Oldies but Goodies. The Old Stuff.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by toptrain1, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    number1_aa.jpg 1_and_5_at_cc.jpg I really like the baggage car. I have recently aquired 3 Mantua 1880 combines.. I was sorely tempted to cut two of them up, and make a baggage car and a coach, but I had purchased them to use as cabeese, so I painted them red with black roofs and trucks, and put them into service as cabeese. . I am close to capaciry on passenger cars, could use a few more once I get my RR rebuild done, but bu that time I should have more time and $$ on hand, and may opt to build the rest od the fleet from Labelle Kits, hard to beat those.

    My RR rebuild did away with most of my photogenic scenery, here is my #1 and #5, amidst my best remaining scenery. both started life as Mantua Generals. #1 came with my first HO train set at Christmas of 1966. it has been in continual service since; although it has been heavily rebuilt. It now has an AHM tender, a big Sagami motor salvaged from a broken G scale magic carpet. a home made drawbar that deals with the deck hight diferences between the AHM tender and the Mantua Locomotive. It also has a Hobytown universal (now available from Micro-mark). Cosmeticly #1 has a brass stack, pilot, bell ,whistle, and I mave milled out a large prtion of the frame, so one can see through the locomotive under the front of the boiler as God intended.

    #5 started it's life ans a Mantua General; but got rebuilt with a Cary Conversion boiler, and an MDC tender. It has a cannon coppier motor in the MDC tender. it runs very well, as does #1. These locomotives were limited to my Valley division on my previous layout. but the ruling grade on my rebuild will be 3.3% just like the valley division of my old layout , so these critters will be abvle to work most of my new system, once it is up and running. Odly after I built it I aquired a book on the L&N's Memphis line, that runs just in front of my house. The L&N han a 4-4-0 that worked that line that looked identical to my #5

    Malgo likes this.
  2. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    * Verrrry interesting! I like that power Bill. Real classic stuff. I'd like to see some old Labelle passenger kits built up to.
  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    This Bowker was built out of the parts from the six or more that have died in hard sevice on my RR over the years. each stack from a dead Bowker is in service on another licomotive, so the Bowker's stack is the most common stack on my roster. I have an ON3 4-4-0 I want to paint to represent the 1880's look, which will invilve me trying to paint something to represent Russian Iron. I may test that process on theis Bowker and the Genoa. The Bowker needs some work to get all the parts on the same page. looking at it you can tell that these parts have not been together forever.


    here is a cut down Mantua 1860 combine, used in caboose service. beside it is a Mantua Horsecar, rebuilt with wooden doors. I must have lost the originals, I honestly have no recolection.


    I love these Labelle coaches, that were cut down some, removing three or four windows. some dust highlights the cut line on the celestory roof.


    The labelle coaches are pictured in front of the Union Station @ Stateline GA, wher my RR interchanges with both a standard gauge branch, and a narrow gauge branch, of the Marrietta nad North Georgia RR.


    this photo shose the knee wall, and you can see the two shelfs hanging off the ceiling. the top shelf represents Gegokayoosa NC. (Gegokayoosa is Cherokee for Bleeding Nose); that top shelf is more than six feet off the flloor, and is 100% narrowgauge. The shelf below that is State Line GA. and it is dual gauge. the rest of my layout is in Eastern TN. Under Crooked Creek, you can see the Northbound track heading off for the lowest level , where there will be a massive logging camp, an iron furnace with coke ovens, and a return loop

    somethimnes Zealot doubles photos, I uploaded this once

    a_number_2__and__the__labelle_coaches_a1a.jpg The Mantua Generals have been in service for well over 40 years. I had an AHM Genoa in service back then, and I have one in service now, but they are not the same animal, the original died a very long time ago . I had my my best figuring at least six AHM J W Bowkers in srevice at one time or another. all of them died, J W Bowker smokestacks have found their way onto two MDC Shays , (both with backdating replacement boilers, which are now available from Weisman Modelsing service), two Riverossi 3 truck Heislers, and one NWSL Sierra # 18, a small drivered consolodation,; (yes I will put a plastic stack on a brass locomotive. Bothe my current Genoa, and my current Bowker have been re motored. My current Bowker was built from parts and pieces of the Bowkers that died from hard service on my railroad. I have a lot of code 70 and code 55 rail, I used a dremil, set up agaist the powered wheels to grind off the pizza cutter flanges. on the unpowered wheels I set a cutting disk to the flanges at an angle so the disk would spin the wheels. I was to chicken to cut them all the way down to RP25, but they are geatly reduced, allowing operation on code 75, and 55 rail, although not without some bumping on the spikes

