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Topics - Loco Bill Canelos

Large / 45 Ton Diesel Kitbash for tac
July 04, 2013, 06:47:37 PM
Hi Tac,

Here are some photos of the Kitbash you asked for pictures of, I finally found them.

The story is that after WWII ended the boys from the Missouri Western shop crews returned home with new ideas. 8)  Management wanted to order a diesel or two, but could not afford it due to poor revenue.  The shop guys, all former navy submariners, said they could build one if management bought a surplus submarine engine, some trucks and wheels, sheetmetal and scraps from behind the shop.  ::)  The go ahead given they built the diesel powered #100 with chain drive to the trucks.   I swear the above to be true and I am sticking to my story   ;D.  The result is a flawless runner which is a powerful and very bullet proof locomotive.

Before and after:

Strip off frame and lower bolsters to reduce height:

Cut styrene to make sides and ends and bulkheads add stringers for roof, Use front & rear grills for side vents:

Add roof, window frames, and side & end battens:

Add cab doors from original to the ends, air reservoirs and roof vents & stacks to the roof:

Make & add handrails,add horn & old Big hauler headlights, paint & lettering:

Add glazing, REvolution receiver and Alco sound,  Lift off body allows easy battery changes:

Put her to work on plow train:

Great puller in freight services as well, even here in the rain:

This was a fun kitbash, the hardest part was removing and building new bolsters, and cutting away enough of he underframe to allow for truck swing.  After that I hardwired the motors and she has run great ever since.


Hi all,  There are 13 new diagrams for the Large Scale C-19. They start here: 


and are broken down conveniently by major components and load quick.  or click on Parts Service & Information above on the red banner then click on product reference and scroll down!!  I learned a couple of new things about my C-19 looking at them. 

Hi all,  There are six new diagrams for the Large Scale Version Six (metal gears). They start here

and are broken down conveniently by major components and load quick.  or click on Parts Service & Information above on the red banner then click on product reference!!

After several delays the C&TS K-27 463 is finally under steam.  Pictures from the test run can be seen at this link:
Large / Bachmann Radio Control Set History Part 2
March 24, 2013, 12:00:01 PM
Hi All, 

Here is part 2 covering Sets 90101 Green Lightning, 90102 Holiday Express, and 90102F Special Holiday Express Set for Frank's Nursery and Crafts. It includes coverage of the rare gondola in the Frank's Set.

Part 2 of 4 Link:

I will post Part 3 in a couple of weeks. 

For your convenience here is the link to part 1:

I am posting a history of the radio controlled set in commemoration of the 25th Anniversay of the Big Hauler line, Set 90100 started it all.  This is Part 1 of what will be four parts.
Click below to get the story
Large / Loco Bill Needs Help
February 12, 2013, 01:07:45 PM
Hi all,

While I have many documents and photos of early Bachmann Large Scale Sets and Rolling Stock, I can never have too much documentation for the history records. As you know I only report history related information that I can verify, since I find my old memories are often faulty.

One item I really need is a set of the instructions for the old 1988 Radio controlled sets, I once had them but lost it due to flooding while in storage along with all my Garden Railways magazines and many other magazines from 1980 to 1997.  Thanks to Chuck I do have a 1989 set of instructions for the electric sets.

If you have old ads with Bachmann Large Scale Items from 1988, and 1989 to 1994 a copy or scan would be appreciated.  I do have all the catalogs from 1989 to present. Any of the early large scale announcements regarding Large Scale products at the NMRA conventions, NGR conventions, or distributed at toy shows are needed.  Old price lists can also be helpful!

My email is not hidden so feel free to email or private mail me or whatever works for you.  I will gladly pay any costs of copies and postage.  I am always glad to answer history related questions when I can.


