EMD Trainmans G scale section 2009

EMD trainman May 31, 2009

  1. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    I decided to split my original G scale section off as it seems to be getting to many pages to view. I will split it up by the year, the original will have 2008 postings and original replies by others from both years. I will only move my own 2009 posts to this thread. Everyone is welcome to post replies to this thread also. Thank you for the support, views and comments you gave me.
     
  2. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Sharing my views on the G scale ratio dilema

    Originally posted Jan 4, 2009

    When I joined Train Board I was excited to see there was a G scale section. Imagine my surprise after joining I noticed in small print above the G scale section a sub title of 1:22.5 scale ratio, which meant to someone new like me that this G scale section was for only LGB people, so therefore I wrote my first thread on how there were more scale ratios in the G scale world. Eventually I was noticed by the board, was asked to be a G scale moderator which I agreed upon and eventually got the subtitle changed to include all G scale people.

    Although the G scale world may never actually agree on what scale ratio is correct there are alot of other facts out there to review. Such as LGB started G scale in the 1:22.5 scale ratio. Also the NMRA adopted 1:32 scale ratio trains as the most accurate G scale ratio for running a mainline prototype railroad with code 250 track being the most accurate scale ratio track to run it on. The NMRA also considers narrow gauge 1:20.32 or as most of us know it as just 1:20.3 scale ratio to actually be a Fn3 scale and not really G scale but does run on Gauge #1 track. Notice that the track is really not called G scale track, but rather Gauge #1 track. While the NMRA has adopted actual scale ratios in the G scale world, manufacturers have never really followed those guideline as to making these scale ratios except for Accucraft until now. Accucraft has even broke away from traditional guidlines of the NMRA and came out with a 1:29 scale ratio series called the AML series.

    In my view I look at the different series of scale ratio G scale trains available like going to a car dealership, there are high end stuff, middle price class stuff and low end stuff. The way some of the scale ratio trains are made is somewhat similiar in comparison. Lets take a look at the 1:32 scale ratio trains. Since how the NMRA adopted this scale ratio as a more true ratio, you see more high end expensive trains made in this ratio mostly being made of brass, stainless steel or diecast. The same way goes for the 1:20.3 scale ratio, another instance of high end models being made. Accucraft is one of the manafacturers who make such models. The 1:29 scale ratio, although not a true scale ratio, but a very affordable middle price class type ratio. Most are produced in mainly plastic with metail details and yes even the Accucraft 1:29 scale ratio new AML series is mainly plastic which is a big switch for them. There are other manufacturers out there who make their own scale ratio trains such as Hartland Locomotive works which is 1:24 scale ratio which is more reasonable in price in comparison to the 1:29 scale ratio. Of course there is always some instances where those rules are broken, MTH makes trains in a 1:32 scale ratio also, but the rolling stock are mainly plastic, the locomotives have some diecast metal in them.

    While the G scale world may never agree on a standard actual scale ratio other than the NMRA, the different scale ratios out there in the G scale world gives everyone a choice in different price ranges and I think that is a positive thing. Although I would love to have an empire or Accucraft trains, I just can't afford those kind of prices. The 1:29 scale ratio availability has allowed me to enter the G scale world in a very reasonable and fun way. The 1:29 scale ratio has also allowed me to enter the American Mainline modeling era in a big way in which I like the 1945 to modern era diesel locomotives the best. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a seperate railroad with a nice Accucraft K27 pulling a string of box and reefer cars.

    The many different scale ratios that have run on Gauge #1 track over the years has pretty much been unlimited, ranging from 7/8 scale all the way to 1:32 scale ratios, it's real nice to see a variety of trains to choose from or to model in. I say lets keep the choices out there and run what scale ratio you want on Gauge #1 track.
     
  3. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Where is the sound?

    Originally Posted Jan 11,2009

    G scale trains have been out for a long time and most of these manufacturers should be more advanced by now. I'm talking about more advanced in the sound area. Lets take a look at O scale for example, they have sound that comes with the locomotive and a controller to blow the whistle any time or the bell at any time and they are impressive. In the past if you bought a USA or a Aristocraft train you had to choose a Sierra or Phoenix sound system, install it of get it installed. Then at that point you are stuck with using reed switches to trip of the sound or bell. So now if you wanted to have remote controoled sound operations, you neede to go DCC with a company such as Airewire for example, this is way too costly.

