11 AM
HI again,

The idea may not be new, but it is great that you are having fun with it. As for pictures, you must use the link to the picture and post the link so we can see it here. 

If you have a chance to try it give it a go here.

Best, Bill
Large / Re: Caboose Orientation
December 01, 2023, 08:26:52 AM
Good morning,

At the Colorado RR Museum the stack was in the back. My conductor at the time in my rookie days insisted on it to a fault. His point was that the conductor or rear brakeman must have a clear view of the train. One day while turning one of our Cabooses I was not paying attention and turned it the wrong way facing the lead to the main track and got a friendly but firm chewing out. 

The reality is that in the real world it could go either way depending on the situation. This was true especially when conductors no longer had their personal caboose. When a train was on a branchline with no way to turn a train at the end of the run the crew would run around the caboose and the stack would be in the front.

When wide vision cabooses came along it was not as necessary, and also not necessary for bay window cabooses.

Bottom line is there is no wrong way to run a caboose and it depends on the era, railroad rules, and track limitations. 

Loco Bill
Large / Re: User Guide 948 William Steam Locomotive
November 28, 2023, 08:36:20 AM
Hello Jack,

I am assuming you have one of the older Big Hauler Large Scale Sets. If so go to this link for a complete instruction booklet for your set:,18832.0.html
Scroll down to the link under the Big Hauler Instructions. Scroll down to the smoke section for the official insrructions

Basically add 3 or 4 drops of smoke fluid in the smoke stack open the boiler front to expose the smoke switch and turn it to the on position. 

If you find the smoke switch is already in the on position the smoke unit could be burnt out. Running the locomotive with the smoke switch on and no smoke fluid in the stack usually burns out the unit.

Take care and enjoy your new find!!!

Loco Bill

Large / Re: Big Hauler Smoke Not Working
November 22, 2023, 09:36:07 AM
You are welcome!  The Bachmann Smoke unit never was known for great smoke output. As much as I like smoke I never use it due to the mess factor. The residue from the smoke coats the locomotive over time and it is a pain to remove.  I would reconsider if the smoke was black. 8)

Large / Re: Big Hauler Smoke Not Working
November 21, 2023, 08:32:10 AM
The instructions say to run it at 80% have you tried doing that??  The reason I mention it is that the smoke circuit is connected directly to the speed controller settings.  This heats a coil in the smoke unit. Also If you put in too much smoke fluid it takes more power to heat the coil.

Welcome to the forum and have fun with your new set!

Loco Bill
Large / Re: Night Before Christmas Broken Truck
November 07, 2023, 08:07:18 AM
Good to hear you got what you needed so have a great Christmas with the set running and with your family. 

Large / Re: MSRP for 1997 Two Truck Shay
November 07, 2023, 08:03:17 AM
Please let us know how things go when you track test it and run it for awhile, it will be of great interest to our forum members.

Most of all have fun with it!   Bill
Large / Re: Night Before Christmas Broken Truck
November 06, 2023, 07:25:34 AM
Large / Re: MSRP for 1997 Two Truck Shay
November 03, 2023, 01:29:40 PM
In the good old days I remember a street price of $340 at Star Hobbies
Large / Re: MSRP for 1997 Two Truck Shay
November 02, 2023, 07:07:17 AM
It was $699.95!

Large / Re: 2 Truck Shays
October 22, 2023, 09:43:08 AM
Mickey, Fred,

Thanks guys, I had forgotten about the screw count method. 

As for the guesses it was kind of fun and based on some old minimum run information and notes I made on the manufacturer. 

wraujr,  Be sure to check the screw count on the bottom of the truck if you venture into the Evilbay world for a 36 tonner!!


Large / Re: 2 Truck Shays
October 21, 2023, 04:24:05 PM

Since you have both the new trucks and the old trucks is there any way you can tell the difference between the old style and new style???  I know the new metal ones have the lube plugs, but did the old ones?? 

Large / Re: 2 Truck Shays
October 21, 2023, 04:18:25 PM
H wraujr,

Back in the day the street price for the 36 ton 2 truck Shay was $398.  I have seen some on Evilbay for $350 that look fairly good, but say nothing about truck replacement. I would not hesitate to ask the seller if the trucks were replaced.  You might get lucky and the trucks were replaced but the seller does not know it.  I you bought at $350 and added replacement trucks at $235, I would say $535 total price would not be out of line.

But ..... Be darn careful, and if there are missing parts that are critical make sure replacement parts are available. I have made some mistakes in the past and even tho there were many pictures missed some missing parts.  Never be afraid of asking the seller for additional photos.

Take Care

Large / Re: 2 Truck Shays
October 21, 2023, 10:53:53 AM
HI Guys,

36 Ton Shay
81198  Ely-Thomas      Catalog 1996-1998 1st Bachmann Spectrum locomotive
81199  Undecorated      Catalog 1997-1998
81196  Pardee & Curtin  Catalog 1998-1998 updated with more detail early
81197  Undecorated      Catalog 1998-1998
The 36 ton Shays were out of the catalog by 1999. When Bachmann took a product out of the catalog it meant the item had sold out and were no longer available at the Bachmann Warehouse.  Some were still at retail dealers but you generally had to hunt down what you wanted.
Bachmann was battered by the crumbling truck problem with these locomotives and did not rerun any of them.

38 Ton Shay Bachmann
These locomotives first appeared in the 2004 with much fanfare and the new all metal power trucks were on all of these.  2004 was also when the all metal power truck became available as a separate item.

82194 West Side           Catalog 2004-2005 
82195 Ritter lumber       Catalog 2004-2007
82196 Oregon Lumber       Catalog 2004-2007
82197 Ely-Thomas          Catalog 2004-2006
82198 Unlettered Red cab  Catalog 2004-2007  modern version as opposed to 81196 and 81197
82199 Unlettered Black    Catalog 2004-2007  modern version as opposed to 81196 and 81197

1996 to 2011 were heady days and clearly he golden years of 1:20.3 locomotives and rolling stock at Bachmann. The Heislers, Climax, and Davenport locomotives were all released by then. Three truck shays were coming out along with the K-27 2-6-6-2 Mallet. 

I could not keep up with things financially and envied those who could buy one of just about everything.

The bottom line How many were made. Dang if I know because Bachmann never kept records or would not release them to me. This by the way is why in some cases Product numbers were reused or out of sequence.  All you will get is my SWAG.

So here we gooooo!

36 Ton Shay  My SWAG is 8000-9000 made. While widely popular with us foamers it was a disaster financially for Bachmann. The faulty truck problem impacted sales of the follow on 81196 and 81197. When you check on Ebay for shays you will find a lot of 36 Ton Shays on offer so you have to be sure one you want has the replacement power trucks. Replacement Power trucks seem to go from $200-250. 

38 Ton Shay   My SWAG here is 10000-12000.  The 38 ton shays were never re-run so when they were gone that was it. The 82194 sold out the first year, and the Ely-Thomas was next to sell out.  They were no longer in the catalog and Bachmann closed out whatever was left to some of their favorite retailers, who did offer them at bargain prices.  BTW based on a quick look at Ebay I could not find a single 38 ton Shay for sale, just loads of 36 tonners. 

Have fun with your trains!!

Cheers and Beers!!!!!!

Old Loco Bill