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Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by bonny_lass79, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. bonny_lass79

    bonny_lass79 New Member

    Hey everyone. Newbie here. I'm actually here more for research than anything. I've enjoyed model trains growing up although it's been years since I've owned one. I just started dating a guy who's dream is to own a full sized 1920's steam engine like the one he used to drive at Disney. He's also an architecture student who loves designing and building models. I decided that the best thing for him this Christmas is an N scale model. He's still in an apartment, so I'm afraid to get him anything larger, but I don't want him to lose out on details either. Does anyone have ideas on brands or styles? I don't want to spend too much. I'm prepared to probably only buy the track and locomotive for the time being. It's something that I'd like to see him grow with. Any suggestions would be more than welcome. Thanks.
  2. zedob

    zedob Member

    Hi Bonnie, Welcome Aboard the Gauge.

    The Disney locomotives were originally from some of the sugar plantations down in Louisiana. Most of those railroads were narrow guage, as in 3 feet between the rails as opposed to the standard gauge (4ft. 8-1/2") you see today.

    IHC makes an HO scale, standard gauge "oldtimer" 4-4-0 loco that is about as low price as you can get, without resorting to ebaying. I can't tell you anything about how well those locos run but they are dressed up in Disney fashion and would probably score you some points. It's larger than N, but it will navigate an 18" radius curve.

    Some of the N guys can help you with an N point of view. I don't know what is availble in steam for that scale.

    For Christmas, a simple loop of track and a power pack would probably get you by.

    BTW. Unless your boyfriend is real lucky, the chances of him getting a hold of one of those locos (the full sized one) is going to be next to impossible. The only ones that I know of that haven't been cut up for scrap 50 yrs ago are either at Disneyland(world) or locked up just south of New Iberia, LA at the Patout sugar plantation. The Patout family is not letting them go.

    However, if I recall correctly, there is one on display in Opalosas, LA., which may be for sale for the right price. It's not really a part of that town's history because there were no cane plantations in that area. Mind you, even if you could buy it, you'd probably have to spend alot more money to get it back to a running state.

    As for wanting to own one and run it around a track, me too. Those little engines are just so...cute. Very much the Gentleman Engineer steam loco, in my mind. In the book Down Among the Sugar Cane (sorry I don't know the author or publisher) there was a photo of about 6 or 7 of these tiny engines all standing in line waiting for buyers. Each one had a $500 tag on them. No-one bought any and all were scrapped.
  3. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Bonny. Atlas and Bachmann make old-time steam engines in N scale. The Atlas one is better quality, but more expensive. I have some of both and have been satisfied with their performance. The Bachmann loco is available in a train set called "The Frontiersman" which comes with track, cars, and power pack and would probably be adequate for what you need.
  4. Clark A.

    Clark A. Member

    Make sure if you get the Bachmann Frontiersman, that it is in N scale not HO. The HO set contains a 2-8-0 locomotive which is not "old-tyme".
  5. bonny_lass79

    bonny_lass79 New Member

    Thanks for all of the great advice. I've got the names of a few shops around town that I might check out tomorrow. Luckily the boyfriend has finals coming up, so I'll have lots of free time to find his Christmas present. I'll check out the IHC HO set if I can find it. I've looked at a few of the Bachmann N scale sets that looked really nice. The N scales are probably small enough that Matt could set them up with some of his school models. Now that would be something unique to put in his portfolio.

    As for the real thing, I think he would just be happy with a steam engine, whether it looked like Disney's or not. He always talks about finding 100 acres somewhere and setting up a track. He's such a big kid. I think it would be great if he could really pull it off.
  6. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    hi wecome to the gauge :wave: :wave: as for the full sizerd loco my boy was down in mexico this summer and saw 3 old tank locos sitting rusting at a sugar refinery.

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