    Since how MTH already had a good sound system in thier O scale models, they have the upper hand in the sound department. I personally listened to these sound systems and they are great. They have it all, the bell, the whistle, brake squeal, blow off sound for steam engines, engine start sound for diesels and best of all, cab chatter where the engineer talks to dispatch. The feature I like about this is that it can all be controlled by a hand remote and it's all made by MTH. You don't have to go out shopping for a sound unit and a DCC controller, MTH makes it a one stop shop.

    I know that LGB had some good sound also, but I think it was only available in the high end models.

    Aristocraft has been stepping forward by teaming up with QSI solutions. Then they made thier locomotives a plug and play operation for DCC and sound. I know Aristocraft is coming out with a new train engineer called the "Revolution". It would be nice if they put a feature in there to blow the horn and ring the bell on the sound system. Maybe they are, I don't know. I didn't read anything like that when they came out with the features it's suppose to have.

    USA has alot of catching up to do with the rest of the G scale world in the sound department. USA recommends Phoenix sound systems in thier locomotives and once you tear down the locomotive there is ports for this particular sound to plug into the chip with. The only thing I don't like is that you are drilling holes intoi the fuel tank of your diesel locomotive for the volume. You are still stuck with reed switches at this point since USA does not have any optional DCC controller system. I like the Phoenix sound, but has always been expensive, they finally come out with a cheaper model at $180 called the "Big Sound PS".

    Here is my bottom line, alot of these G scale manufacturers have been in buisness for a long time and they should be right there with O scale in advancements. They are not, but hopefully soon get close. Here is why I say this, if I buy one USA F3-A locomotive for example at $200, then I have to buy a Phoenmix sound at $245 to have the top of the line Phoenix sound system which is the "Big Sound PB9". Now I have to spend another $400 for a Airwire or $640 for a Digitrax DCC system. That is ridiculous. That is $845 in expense just to have a locomotive with remote sound and DCC.

    MTH has a F3 AA set with sound and DCC which is $600. Thats right, you get 2 F3 A unit locomotives which both are fully powered and both have DCC. I'm not sure if both feature the sound unit. You get to make many sounds work at any time you want. The only draw back I see is that you have to run the MTH trains on AC power to get all of the sound features. If you run them on DC power, some of the sound features don't work. For those who are not familiar, MTH trains G scale is AC/DC power, they will run on both.

    To the rest of the G scale manufacturers, lets wake up and stop depending on other manufacturers to cover you in the sound and DCC area. Lets team up and come out with something already to run like MTH trains that is reasonably priced like MTH..
     
  4. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Coupler Conversion

    Originally posted Jan 15,2009

    Thanks DragonFyreGT for bringing up the coupler subject. The hook and loop coupler is the only standard coupler in G scale. I don't like those style couplers while at the same token I can't run body mounted kadee couplers because I run 8ft curve diameter track and you need 10ft diameter curves once you convert to kadee couplers. Since most of my rolling stock is 95% USA trains, I found actually converting the Aristocraft trains over to USA couplers very easy. I unscrew the Aristocraft coupler off of the truck and beilieve it or not, the USA coupler fits right into place with it's long tab, then I use the USA screw that came with it. Once converted I found the couplers to be at the correct height to match with the others. So there is no modifications like I had to make on my LGB items and no playing around with shims or height gauge to install kadee couplers.

    Sorry rivet counters, you go ahead and run your body mounted kadee couplers because you say they are more realistic, just let me use what works for me on my railroad. :mtongue:
     
  5. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Getting big power to your track

    Originally posted Jan 15,2009

    So now you went out and spent your wallet on a big Bridgewerks Magnum DL1000 15 amp 24 volt transformer because you wanted endless big power. So you get it home and just hook up the existing wires from your track connectors to your transformer right? WRONG. That would be like hooking out a 1/8 inch pipe to your kitchen sink, how much water flow would you have, very little. Make sure you take you little 18 gauge or 16 gauge wire that you have to your track and thow it away. If you bought big power you better have something big to connect it to. There is a G scale vendor that sells 10 gauge 2 wire cable just for this transformer. Now you will also need Hillmans 10 gauge wire clamps to hook it up to the track. This does a couple of things, it eliminates the need for mutliple feeds to get the power to the track, it also relieves the stress your transformer is going through because your wire is way too small and helps your more powerful transformer to live longer.