    I have a Labelle compine and coach behinf #2 the Replacement AHM Genoa. the coaches were cut down some when I built them. they Have MDC trucks and cal=scale castings for the end beam railings the photos were taken at the State Line Terminal, on a narrow shelf, hanging from the sloped atic ceiling. look at the staition, the back of it is cut away at an angle to allow it to fit up against the 45 degree angles sheetrock wall.

    Frank, I can see from your RR, which seems very well set up to display and run your collection, that you have a knee wall, so I included a picture that shows how I have four levels and a knee wall. the second level up is a mess due to constuction of the new center peninsula. Note the warning tape on the corner of the shelf, the uper shelf translates to Bleeding nose, my #1 son says it should be bleeding forehead, as he keeps making contact at that point. I will probably affix some dense vynal "rocks" there at some time to cushion the inevitable blows

    There you go , you have seen my labelle coaches, and some more of my Heritige power. I'm working on remotoring a Ken Kidder porter Mogul my Dad gave my Mom. she kept it on her jewelry box, and never let me play with it. I'ts all mine now! after I finish remotoring it I will paint it for the DG, CC, & W, RR, and get it a low #. not really sure what the Bowker's number will be . I have #3 and #4 available , as well as #10, #11, and # 13. they probably would not have used # 13, so I have two locomotives and 4 slots. I also have a PFM Uninted Ma & Pa 2-8-0 that isn't numbered yer. it will probably be #10 or # 11, decisions decisions. mybee if I get organized I can post the whole roster in order
  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    HJere are # 7 #8, and #9 number seven and eight are both MDC two truck Shays built from kits with NWSL Bull Gears, and partial regearing kits. Both locomotives are remotored #7 with a massive huge motor, and #8 with a merely huge gear reduction motor. #7 is slow, #8 is glacial. Both locomotives have a backdating kit that replaces the boiler and the doomes for an older shay than you get from the stock kit. th replacement boilers are beter detailed, and are much heavier than the stock boilers, so not only do they look beter to my eye, but they help considerably with the tractive effort. both #7 and #8 have stacks and headlights salvaged from dead AHM J. W. Bowkers, as does #6 shown later in this post. Note the graphite smokebox which shows well on #7 and mor subtly on #8. this is done with a dull #2 pencil, after the smokebox it treated the locomotive gets a shot of dulcote or clear satin finish (depending on the effect I'm after), to preserve the graphite finish. some times I will use a sharp #2 pencil to hilight some details, such as the boiler bands on #7 Both # 7 and #8 need handrails, # 7 needs a brass bell and whistle. #8's brass bell fell off, I have it somewhere.

    # 9 is a Westside models model of Westside Lumber Co's #3, imported in the early 70's. this model is oversized , #3 is a tiny locomotive, bilt for 3 foot gauge and converted to standard gauge to switch the mill. the motors were too big in the 70's to fit in the properly sized #3, so they made the model bigger. that is ok, it is a decent representation of a larger Heisler. #9 has worked for years as the switch engine in Harlow, not sure if it will serve that function in the new Harlow on my rebuilt RR. It's mechanism is bone stock, having had no need to modify it since it is smooth running locomotive with good slow speed.

    Here is more of the roster . This will be # 10, a PFM Uninted Ma and Pa consolidation. It has been re motored with a can motor, and has upgraded electrical pick up. it is just out of the paint shops, and needs letering and numbering, and possibly some striping, as well as it needs some brass paint on the bell and whistle, my #2 pencil graphite treatment on the sokebox, as well as a crew, and a good dusting. # 10 is a relatively recent addition.


