A question about size

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by esl1885, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. esl1885

    esl1885 New Member


    New guy with a question. Both the locomotives in the picture are 4-4-0's.
    Are the size differences between the two actual, or is one of them totally out of scale. Were the early 4-4-0's that much smaller than the later ones?

    The one on the left is a Bachmann, and the other is a Model Power.



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  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Wow... that difference is really surprising...!

    While there would be some difference in size between the prototypes, I am not sure it is as drastic as that. Jupiter was built in 1868, while the protoype for the MP was probably built in the ealry 1900s, and possibly modified in the late 1920s or 30s. So up to almost 50 years of innovation could be seen in the MP model versus Jupiter.

    For a better understanding if one (or both) is out of scale, look at the "people parts" of the locos. How high is the ceiling of the cab? What sizes are the grabs, ladders, or other parts that the crew would have used directly? Last check could be a comparison of something like the driver size or overall length of the real thing versus the model.

    To start you off, here's a picture of Jupiter with some people to give an idea of scale: http://users.tns.net/~path/GS60.html

    Here's a better page with scale diagrams of her - Union Pacific Locomotive #119 and Central Pacific Locomotive #60, Jupiter at Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869 by Roy E. Appleman. National Park Service Report, July 1966. You can download an entire 376 page pdf, but it looks like the engine itself should be only 35 feet long (not including tender), with what looks like 63" drivers. This seems to agree with the picture above, where the gentleman at the front could be assumed to be about 6 feet tall.

    Hope that helps.

  3. esl1885

    esl1885 New Member

    Maybe this size difference is accurate, as I have found some drawings that show the drivers on a later engine to be 84".

    I have one of the Atlas 2-6-0 Mogul's, and it is actually slightly smaller than the Bachmann 4-4-0, which really seemed odd to me.

  4. ARGH

    ARGH New Member

    The MP 440 is pretty close to one that the MKT used on a brach line to pull an 85 foot passenger and mail car. I believe that I read someplace that the Bach 440 is larger than scale. In looking the photo of the UP and CP meet at Promontory it sure appears that those locomotives were very small.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Another old 4-4-0

    Here's a picture of a slightly later vintage 4-4-0 (Countess of Dufferin/CPR No. 1).
    Compare it to the woman standing on the platform. The stack makes the engine seem much bigger than it is.

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  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That's fairly common for old-time models. Even (older) HO 19th century steamers were often oversize.

    Yes, the size difference between the prototypes is probably that great.
  7. esl1885

    esl1885 New Member

    Thanks for all the replys. I'm glad to know that maybe the size difference is actual. I think I will avoid having these engines on the same layout.

  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    There's nothing wrong with having them together - just one was built 40 years later than the other. Steam engines were too valuable to just scrap until the end of the steam age. Older engines, if not wrecked beyond rebuilding (and there were a lot of wrecks and accidents in early railroading), would be pressed into lighter duty service or sold off. A small 4-4-0 could pull a light passenger or maintenance train for many years.

    Use the newer heavier 4-4-0 to pull your new (at the time) steel passenger cars, and use the older one on branch line service with the older wooden passenger cars.

    my thoughts, your choices
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Yes, the older 4-4-0 could be used for a late 19th/early 20th century layout - but it would probably be painted black, and would have lost the huge stack and fancy domes.
  10. esl1885

    esl1885 New Member

    New reflections on size

    Finally got out the micrometer and calculator. The drivers on the Bachmann 4-4-0 measure out to be 51". The smallest drivers I have found on any 4-4-0 are 56".

    The drivers on the Model Power 4-4-0 measure out to 72", which is found on a lot of 4-4-0's.

    I also have the Atlas 2-6-0, and the drivers on it measure 43". All the info I have found on 2-6-0's show 62" drivers.

    I am thinking that the Bachmann and the Atlas are so far out of scale as to be unusable. The freight and passenger cars that come with the Bachmann sets are very close to scale tho.

  11. esl1885

    esl1885 New Member

    I just found that the Jupiter did have 50" drivers when first built, and then was changed to 68" drivers.

    So I guess the Bachmann 4-4-0 is correctly sized.

  12. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    About the only think preventing these two from running together (prototypically speaking) is the funnel stack on the little 4-4-0. It marks it as a wood-burner. Really if you wanted to be "correct" in running it next to the bigger one, just pull the balloon stack off and put on a straight stack, also pull the wood load out of the tender.

    Many railroads ran diminutive 4-4-0s on light branchlines into the '50s. Canadian Pacific 136 isn't much bigger than your Jupiter, but it was in regular service in 1955 next to much larger steamers.

    Here's a picture of even smaller CP 4-4-0 #29 next to a hulking M4 consolidation #3554 at Chipman NB in the mid-1950's. (DPM photo)

    ... and here's #13, at the South Simcoe Railway in Tottenham, ON. They were a little bigger than Note the normal-sized guy standing on the footplate:


    Now compare the size of 136 (and the cars behind) to PRR D16 1223:

  13. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I think the Bachmann 4-4-0s are scaled correctly. The cogdon stack is correct for the era...but out of date by 1900.

    In HO, Triplex is correct that most old-time locomotives are actually OO scale (15% oversized for HO)...but the Bachmann engines are true HO scale. I suspect that the same holds for their N-scale offering.

    When the Jupiter was built, passenger cars were 40-50' long...but by the other's time...they were 70-85' long...and substantially heavier. Therefore, the later 4-4-0 should be quite large by comparison.

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