    Pictured: 10 gauge 2 wire cable and Hillmans wire Rail Clamps, nothing will stop getting full power from your transformer to your track now.
     

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  6. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Passing the torch down

    Originally posted Jan 15,2009

    I think it is important to pass a hobby down to our kids, even though they might not show interest at first, but once they see it's something you and your kids can do together, they will like it alot more. So, to no further delay, I have started to pass that torch down to my little, starting with a all Aristocraft train set that was all hand picked by my little one. It gets play with alot, but my little one tends to play with Thomas wooden trains more because it's more hands on right now and can be played with roughly. Pulling this train is the older version Aristocraft C-16 which by the way is holding out better for my little one than any Aristocraft locomotive I bought for myself. The cars are all Aristocraft 20ft 2 axle rolling stock and not LGB, I kinda like that because they all feature knuckle couplers and yes the little knows what a knuckle coupler is after many times out at Strasburg railroad watching the train men hook up the steam locomotive to the passenger cars. So trains having knuckle couplers was important to my little one. Then because a Aristocraft C-16 locomotive was picked out, this meant 5ft minimum curves had to be used. All Aristocraft track and transformer was also used. The set fits perfect in the little ones bedroom, the train goes around the side of the bed, then under the bed and around the room. ther are a couple of more kid type trains Aristocraft came out with, I want to surpirse my little one and bring home a Aristocraft Honey Bee 2 axle tank car. I think this train set was a good pick for a kid to get started with

    NOTE: You will see I refer to my kid as my little one to protect identity from internet predators.

    I will leave you with some pictures, maybe you can get your kids started on trains and keep the hobby going for future more generations.
     

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  7. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    G scale = Garden Scale?

    Originally Posted Jan 24, 2009

    Many people associate G scale with being a Garden Scale because these type trains are meant to be run indoors or outdoors. Because of the size these are run outdoors by many people. Those who run them outside have a nice garden or special plants to simulate trees to go along with their town they made.

    Here is a little secret about EMD Trainman, just because I run my G scale indoors, doesn't mean I don't have a garden of my own. I also own a butterfly garden which takes up alot of my time in the summer. I know most of you are wondering, what is a butterfly garden? This is where you plant flowers, trees or bushes that will attract butterflies. This is also a fun idea to go with you garden railroad outside. I own 6 butterfly bushes, 1 red, 1 white, 1 blue, 1 black knight, 1 yellow and 1 pink which are all the natural colors of these type bushes. There are other nuseries that experiment with trying to make hybrids in other colors, but never had any luck with those. Next I plant specific perenial and annual flowers that will attract butterflies that live in my area. Then I go even further by planting host plants for the caterpillars so once I attract the butterflies, they will stay in my area.

    Lets take a look at my favorite butterfly, the Eastern Swallowtail which lives in my area. This butterfly is plentyful here and loves the butterfly bushes as well as the flowers I plant when there isn't enogh flowers blooming on the bushes. This butterfly, when it is a caterpillar loves to eat curled parsley and dill, planting alot of these herb plants for hosting caterpillars will ensure your butterlies you attract will stay in your area. Butterfly gardening is also fun for kids to get involved in. My little one reaches right into the host plants to play with the caterpillars.

    One year I took a huge pretzel clear plastic container, put a Eastern Swallowtail caterpillar in it with food, water and cut slits in the lid for air. My little one got to hand raise it into a butterfly and got to release it into the wild, it was great to see.

    Gardens are always a good idea to go with your G scale train outdoors.

    Picture #1 is the Blue butterfly bush which is about 7ft tall. Notice the plants on the left side near my garage, those are all of my perenials.

    Picture #2 is 3 Eastern SwallowTail butterfly caterpillars eating a dill plant, they seem to like those better than the curled parsely

    Picture #3 is my home made butterfly aqarium as I call it

    Picture #4 is the butterfly my little one hand raised and is now releasing it into the wild

    Picture #5 is my red butterfly bush, although it doesn't loo like it in the picture, it is really like a magenta color.

