Question about brass 2-8-4 steamer?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by trainsteve2435, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Hello everyone, my friend just gave me a C&O 2-8-4 brass steamer made by Olympia. Does anyone know of this importer? Are they worth anything? Where can i find any information on this model? Thanks!:wave:
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    In my estimation, as a gift from a friend, it would be worth quite a bit. ;)

  3. CNJ999

    CNJ999 Member

    Steve, are you absolutely sure about the model being by Olympia? A check of John Glaab's Brown Book, 3rd ed., does not cite them as the builder of any 2-8-4 C&O K-4 locos. According to Glaab, the cited builders have been United, Samhogsa and Atlas/Asahi. Importers are listed as United, Key, LMB and PFM.

    However, Glaab DOES credit Olympia with building C&O 4-8-2 J-2's and 4-8-4 J-3a's for Gem, way back when. Could the pilot truck perhaps have been swapped out on what was a 4-8-4 at some point? If that should be the case and the proper pilot truck could be restored to the model then, yes, it's worth some real money.

  4. CNJ999, thanks for the info. The tender says Olympia, but all the locomotive says on the bottom is Japan. I dont know anything about brass, so it could be anything. I will post some pictures of it as soon as i find my batteries for my digital camera. Thanks again.:thumb:
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Or maybe it was a tender swap?
  6. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Some friend! All I got from mine was an old Mantua 0-4-0 Shifter!

    (Actually, I'm thrilled to have received was his Dad's and it still ran smoothly with the original motor after a little cleaning...and now I'm in the process of turning it into a silk purse, when I work on it every so often...thanks Paul!)

    Apart from the other educated replies, I think Wayne is right. A gift from a friend is always to be treasured, especially brass.

    Does it run?
  7. thanks evryone for your input, and yes Wayne, it is worth quite a bit. Also, it does run very good, it even has a flickering where the fire box is, but its from a dirty motor, but it still looks like a flickering fire box. I guess i have a piece of past history so i will put it up on my shelf. thanks!:thumb:
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Everything is fine except your last sentence. In my opinion, electric trains should be run on tracks, not put on shelves! It reminds me of an article I read in MR about 10 or 20 years ago. It was about brass locomotives and how one of the builders of brass locomotives in Japan made a mistake and put 1.5 volt motors in a run of locomotives instead of 12 volt motors back in the 1950's. The company tried to do a recall on the locomotives, but this was before companies were able to keep records of who bought their products to facilitate a recall. The company decided to make it a policy to replace motors in any locomotive that they received a complaint about. They ended up replacing motors in less than 10% of the total production. The rest are assumed to be in collections and have probably never even been run!
  9. Russ, i know what you mean, but im not into steam and plus, i run DCC and the tender wants to short when it runs accross a switch. I just figured i would put it up instead of going through the trouble of equipping it with DCC. But i do believe.... if you have em,... run em! Thanks!:wave:
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I can see your point there. The old brass locomotives had power pick up on one side of the locomotive drivers and the opposite side of the tender trucks. The locomotive frame is the positive side and the tender frame is the negative when the locomotive is going in the forward direction. To convert it to dcc would require you to insulate both the locomotive and the tender frame from the track. Then you would need to wire the pick ups of the locomotive and tender wheels to the positive and negative sides of the decoder power contacts. Then the motor would need to be powered off the decoder. Even if you are running diesel, it might be interesting to put some old heavey weight passenger cars behind that locomotive and create a fan trip/business train.
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not that familiar with DCC, but wouldn't it be simpler to isolate the motor electrically? Then all you'd need to do is run a wire from the loco frame to the decoder, another from the tender pick-ups to the decoder, and two wires from the decoder to the motor. Maybe replace the metal drawbar with a non-conductive one, too. Or am I missin' sumthin' else? :confused:

  12. Russ, that is a very intresting idea i may consider, thanks! Wayne, im not sure, im still learning DCC but you make it sound simple. Thanks!:thumb:
  13. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    I second Russ' idea of a fan-trip or excursion train. Make it a NRHS special with a whole variety of liveries in one train. Could give you an opportunity to collect one passenger car from each road name you like.

    OR, put it on the head of an old circus train. C&NW did that back in the 80's with a 4-6-0, I believe. Good luck, whatever you decide.

    How bout a picture?
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the draw bar should already be nonconductive. Generally speaking the tender frame is the opposite polarity from the locomotive frame. Just insulate the motor from the frame and wire in the decoder.
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Depending on the age of the loco, you may be right about the drawbar, Russ. I was thinking of the ones that replaced the insulated ones with the accompanying wire from the tender. These were meant to conduct power from the tender to the motor, and were mounted on the rear of the loco's frame with a plastic bushing and insulating washers. I find that these don't provide very reliable contact, especially after the hole in the drawbar becomes worn larger, and I always add a wire with plugs between the loco and tender.


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