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1  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Found an On30 2-8-0 in on: June 12, 2011, 11:03:00 PM
Georgetown Loop 40 and 44 were built by Baldwin for the International Railways of Central America (IRCA), a 36 inch gauge line owned by United Fruit.  Nos. 40 and 41 were built in 1920, and Nos. 42 - 44 in 1921.  They were always oil fired, and have the following dimensions:  38 inch drivers, 16 x 20 inch cylinders, engine weight of 93,400 pounds.  I believe they were built with slide valves but with Walschaert valve gear, and later rebuilt by IRCA with piston valves. 

Charlie Mutschler
2  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: 2-8-0 on: June 11, 2010, 09:21:58 AM
The little thing looking like a small pipe angled toward the rear at the back of the smokestack?  With a smaller diameter pipe leading back to the cab? 

That would be the light used by the fireman to check his oil to air mix on oil burners at night.  The prototype of the 2-8-0 was an oil burner used in Mexico, and was equipped with such a light.  If you model a coal burner, you might want to spend some time with a hobby knife and remove the light from the stack and the conduit to the cab. 

Charlie Mutschler
3  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Paint schemes on: May 08, 2010, 09:50:02 AM
Oh. Boy.  Talk about opening a can of worms.  Green boiler jackets on D&RGW steam locomotives.  To make a long story short, there is a LOT of discussion about this subject, and very little agreement. 

There are very few color photographs which are universally agreed to be of D&RGW narrow gauge locos with green boiler jackets in regular service.  No. 489 was painted green for the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club trip in 1950, and remained that way for some time afterward.  However, there are a lot of references to different appearances of boiler jacket versus cab or tender in black and white photos and some color photos, both are equally fervently discussed. 

Some very careful research by several people has led them to conclude that the green boiler jackets were only found on standard gauge power, and a couple of narrow gauge locos repainted for fan trip purposes.  This draws from first person accounts by retired railroad employees who say that they do not remember any narrow gauge power with green boiler jackets, and the lack of accepted color photos with photographer's documentation from the time the photos were taken.  One researcher recalls having asked John W. Maxwell and Richard Kindig (who were seriously photographing the D&RGW in the 1930s and 1940s) about green boiler jackets on the narrow gauge, and that neither man remembered seeing them except on the two locos painted for the fantrips.   Both men are now deceased, and cannot revisit the matter.  Otto Perry, who was possibly the most prolific photographer documenting the D&RGW narrow gauge in the 1930s and 1940s,  died long before the question of boiler jacket paint became a common topic among narrow gauge modelers.  Color photography as a relatively easy technology, was available after 1936 when Kodachrome was offered to the consumer market.  Most photographers used black and white primarily at that time, and while there has been considerable discussion about some color photos from the 1937 - 1949 period, there has not been agreement about most of them.  Color dyes for film were not stable, and copies of slides made from original film or prints in books may have suffered color shifts with age and reproduction.  So there are those who see early color photos as proof of green boiler jackets, and those who see the color photos representing dirty, oxidized black paint on boiler jackets, but not proof of green paint. 

Lastly, it is worth offering the official company standard practice. 

D&RGW Standard Practice 57-L-179.
November 1, 1937.  Signed by W. H. Sagstetter, Chief Mechanical Officer
Painting Locomotives and Tenders

Smokebox - Staybrite Front End Paint
Firebox - Staybrite Front End Paint
Cylinders - Locomotive Black Enamel
Pilots - Locomotive Black Enamel
Running Gear - Locomotive Black Enamel
Jackets - Jacket Enamel (Dark Olive Green)
Cabs (Outside) - Black Duco
Tenders - Black Duco
Cylinder Heads (Small Power) - Aluminum Paint
Number Plate Bead - Aluminum Paint
Tire Rims - Aluminum Paint
Edge of Running Board - Aluminum Paint
Cab (Inside) - Cab Green, Medium

That's the text.  A JPEG image of the document is on the archives of the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum.  I've spelled out repetitions instead of using ditto marks as on the original.  Also, the original is all capitals, common for mechanical drawing work. 

Conclusion:  The official standard practice called for dark olive green boiler jackets on all D&RGW locomotives after November 1, 1937.  Photographic evidence suggests that this standard practice may not have been followed on the narrow gauge.  There is a division of opinion on this matter. 

My advice - select the paint scheme that you like, and make your case to your friends using either the photos or the Standard Practice, and enjoy operating your mudhens.  Bachmann has provided a very attractive model of this loco. 