    This is also great for teaching kids about nature while having a G scale layout outside. My little one likes to dig for beetles, worms, etc. Also very fascinated by ants and how they make their ant hill homes, watches them for hours. They big thing was teaching how to safely capture a butterfly and release it, that was fun.
     

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  8. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Buildings in G scale

    Originally posted Jan 25, 2009

    I went shopping around for buildings and factories for my G scale layout. Boy did I get sticker shock gallore. I like 60's to modern day factories and commercial type buildings, so thats what I want. Most of these items are only available commercial made as a kit from Piko or Pola. For example, the Gas depot was $150, the low tank was another $130 and the high storage tank another $140. Are these people nuts? You can take a coffee can and create a storgae tank cheaper. I can't believe people actually buy these and still have to assemble them for that price. Maybe a die hard LGB person can tell me why I should pay those prices.

    Anyway, I bought a 1:29 scale ratio ruler today from a local hobby store and will build my own structures from wood, probably mainly plywood with detail facias on them. I have many buildings I plan on building, although it may not be as detailed as those pricey Pola buildings, it will close enough for me.

    I would like to build a grain elevator, warehouse, ice station, cold storage warehouse, locomotive building, gas station, fire house, gas depot with storage tanks, diesel locomotive fueling station. I will build one at a time of course, most I will get building specs online for the actual size and just scale it down with my new ruler. I'm pretty good at wood working and have the patience for it. I just have to decide what to start on first, I'll be sure to post what I have done.
     
  9. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Inventory on the SB Rail Lines

    Originally posted Jan 28,2009

    I noticed that most train modelers use Excel program to inventory their train items and I used to do the same. It was actually a pain in the neck, especially if you had 4 pages like me and you wanted to add something. There are believe it or not train inventory programs out there. I'm now putting my model train inventory onto this new program call "All Aboard Data Express" made by Tayden designs. They also have another one called "Fort Knox". Whats nice about this program is you can create main and sub-catagories. You can also easily add and delete items. You can also create and print reports with total figures spent in each catagory you made. You can also put in a picture of each item entered. I'm half way through my inventory now, but still have more to go, I really like this program better than doing it on Excel.
     
  10. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    SB Rail Lines formed in 2000

    Origianlly Posted Feb 21,2009

    After the wall mounted train shelf disaster, I decided to put my layout on the basement floor which reall opened up the possibilities. Train #1 was then bought and consisted of Aristocraft FA-FB-FA locomotive set with a mix of Aristocraft freight cars. As USA Trains marched on with production of the Ultimate series, I was impressed from what I saw and started adding USA 40ft box cars. Soon USA came out with the F3 and I instantly fell in love with it. I bought 2 USA Rio Grande F3 AB locomotive sets to make a ABBA lash up and this would take over train #1. The Aristocraft FA-FB-FA locomotives were auctioned off as well as many Aristocraft box cars as USA 40ft box cars were more realistic. Train #1 is still headed up by that same USA Rio Grande F3 ABBA lash up pulling 3 USA Ultimate series 40ft box cars, 1 Aristo box car, 1 Aristo stock car, 3 USA ultimate series reefer cars and 9 USA Ultimate series 10,000 gallon tank cars today.

    Below pictures is Train #1 in action
     

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  11. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    MOW train is formed later on SB Rail Lines

    Originally posted Feb 21,2009

    I then bought a USA NW-2 cow and calf switcher in 2000 in Rio Grande road name, these would do all of my switching from the side yards. Eventually the USA Ultimate series cars got bigger and heavier as they went into modeling the modern era. This was putting a major strain on the poor NW-2 cow and calf units to the point they just struggled to move the larger trains in any kind of long string. They were eventually retired from switching service back around 2005 and then put on a MOW train duty. They are still in operation today pulling a MOW train in which I finally found all of the necessary MOW rolling stock need to complete this train in 2008. I had just one motor block failure in the calf unit which I don't think is bad considering I really abused these trying to switch out those big trains.