Large / Shelf Layout fromn charon aka Chuck
February 09, 2013, 05:12:14 PM
I am starting this thread on behalf of charon "Chuck"

Chuck says:

I am enclosing a couple of pix of my newly started inside layout that is only 3 feet wide which has caused me to use 15" radius curves on the ends!!  I got the small diameter track that is used to go around the wood barrel planters. As you can see in the photo I am using the big Bachmann Spectrum boxcars, I did have to modify them by using trucks and truck mounted couplers from the Bachmann regular boxcar kits.  The loco is a MTH 8 wheel switcher with a 1/20 scale scratchbuilt cab.
I tried to post these pix on the message board, but couldn't get them to post.


Large / Large Scale video fun! Share yours!!
January 21, 2013, 01:35:55 PM
Hi All,

Got to visit my son in Denver for a couple of days over Christmas.  We had a ball with the K-27 and his 1:20.3 goodies then broke out the 1/29th/1/32nd scale trains.  The video is of a long freight coming down hill in full dynamic brakes with me controlling the lead units and him controlling the midtrain units.

I'm getting a little bored with all the fixit posts, why not show pictures or videos of your layout. 

Lets have some fun!! 

General Discussion / Song ID Help
January 16, 2013, 03:46:45 PM
Hi All,
Recently heard a tune in kind of a storytelling, bluegrass/ country tone that was about an engineer who had a monkey who watched him and learned how to run his loco.  Anyway the monkey steals the locomotive and on the story goes.

I only got to hear part of it.

Anyone ever hear of a song like that?? 

Can you name it??

Thanks, Bill
Large / Bach-man? Yardmaster? in St Louis this weekend
January 10, 2013, 01:18:23 PM
Will either of you be at the Bachmann Booth this weekend in St Louis?  Hoping to get a chance to visit!!

Loco Bill
Large / Bachamnn Railroad Club Electronic Magazine
August 23, 2012, 05:48:19 PM
Bachamnn has launched a new free electronic magazine.

You will have to register separately for it.  Good story on Doodlebug service was in this first issue. It will be a quarterly thing.
Large / C-19 Video comment
August 23, 2012, 02:26:17 PM

Thanks for the link to the C-19 video!!  Lee Riley and Stan outdid themselves on this one.  I especially liked the see thru under the boiler.  Wow What a great model!!!!

Bachamnn Porter 0-4-0 Side Tank Locomotive History
By Loco Bill Canelos
Tracking the history Bachmann Porter 0-4-0 Side Tank locomotive has always been confusing with seeming duplicate product numbers.  Research to date( July 15th 2012) sheds new light on the 0-4-0's and ways to identify various versions.
Bachamnn made it's big move into Large Scale in 1989 with the release of several locomotive models, freight cars and sets.  Included was the side tank Porter 0-4-0 lettered for the fictional Coal Creek Lumber Company.  These were considered by Bachmann to be 1:22.5 models.
Bachamnn No               Road no     Released          Description
91041               CCL Co    1                 1989           0-4-0 Side Tank Porter Coal Creek Lumber Co
90017               CCL Co    Set              1990          Set with 91014 a log flat car and logging caboose
The loco was modeled after a basic Porter Locomotive Works design.  The model is a dead ringer to the prototype locomotive. In 1989 Bachamnn also offered a flat car and logging caboose also lettered for the Coal Creek Lumber Company as separate items.  In 1990 the three were combined in a set called "The Lumber Jack" Product 90017
Here is a picture of the CCL Co No 1 and the two cars offered in 1989 as separate items:

The locomotive was very nice and had plastic side rods and details.  The set remained in the catalog until 1992.  The locomotive 91041 was in the catalog  from 1989 until 1993.  The locomotive ran fairly well, but as with most short wheelbase locomotives often lost power when going slowly through switches.  Although no longer in the catalog the items continued to be sold until Bachman was out of stock.  All of these items are still seen on Ebay and other resale places and in some cases even as new old stock.
Bachamnn went on to develop new products and the Porters were left behind until 1997.
1997 was a big year for Bachamnn and the Porter Side Tank 0-4-0.  Three new sets were introduced with the 0-4-0 as the locomotive. The 0-4-0 was also offered separately in three different versions.
11396   ETL Co   1   1997   ~ Loco   0-4-0, Ely Thomas Lumber Co.
11397   WLC Co   11   1997   ~ Loco   0-4-0, West Side Lumber Co.
11398    UNDEC   21   1997   ~ Loco   0-4-0,  Painted unlettered

