Thread: Bradford Locomotive Works
August 15th, 2006, 02:04 AM #1
Anyone out there have engines built by this company? Specifically interested in the E2 Mother Hubbards.
I was surprised he is still in business as Eddystone Locomotive Works and has a website. Apparently he stopped producing D & H stuff.
I bought two of the E2's but they got packed away shortly after purchase and have not been run since '93. Just recently started unpacking my D & H stuff and pulled them out of mothballs.
Eventually I will get stuff up and running. These engines will probably be my first project. I have always be drawn to small Steam. When I eventually build a layout it will probably be steam era,
August 15th, 2006, 02:07 AM #2
Normally I am a reader and "lurker", choosing to glean ideas from the writings of others in the hobby. A major reason is that if I don't have something to say, I don't say it. Now and then someone will pose a question or ask for info on a specific topic or modeling activity. Since your question about Bradford rang the bell, I have decided to jump in. In addition to the Bradford loco, I also bought two of the D&H wood cabooses.
Years ago I purchased one of the Bradford "Four Aces", rear single cab locos. (I forget the class number.) He was always going to make a Camelback Consol, but I don't know if that ever happened. This loco was built on a Bowser Consol chassis.This had never been a good runner. The open frame motor and the oversized worm gear raised the mechanical advantage of the worm friction to levels where it would not start well and would stall at low speeds. This loco eventually became a roundhouse "Display Queen".
Just about 6 months ago, I became intimately familiar with BEMF decoders, as I began installing Tsunami sound decoders for others. I imagine most folks simply leave the default settings and go. I noticed a significant improvement in the performance of other folks "problem" locos, so I decided to jump into the deep end of the pool. I never intended to put a Tsunami in the Bradford, since everything is filled with Eurethane plastic and leadshot. I selected a Digitrax which had BEMF. (Again, my brain fails to give me the decoder number. Three sets of stairs down to the layout is too far to go for the numbers.)
With the standard default setting for BEMF, there was a major improvement. After more study and several hours of empirical, (trial & error), trimming of the settings, I had an engine to brag about. I have a 25' circumference test loop to work with. The stubborn old Bradford Consol will now take 3.5 minutes to make one turn around that test loop. I think I figured out it was about 2 scale miles per hour on speed step 1.!
OK, I know that this is far more than you probably wanted, since your request was only to find other Bradford owners. However, the same comments made above apply to three other locos which I have kitbashed into reasonable likeness of D&H locos. Two Mantua Mikados became "800 series" camelback Consolidations by cutting 5/8" off the rear end of the frame, removing the trailing truck and taking a section out of the boiler. To improve the running, they were regeared and remotored with the help of North West Short Line parts.
Next a Rivarossi Union Pacific FEF-3 became a D&H "K class" Northern with minor surgery to the twin stacks, boiler trim and appliances. A bigger project was kitbashing a likeness of the K's tender to replace the UP centipede tender. This model was also a poor runner, still using the Rivarossi motor, (UGH!). After the success of the first BEMF conversion, a Tsunami has been applied to this loco It has turned this one into a star performer. If anyone want to view some photos of these locos, for conversion ideas, I'll be glad to post them if anyone so requests.
Fred Cupp in Williamsport, PA
August 15th, 2006, 02:12 AM #3
August 15th, 2006, 02:13 AM #4
Thanks Mr Cupp! Quite a lot of usefull information here. I had no idea that Decoders could improve poor running engines!
Bradford did make the Camelbacks, the E2/E2a model. They also use Bowser running gear but he designed a system using a can motor mounted in the tender to drive a gearbox in the engine. I had problems with mine and eventually replaced the flexible driveshaft with NWSL drive shafts (NWSL parts have improved many engines for me over the years)
I also have the four aces , purchased as a kit.The superstructure was fun to build but I never got it running, the Bowser running gear and motor just gave me fits. I may try again when I have more time and patience. Probably will use a can motor and gearbox if I do. Bowser running gear can be difficult to build. Some folks can get them running easily, not me unfortunately.
Please do post the photos of your engines, some of us could use the inspiration.
BTW I have perused your website several times. Thank you for your efforts posting it for the rest of ust to admire.
August 15th, 2006, 02:15 AM #5
I own a Bradford E5 2-8-0. I built the kit years ago when they first were produced. Around 5 years ago I traded it to a friend of mine for some other power....but he passed away...and now I have it back. The poor thing took a beating after he passed away....the pilot got busted off and lost. I guess I will eventually scratch build a new pilot for it.
Since we are on the subject, does anyone know for sure if E5a class 2-8-0's ever got as far South as Wilkes-Barre? Everything I have read says no....that they never ventured south of Binghamton. But my late friend Joe said otherwise. ( He lived within sight of Scott St roundhouse in Wilkes-Barre when young in the late 40's and early 50's. When I told him that the big E5a class 2-8-0's never got as far South as his Wilkes-Barre....he said that they most certainly did. I was confused. Then I said that the 4-6-6-4 Challengers never ventured South of Carbondale....again based on everything I had read on the subject. He laughed again and proceeded to show me a photograph of a D&H Challenger in front of the Scranton freight station, on display when new! ( He actually got a cab ride in a Challenger in 1950 in Carbondale )
For what it's worth.
December 7th, 2006, 04:48 PM #6Confirmed TrainBoard Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
December 7th, 2006, 07:17 PM #7
December 7th, 2006, 08:01 PM #8Confirmed TrainBoard Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
I have the kit already so won't be bidding. Hope you get it, seeing some of the work you have done here.
The kit does not have instructions (I asked the seller), if you need them let me know. You will need them to form the various pieces of wire.
December 8th, 2006, 07:59 AM #9
I hope so too,but my work lately has not been good,cant seem to get that cab rite on the challenger,i put it away for now,take back up when i got more time
December 9th, 2006, 02:29 AM #10
During WWII a Challenger made one trip up to Rouses Point. They turned it on the CN wye. The clearances and curvature on the Champlain Division were too tight for it to run at any reasonable speed, so that was the only time a 4-6-6-4 ever went north of Whitehall.
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