    #6, on the other had has been in service with my railsoad for over 35 years. #6 is a heavily altered NWSL Sierra #18. I removed the steel cab, oil bunker, smokestack , and headlight. the Cab is a set of brass castings from Cal scale, and the headlight and smokestack asre from a scrapped AHM J W Bowker. this locomotive is also recently out of the paint shops. My RR was once set in the late 1940's near the end of steam logging. in that period, the machernery was old, and near the end of \theior service, and to represent that my locomotives were heavily weathered. I moved my time period to 1928, when bisiness would have been more brisk; to increase operational oportunities. in that period the smae locomotives would be newwer, if not new, and be better maintained to represent that I have been repainting a lot of my equipment that is wy a lot of the old 4-4-0's and 2-4-0's are not lettered and or numbered, as they have been repainted so they no longer look like the rusted hulk a 188o's style 4-4-0 might have looked like in 1948 with 68 years of hard use in the woods under thier belt. the same locomotive might be fourty eight years old in 1928, but the RR is doing booming business, and has the resources and pride to do more maintence. reworking my locomotives to reflect that change in eras has been a long drawn out process.


  5. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    Unbelievable!. It would be good enough just to look at these but knowing they work!
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Zathros, not only do the work, but most work well to exceptionally well, if not they go to the shops, and some never return from the shops, except in pits an pieces, the most notable being the JW Bowker stacks and headlights, winch I may have to try to reproduce in resin.

    In the last post we saw #6, #7, #8,#9, and #10. Our first photo in this installment is #14, a relatively new addition, #14 has only been on my roster for about ten years. It is a PFM, United class b Climax, when I bought it , it had the looks of a locomotive that had never seen service, I had to install coulpers on it. other than that , and my paint job, it is bone stock. likely it was imported in the early to mid 70's. it runs well, and has served as a woods engine, an road engine, a switcher, and it even served as a passenger engine on my old mountain divisin. with it's stock motor and gear train it runs close to apropriate speeds. sould it ever get shopped for heavy maintenance it might get all wheel pick up added, but it is a fime runner right out of the box.

    Next comes #15, a very special critter #15 was my first geared locomotive, a PFM Uninted 25 ton Hillcrest Shay purchased in the very late summer of 1968. My dad was a professional forrester, and a train nut. while in graduate school in the 30's he worked in the woods with Shays. he had lots of logging RR books, which he let me keep in my train library. I was facinated but geared power seamed out of my reach. # 15 sold new for the then outragious sum of $68.00, whe an AHM JW Bowker or Genoa could be had on sale for $12.00. a neighbor had a monsterous white oak tree removed, and gave dad the wood, cut into firewood lenghts. Dad offered to bay me to spit it to firewood by the chord. Champion (not sure if that that was before or after the Champion Paper/ US Plywood Merger, that produced Champion International) was putting in a new paper mill in Alaska that summer, and my dad was one of the guys in charge . He had picked the site out from the air, and he and the float pilot did the prelimianry survey work with a fishing line, and an old whiskey bottle found on site filled partly up with water from the river.

    I split wood like a madman that summer; Dad was gone so much on business trips, and I didn't want to bother him when he got home; when he finally got around to paying me for the split wood, I had $50.00, an unheard of sum, I washed cars, mowed lawns , and did whatever to get that last $18.00. I bought it new from Mitchel's in Getysburg PA. from an add in MR; and boom I had a Shay. a that point The DG, CC, and W RR was being run as a partner ship between Steve Berghausen, Tim Shoemaker, Pete Sanders and Myself; We were working in a big room in Steve's basement. Steve ran some mining intersts in the mountians; Tim ran the logging operations, Pete oversaw our interchange with the D & RG w (my RR was in colorado at that time, and did not migate to TN until 1972, a full two years before I went to Tn to attend the University of the South in Sewannee Tn. I have been a Tn resident ever since.

    #15 has been used harder than probably any other locomotive on my rosater. It's origianl motor burnt up, and was replaced by a gear reduction motor. The original mechanism/motor was smooth and good, but fast. the prototype had a top speed of 12mph. my Dad said that the usual working speed of a shay was slow enough that you could walk along the train and keep up. As I would run my trains, dad woul be behind me saying "slow down, that engine can't go that fast. the gear reduction motor solved that problem with this locomotive, it is as slow as molassas at chirstmas time. for may long years # 15 was a primary road lofggin locomotiv more recently # 15 has been the mill switcher in Crooked Creek, a busy place. A coulple years ago I moved #8 an MDC Shay into the mill switcher role, as that job gets a lot of action. at that time replacement parts were available for MDC Shays; but that is no longer true. all locomotive assignments are likely to change dur to my railroad's redesign/rebuild.

    besides the gear reduction motor, #15 has been equiped with all wheel pick up, a necessity on thes tiny critters. cosmeticly it's rushton stack has been replaced with a cabbage stack. I have retained the original stack, and am tempted to reinstall it. I have an HOn3 version of the same locomotive, bit it is bone stock, and does not have the heavy wethering. If you can believe it , I have actually toned down the weathering on # 15!

