Vintage loco ID?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Ray Marinaccio, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I just acquired this loco and need help with the manufacturer ID.

    Attached Files:

  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    That's going to be a tough one. A self-contained power truck with a rubber band drive...about as crude a casting as I've ever seen for an E-unit body....freight trucks on the unpowered B couplers of any kind showing (the couplers help a lot with ID when looking at before horn hooks came out)...

    I can't believe any of even the early '50s major scale HO die cast manufacturers did anything that crude (Mantua, Varney, Penn Line, etc). I also don't think any of the toy folks (Lionel, Gilbert) did much metal die casting in HO, and if they did it wouldn't be unpainted. I would suspect an early (early to mid '50s) Japanese sand casting aimed at the toy market. The drive might (and I'm real hazy here) be a knock-off of an early Varney design.

    Not too much help, I know.
  3. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    alright im just going to say it...the company who made that should be ashamed...whoo i got that off my back.but it looks like some japanese knock off for a more toy train nt a scale or what i consider a "model engine".if there are is any numbering that could help alot.--josh
  4. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    You have a real find here. I think it is a cross between a EMD E6 and a fishing weight. It more closly resembles the fishing weight. It will also work well as a fishing weight.
    In the 40's and 50's flat sided models such as this had printed paper sides. You have seen them on old wood box car kits. My guess to date it is the 1940's. You need someone with a collection of old Model Railroaders, ( the small ones ) to find this. Good Luck !
    Frank ..................toptrain
  5. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    PS MAybe it is a advanced Strombecker model. You can compare it to the Rock Island Rocket that they made. Maybe the paper sides they made were made to fit this drive.
  6. CapnTomDrums

    CapnTomDrums New Member

    I have locos going back to the 1940s, including Strombecker, and I have never seen anything like that. I would guess it dates to the 1930s.
  7. CapnTomDrums

    CapnTomDrums New Member

    That drive is a belt drive, like the Lindberg SW1s used, not rubber bands. They used a coiled belt. I have some similar drives in some 1950s cast metal F units (I think Varney), but yours looks older than mine.
  8. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    how could it be from 40's and 30's if its obviously a (crude) model of some F unit which i dont think were in production in the 40's, especially the 30's.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The Santa Fe E-1 "spot motors" were put in service on the then new Super Chief in 1938. The Ft came out in 1941 if I remember correctly. That body has no headlight on the nose, so it looks like it might have been an attempt to model the E-1s that were used by Santa Fe and B&O.
  10. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    oh sorry for the mistake, i didnt think there were diesels in use until like the late 40's.
    well we learn something new everyday.
  11. Justin

    Justin Member

    Probaly a Varney. I don't any more ideas of what it might be!
  12. CapnTomDrums

    CapnTomDrums New Member

    For those of us who dont know, the hobby of model railroading and HO scale both date back long before WWII. Some of us have been in the hobby ALMOST that long.
    I have no idea what that thing IS.
    However, going by the fact that it has the 'bulldog' nose, and the underframe assembly, I would say it is an early attempt at modeling an EMD.
    The first EMD's had the headlight inside the nose, so the fairing on top of the nose, that we are used to seeing, wasnt there.
    Years ago, model manufacturers sold steam engines as 3 seperate kits...the mechanism, the boiler, and the tender. That may have been the idea the body and the mechanism seperately. That MAY not be the correct mechanism for the body.
    On the roof there are 2 sets of exhausts. EMD E units had 2 engine/generator sets, so they had 2 sets of exhausts.
    EMD F units rode on 4 wheel trucks.
    HOWEVER, in 1937, EMD produced a locomotive called the TA. I THINK it had a single engine, and it rode on 4 wheel trucks, but the body was around 60 feet long.
    At the same time, 1937, they made the EA, which had 2 engines and rode on 6 wheel trucks. The body was around 75 feet long.
    The FT was the 4 axle freight unit introduced in 1939. They were about 45 feet long.
    Put an HO scale ruler on the model and see how long it is. If it is 45', its an FT. If 60' long its a TA, and if its 70' long its an EA. If you dont have a scale rule, an F unit would be about 6" long, a TA about 8 1/2" and an EA about 10 1/2" long.
    My guess is that its a TA and it has two sets of exhausts because the manufacturer didnt know any better.
    Manufacturers back then didnt have plans to go by, they modeled what they saw, and the manufacturer may have seen both TAs and EAs, one having 4-wheel trucks and the other having 2 engines. The manufacturer probably didnt know there was a difference.
  13. DougF

    DougF New Member

    I have a similar Alco PA body casting and the instruction sheet. I'll have to see if I can find them. The unit is a rough casting but there were no other PA's available at the time. It was given to me by a long time friend, perhaps in the early 60's. I'm under the impression that he had them for some time before that.

    Lindsey cames to mind as a possible manufacturer but I'm not sure.

  14. Justin

    Justin Member

    I also believe the drive system is Tenshodo.
  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Not a Tenshodo drive by a long shot.Sorry.Tenshodo wasn't imported till the 50s.
    I suspect that was a crude home made toy.
  16. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    sign1 oh man, that is funny!

    But it is a very interesting find.
  17. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    As to the drive syatem. Please look close. It is a pitman DC60 motor which you have seen before both on Varney and Bowser. That should put it in the 50's. The fact that it has 4 wheels instead of 6 is it is a toy drive. Not protytipical. Just for fun. The drive side frames are Varney. Varney used a spring which when rapped into it self made a drive belt. Lindburgh did the same with it's SW1. Varney used springs on it's diecast F3 with varing speed output. As to it's purpose I still think some after market producer made it to power the Strombecker Rock Island Rocket. If it could be placed alongside a Rocket you would see that the Strombecker paper sides could be directly applied to it.. And when replacement trucks were placed on the following cars a neat HO streamlined E3 rocket would be running down your pike.
    Frank ........................... toptrain
  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I have no idea, but it is an interesting find, that's for sure...! ;):D

    My suggestion was going to be to ask Ray, but you can see how that might not work... hamr

  19. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

    As CapnTom stated, the EMD TA locomotive rode on 4 wheel trucks. If this is indeed a TA model, the 4 wheel trucks are correct. The addition of the paper sides are a definite possibility, given the lack of details. The Rock Island had TAs numbered 601 through 606, used to power the Rocket. Their E3s were numbered 625 and 626.
    Look here:

    or here:

    or, especially:
  20. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

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