Hi from a newbie- Steam question??

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by larry t, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. larry t

    larry t New Member

    Hi everyone:wave: , I just joined the forum and really am a newbie. As I all to quickly approch those golden years I decided to take up model railroading. I have limited space (limited by my wife:rolleyes: ) so I just started to lay unitrack on my 36"X80" door. I have a Kato SD40 but I am thinking of chaging to Steam. I was hopeing some of you seasoned pro's would give me you advise as to the best steam locomotive on the market.

  2. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    For my money it would be the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 our club has one and it is a work horse, runs smooth and can go all day at a show.

    I have also heard the Atlas 2-6-0 is a good one.

    Myself I have four of the Bachmann 4-4-0s, but have to say, although they look great, they can only pull about 4-6 cars around my layout (2% inclines). Of course, that is prototypical isn't it :confused:

    You can of course get Brass models or buy Kato's Heavy Mikado.
  3. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    As a newbie, the best N scale steam locomotive on the market would be the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 Consolidation. Make sure its the Spectrum edition, not their standard one. Another very good choice would be the MDC (now Athearn) 2-6-0 or 2-8-0. The last good choice is the Kato 2-8-2 Mikado, but unfortunately it has some small detail parts that have to be added. The street price range for these locomotives runs from $60 for the MDC units as e-tailers blow them out, to $150+ for the same units from local hobby shops (LHS) trying to recoup their investments. The Bachmanns can be had for around $90, the Kato for about $110. LHS prices will be higher.

    Enjoy steam, and beware, it can be addictive. :wave:
  4. larry t

    larry t New Member

    Thank you for your advise, I have two kato SD70m reserved but I really want to model the 1920-30's coal region around the Wilkes-Barre area where my grandfather worked the mines. I am from Harrisburg, Pa. So I bought the SD40 conrail and ordered the SD70M's in Norrfolk Southern with the both the CSX and NS coalporter sets from Kato thinking that would be right for the Harrisburg area it this era. But before I get too far along I am considering the change to steam.

  5. larry t

    larry t New Member

    I bought the Bachmann spectrum 2-8-0. It should be here in a day or two. What is the best route to take on the couplers?
  6. hswn

    hswn Member

    Welcomb to the hobby
    I have a Spectrum 2-8-0 and it's a workhorse. I have a Model Power 4-6-2 I've only run it on a test track, I don't have a home layout and I'm in a bent track group last meet was all DCC. I've spoketo the parts man at Model Power and he tells me that the preproduction samples of there 2-6-0 and 4-4-0 are great and pull good { I want }. For starters if your running frieght go with the Spectrum 2-8-0 when you want passenger down the line get a Model Power 4-6-2, or if your doing shortl line or branch line the up coming 2-6-0 { watch for the reviews, let some one else figure out if it's worht the price }
  7. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member


    On the couplers for the Connie, you can replace the tender coupler with a Micro-Trains 2004. (Available assembled or unassembled.) To do this, you simply "pop" the draft box of the existing coupler off, remove the coupler and spring (assuming they didn't pop off to neverland) and then, depending on how picky you are, you can either simply shave down the nubs flush to the mounting pad that held on the old draft box, or shave the entire coupler mounting pad down flush to the level of the surrounding surface. The difference between the two is that if you don't shave the mounting pad down all the way, the coupler will sit a little bit lower than it should.

    Either way, once you have the surface prepared, drill and tap a hole for a 00-90 screw into the mounting pad so that the edge of the new coupler box is flush to the back edge of the tender. Set coupler onto pad, insert tiny 00-90 screw, and voila, done.

    Its actually simpler than it sounds, I have already done 4, and have 2 more to do. If you are going to go the MT route, I suggest that you simply get their N Scale Coupler Starter Kit which has all the drills, taps, jigs, and such that you'll need for doing MT couplers. For the front coupler, you can either replace the coupler with a 1015?, or use a Z scale coupler, or simply wait until you're comfortable with changing it. IIRC, it has a dummy knuckle that will couple, albeit not easily, so unless you need to doublehead locos or back the thing up pulling a train by the nose, its not a big deal.

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