What is it about ten wheelers?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Iv'e got a 4-8-4, 2-10-2, 2-8-0, two 2-10-0's, a heavy mountain, and recently, the 2-6-6-2, and I still find myself running the 4-6-0 more than some of the others. From what I have seen and heard on the forum, they seem to be popular. They are described as a go anywhere, do anything engine. Wasn't this the one that almost all of the railroads used at one time or another?
    Now, I realize that some of the other manufacturer's engines may be somewhat more detailed, and maybe more dependable, but as Iv'e said before, I'm very pleased with the Spectrum line. This little 4-6-0 is fast, smooth and runs well at a crawl also. It's happy with just 6 or 7 freight cars, but sometimes that's all the needs to be shipped at that moment. Whenever I'm running the ten wheeler, the freight trains just aren't that long that day. Sound like I'm showing a little favoritism?
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Well, the real railroads usually assigned an engine to a job based on the normal requirements of the job: no point in sending out a Northern for half a dozen cars. Not only would it not be cost effective, but most likely a line that generates such a small amount of traffic wouldn't be built to the standards required for a much larger loco.
    I have two of the Bachmann Spectrum 10-Wheelers, which I bought to convert to follow CNR prototypes. However, when I finally got them, I realised that they're too small for my chosen prototype. My next thought was to detail them to match 2 NYC locos that ran out of St. Thomas, Ontario. They're pretty close in size and appearance, although both would need new tenders: both of the prototypes had small tenders, similar to the one that comes with Bachmann's low-drivered version, plus each also had an auxillary tender. The main drawback to this choice is that I don't have any place where I can add an interchange with the New York Central. Right now, my thought is to completely modernise them, and re-detail them to give them a Grand Valley family appearance. I've already altered one of them by rebuilding the cylinders to a piston-valve type, a very cheap and easy conversion. I'll do the other eventually, and document the procedure, but I have quite a few other locomotive rebuilds scheduled ahead of these.
    To be realistic about it, most layouts are better suited to small locos and short trains, but it's quite easy to be seduced by large power: otherwise nobody would be buying all those great looking Big Boys and Challengers.

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Maybe you're a CPR guy at heart...! ;) Canadian Pacific rostered lots of these locos, and they were used for passenger, freight, and mixed trains on branches.

    My ten wheeler is fast becoming one of my favourites too... :D

  4. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    4-6-0 is just a really classic configuration. Though I think I prefer 2-6-0 myself. Either way, they're big enough to move some cargo but small enough to get through difficult locations. And generally they look good doing it ;)
  5. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    The tapered boiler, the oversize domes, size of the cab on such a small engine, complexity of the siderods, and lines and tubing galore, all of this just makes for an interesting look. One or two of the others have a spot in the track they don't like, but the ten wheeler couldn't care less. It's like it likes to run. And your right, looks good no matter what you have it doing.
    Do you pick these up, holding the cylinders, rear of cab and front of tender simultainiously? That seems to be the safest way I can see to do it. It's a little tricky on the larger engines that have a heavy tender. Even when using the "railer", it all has to be picked up and kept level with out hanging on the drawbar or wiring. Just wondered if any of you know of a better way.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Yup. Nice thing about it is that the key points seem to have been made of metal for just such a purpose. Just be sure to keep the loco slightly higher than the tender to keep the drawbar in place. Nothing like pulling an entire train around your layout by the connecting wires...! (Don't ask hamr :rolleyes: ).

  7. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Masonjar----yep, Iv'e done that also. I imagine most of us have at one point or another. It is interesting that on the smaller locos, the wiring is so stiff that they still pull decently even without the drawbar. You notice right away on the heavy's.
    There is a little bit of a knack to it, [ lifting them ], got to be careful not to crush or bend the grab irons at each side on the rear edges of the cabin. It's hard to know just how much handling is ok. I tend to baby mine, I act like they're made of eggshells. That's one of the reasons DoctorWayne always amazes me. When he gets an engine, it's like buying a house, changing the roofline, moving the walls around and adding a basement. Then he puts it on the track and it runs! Looks terrific and the roadname is correct! Don't know how he does' it. I look at those siderods and start to shake.
    Something Iv'e been thinking about lately. Who makes the most well made, reliable, accurately detailed engines if cost is not a consideration? Broadway Limited? Rivarossi? I'm pretty happy with my Spectrums, but I have an IHC thats a great engine so I was just wondering.-------------John

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