The sets included :
90029 1997 Paul Bunyan Logging Co.  with 0-4-0, a Skeleton log car and Paul Bunyan Logging caboose.
90030 1997 Clementine Mining Co. with 0-4-0,  a Clememtine Wood ore car and Bobber caboose.
90019 1997 Roustabout with an Emmett Kelly JR 0-4-0 Circus Flat car with cages and Bobber caboose.
All of the photos of the 0-4-0's in the 1997 catalog show them with plastic side rods. All were pictured with straight stacks except the Emmett Kelly Jr. 0-4-0 which has a diamond stack.  Even though the 1997 catalog shows all the 0-4-0 Porter side tank locomotive with plastic side rods, I have never seen one live or in hundreds of photos, that in fact have plastic side rods.  All have metal side rods, and were probably never made with the plastic ones.  It is now my belief that the catalog pictures are of the older 1989 version decorated in the new colors so that the catalog could meet printing deadlines. While I have no proof, I believe that the evidence backs this theory up so far, and it is something that Bachmann has done with other items and in one case a complete set, but that is another story.  This theory is further supported by what happened the next year.  
1998 was the the first year Bachamnn listed the new "Spectrum" line of locomotives separately from the Big Hauler line in the catalog, and to our surprise we see the Spectrum G Scale Porter Side Tank Locomotive on page 111, listed as a Spectrum model.  The other interesting fact is they have the same product numbers 11396,  11397, and 11398 as the ones in the 1997 catalog only now they show the premium features including metal siderods. The catalog stated it "returned to the Big Hauler Line" with "Spectrum features".  It seems even Bachmann was unsure of where it fit in the product line.  The picture shows the Clementine version, but all set and separately sold versions were the same except for the diamond stack Emmett Kelly Jr. version.

A close examination of the Porter side tank locomotives from 1989 and 1997 reveals the following visible differences, in 1989 they had plastic side rods,  and the builder's plates were blank. The 1997 version while almost identical in appearance included a decorated builders plate and metal side rods, and of course the all new improved mechanism with the equalized front axle.
Going through all the catalog pictures it seems that Bachamnn never corrected the pictures of the sets in the catalog which incorrectly shows the Porter's with plastic side rods and no detail on the builders plate.  The locomotives sold separately in the 1997 catalog incorrectly show 11396, 11397, and 11398 with the plastic sidrods, and lacking the builder's plate details, but the 1998 picture shows the new features correctly including the metal side rods.
I have come to the conclusion that the Porter pictures in the 1997 catalog were not correct and that the 1997 and 1998 locomotives were identical in every way and that there are no duplications of Product Numbers after all.  All Porters released in 1997 do have the metal side rods, builder's plate detail  and equalized axle.  None of the 1997 release Porters were advertised as being 1:20.3
The Paul Bunyan and Clementine sets were in the catalog in 1997 and 1998, while the Emmett Kelly set lasted from 1997 until 2000.  The 11396, 11397 and 11398 were in the 1997, 1998, and 2000 catalog.  After that there was nothing until the latest version 1:20.3 Spectrum Porter side tank locomotives were released in 2006.

