Brass Steam Locomotives that Pull Freight Cars.


Bruce Griffin
 

Friends,

Could someone recommend a Steam Era Brass Locomotive .Io group? I am looking for some insights into modeling HO brass locomotives that pulled steam era freight cars. Thank you for you insights.  
 

Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD
https://bomodeling.com/blog/

 


nyc3001 .
 

The only one I'm aware of is the Brass Collectors and Operators group.

Personally, I'd be interested in a group discussing methods to make brass steam locomotives pull prototypical-length freight trains. It would be cool to see a single HO 4-8-2 (for example) pulling 70 or more cars on the level at track speed.

-Phil Lee


Paul Doggett
 

Bruce 

There is Brass model paint and repair on Facebook.

Paul Doggett 


On 21 May 2022, at 09:15, Bruce Griffin <bdg1210@...> wrote:



Friends,

Could someone recommend a Steam Era Brass Locomotive .Io group? I am looking for some insights into modeling HO brass locomotives that pulled steam era freight cars. Thank you for you insights.  
 

Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD
https://bomodeling.com/blog/

 


Jim Betz
 

Bruce,

  Try repowerandregear ... they are "all about getting brass steam to run well".
As to pulling well, there isn't a specific group for that (that I'm aware of). 
Repowerandregear does talk about pulling power from time to time ... the
essential wisdom is to add as much weight as you can fit (may but usually
doesn't require changing springs) and, at least as important is to get the
fore and aft balance right.
                                                                         - Jim in the PNW


Jerry Michels
 

If you are not completely hooked on brass, Broadway makes excellent steam locomotives. I understand your interest, but unless you buy more modern brass locomotive production (say post 1985), you will probably need to have the locomotive rebuilt by an expert. Older brass steam can barely pull itself, much less a train.  I think they were built for show rather than running.  I have suffered through many 1970s era brass locomotives, and finally bit the rebuild bullet.  Also, as an aside, modern brass or plastic steam locomotives have much better details.

Jerry Michels


Jerry Michels
 

Phil, do you have a layout that can handle 70+ car trains?  I am a member of the Amarillo Railroad Museum that has a very large layout and a 70+ car train would really look out of place.  We routinely run 20-30 car trains, and they look very nice.

Jerry Michels


Bruce Smith
 

Jerry, Folks,

It's not just age, it's builder. There is plenty of older brass that runs like a Swiss watch. PRR steam era modeler Bill Neale has a great graphic showing running versus rebuilding needs on which there is a line. Above that line is defined as "Throw against the wall". Alco and Sunset for example, are firmly above the line. Now before any of you jump on me that you have an example of an Alco or Sunset steamer that runs great, I acknowledge that individual examples can defy the rule, but in general, that rule seems to apply just fine. And that rule indicates that those importers are not worth even trying to rebuild. 

Regards,
Bruce 
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...>
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2022 8:34 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] Brass Steam Locomotives that Pull Freight Cars.
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
If you are not completely hooked on brass, Broadway makes excellent steam locomotives. I understand your interest, but unless you buy more modern brass locomotive production (say post 1985), you will probably need to have the locomotive rebuilt by an expert. Older brass steam can barely pull itself, much less a train.  I think they were built for show rather than running.  I have suffered through many 1970s era brass locomotives, and finally bit the rebuild bullet.  Also, as an aside, modern brass or plastic steam locomotives have much better details.

Jerry Michels


Bruce Smith
 

Phil,

I have to second Jerry's question... and add why? And add that your "prototype" situation only applies to straight flat running. Modeling 20-25 steam era freight cars to something like a Mountain for the typical model railroad terrain seems like a nice ratio. While diseasel modelers seemed fascinated by the concept of pulling as much as they can with a single model, I would much rather have my engines that pull steam era freight cars powered such that exceeding a modest load requires the use of helper engines. Twice the fun, as I like to say!

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of nyc3001 . <nyc3001@...>
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2022 4:17 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] Brass Steam Locomotives that Pull Freight Cars.
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
The only one I'm aware of is the Brass Collectors and Operators group.

Personally, I'd be interested in a group discussing methods to make brass steam locomotives pull prototypical-length freight trains. It would be cool to see a single HO 4-8-2 (for example) pulling 70 or more cars on the level at track speed.

-Phil Lee


Tim O'Connor
 


Facebook groups are not useful as reference material... They are fun for social sharing but
everything ages very quickly and scrolls away... little Twitter, TikTok, et al. There is a lot of
content, but it's a real "time suck" as a manager of mine used to say.

Tim O'Connor


On 5/21/2022 5:31 AM, Paul Doggett via groups.io wrote:
Bruce 

There is Brass model paint and repair on Facebook.

Paul Doggett


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Tony Thompson
 

Bruce Smith wrote:

It's not just age, it's builder. There is plenty of older brass that runs like a Swiss watch. 

Or is otherwise a good runner. I have a Max Gray brass engine that, though not wonderfully detailed, will pull the paint off the walls. I wouldn’t dream of “repowering” it.

Tony Thompson





Tony Thompson
 

Older brass steam can barely pull itself, much less a train.  I think they were built for show rather than running.  

There are examples of this but plenty of older (pre-1970) brass that pulls wonderfully.

