27 January 2008

More About Trains

My first attempt to secure a 4-6-2 Pacific was an Atlas model made by Rivarrosi. I'm not a big fan of Atlas by Rivarrosi as a result, the frames are made of cheap pot metal that gets brittle as it ages. The loco I got had a badly broken frame and bent drivers, was missing the meshing gears and the motor. It has since been disassembled, maybe I can do something with the pieces one day.

I have another Pacific on it's way to me, a Model Power unit, as well as a Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 Consolidation. I have two of the standard Bachmann Connies, so I am going to be able to compare the running characteristics of them. I expect to be pleased going by all that I have read.

I didn't really need the Connie (according to The Management I didn't need the Pacific either), but I couldn't pass up the price. I just missed out on a Kato Mikado from the same source, I didn't really need it either but it's supposed to be a sweet machine and I wanted to check it out.

My plan is to designate the Pacific as the passenger locomotive and relegate the resulting standard Connie to freight duties. As it was bought for that purpose in the first place, it's not really a demotion. I'll have to change the shells back from red (custom painted for the passenger consist) to black, but I have the extra shells just so I could do that. It makes the existing two Connies appear to be six, a quick shell change and I have four more completely different locos.

The two Bachmann Northerns I have are reclining in the roundhouse, waiting for the day I have large enough curves to be able to run them comfortably. The SF unit with the standard tender is a good runner, it has been remotored and crawls nicely. The UP unit has also been remotored, but in the UP's case the remotor didn't go as well as it could have. The worm gear is off-center and doesn't mesh right. I have to get a new worm gear from Northwest Shortlines and have it redone.

That leaves the Spectrum Connie. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this loco. Probably freight duties as well. I have Spectrum F-7B units that I really need to have A units for (trying to convince The Management is a different story altogether) because they are soldiering on with a pair of standard A units, and one unpowered A unit, to make AB pairs. They see occasional duties, whenever I want to pull long freights or when I want to "update" a bit.

I also have some of the Bachmann old-timer 4-4-0 Americans, an entire fleet of them, including the rolling stock to make either a UP or CP freight or passenger train, as well as a tourist era consist of open passenger cars and a gondola with benches. They get run occasionally.

Then there is the narrow gauge. You may have noticed the occasional EBT pictures scattered here and there. I have three narrow gauge locos, two of which are EBT prototypes and one which is a narrowed Bachmann 4-4-0. The other two are built on Marklin chassis, one is a 2-6-0 Mogul and the other is a 2-8-2 Mikado. The American was the cheapest and easiest to build, the Mogul has a scratchbuilt superstructure that started with a Bachmann smokebox, and the Mikado is built from a Republic Locomotive Works kit.

The Bachmann hauls a mixed passenger and freight consisting of a narrowed Bachmann combine, a Microtrains boxcar and an RLW flat trailed by a narrowed Bachmann bobber caboose. The Mogul, EBT#1, usually hauls the President's car, the Orbisonia, parlor car #20 made from a Bachmann coach, but occasionally gets pressed into freight (box and flat cars plus bobber) or passenger (two or three narrowed Bachmann coaches plus the Orbisonia) service, and the Mikado, EBT#17, hauls the rock train of ten RLW hoppers, one RLW boxcar and a RLW caboose or Combine #15 made from a MDC Overton coach and combine.

I'm saving my nickels and dimes for a couple of Fast Tracks jigs so I can build my own turnouts in N and Nn3. That's an expensive startup, but it gets cheaper with every turnout that gets built.

I'm going to go run some trains now.

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