2006 saw the introduction of the new 1:20.3 0-4-0 Side Tank Porter.
82596   CMC       1         2006   0-4-0 Side Tank Porter Colorado Mining Co
82597  MQ&M   1         2006   0-4-0 Side Tank Porter, Midwest Quarry & Mining Co.
82598  Undec None     2006  0-4-0 Side Tank Porter, Painted, Unlettered, Black w/ red & white trim
82599  Undec None     2006  0-4-0 Side Tank Porter, Painted, Unlettered, Black

The 825xx series 0-4-0's no longer have a builder's plate, the bell is now in front of the first dome and a generator has been added in front of the bell. In addition a three position polarity switch was added with a center off position and a hidden gear box.  It is visibly different  than all the earlier 0-4-0's and all four remain in the catalog from 2006 to 2012.
As a result of this recent in depth review I am modifying my data base to eliminate the duplication of product numbers for the 113xx series.  
To All,  Please review the above and report any error's you may see.
Hi all,  I haven't kept up with which Bachamnn Locomotives come with a R/C receiver socket that is compatible with the Aristo Craft Revolution system.   Any body have a list???  I need good information for an article I am writing.

Thanks, Bill
Large / Loco Bill has raised track questions
June 18, 2012, 06:05:28 PM
Hi all,

I am considering closing down my existing on the ground outdoor layout, but extending my indoor layout outdoors on raised posts using a removable bridge.  I need a durable low cost way of building the decking the track will ride on.  What materials did you use?  How did you make the curves?  Any pics also appreciated.

I have been to several conventions and have seen raised track on 4 by 4 posts, but the method of attachmant of the decking and what was used escapes me.

General Discussion / Need help on "era" information
June 10, 2012, 09:24:41 AM
A few years ago I saw a listing of major changes in railroad equipment and the year it happened, it was in an old magazine, possibly MR or Trains.  It listed things like changes in air brake equipment, when roofwalks were no longer required, when "COTS"abels were applied and many other major changes.  I kept a copy and now can't find it. 

Can anyone point me to that document, or any similar source??

Thanks Bill
The following represents my personal experience.  I am not an expert, but do like to experiment with things.  Please keep this in mind as you go through this. It is long.

Over the last 6 or so years I have been working with Lithium-Ion Batteries.  Early on the big scare was on about them blowing up, catching on fire, and all sorts of other dire warnings.  I studied up on them at Battery, with guy's who were using them on R/C cars and aircraft, and in correspondence with some of GRR friends in Germany who back then were having great success making their own battery packs.  I also studied manufacturer's info and engineering sheets and found that some of them even had instructions on making battery packs.   I decided to jump in and try it.  Back then I made them using 18650 3.7 volt 1800 Mah or 1.8 Amp batteries from Hong Kong.    There were printed circuit board (PCB) protection circuits which prevented the batteries from overcharging getting hot and rupturing or exploding. This board also protected the batteries from over discharging which would ruin the battery and prevent recharging.  The boards also offered short circuit protection, which essentially shuts down the battery if the condition exists.  Here is a link to one of these add on PCB's from

Following the instructions with the PCB I built my first 14.8 Volt 1800 Mah battery pack using four cells. I used Tamiya connectors, but any connector will do.  I always charge each cell individually up to full charge before building the pack.  I learned that it took a very hot Iron to solder the connections to the batteries especially to the positive end.  I hooked up my Tenergy Smart Charger, set it to the 14.8 volt position and waited for the batteries to blow up, or otherwise burn down my barn.  To my joy it worked perfectly and during the charging period the battery pack remained cool to the touch.  I made another one and used them in my Annies and Connies with great success. They are both still serviceable as I write this, proving to be far superior to my NMIH or NiCad batteries.  The major (to me) pain of all this was all the soldering to the PCB and batteries.  I mentioned my success on one of the major GRR forums and was promptly flamed to death about how it was impossible to do safely, and how NMIH technology was far superior!  blah blah Etc. Etc.  I was not discouraged and loved the low cost and good runtime using the home made packs.

Next  came out with the 18650 Tenergy 3.7 volt 2200 Mah battery with a built in PCB in the negative end of each cell.  I thought WOW! this would really reduce the amount of soldering necessary and greatly reduce the possibility of an error so I built two more packs using them.  Here is a link to show a battery with the built in PCB.  Care is necessary when soldering to avoid getting the negative end too hot and destroying the PCB.