    #16 is unavailable for a photo, as she is in the shops. ther is a thread in that in the logging section. I am attempting to remoter her, and get a Tsunami installed. the current motor/stunami combinations pulls to may amps, and kicks the circut breaker on the clubs DCC system after a few feet of travel.

    #16 is visually narly Inentical to # 17, both of them being Riverossi 3 truck Heislers . # 17 has been remotored with a gear reduction motor form the motor man at Microlocomotion.com. I put a DCC decoder in #17 in hopes of using it at the club. but the gear reduction motor, which is perfect speed wise on DC, is painfully slow on DCC. I am Hunting for other motors to try on #16. we could really use a sound DCC 3 truck Heiler at the club, and the Tsunamis are dual mode, so they will work on DC (all though a little weirdly). If I give up, and remove the Tsunammi for use in another locomotive, I will try to put the same gear reduction motor in # 16 as resides in # 17, as it is a real hoss slow and as strong as a mule on steroids.

    # 17 is shown her at the Harlow engine facilities. the photo is washed out, as the Harlow engine facilities are in the skylight opening of an eatern facing wall, and the photo was taken in the am. the engine facilities are not hooked up to the RR yet , I need to install some ties, and some beams over the ashpit in the foreground.

    Next we will review # 18 and # 19; Yee who are weary of this be ye patcent. ther is no # 20, and the roster stops at #22. Of course after that I my go into the narow gauge. You are safe from my roster at the club, they are all modern **** and not suitable for this thread.

  7. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Bill I like all your trains. I have some MDC shays. One a 3 truck I have painted red and black to match the 2 sets on cars that MDC released for the shays. The old time shorty passenger cars you have I had a set of Laconia made die cast cars that were similar which are traded away now. MDC made many plastic versions of the cars in many road names. I still probably have a few sets somewhere. I remember having photos. Maybe I can find them.
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    n the last installment We got up to # 16, and #17, very stout 3 truck Heislers; that worked everywhere on my RR, but primarily on my mountain division, where the grades and curves made strong power essentiial. another locomotive that earned it's living on the mountain division is #18. #18 is a PFM B-2 Shay. they run great from the box, but are too fast, reaching prototypical full speed at about half theottle. #18 was regeared with an NWSL regear kit, and now at full throttle it has a prototypical speed, ie 12 scale MPH-very slow. #18 has seen a lot of work; it's original motor burned up, and it has been re motored with a can motor. # 18 is a hill monster, and has mainly powered ore and logg trains from Ridgemont down to Montgomery Furnace or Crooked Creek.

    # 19, like # 18 is a PFM/Uninted import. it is a PFM Cherry River Shay. #19 did not like the sharp curves on the mountain division; nor could it handle the sharp curves in the old Harlow. It was happy on the track on the hidden staging yard under Montgomery Furnace,, in Crooked Creek, and the track between them, and no where else, so #19 pulled 10 car log trains from the hidden staging to Crooked Creek. #19's mechanisn was just like # 18's. Like # 18 #19 was too fast, and got a NWSL regearing kit to fix that problem. also like #18 long and hard use burt up the original motor, and it was rebuilt with a can motor. Should either of these locomotives get a major shopping, I will probably install all wheel pick up, they weigh enough they do ok picking up on half of the wheels, but getting power off all wheels should make a significant improvement.

    I breifly experimented with painting cabs beige, like I paint most of my home road freight cars. this has been largely abandoned, but # 19 still caries that scheme. Now if the cabs are not black I paint them green, all cabs have a red roof, or will get one as soon as I get around to it.