Charlie Mutschler
4  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: K-27 Pulling power on: March 06, 2010, 03:34:03 PM
Let's go to the D&RGW employee time tables.  Not much of the D&RGW narrow gauge was flat, but Alamosa - Antonito is close.  The K-27 class is rated at 1,190 tons on this section of the railroad.  Typical D&RGW wooden freight cars have a tare (empty) weight of about 11 - 12 tons, and a capacity loaded of 25 tons.  Cabooses are in the 12 ton range.  Figure empties at 12 tons, loads at 37 tons, caboose at 12 tons.  I haven't added in the adjustment factors, but it's probably safe to say that a K-27 would be pretty well at its limit with 30 loads and a caboose from Alamosa to Antonito - 1,122 tons. 

Antonito to Cumbres, maximum grade 1.42%, K-27 class rated at 600 tons.  That equates to 587 tons (15 loads plus caboose).  The steep side of the pass, the 4% between Chama and Cumbres, is much more restrictive, with the K-27 class rated at 183 tons.  Four loads and a caboose totals 160 tons. 

The model moving 27 cars on a 1% grade seems to be out-performing the prototype.   Wink 

I haven't managed to exceed the tractive effort of my K-27 with my relatively short number of cars.  It is one beautiful loco.  I just need to build a combine and I have my tri-weekly Silverton mixed. 

Charlie Mutschler
5  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Weathered K-27 on: December 18, 2009, 09:51:36 PM
Beautiful work, Kevin.  Looks like she's ready to take Train 461 to Silverton. 

Charlie Mutschler
6  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Caboose colours, D&RGW on: December 15, 2009, 10:12:15 PM
The movie people came to town and filmed "Denver & Rio Grande" on the Silverton branch in the summer of 1951.  Caboose 0579 was painted green for the movie people.  The 'bumblebee' scheme was used on Nos. 268, 319, and 345 (the 'double' for 268 in the head on collision scene), as well as on K-28 473.  The movie people really didn't come up with paint and lettering schemes that were historically accurate for the early years of the D&RG. 

Charlie Mutschler
7  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Big Power on the Tuscarora Railroad (K-27 makeover) on: November 14, 2009, 02:02:24 PM
Beautiful work, Kevin.  Cutting down the cab and tender gives a great deal of similarity to the OR&L's K-28 near-clones.  Your full discussion on the other board was very nice. 

Charlie Mutschler
8  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Steel cars on: September 17, 2009, 12:28:34 AM
D&RGW narrow gauge steel flats. 

Nos. 6500 - 6544, rebuilt from 1907 standard gauge steel gondolas in three batches, between 1939 and 1944.  These 42 foot long, 40 ton capacity cars were narrowed, and had fishbelly side sills.  Two (6526 and 6527) were rebuilt in 1955 with bulkheads for shipping wallboard to Farmington, both were scrapped after 1970.  The 6500 series cars obtained by the C&TS have all been rebuilt into passenger cars.  The D&SNG still has some unchanged examples of this series of car. 

Nos. 6600 - 6619, rebuilt  from standard gauge box car underframes in 1955, are 37' 4" long.  Nos. 6400, 6401, 6404, and 6407 were identical conversions done in 1957. 

Nos. 6620 - 6694 were rebuilt from standard gauge stock car underframes in 1957, also Nos. 6402, 6403, 6405, and 6406.  These cars are all 37' 9" long. 

Examples of both lengths of 6600s have been preserved. 

Charlie Mutschler
9  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: D&RGW NG Pipe Traffic. on: August 09, 2009, 08:56:30 PM
Not sure what all the diameters of pipe were, but most was in 40 foot lengths.  The 40 foot lengths of pipe fit neatly on standard gauge cars from the manufacturer's plant to Alamosa.  No overhang.  The narrow gauge cars, however, were mostly shorter than the pipe.  The 6500 series flats, rebuilt from standard gauge gondolas, were 41 feet long over end sills,but there were not enough of them to handle the business.  Nos. 6500 - 6544 were rebuilt in four groups, between 1940 and 1944. 

The most convenient source of cars for the pipe trade was taking the ends out of the 32 foot long gondolas, and placing blocks over the bolsters to carry the weight of the pipe  This left about four feet of pipe extending at each end.  The idler cars were converted from a variety of sources - some were gondolas, with the sides removed; some were box cars with the superstructure removed above the decking, some were 30 foot stock cars with the superstructure removed above the decking.  There were problems with idler cars buckling if the brakes were applied too aggressively or the slack ran in too fast.  The idler cars made from gondolas were the most prone to breaking under strain.  Lengths of rail were bolted to the side sills to stiffen these cars, as well as to stiffen idler cars made from 30 foot box and stock cars. 

