Its been a few years, now I have some questions

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Chessie System, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Chessie System

    Chessie System New Member

    Hey fellow HO scale friends. I wanted to say Hi and also get some opinions. However I have some things to mention.

    I have not been playing/working on my triains for many years. Moving, space and life keep me away. Anywho,

    I am looking at getting a locomotive that can run my tight corners, however money is a factor. I was thinking maybe a 44 ton switcher or a 70 ton. I would like to stay in the Chessie Sytem look, I dont think they had any 44 ton switchers tho. I was also thinking maybe an RS unit, but I dont think they had any in the chessie name. Anyone know what would be nice?

    Also, I would like to know whats a good brand. last I knew Bachmann was not the best in the world. Maybe Atlas or Athern?

    Thanks people
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    How tight are the "tight corners"? Most 4-axel units like RS's can theoretically negotiate 18" radius curves. Atlas is regarded as a quality manufacturer of diesel locos. I am contemplating a purchase of an Atlas RS-2 myself (it would be the only diesel on the layout).

    I don't know much about the Chessie System, so I can't really help with whether or not the little switchers would be appropriate or not. I understand that official use of the name "Chessie System" did not begin until the 1970s though, so that is likely too late for the GE switchers and the RS units.

  3. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I think the GP38 is just about the perfect engine for your purposes: It's general purpose (that's what the GP stands for), and it looks good doing switching in a yard, or hauling a local freight, or even in a consist hauling a mainline train. It's the right engine for the blue/yellow/vermillion Chessie era, and it will negotiate 18" curves.

    Discount Trains Online has an Atlas GP38 in Chessie Systems colors here:

    I would prefer to get Atlas locos from M.B. Klein (they got the best prices for it), but they don't have any Chessie Geeps in stock right now. :(

    If you want a less-expensive Geep, you can get an Athearn GP38-2, but I can't find one in Chessie paint anywhere.

    EDITED TO ADD: While the retooled Bachmanns are good runners with excellent mechanisms, their detailing doesn't look anywhere near as nice as Atlas or Athearns. IMHO Athearn or Atlas locos are worth the extra expense and effort.

    Good luck!
  4. Chessie System

    Chessie System New Member

    Hey thanks guys, I was thinking maybe a 4 axle would be best. I have a book about trains and one of the things I notice is the 4 truck engines have a B in the name. Correct?

    I will let this thred simmer a little for some more input
  5. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    The only engine builder that uses a B to designate a diesel hood locomotive with 4 axles would be General Electric, for locomotives like the U33B, B23-7, B40-8, etc.

    General Motors (EMD) uses the "GP" designation for 4-axle road-switcher hood locos, such as GP7, GP15, GP38-2, GP40X, etc.

    Alco and Fairbanks Morse also has their own designation system, and I don't think they use "B" to specify a 4-axle loco.

    Hope this helps.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I am more of a steam guy, but I believe that the trucks used A, B, and C to designate how many of the axels were powered. For example - I think C-C indicated 3 axel trucks front and back with all axels powered, whereas A-1-A indiicated a three axel truck with the middle axel "idle" (i.e. no power). B-B would mean two axel trucks front and rear, with all four (total) axels powered.

    Something like that... I am much happier with 4-6-2 and 2-8-0, etc, etc... ;) :D

  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Alco centuries series locomotive say how many wheels per truck. For exampl, a Alco C-430 has 4 wheels per truck and 3,000HP.

    a C-628 would have 6 wheels a truck, and 2,800HP or close to that.

    on Alco RS style locomotives, it will either be RS for 4 wheels, RSC for 6 wheeled A1A trucks ( the middle wheel being a dummy to help distribute weight or something like that) or RSD for 6 wheels that run with motors.

    Fairbanks & Morse has a similar numbering system.

    for a FM diesel, the last 2 numbers denote how many wheels per truck. an H-16-44 would have a pair of 4 wheeled trucks, while the canadian H-12-46 has a 4 wheeled truck, and a 6 wheeled truck

    Baldwin locomotives are the only ones with bizarre ever changing naming systems.
  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I thought the last two numbers denoted powered axles? A B-B locomotive would be -44, a C-C locomotive was -66. The H-12-46 was an A1A-A1A light road switcher. Some of FM's C-liners did have 5 axles: a B-A1A wheel arrangement , and thus their designations ended in -45.
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    oh, good catch. I didn't notice that. i thought that was it, but looks like i learned something today!
  10. Chessie System

    Chessie System New Member

    Oh man, this is all so confussing. I guess I should just find a 4 truck system that I like in Chessie system name. Thanks for the help and headach
  11. Seaboard

    Seaboard Member

    I know it does get confusing on the gauge at times. I know that there are those Bachman tugs with four wheels. Iv'e had one and There Really easy to fix. Mine held up for a long time. Replaced the motor once. All it is is a simple rectangular can motor and a few wires and lights. Try one. There probably not the best switching engine Bachman has made but they do work good. Ive seen them in Atlas and they work really well and hold up for along time.
  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

  13. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I road on that one back in the early 80s.:thumb: It was pulling an NRHS railfan run from Baltimore to Philly.
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    To confuse things further, in other parts of the world they use an "o" to distinguish whether there was one motor per axle or one motor per truck. Can never remember which). This gives rise to characters like CoBo in Thomas.
  15. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    The non-US system assumes that there's one motor per truck, as on siderod diesels, jackshaft electrics, and diesel-hydraulics. Adding the o means one per axle, as on pretty much everything else. Our ordinary B-B and C-C North American engines are Bo-Bo and Co-Co to Europeans. One class of British diesel was a Co-Bo (3-axle truck in front), but it's best known for appearing in Thomas the Tank engine, where a character of this class is called BoCo. They're treating him as having the 2-axle truck in front.
  16. Chessie System

    Chessie System New Member

    I think my best bet would be to find some pics of chessie System loco's and find one I like that would meet my needs. Like this guy here.

    This pic was found at
  17. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

  18. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't know a lot about Chessie, but they ran Gp38-2 & Gp40-2. Both are available from Athearn, I just don't know if they have them available in Chessie at this time. Aparantly Atlas also offers the Gp38-2. If your avatar is of an actual Chessie prototype, You can get a Sw7 or a Sw1500 from Athearn in Chessie, and I think those would handle a 15 inch radius.
  19. Chessie System

    Chessie System New Member

    Thanks Tom and Russ, I am also thinking maybe a short line would be best for my limited space. Ya the avatar pic is a real switcher. I was thinking maybe that and a couple GP38's
  20. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Ever since CSX came into existance, more and more CSX stuff became available and less and less Chessie stuff can be found. :(

    Those yard switchers are getting harder and harder to find.. But at least the Geeps are still somewhat available. In addition to the Atlas GP38 I mentioned above, I also see some Athearn GP40-2s in Chessie colors:

    I would stick with Athearn and Atlas... They got the nicest diesels out of all the makes.

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