    This install ment covers # 18 and 19; I have no # 20 at this time. the next installment covers the last two locomotives on my standard gauge roster # 21, and #22; the prides of my fleet, my Little River 2-4-4-2s, after that we will have to proceed to the narrow gauge.


    a_number_19_a1.jpg I
  9. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Old #12 is a real slowpoke.
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    At the top of the roster are my two Little River 2-4-4-2s #21 below is a Gem Import. I bought it in 1974, and it was old then. It had never run, the wire that carried power from the tender had never been soldered on the drawbar. when it was first put into operation it was useless, there was no wirght on the front drivers, and it could only pull four cars on flat track. I built a spring that made contact from the front frame to a brass plate I soldered to the bottom of the boiler, and then filled the front of the locomotive with lead. It was then able to pull 28 cars up a 2% grade. depending on the cars, I have gotten as many as 18 cars up my 3.3% grade, which is hopefully the ruling grade on my new mainline.

    #21 used to get in a bind from time a twist an axle out of quarter, the ends of the axeles are tapered, un like most axles. it was burtal trouble to get the critter back in quarter. I eventually determined that the primative driver springing method was putting uneven pressure on the drivers, ocassionally causing binds that led to the locomotive getting out of quarter. I got decidedly low teck, and made little wads of aluminum foil, that I put in the bearing slot in the frame just abobe each bearing, crussing the aluminum foil untill the botttom of the bearing was flush with the bottom of the frame, replacing any wad that was to large or to small to crush to the right place. eventually I had all the powered axles' bearings flush with the bottom of the frame, efectively disabling the primative attempt at eqalization; and I have not had a problem with the locomotive getting out of quarter since; ( Imagine the sound of me knocking on wood).

    Later the original motor died and I replaced it with s cam motor of unknown origine. This locomotive has spur gears, and is noisy. originally the motor was mounted on a spring, and with the sprung drivers and the sprung motor the angle the gears meshed at changed every time the locomotive stopped and started; so some times it would start at 10% throttle, and others it would require 35% throttle. buy locking the motor, the floating axle, and the gearbox down, the spur gears are at a constant angle to each other, and the start speed of the locomotive is predictable. It does however sound hoorible, spurr gears make nois, and that noise is telegrafed, it has so much gear nouse one expects to see brass shavings on the ties behind it, but no such, and it is in service 40 years after going into my roster.

    Cosmetically I removed the cawcatcher on the front, and scratchbuilt a freight pilot with a working KD. The orriginal paint was dammaged on the cab, ruining the # 21 on the cab, and the name J. H. Morgan, named for the confederate raider who used to trash the L&N RR, and then hide, destruying the work train when it came to fix the tracks, he also made a raid up into Ohio,. At some point I need to paint this cab green, and it, and get the mame and number back on the side of the cab, as well as getting it a good cleaning to get the construction dust off of it, and removing the wood load, and getting a coal load, as I'm working on converting my road locomotives and most of my switchers to coal, leaving only the woods engines, the mill switcher, perhaps some of the road logging engines, and the extreme heritige power woodburners.


    He highest numbered locomotive on my roster is #22, a Orental Powerhouse series Little river 2-4-4-2. So far mechanically this unit is bone stock. I haven't even figured out how to take it apart. There is an article in an out of print Timber Times magazine on improving thease, and I have to aquire a reprint of the article. #22 runs very smoothly and quietly out of the box, but creates some operational oddities beacaus it can only pull about half what the better detailed, but horribly noisy # 21 can. #22 is a hybrid, with a die cast boiler, with some brass details and a a brass tender. It was modeled after the little River unit later in it's life when it lived in the Northwest. It had a cowcatcher on both the tender and the pilot beam. I have removed these, and have couplers at both ends, but need to finish scratchbuilding the pilot beams I plan to paint the cab green, and put the number 22 and the name D E Murray, after a longtime train nut, whom I met when I was a teenager in Atlanta who later became my Epicopal Preist. He was planning to retire in Clarksville, and build an SN3 layout, which he wanted me to design, but sadly passed away, before we had a chance to play with the Sn3 layout.

    Like # 21 originally #22 doesn't put much weight on her front drivers, but with the die cast boiler, even should I be able to get a spring under the front motor, I don't have a big empty brass tube to fill with weight, so I doubt I'll ever get # 22 to pull anywhere near as much as # 21 can. I will solve the operational delema of why apearantly identical locomotives have drastically different car limits, bu putting # 21 in freight service, and putting #22 in passenger service

    These are all the locomotives in service, there are some on the workbench I might share pictures with at a later date, as they become ready for service.

    after a time I will share my narrow gauge power. My Southern Railway interchange locomotives, a Bachman 2-8-0, and a proto 2000 0-8-0 are modern creations, still available new in the box, and don't fit this thread. The locomotives I have at the club are all currently available abominations with DCC, also not being apropriate to this thread; so I will share my NG locomotives in a while, and then be done till I uncover onther ancient treasures.