The D&RGW rebuilt some 40 foot standard gauge box cars into 40 foot pipe gons, the 9600 - 9619 group.  The management decided it was simpler to convert standard gauge box and stock cars to 37 foot narrow gauge flats, resulting in the 6600 - 6619 (converted from standard gauge box cars) and 6620 - 6694 (converted from standard gauge stock cars). 

Other manufacturers may be offering the pipe gondolas and idler cars.  Or you could scratch build your own - plenty of scale drawings exist, plenty of photos.  The pipe trains were the last major traffic boom on the D&RGW narrow gauge

Charlie Mutschler
10  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Bachmann 1:20.3 Forney on: July 14, 2009, 11:04:11 AM
My reply to Kevin was that there was at least one 36 inch gauge Forney that I was aware of.  Of course, following Glenn's comment, I suspect that trying to rebuild the Bachmann Forney into F&CC 51 would be difficult.  Perhaps not quite in the class of difficulty of building a 4-4-0 entirely out of F-7 parts, but. . . . scratch building might really be easier for anyone seeking an F&CC 2-4-4T. 

Having said that, I am really impressed with the Forney!  Beautiful job, gentlemen.  I am sure it will be very popular with the people who love Maine 2wo footers.  Doubtless someone will figure out how to rebuild them to two foot gauge.  Someone has done that with the On30 Forney, but I understand it is quite a job, not for the faint of heart or the mechanically inept.  Again, looks nice! 

11  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Bachmann 1:20.3 Forney on: July 10, 2009, 11:14:00 PM

F&CC 51, Schenectady, 1898, Construction No. 4740.  Delivered as an 0-4-4T, but the F&CC added a two-wheel pilot truck almost immediately, making her a 2-4-4T.  All the photos I have seen show her operating smokebox first, suggesting the F&CC decided very soon that 51 needed a pilot truck.  Probably not surprising on a railroad with only conventional 2-8-0 and 4-6-0 power excepting this one Forney for commuter service.  Sold in 1914 to the Pajaro Valley Consolidated, in California.  Scrapped circa 1935.  Drawings should be available from the John Maxwell Collection. 

One locomotive, two 36 inch gauge railroads. 

Charlie Mutschler
12  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Colorodo Roads on: April 28, 2009, 10:56:49 AM
However, 8, 9, and 10 are different horses - part of Class B-3-C, and quite different from the two members of Class B-3-B, Nos. 21 and 22 which are fairly easily done using the existing Bachmann model.  I know several On3 modelers have regauged the Bachmann model (it's easier now with the Grandt axle set) and made very nice On3 B-3-Bs for a fraction of the price of the brass ones. 

What would I like to see?  I would like to see a manufacturer offer the F&CC / RGS Schenectady 4-6-0s (quite unlike the ET&WNC prototype for Bachmann's upcoming 4-6-0) and or the D&RGW T-12 4-6-0. 

Hey, you asked! 
Charlie Mutschler
13  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: 1860's - 1910 Rolling Stock on: April 26, 2009, 07:16:57 PM
A latecomer's follow up.  I very highly recommend looking at John White's _The American Railroad Freight Car From the Wood Car Era to the Coming of Steel_  This is huge book, and an expensive one, but very useful for anyone trying to understand the nature of railroad car design and railroad freight operations up to World War I.  If you don't want to spend that much for a book, check academic libraries - you can probably find one there. 

I would offer one slight modification to the time frame offered, for reasons which are well documented in White's magnificent book:  The small wooden freight car era is effectively ended in 1903, not 1910.  Yes, some of the newer 36 foot cars and large quantities of all wood 40 foot cars remained in interchange service after 1903, but that year is a watershed, and it is unlikely much 1860's equipment remained in interchange service after 1903. 

1903 is the year the Safety Appliance Act finally went into effect, forcing railroads to adopt automatic couplers and air brakes on cars used in interstate service and in interchange service.  Freight cars from the 1860s had a much smaller capacity than cars from the mid to late 1880s, so the cost of rebuilding old, relatively low capacity cars was offset by the economic benefit of moving more freight per car with newer equipment - an argument for retiring 20 ton capacity cars in favor of 40 ton capacity cars which were becoming the standard after 1900.  Not to mention the all steel car, allowing 50 ton capacity hopper cars to become common after 1900. 

