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Texas & New Orleans 2-8-0 project

Started by Trainman203, June 09, 2016, 07:21:09 PM

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The SP and T&NO heavy condolidations were Harriman engines, just like the IC engine that the Bach Man's engine is (loosely) based on.

For a long time I've wanted to make a T&NO engine from a Bachmann 2-8-0.  The Vanderbilt tender (not all these engines had them) is the biggest "spotting feature" of course, and at one time the Bach Man offered a 99 percent correct medium oil Vanderbilt tender.  I got two of them before they went away, wish I'd bought 10.

I have had Econami sound installed in both the tenders and have put one behind a 2-8-0.  Here is the starting point for my 2-8-0.

The overall lines are really good.  The first thing is going to be to give it a T&NO number, 899.  Then, remove the most incorrect detail, the pilot stairs, and put sheet metal steps like all SP/T&NO steam engines had.  Train number boards, trimming the sash out of the cab Windows and cab window awnings will be enough for now. A

The sand dome is grossly wrong but that is too big a project for now.  Also nearly all these engines had inside Stephenson valve gear that was never upgraded to Baker gear like this engine has, a few 2nd hand renegades acquired in shortline aquisitions "did" have outside valve gear.  It looks too good and works too well to remove.

If you study enough pictures of these 2-8-0's you will see that inconsistency in detail is very consistent, leaving a lot of room for modeling varieties like mine will have.

I'm going to post updates as this goes along.


Look forward to seeing the progress and result :)
Keep Calm and Carry On



Keep Calm and Carry On


For the SP/T&NO modeler, the Econonami decoder has 6 great whistles, 3 five chimes and 3 six chimes.  Although they bear the names of other roads, these whistles were all manufactured by accessory supply companies and were sold to all railroads. So if you see a 5 chime or a 6 chime whistle in any prototype engine photo, any decoder 5 chime or 6 chime would be appropriate.

A lot of people associate silver smoke boxes or silver smoke box fronts with the Southern Pacific, and I debated with myself a long time about starting out with a Bachmann Western Pacific engine which comes with a silver smoke box.  Some research and question asking revealed that the silver smoke box front (some say it was white) appears to be a post WW ll safety visibility effort, done around the time that the large "Southern Pacific" replaced the smaller "Southern Pacific Lines" on tender sides.  The smaller lettering on tenders usually accompanies a regular graphite smoke box, darker in appearance, which appears to be typical until the late 1940's.  The T&NO steam engines I remember from so many long years ago appeared both ways in the early 1950's, but I'm choosing to go with the darker smoke box, partly because that "look" is older, and goes with the tender lettering, but also to set my model apart from most other typical SP models, with silver smoke boxes.


Odd SP  2-8-0:  SP bought a few Cotton Belt 2-8-0's right at the end of steam for seasonal rush switching.  They didn't last very long and to my knowledge never ran regular mainline trains.

There was an article in Railroad Model Craftsman about 4 or 5 years ago about how to make one of these out of a Bachmann engine.  The dome replacement technique is useful for any conversion of a Bachmann 2-8-0 to anything.