Thinking About Building My Own Locomotive

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Cannonball, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Just thinking out loud and wondering how hard it would be to start my own model train line. Possibly just building locomotives to start. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles. Maybe a working smoke unit and definately a headlight. I just want to build something good and solid that will run for days like the old engines without all the fancy stuff. I don't think it would be too difficult to get aftermarket parts of some sort to build the motors, trucks, drivers and all the inner workings. I think the hard part would be fiding a way to get the body fabricated.

    I wonder how Joseph and Mike went about it when they started?
  2. Smoke

    Smoke SOU is for you!!

    You could start here.
    This guy is good, really good.:thumb:

    Good luck
  3. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    WELL the easiest way is to approach a company that can do "rapid prototyping", that is, a CAD file of a unit. THEN approach a mold making company with the CAD file, and tell them to make a mold to fit it. If you want you can inject the plastic, but I suggest just going the resin route. I looked into getting resin molds made before (self aerating style), and I was quoted $1500, but then I wasn't very specific. I want to make resin detail parts.
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    "The best way to make a small fortune in model railroading is to start with a large one.":thumb:
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Shaygetz: Your a genius. More truth than fiction in that statement.
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I'm not looking to make a fortune. (Although I wouldn't turn one down either! :D )
    I would just like to make a solid engine and not have to worry about all the malfunctions that seem to plague the modern stuff.

    COMBAT Member

    Like what? :oops:
  8. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Go read the O Gauge forum.... you'll see what I mean.
    It seems like every other thread that pops up in there is about somebody's new train set taking a dump on them in one way or another.
  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Yeah, Like what? We've NEVER had better running locomotives as those in the market today!!! :thumb:

    What locomotives do you currently own, and why are you dissatified with them?

    What would cause you to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a locomotive that may never make it to the market successfully, when you can find a beautifully running locomotive for well under $200.00 in most cases!?!! (HO &N, and O I suppose)

    Just wondering... :)

    EDIT: Trainsets nowadays are throw-away commodities sometimes, the great american quest to save a dollar had rippled through our culture, causing companies to outsource jobs to cheaper locations, where the trains are built with cheaper materials, weaker warrantees and no quality control. Like the old Russian saying "You pretend to pay me, and I'll pretend to work." Simple as that.
  10. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Ahh.... doing HO only I never go there. I always thought there would be a good market out there to under sell the makers of this stuff. The mark up is outrageous. I mean over 100% mark up, it seems a little steep. Can you imagine how cheap it would be if you could buy train stuff at Wal-mart. LOL
  11. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I'm not dissatisfied with anything I currently own because all of mine is older stuff. I just wish some of the newer stuff worked as well. However, it seems like Lionel, MTH and all the rest are slowly sinking into the crapper. I know a lot of people blame forgien construction but the fact remains that the more complicated you make something (Trainsounds, DCC, remotes... etc), the harder it will be to make and do it correctly. If there was someone who got back to the basics and just made a reliable engine without all the fancy gadgets, I think there would be a market for them.
  12. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Ok, now you're talking! :thumb: The only thing is that most people will think "Lionel!" when they think O gauge, even if it has to survive another General Mills era! :oops: :curse:
  13. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Actually, most of my stuff is from the General Mills/Fundimensions era and still going strong. Plastic, yes. But those motors are kicking butt and taking names.
  14. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    WOW! That's great! Are they stronger motors than the post-war era stuff? How do they compare to today's lionel? :confused:
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    And then if they'd also make cars, appliances, or whatever, keeping the same principles in mind.

  16. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Don't forget automobiles
  17. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Yeah.... What a sweet world it would be, huh? :D
  18. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I think that's what he meant when he said cars. :D

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