    In the mean time, show us your good old stuff!!!

    Bill Nelson

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  11. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Bill these small 2-4-4-2 articulates are very nice engines. Never had the cash to get one. Never seen one at a good price. Still great to see them. frank
  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Frank, I bought #21 back in 1974. I was working a constuction job, after my senoior year in highschool, living at haome, driving one of my folks cars, living at home, eating my folks food; I had no expences, and a hefty income at that time. I paid close to a weeks worth of pay to get it, and spent the next ten years trying to get it into a relaible running locomotive. My dad was an armchair modeler most of his life, and a forrester. I got the logging bug from him, and He bought me # 18, once he saw how much of my effort I was putting into a logging theme. Wen My wife and I were Newlyweds, she fell in love with a Parrot. he cost $350. it was comming up on christmass time, and # 19 cost $350. I said "you can have the parrot, If I can have the three truck shay. Paul the parrot was an obnoxious beast, as # 19 has been, but Paul the parot has gone off to parrot heaven or quite possibly the other place) but # 19 is still with us, and beter behaved anfter years of shopping and re shopping.. with my new RR rebuild with 21 inch radiuses, it may be free to move around the RR.

    # 22 was more of a sacrifice, , and ate three quarter's of a years train budget, but I had to have it. but since I'm operating, more than collecting, the locomotives that run well, are the ones that will get used, and the other's might as well not be there.

    also note my RR's numbered locomotives nubers top out at 22, and #1 has have been in service for 47 years, so I have spread out the purchases, and concentrated on either quality, or something that I just had to have, trying to retrofit the quality into them in my shops at a later date, so these purchases have been spread out over al lifetime. #15 ate my train budget for three quaters of a year in 1968, had I spent that $$$ on most anything else, likely There wouldn't be much to show for it now, being an operator more than a collector. only buy what suits the theme, and spread out the purchases so they don't hurt to much.

    My buddy Mack Montgomery has an O scale 2-4-4-2, and it is beyond awesome.

    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  13. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I'm on to the narrow gauge engines, the locomotive to the right is a Ken Kidder 2-4-2. I purchased new in 1968 . it had a price tag of $18.oo, but had a broken gear, and the store sold it to me for $8.00 Ken Kidder sent me a replacement gear for free. I built the sadletanks out of brass sheet, wrapped around some chunks of lead to better ballance the locomotive. the gear that was broken originally split again some fifteen years later, Someone from a list had been working on an identical locomotive, and had some NWSL replacemnet gears and he prov ided me with a pair to get this little teakettle running again. it does not run very well though, remotoring it will be a ****, but that is what it needs before it can go into service.

    the locomotive to the right is an AHM minitrain that started life as Hon2.5. I spread it to HON3, and for years it was my best running engine. the motor quit working, and I was trying to resurect it with contact cleaner, which a spark set on fire, melting the drivers. I have been messing with it, but have not yet got it to where it does much more than make a good flatcar load. Bic City Hobbies makes a reissue of those old AHM sets, and I got one, the mechanism has been upgraded, but won't regauge as easily, so it will have to be a mine engine, or go into a differnt portable operation.
    In the late 70's one of my good freinds went to On3, and I aqured this lovomotive of unkown manufacture and importation from him. it had serious elecrical and mechanical isssues that resisted repair for many long years. I eventually figured out that the frame flexed, which changed the mesh of the worm and the axle gear. I soldered some rail to the frame, and that fixed the flexing frame issue, and later replaced the motor with a good small can motor. cosmeticly I have replaced the stack with a diamond stack, the headlight is off a Mantua General. This outside frame locomotive will likely be lettered for the Marrietta and North Georgia's narrow gauge branch which operates out of State line, along with the narrow Gauge State Line railroad

