Why do i need a powered "B" unit to my F7"A"?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by YmeBP, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Yme, Those are some good pics of the layout at the Brandywine River museum! Those Santa "F" unit looking locomotives aren't FP7's, they're Faibanks-Morse C-Liners. Looke here to learn about these distinctive units: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_Consolidated_line

    Great story Wayne! always great to see an expirenced journalist covering the story, stock photo citing and all! sign1 That's great!

    Soo...perhaps another "A" unit is in the works, or perhaps a unpowered "B" unit to make it an A-B-A set? You also can mix and match the rare "Yellow Bonnets" with the more famous Warbonnet (RED) passenger diesels, because the yellow bonnets appeared at the end of the "F" unit era on the santa fe (1940-1972* to be exact)

    *excludes FP45's and their freight variant, the F45.

    COMBAT Member

    LOL, I want to see the carnage!
  3. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Me too! GREAT reporting, I laughed pretty good.
  4. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Those are great looking trains!! :)

    I think i'm goign to get another A unit from athearn, and then save for a socketed athearn or atlas. I've been reading in other forums where folks are happy w/ both of those brands.

  5. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Yep, Athearns sure are great for rapidly expanding your roster-- They are relatively cheap to acquire, built like tanks (the Super Weight F7s at least, LOL), and are so easy to maintain and keep running in good shape. I remember you mentioning you got young kids.. Those F7As are great engines for them to play with-- Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. :D

    BTW, I found another place where they sell Athearn F7As for around the same price: http://www.modeltrainstuff.com (M.B. Klein). Except these are RTR versions, which means it should have the DCC socket. :thumb:

    In the future when you are ready to move up to some of the more intricate locomotives with delicate detail, yep definitely go for some Athearn or Atlas hood units. You can even grab an undecorated one and paint it up in your own freelanced railroad name and paint scheme. :cool:
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    It took until 1978 for all the usable F-units to be converted to CF7s.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I bought an ABBA set of Athearn r-t-r f7s last spring in Santa Fe passenger, and I had to take a hacksaw to the "super weight" to cut out clearance for the decoder I installed. Otherwise the decoder installation is pretty straight forward. Because the weight easily detaches from the locomotive when you take the body off, I think there was just one small screw on eah side, the weight is easily taken away from the locomotive for cutting so no shavings get into the works.

    To answer your original question, most model railroaders will have more than enough pulling power out of a pair of Athear f7a's to pull most trains on the typical home model railroad. A friend of mine belongs to the La Mesa Model Railroad Club at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. They are the club that is building a literal 1/3 scale size version of Tehachapie in ho scale, including the prototype grades. The club has a standard that requires a minimum number of powered wheels for a specific number of cars. They run 100 car freight trains with helpers over the layout, and they don't want a train getting stalled on the mountain. They haul some serious wieght over some long and serious grades, and in the past nobody ran any dummy units. I haven't been down there since sound became so common in dcc equiped models, I think if I were running on that layout, I would makes sure I had enough powered axles to pull the train I wanted to pull and then add a dummy into the consist to hold the sound chip and speakers.

    As an aside, I asked my buddy how they got all of the various locomotive models to run together ( this was before dcc)? His answer was "If the grade is steep enough and the load heavy enough to make them work, any locomotive will run with any other locomotive." In other words, if 2 locomotives don't want to run together, put more cars on the train. When the train gets heavy enough, they'll work together.
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Reporters and news photographers finally reached the scene of the January 1 train wreck at the Grand Valley's bridge over the Speed River. Access to the site was hampered by poor weather and embarassed railroad officials.

    The photo below, taken by a "railfan" near the Hoffentoth Bros.' yard as the train neared South Cayuga, reveals that the train was being pulled by diesels, indicating the possible cause of the mishap that occurred later.

    Upon arrival at the wreck scene, it was noted that almost all vegetation in the area had been consumed by a terrible fire, no doubt caused by the diesels.
    Our intrepid photographer snapped this shot of two freightcars which had rolled down the embankment, landing on River Road and narrowly missing the tan coupe. The driver, oddly enough an executive of the Railroad, denied any invovement in the crash and also denied ever having seen the attractive young woman in the passenger seat beside him.


    The locomotives (diesels) remained on the tracks above the accident scene, along with several cars which had been ahead of the wrecked cars. This car, pictured below in a view from the riverbed, was the first one immediately behind those which plunged from the span.

    A closer inspection, courtesy of Barney Secord's Crop Dusting and Aerial Photography Company, reveals that only the guard timbers prevented this boxcar from plummeting to destruction.

    Three boxcars, all loaded with dangerous chemicals, came to rest in the river, spilling their toxic loads. Fortunately, no harm was done, as water has not yet made it downstream to this location.


    Actual damage to the cars was minimal, with only an end broken from one roofwalk, and one car losing a door. A couple of cars had interior lead weights, secured with silicone caulking, which were ripped from the floors.
    With everything repaired, the train was re-arranged, then rerouted over a different part of the layout. This time, there were no derailments, even when backing up for photos. The results of that trip can be seen at:
    It's been a while...

  9. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    :) I've emailed this thread to a bazillion peopel ahhaa your photo's and commentary are great!
  10. joesho

    joesho Member

    may i chime in?, if your looking to buy an umpowered b unit you might have to look quite hard as most companies dont make dummy,or unpowered units and more and the ones on the shelf might be the last
  11. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    But also, think about this: If you have 10 engines in 1 block and want to simulate a couple of large mu consists, then you would eat up your 3.5 amps from your DCC controller. If you have a couple of dummy units in those consists, nothing lost.:thumb:
  12. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    And Wayne, the "derailment" is quite catchysign1 :thumb:
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Of course, if you're running straight DC, no need to worry. :D :D My grandkids were here at Christmas, and the grandson was running 12 locos. :thumb: :thumb: I just kept adding more as he watched the other ones, and it was a blast to see the look on his face as each new one appeared. :) I kept cutting the power to different areas, out of his sight, until they all eventually caught up to one another. This was locomotives only, but at four, he's fairly competent running steam engines pulling a train, too, although it's just round and round, no switching.

    On another front, glad to see that the update on "the wreck" was enjoyed.


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