A fairly good selection of  all wood box, stock, and refrigerator cars from the mid 1880s to the 1910's have been offered by various manufacturers, especially in H-0 scale.  Scratch building isn't too difficult, either, and a fair number of drawings exist.  However, the early steel hopper and gondolas are much harder to find.  One manufacturer offers a number of hoppers, in resin kits in H-0 scale, but the lack of the Pressed Steel Car Company general service gondolas from the 1900s to 1930s is greatly noted by people modeling the western states.  The hopper bottom coal car was ubiquitous east of the Mississippi, but in the Rockies and west the 'coal car' was more often than not a flat bottomed general service gondola with doors to allow dumping coal or limestone.  The flat floor allowed the car to be used to carry pipe, lumber, and other commodities when it wasn't carrying coal. 

Happy researching and building all. 

Charlie Mutschler
14  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Don't you think it is about time for something more.......EBT or WPY? on: April 23, 2009, 11:44:06 PM
A reply to Justin - the WP&Y deserves a lot of credit for its success in ridership.  Part of this is due to a very hard working management and marketing group, but another element in this success is the nature of who a lot of the riders are.  Cruise ship travelers, who take a ride on the WP&Y as part of a cruise package.  A lot of those people buy souvenirs, but how many of them are model railroaders?  Some of them may become model railroaders, and we should hope that they will consider buying some of the models offered.   

However, I disagree with your assertion that the ridership reflects hard core interest in the WP&Y more than other tourist railroads.  The huge number of riders is the result of good marketing, largely to people who want to go on a cruise, and take in whatever scenic sights and tours come with the package.  The WP&Y really worked hard to market their railroad as a sight-seeing component of cruise packages to Alaska.  Very good work, and a brilliant way to capitalize on potential customers being delivered to the door.  The other tourist railroads try to do this in a smaller way - working with bus tour operators, but of course that is a very different market, and a much smaller one than the ships. 

Any of these tourist railroads serve only a very small number of serious railfans or model railroaders.  Most of the passengers are out for the ride - often sold on the basis of the good scenery as much as anything else.  The WP&Y has scenery that is hard to beat - from tidewater to the White Pass summit in 20 miles.  I enjoyed my trip on it, but that was 30 plus years ago, when it was a lot less busy, and was still handling regular freight over the entire line. 

Charlie Mutschler
15  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Don't you think it is about time for something more.......EBT or WPY? on: April 19, 2009, 11:43:49 PM
Why leave out the Sumpter Valley or Uintah if you want mikes?  Two of the SV ALCOS are extant, the Baldwins were, alas, all scrapped.  And then Uintah 40 would have looked quite at home on the White Pass....

One serious point that needs to be made is the Bachmann team, like any manufacturer, has to sell enough of the product to make it profitable.  They seem to be doing well, judging from the number of people I know who have several of their locomotives, many of whom have widened them out to On3.  At least one gentleman has a project to narrow one of the 2-4-4T Forneys to On2.  So the Bachmann locos seem to be loved. 

But the big engines require big curves.  There is just no way around this.  I sigh whenever I see the inquiry about "Kinda like XYZ Manufacturer's model, but able to go around 15 inch curves on EZ Track."  I don't care who makes it, Bachmann or someone else, if it is to be a decent model of an EBT or White Pass 2-8-2 (or the SV 2-8-2s), it will not run comfortably on 15 inch curves.  Probably not even on anything under 22 curves, and that will have been gained by use of blind center driver tires, and whatever else the design team can work into an On30 model - probably something like the axles on the Fn3 K-27.  Many On3 modelers feel that mikes need a minimum of 40 inches, and 45 inch radius curves are better still.  So if an On30 version of a White Pass 70, USA 190, or EBT 16 can be built that will look convincing, I suspect it will not negotiate the 18 inch radius curves many On30 modelers feel are wide, main line curves. 

No, I'm not trying to dampen the proposal.  Just saying, that, like the other recent manufacturer's offering, I suspect an On30 EBT or WP&Y mike would require wider curves than the Forneys do. 

From a personal standpoint, I can say that I would be more interested in either the WP&Y 70 (the early version - 70 and 71 preferred), or an EBT mike than the USA 190's.  However, the USA 190's might find greater appeal to people beyond North America, since these locomotives were built in 36, meter, and 42 inch gauges, and distributed around much of the world. 

Unlike Dustin, I would be more likely to look for some extra K-28's if I wanted power for a White Pass & Yukon train, since my interest in the WP&Y is basically the period during WWII when it was leased by the US Army.  So a pair of the ET&WNC 4-6-0s would be appropriate - but for a very brief period.  Both were badly damaged in the Whitehorse, YT engine house fire, and were shipped south for sale as scrap at the end of the Army's lease. 

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