    this little PFM model of a austrailian Puffing Billy (a Baldwin export) was from the collection of that same friend who went to ON3, but it went to a different friend, before landing in my collection when that second friend also migrated to On3. it had motor problems , electrical pick up problems and problems with the lead and trailing truck staying on the rails. I rebuilt the electrical pick up, replaced the motor, and made some springs that have greately improved the locomotive's tracking ability. This outside framed locomotive will probably be a Marrietta and North Georgia locomotive as well

    the atlers did not show up well in the next photo so I posted them here.
    this locomotive I bought more recently. it is a PSC 0-6-0 t . When I was A kid, Kemtron made kits for these, and sold all the parts seperately, and I used to drool over the parts in the catalouge . this is a very detailed model with a full cab detail. cosmetically I just put the antlers on, and painted the cab green with a red roof. mechanically I replaced the stock electrical pick up. this locomotive was built with and around an excellent can motor, that fills the entire water tank. when you remove the boiler/cab/and tank assembly, the motor comes out with it, which makes fine tuninmg the mechanism tricky. PSC is very strick with detail, thes locomotives had link and pin coupler pockets, so that is what the model has. there is no room to install KDs. I had some brass cast dummy couplers set up for link an pin pockets, so this locomotive is tricky to switch with, likely it will work on the State Line RR moving ore or coal cars that won't have to be coupled and uncoupled.

    here is a link to my you tube video of thesr three tank engines running together on the work bench, I think. there is a video of the forney's (2-4-4) mechanism too.

    I'm getting near the end here, just two shays, three conlolidations and a galloping goose left to cover.

  14. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    You should pitch a 1/2 hour show to RFD -TV. I bet you could get some shows showing your work. Lots of trains aficionados on that channel. You could be famous!! :)
  15. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    Thsese are my two Hon3 shays. State Line #2 is an Keystone non powered unit, built with a NWSL powering kit. not a build for the faint hearted, It has brass domes and a stack, needs a whistle and a bell and it is considerably more fragile that the PFM Cowchwain shay next ot it. the PFM unit is almost identical to my standard gauged # 15, being models of the same locomotive at different times in it's career; as it weent back and forth from standardgauge to 3 foot gauge The PFM unit is a relatively new purchase, I got a deal on it cause id did not run, but all it needed was the motor cleaned with TV tuner cleaner, and a little oil, and it was golden. as a bonus the little Keystone/NWSL and the PFM Shays run at very close speeds, as a fortuatous accident of motor speeds and gear ratios, so they can double head well together.

    Behind Shay # 2 is a narrow gauge combine cut down from an MDC shorty combine. if you remove the end walls, and remove the boards between the ends and the windows and the windows and the doors, and reasemble the ends with the windows flush with the foor, the end of the car is the perfect width for a narrow gauge car. Then all you have to do is trim the floor and roof, and repalce the trucks and couplers, and you have a passable short narrow gauge passengercar.

  16. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Both Shays, I forgot to mention are assigned to the State Line Railroad, which is operated by my DG, CC, & W RR to feed the standard gauge operations with logs , iron ore, and coal from farther up in the mountains. most of the narrow gauge locomotives don't have numbers yet, but Shay #2 doe both Shays run great, but #2 is stiff, due to it's design, and won't go around the return loop at Gegokayoosa. the 17 inch radius is too tight for it, so it has to stay off the loop. the PFM 15 ton sahy will go around close to n a 12 inch radius.


    Above are two Far East Distributors locomotives, these were imported in the 70's as low cost locomotive by FED, which was a division of NWSL. they cost $35.00 new. I was going to buy a bunch of them, but the reviews were very bad , and I passed up on them. The boiler cab and tender are brass, and they have pot metal frames , pilots and cylinders. The biggest problem they had was they only had electric pick up on the tender wheels. With tender drive, and, a tourqy open frame motor, the tender would rock from the torque of the motor, breaking the electrical pick up, making for very jerky starts.

    Had I known the fix back then, well within my abilities back in the 70. All it takes to make these things run well is to build electrical pick up on both sides of the locomotive, and run jumpers to the tender. with that modification they run OK, Locodoc.com offerd retro fit kits. to replace the motors with high quality can motors. and to replace the bulky drive shafts with tiny wires you can barely see. with those and the extra electrical pick up these are fine running locomotives. the 2-6-0 has had a brass bell, a brass #6 number plate on the smoke box door, and a brass cabbage stack . the American has the original cheap bell, and needs a brass bell and whistle casting. the smokestack is a brass casting meant for a standard gauge locomotive and is too big, if I can find the right smokestack I will replace it too. the smoke box has a brass number plate with a star on it's door;. and will likely be the state line #1 and the Mogul will be the SL # 6.

