Passenger service suggestions?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Travellar, May 3, 2007.

  1. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    For the last couple of days, I've been considering starting up some passenger servicce on my railway. I'm just not sure what type of locomotive to use.

    I've got a Norfolk Southern J series, but it started smoking when I ran it yesterday, so is now on permanant shelf disply.

    I love the look of Northerns, and would gladly use one of these in passenger service. I am conserned about anything with 8 drivers, because of some of the radiuses on my layout. The real trouble may be finding one.

    Any other suggestions? Given my penchant for post-USRA steam power, I'd say the layout would date as early/mid 1920s.
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Personally, I'd look for another J to do a passenger line but that's just my druthers for steam. My current passenger line is Santa Fe with an F unit in Warbonnet paint.
  3. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    If you model Norfolk Southern, try doing a RailPictures.Net - The BEST railroad photos on the 'net! search on NS+passenger and see what you can find. I've noticed that - sure they ran steam as NW - but currently they also use GP and SD units to pull manager's specials and MOW service, and they just repainted a great looking F7 A+B+B units to pull a special passenger train to major events (Masters and Kentucky Derby). Try railpictures and other "picture" websites for prototypical pics of steam passenger service and pick what you like.
  4. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    I'm not modeling any specific railroad, so I'm definately not held to any particular prototype. An F7 could be fun, but I'm concerned that would look a bit odd on my otherwise steam based layout.

    And a correction to my earlier statement, the period seems to be roughly 1920-1940. Although definately not depression area. well, a bit rural to really notice if it was.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    What is your minimum mainline radius? A radius tight for an eight-coupled locomotive will probably also be tight for passenger cars.
  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    For smaller radius curves, you might look into various ten wheelers with High drivers. or even a 4-4-0. Both were used on branchline passenger service in the 20's through 40's. Shorty coaches are available. Incidently, the late 20's through the late 30's were definitely "depression era".
  7. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    Clearances are in all locations adaquate for anything I care to run, so the length of a passenger car wouldn't be much of an issue. My problem tends to be derailments do to the fixed length of the drivers. I've got most of that fixed now, but I still get the occasional trouble spot.

    I really don't care for the appearance of 4-4-0s, nor shorty coaches. Actually, if I were modeling another time period, I think they'd be just fine. I suppose I could go find myself a cheapy ten wheeler, and see if it will stay on the tracks. If it does, I can actually go spend some money (Tony's trains, you say?) and buy a nice locomotive to pull my passenger service around.

    Thanks for the inputs, you guys are really making some of this planning easy on me!
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Go with a Pacific and 60' coaches.
  9. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Sweet Jumpin' Jesus that is an amazing looking steamer! [​IMG]
  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Unfortunately, that's an HO model. Does anyone sell an N scale Pacific?
  11. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    They have N scales on their sight as well.
    Precision Craft Models
  12. skipgear

    skipgear Member

    Precision Craft has yet to release an N scale Steam product. The first will be the PRR M1. The only thing they have shipped in N so far is the E7's.

    As far as a Pacific with DCC, your options are only one - Model Power.
    They are very DCC friendly. Decoder wires completely in the tender unless you want to wire the headlight seperately, then it can be a bit more work. The most recent versions have traction tires and run very smooth out of the box. The version without tires would pull a dozzen or so cars, the newer version with tires maxxes out around 35 cars. The loco's are offered in 3 versions: Std. Tender, Vanderbuilt Short Tender, and Streamlined w Std Tender.

    There are plenty of other brand Pacifics out there if you don't mind searching trains shows, swap meets, etc.

    Atlas/Rivarossi/Concor Pacifics are the easiest to find but not at all DCC friendly. Many suffered from a poor motor but the mechanism was pretty robust. Some complain about a problem with the mechanism's getting brittle with age but I have yet to have one do that. They offered it in both heavy and light versions.
    **From Spookshows Locomotive Encyclopedia

    Minitrix also offered a Pacific, more exactly a Pennsy K4 Pacific. Actually it is a very good runner but definitely a PRR prototype.
    **From Spookshows Locomotive Encyclopedia

    One other option is the Arnold Pacific. This is a different chassis than the Arnold/Rivarossi loco's. It is a very large pacific but a smooth runner.
  13. Bones

    Bones Member

    Travellar. I just want to remind you. In general, in this hobby, you get what you pay for. If you pick up a 'cheap ten wheeler' it will probably act like a cheap ten wheeler and give you headaches til the day you get rid of it. ( or throw it out the window )
    Investing in a higher quality locomotive, however, will probably keep you happy for a long time. You'll have better detailing, better performance, and fewer problems.
  14. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    Oddly enough, one of my best runners is my cheapest locomotive, so sometimes you get lucky. What I meant when I said "a cheap ten wheeler" was it might be worth my while to spend say, $60 on an almost disposable model to test out whether it has any real chance of running my tighter curves. At least, better to spend $60 and find out it's a problem, than $300.

    I just measured, and most of my curves appear to be 11" radius or better, so if you guys are getting away with ten wheelers on 9" curves, I ought to be fine.
  15. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    D'oh! Forgot where I was! :oops:

    OK, try #2... The Model Power Pacific is very nice, a very nice runner. The only problem I've seen with them is that the crank pins can work lose, and the side rods can go flying.

Share This Page