Tony Thompson


Jim Betz
 

Bruce,

  The repowerandregear groups.io group exists for the express purpose of
making older brass run like the proverbial swiss watch.  Just about any 
steamer, even the Mantua and Tyco can be made to run well (I'm not 
talking about looks).  Usually it is a matter of replacing the motor with a
modern motor (can) and perhaps also replacing the gear box with one
from NWSL.  Sometimes there are other issues.  Getting the weight
distributed across all the drivers is one of the keys.

  I agree about the Also Models locos, not so much about the Sunsets
other than the very earliest of the Samhongsa work.  There have been
many builders (the guys actually doing the work, not the importers) 
who have built excellent steam locos that we can spend a few hours
on and get them pulling our steam era freight cars ... and sit back and
listen to the compliments.
                                                                - Jim in the PNW
                                                                                   - Jim in the PNW


Jerry Michels
 

I agree Phil and cast my net too broadly.  I have had terrible experiences with Hallmark, but being a Missouri Pacific modlere, they were the main importers of MP brass. Ditto for Sunset.  I bought their MP ex-Wabash 210-2 that ran like a scared rabbit on throttle setting 2!  All is well now, I had most rebuilt.  Jerry


nyc3001 .
 
Edited

Jerry and Bruce,

I want to model the NYC's Water Level Route; on the prototype, long trains were the norm. Even though the maximum train length on the Central was 125 cars during the 1940s, it was not uncommon to see a single L-2 Mohawk pulling 90-100 cars on the mainline; the evidence for this is the freight consists on canadasouthern.com. It's no problem to run diesel-powered trains of this length given that the Central seemed to usually assign A-B-A or A-B-B-A units to a 90+ car train.

The layout that I've planned is basically a giant loop around the basement as I would like to model long sections of straight trackage as commonly seen in rural parts of the Water Level Route west of Albany. So it will likely be possible to run 70+ car trains.

-Phil


Peter Hall
 

Try the Repower and Regear group.  This is frequently a topic discussed there.

Thanks
Pete

On May 21, 2022, at 4:17 AM, nyc3001 . <nyc3001@...> wrote:

The only one I'm aware of is the Brass Collectors and Operators group.

Personally, I'd be interested in a group discussing methods to make brass steam locomotives pull prototypical-length freight trains. It would be cool to see a single HO 4-8-2 (for example) pulling 70 or more cars on the level at track speed.

-Phil Lee


Bill McClure
 

There are examples of this but plenty of older (pre-1970) brass that pulls wonderfully.

Yes, indeed, think Akane and PFM/United. As time passed, the market seemed to move towards collectors, and detail became more important than operation. Those big Pittman, or Pittman-style motors put out the torque.

Bill


Tim O'Connor
 


Unfortunately many HO scale model mechanisms are not very good or long lasting. But with knowledge
and some skills many can be rebuilt to run like the proverbial Swiss watch. But throughout the era of brass
imports from the 1950's to the present (well over 20,000 models) there are many examples of excellent
mechanisms. Many now fail because of materials that degraded naturally, plastics and rubber especially.

And early brass has the virtue that it's far easier to repair! I am terrified to try and take apart a Challenger
or recent Precision Scale articulated, for example. :-)

Tim O'Connor

On 5/21/2022 3:44 PM, Tony Thompson wrote:
Older brass steam can barely pull itself, much less a train.  I think they were built for show rather than running.  

There are examples of this but plenty of older (pre-1970) brass that pulls wonderfully.

Tony Thompson


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Philip Dove
 

Certainly not brass in detail but old Rivarossi (ahm) can haul impressive amounts.  My Y6b 2-8-8-2hauled all my 54 cars round and round a layout involving 3'radius curves and grades of up to 8%the train was nearly always on two corners so the rear car was running at 180 degrees to the locomotives direction. Only some of the locos sold under the Ahm brand were by Rivarossi. 


Jerry Michels
 

My take is that brass manufacturing progressed from excellent runners with less details (good for the era), to poor runners with good detail, to fine runners with excellent detail.  I admit my experience is colored by being a MoPac follower, so I liked the PFM 2201 4-8-4, knew I was going to have to have 99% of Hallmark rebuilt, and absolutely loved the later Overland 2101 4-4 and 1901 2-8-4 production.  Among MoPac modelers the saying was that you ran Hallmark for five feet and the side rods fell off.  Even their best effort, the single 3000 class 2-8-8-2 was nicely detailed but performed poorly.It was interesting to see the cylinder saddle on the rear engine waddling back and forth as a cold solder joint gave way after the proverbial five feet.

My best experience was to have the great fortune to purchase a number of super brass locomotives from the late Joe Collias collection. They needed new motors, DCC and sound. They were older brass 1960s 'bases' (I think Akane) super-detailed for the Missouri Pacific.  

Question: is the name pronounced a-cane, a-con-e, soft or hard a, or something else?

Jerry Michels


Nolan Hinshaw
 

On May 22, 2022, at 14:44, Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...> wrote:

Question: is the name pronounced a-cane, a-con-e, soft or hard a, or something else?
Because it's Japanese, it's "Ah Kah Neh".
--
The thong is ended but the malady lingers on