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T O P I C    R E V I E W
OK Hogger Posted - 06/02/2016 : 8:48:01 PM
I'm BAAAaaack!

As threatened, here's an update concerning my first fledgling efforts at creating the Colorado & Pacific's first "kit-bashed" steam engine. At this point, I'm just experimenting with the basic components that I hope to make work for my first late-1870s/mid-1880s Mogul.

Here's a pic of the first combination (on the right):

Obviously, I'm starting with the venerable Pocher "Reno". It's sitting on a modified MDC/Roundhouse Old Timer 2-6-0 frame. The stack/cylinder center lines match up, so that works. (At this point, the stack is a Tyco "General" stack which may, or may not, be used.) The boiler will need just a bit of "massaging" (filing the inside edges) to allow it to snuggle down over the frame to sit lower. The "Reno" cab fits fine, should I decide to retain it. At this stage, there were a few more questions I must address:

* Can I use the Pocher cylinder/guides assembly (with new scratchbuilt main rods/side rods)?

* Can I get a Sagami 16x30 to fit inside the rear portion of the boiler? (Or do I need to go smaller?)

* Should I retain the MDC/Roundhouse 72:1 step gear ratio (using an NWSL gear set), or go with the NWSL 45:1 MDC gear replacement set? Experimentations/decisions/ ahead. I hope to answer those questions "soon".

Next, for gits n' shiggles, I experimented with what a 60" driver version would look like by using Mantua 60" drivers (that's what they measure using my dial calipers) installed into an MDC 63" driver Mogul frame. Here's the result:

Don't like it. This is supposed to be a "freight hog" and this looks like a passenger engine.

So, I then decided to piddle n' diddle some more with the 52" driver version, so I detached some more parts from the Pocher assemblies. (Wow, Pocher was way ahead of their time in devising complicated assembly procedures! Would make the "Ah so. We Chinee!" mfg folk proud!)

I massaged the boiler so it would snuggle down more on the frame and added a leading truck using a modified MDC lead truck assembly with a NWSL 26" flush end wheelset. I also modified the Pocher cylinder/pilot assembly and it fits fine. However, I think I would prefer the longer pilot version that came with the Pocher "Genoa" instead of the short version on the "Reno".

Anyway, here's what this combination looks like:

Ah... NOW we're getting somewhere! I like the overall lines and "stance".

What I don't like is the "bulk" that the MDC cover plate creates because it extends up PAST the front driver. To me this makes the frame look too "thick" between the front driver and cylinders. (Compare that area on the Jupiter in the pic above.)

So, I think I will be cutting off the MDC cover plate back toward the center axle. This ought to result in a "deep firebox" look which is definitely desired, but create more "space" under the frame for the front driver. (I will use a thin piece of brass screwed to the frame w/small a pair of bolts/screws to hold the front driver set in place.)

I then got the happy idea to try an MDC "Old Timer" cab on it to see how that looked. Here's a pic of that experiment:

Nope. Ain't happening. Looks like it's been "modernized" in the mid-late 1880s and I don't want to go there. I want it to look more "original". So, that attempt was a dud.

Now, from here I learned that a 16x30 Sagami round can will NOT fit the Pocher/MDC combination. It will fit the MDC frame (have done so in the past) but will NOT fit the Pocher boiler, even after using the dremel to remove the ridge inside the Pocher boiler that's up at the top. (Hits the boiler taper before the can motor is far enough forward for the MDC frame.)

So, this means I need to find an alternative motor. Thus far, it looks like the NWSL 12mm x 25mm is the most likely option at this point. That combination will require an adapter bushing for the shaft to retain use of the NWSL MDC regear sets available.

Which brings up this question:

Have any of you any experience re-gearing an MDC Old Timer from the stock 72:1 step gear to a NWSL 45:1 step gear? If so, what were the performance changes?

Okay... I think that's it on the updates for now.

Any input most welcomed!

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
railman28 Posted - 12/02/2019 : 5:09:28 PM
Let the Good Times roll. Did you get see Big Boy roll by? The NCE system should be a good bet. I've not heard of a unhappy owner.

OK Hogger Posted - 12/01/2019 : 5:45:15 PM
Hi Bob!

Thanks for asking!

Well, I'm hip deep into my "riding season" and I have been doing a lot of dual sport riding in the mountains of OK and AR. Wife has also been riding some with me (she rides the XT225 I purchased the past April.) That so, my model trains haven't been the top priority.

However, what HAS been priority has been the saving of my hobby allowance in order to make a large (to me) investment in NCE DCC components.

Among all the other things vying for my hobby funds, I finally saved back enough that I was ready to go forward and order the stuff. I have ordered:

1 completely new NCE DCC R/C Starter System that includes an R/C cab (hand held unit).
1 5 Amp power unit to power same.
1 Fast acting circuit breaker for the system.
2 Additional R/C cabs (hand held units).

Total has come to nearly $1100, a fair chunk of change. However, this will allow me to replace my 12+ year old NCE DCC R/C unit currently being used on my Ozark layout that's in the out building as well as give me the ability for 3 operators.

The older system will be brought in here to the house to become the power/control for my future KC Lines shelf switching layout here in this computer room. Waste not, want not.

I did host a regional get-together a couple weeks ago. There were 6 of us, total. I handed the throttle to one of them and a switch list to the other, and they ran a train and worked the Gravel Turn.

They enjoyed it a bunch, but the grade bit them on the hiney. They tried to switch the rock plant and bit off more than the single unit could handle, so they had to regroup and come up with another plan. Welcome to mountain railroading!