    I have been told that these will go around a 10 inch radius, but the mechanism gets loud on tight curves, and the driveshaft puts a sideload on the wormshaft. I have no interest in pushing them tighter than the 17 inch radius on the Gegokayoosa loop

    The State line Goose # 4 is not an oldie but a goodie. it is one of the first runs of Con=coor geese. the first run of geese were all buss bodied geese, and I wanted one with a Pierce-Arrow limo body, so I removed the firewall and the hood from the buss body, and scratch built a pierce arrow body out of styrene for it. Concor later produced Pierce-Arrow body geese, These things run great out of the box. Soundtrax makes a mini Tsunami, for these, and I may install one in this at some time. Mt return loop in Gegokayoosa NC. has a 17 inch radius, this thing just barely getrs through, with the limo body touching the freight body.
    a consolodations 1a.jpg The locomotive to the left is an oldie but goodie, a Westside Models C-16 import from the 70's. The mechanism is good, they were one of the best running HON3 locomotives back in the day. The motor has been replaced with a kit from Locodoc,com, which makes it an awesome smooth, quiet running locomotive. The C-16 had a great paint job when I got it, I just painted the cab and the cab roof to State Line RR standards, and installed a dummy coupler on the pilot. To the right is a Blackstone C-19. Not an oldie but goodie, but rater a Newbie but goodie. This one has the Tsunami on board from the factory, so it runs on DC and DCC with sound. the sound is more controllable on DCC, but sounds great in DC. it is a composite model with some parts brass and other white metal. out of the box it runs better and looks better than any brass model you will find with a sticker price less than a thousand bucks. I'm wanting to put a Tsunami in the C-16 so I can double head them (it takes close to half the throttle to power up the Tsunami, so double heading is out of the question right now.

    I just have two locomotives left, One I won't cover here. it is at the club, and there is a thread on it over in the narrow gauge section. It is a Bachman GE 70 tonner, converted to Narrow gauge following an article in RMC, using some NWSL parts an interesting build and locomotive , but not an oldie but a goodie. it is , however a way to build a good running dual mode DCC Hon3 locomotive for well under $100. cost, and the lack of good running power out of the box has limited HOn3 in the past. the Blackstone stuff isn't cheap, but it is gorgeous, and runs fine out of the box. It is now possible to model in HOn3 without rebuilding all your motive power.
  17. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    Last, and least is this ugly beast. this is built from a late model Mdc kit for an HOn3 outside frame consolodation. The early kits had brass driver treads, and tender axles. the later ones are plated with nickel silver. the newer ones also have better motors, and better gears. It takes a lot of pain and suffering to get an early kit to run well, not so much with the later ones. this one has the mechanism built very carefully with the parts from the kit, and other than being modified for pick up off the insulated side of the locomotive and the tender trucks, is mechanically stock. Cosmetically, I shortened the extended firebox, and modified the cylinder saddle lower the boiler. it was way higher, and you could see daylight under it. Thsi is an Outside frame locomotive, and will work for the Marietta, and north Gerorgia, it has also worked at the club, before I modified the GE 70 tonner. It needs a brass whistle, bell, generator, headlight, air pump, and some hand rails.

    It runs very well, and is quiet I might even consider putting a Tsunami in it at a later date.

    This concludes the narrow gauge portion of this show; so Show us your good old stuff!
  18. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    P8126525 - Copy.JPG Well Bill you trains are great. Just so you don't think I went away. Here is a photo of a old AHM Pocher Old time baggage in N&W.
  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I like that car, I have just rebuilt a Poacher coach and Combine for Bob, at the club, nice cars.

  20. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    This is a locomotive that was in the junk drawer at the club. It came from the collection of John Paterson, a member who had passed away. We Gave to to Jeff, one of our newer members. He gave it to me to check out why it was stalling on the hard to reach places on his RR, and readjusted the electrical pick up, and cleaned and lubricated the motor and the gears. afterdoing that I could not help myself, and repainted it as well. note my #2 pencil trick for the graphite smoke box, and the highlights on the rivits

    The mechanism is prety crude, but it runs quite well.



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