These packs were such a success and so much better, that I got rid of my NMIH and NiCad packs altogether.  I had so many inquiries I ended up doing a few clinics on making the packs, and got great raves from others who also had success. I was also flamed, beat up on, blah blah etc.etc. for doing these clinics and "endangering others".  Things have changed since then and Lithium technology has become mainstream.  To me the only real disadvantage of the lithium Ion batteries was that when the packs get down to the 2.5 volt threshold the undercharge circuit kicks in and shuts the battery down abruptly to prevent over discharge.  This occurs without warning since the batteries perform so well there is no subtle slowing down noticeable like you get using NIMH or NiCad batteries.   This would be bad news if it occurred in a long tunnel and you had to fish your loco out of it.   This led to a desire for longer run time.  When Tenergy came out with the 18650 2600 Mah cells I used them as well and loved the improved run time, especially noticeable over the older 1800 Mah cells.  I have had one Tenergy 2600 mah pack fail due to one bad cell.  It is a pain to troubleshoot because all the cells have to be disconnected to find the bad one.  I do not know the cause, but it is possible I damaged it by dropping it, or had a PCB board fail.  
A good friend who likes to run 4 F7's and an Alco PB (ABBBA)  Pulling 13 heavy passenger cars was getting about an hour and 45 minutes run time using home made packs of  12 2600mah 3.7 volt cells connected in series to make a 14.8 volt 7800 Mah battery pack.  He has grades of 3.5%  He saw the GTL 3.7 volt 5300 Mah cells on Ebay and we bought some, thinking they did not have the internal PCB protection circuit.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that they did have the built in PCB protection, and that they were the latest type with the PCB protection circuit enclosed within the case rather than added on the end like the Tenergy example above.   At a price of $39 for twelve cells and no shipping I was amazed.  You can make three 14.8 volt 5300 Mah packs for about $13 each including a connector.  The Tenergy smart charger works fine with them.  The run time is so good that I never run them down to a shut down using my Connies and Annies.  

Here are the pictures of the printing on the side of the 5300 mah cells showing the information on the internal protection:  Sorry about the poor quality, had to borrow a camera.

Here is a home made "Square"5300 mah pack soldered and wrapped with electrical tape. It is made to go into a U25B from a top hatch on the loco.  I'm too cheap to use expensive large shrink wrap when color electrical tape is cheap at Harbor Freight.  I have also built them into the fuel tanks of a couple of GP-7's using an external charging jack.  The second pic shows a "flat" one to fit under the coal load on Connies & Annies.

Our testing so far indicates that the 5300 mah batteries are good quality and the protection circuits work like they are supposed to.   We have only been using them for two months so time will tell if they hold up.  Compared to the Tenergy Batteries the GTL's are more difficult to solder to the positive end.   While I personally dislike trail cars with receivers & batteries these home made battery packs are just fine in trail cars as well.

These batteries are 18650 size and fit in commercially available battery holders (or boxes) which hold one to four cells.  If you have room in your locos using these would totally eliminate the need to solder to the batteries.  You would only need to solder on the connector of your choice pop the batteries in and go.  This would be of great advantage if a cell failed.  All you would need to do is take them out test them individually, replace the bad one and you are ready to go again. Here is the link for the battery boxes:

I have not yet received mine and will post later about my experience with them.  

Remember You MUST follow all safety rules and measures.  I use a clear mask when soldering, wear a long sleeve shirt, and place the batteries in a ceramic bowl when charging.  I also make sure ventilation is good.  There are other rules I probably haven't mentioned.  When engaging in these activities it is your responsibility to learn and follow all safety rules, procedures and instructions.  I do not guarantee your results will be similar to mine or your safety.  Soldering to the batteries will void any warranty.
Most of all have fun!!!