Anyway, once the new system arrives and I have it installed and proofed, I will be inviting those two back down for a shake down run with three operators. I figure they'll each run a train on the layout, and I'll take the third throttle and work the stages/through trains.

Probably gonna' be one of those "cluster****" deals... but it ought to be fun and we've gotta's start somewhere in learning how to operate this new layout!

All fer now!

railman28 Posted - 12/01/2019 : 2:02:32 PM
What's you doing?
OK Hogger Posted - 09/28/2019 : 09:55:35 AM
Hi Mike!

Yes it is! Such a find often fires up the imagination.

I suspect the older/lighter engine was being used for construction purposes. I have read in historical accounts that once the line was open south of the tunnel to Van Buren (river port town), then the larger engines w/helpers were used to move through-tonnage over the switchbacks while the tunnel continued to be bored.

Michael Hohn Posted - 09/28/2019 : 08:36:21 AM

Itís always exciting when a new old photo turns up.

I expect the locomotive we see pulled only a few cars at a time up a 4% grade.

OK Hogger Posted - 09/28/2019 : 12:55:21 AM
A Frisco historian friend of mine just uploaded this heretofore unseen (by me, at least) picture of the construction of the tunnel at Winslow, AR on the Frisco railroad. This picture would have to date back to 1881-1882. (The tunnel was completed and opened for service in 1882.) See that train? That's on the temporary switchback (with 4+% grades) that was used during the construction of the tunnel! This is a RARE picture, guys!

All fer now!

OK Hogger Posted - 09/26/2019 : 11:53:07 PM
Thanks you two for the input!


Don't think you will ever see me posting a pic of an SD70MAC!


Yes, it's our favorite place to go for steam. It will be so cool to have the T-12 running! We first visited the C&T back in '92. We soon rode the length of it. We've ridden it several times. Our favorite thing to do is simply savor the atmosphere of the region and operation. A typical day for us is to eat a good breakfast somewhere, then strike off for the yard for the departure of the eastbound. Once it leaves out, we love to pace it climbing to Cumbres. Once it's left Cumbres headed for Ozier, we then head back to Chama and eat lunch, then mosey back up the pass and over toward Los Pinos to pick up the westbound train. We even enjoy waiting up there! After the trains are finished for the day, we will often hike along the right of way around Cumbres and explore. We also like to stroll about the yard after everything is tucked away for the evening. We typically go up to Chama every year or so. Love it!

All fer now.

railman28 Posted - 09/26/2019 : 10:44:43 PM
Andre, It's a beautiful Railroad. A Great Ride. Back in the 70's I chased A Freight special from Chama to Cumbres Pass but Last fall was the first time I rode her and rode the whole length. Another freight special. What a spectacular Gem she is. Now that they will have restored passenger cars and a ten wheeler running around I think I will visit more often.
Michael Hohn Posted - 09/26/2019 : 8:18:07 PM
Andre, those are beautiful photos. Thank you for posting.

As for not being EarlyRail, itís your own thread and you can post anything you want if it inspires your modeling, even a photo of an SD70MAC.


OK Hogger Posted - 09/26/2019 : 7:33:20 PM
Hi All!

Wife and I have just returned from a short stay at the Cumbres & Toltec town of Chama, NM. We both just love the atmosphere that can be had at the C&T. Amazingly, in addition to her love of the Rocky Mountains, my wife loves the steam engines and the steam experience!

While enjoying the action, I did snap a few photos, however, I don't go to the C&T to futilely try to take the "perfect" picture (long ago gave up), and now I mainly just soak up the atmosphere and watch (and listen) to the action. IF a photo presents itself and I can do so without missing action, I'll snap a quickie. Here's some of the quickies from our trip.

Not exactly "Early Rail"... but the sounds and smells of steam are trans-era!

Michael Hohn Posted - 09/06/2019 : 6:10:56 PM
A little care on the fiscal side also helps prevent expensive mistakes, extravagances and unthought out purchases.

railman28 Posted - 09/05/2019 : 1:51:47 PM
Understand the need for mature fiscal management. I played with track plans and CAD drawing in such times. But, basic scenery (paper towel, plaster of Paris over a lactic of cardboard strips) was cheap too. A lot cheaper than foam That's for sure and with a cheap drop cloth, a lot easier to clean up.

OK Hogger Posted - 09/05/2019 : 09:15:01 AM
Hi Bob!

Thanks for asking.

I'm saving up my hobby funds for my next major purchase: A second complete NCE R/C DCC system. Amid that, I've also got to spend some of my hobby funds for some motorcycle upkeep things (about $200-$300 worth) in advance of riding season that's only a few weeks away.

SO... I'm avoiding my model railroad train hobby for now so as not to be tempted to spend on items that will prolong the saving mode.

Typically, I use my V scale interest to piddle with as I await for such funds/etc. That said, I'm in the process of putting in the last few miles of track to replicate the St. Louis & North Arkansas railroad as it was from about 1903 to mid-1906. (The StL&MA morphed into the Missouri & North Arkansas when it started their final expansions in 1906.) SO, as per the prototype, "my" virtual St.L&NA/M&NA runs from Seligman, MO, to Leslie, AR, some 121 miles or so. I used track charts and all the data I could get my hands on to make this as accurate as reasonably practical. I also intend to share this route project with those interested among my V scale friends.

So, there you have it!

railman28 Posted - 09/04/2019 : 10:45:46 PM
Andre!!! What's you doing?
railman28 Posted - 08/11/2019 : 12:47:58 PM
Dave H and Mike, Thank you. And apologies Andre.

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