    Below Pictures is my Rio Grande MOW train
     

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  12. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Train #2 formed in 2001 on SB Rail Lines

    Originally posted Feb 21,2009

    Train #2 was formed around 2001, I bought 2 USA Train Rio Grande GP-9 locomotives at two different time periods, I was going to originally use one GP-9 for a switching locomotive, but changed my mind later to make up another train. The 2 USA Rio Grande GP-9 locomotives pull 12 USA 70 ton coal hopper cars and 2 Aristo 2 bay covered hopper cars. Train #2 is still in service today pulling the same train cars.

    Below pictures is my Rio Grande train #2
     

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  13. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Train #3 was formed in 2004 on SB Rail Lines

    Originally posted Feb 21,2009

    Train #3 was formed in 2004, I bought 3 USA SD40-2 Rio Grande locomotives after a experiment running a Aristo SD-45 locomotive had failed. The SD40-2 locomotive lash up pulls 9 USA 50ft mechanical reefer cars, 6 USA 50ft box cars and 1 Aristo 53ft evans box car. All of these pieces of rolling stock on this train was converted to metal ball bearing wheels to help reduce friction and keep from frying traction tires often. The expense was well worth it and traction tire loss was greatly reduced. Train #3 is still in service today, the Aristo SD-45 was auctioned off.

    Below pictures is my Rio Grande #3 train
     

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  14. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Train #4 was formed in 2005 on SB Rail Lines

    Originally posted Feb 21,2009

    Train #4 was formed in 2005, I bought 2 USA Rio Grande GP-30 locomotives and formed a "Flat Service" train. I got this idea from reading Garden Railways magazine about how much fun running a flat car train can be and how over looked flat cars are. So my Rio Grande GP-30 locomotives pull a all flat type car train which are 3 USA Center Beam cars, 3 USA Piggy Back cars, 3 USA Pipe load cars, 3 USA center depressed flat car, 1 USA generator car, 1 USA flat car with pipe load and 1 Charles Ro Log car. This train is still in service today and I still don't tire of running my dedicated "Flat Service" train, it really is fun and glad I followed suggestions of the article

    Pictures below is my Rio Grande train #4
     

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  15. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Train #5 was most recent to be formed on SB Rail

    Originally posted Feb 21,2009

    Train #5 was recently formed in 2007, I originally bought 2 USA Rio Grande SD-70MAC locomotives to pull the heavier 55ft USA rolling stock which it does very well I might add with 2 motors per truck, they are real power houses. The Rio Grande SD-70MAC locomotives pull 9 USA 55ft Centerflow hopper cars and 9 USA 55ft Aluminum tank cars. Later USA introduced the Heritage series SD-70MAC locomotives, I could not resist the oppurtunity to own the Rio Grande Heritage series, so I bought one in early 2008, one of my regular run USA Rio Grande SD-70MAC locomotive was sold off at auction since I really didnt need or have room for 3 of these long monsters. Today I have a regular paint scheme Rio Grande SD-70MAC and a Hertitage series Rio Grande SD-70MAC lashed together pulling the same heavy 55ft modern train.

    Pictures below is my Rio Grande Train #5
     

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  16. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Problems forming Train #6

    Originally posted Feb 21, 2009

    Today I'm using my MOW train as train #6, but that was not my ultimate plan for sure. Train #6 is suppose to be a nice Steam engine raoring down the track pulling about 10 pieces of woodside freight cars, but with problems finding a reasonably priced and very reliable steam engine has so far not been found. I'm still looking for 4 pieces to complete my USA woodside freaight car consist. Right now I have 6 of the 10 cars I want along with a USA woodside caboose. I tried the Aristocraft Mikado with bad results and alot of failures, the locomotive was sold off for pennies on the dollar, I lost out big time money wise. Being done with Aristocraft locomotives forever, I bought a Bachman 10th anniversary which is suppose to be a better locomotive than the regular big haulers. I noticed is was badly out of scale with the rest of the freight cars at 1:20.2 scale ratio, plus it would not pull that many freight cars without alot of wheel slipping, so it went off to the auction block. So now, what is suppose to be train #6 just sits on a shelf with out a steam engine to pull it. The USA J1E Hudson price of $1,400 to $2,000 price range just seems a bit steep for me. I can't understand why someone can't build a reasonably priced (around closer to $1,000) and reliable steam locomotive in plastic construction being 1:29 scale ratio and from the mainline of locomtives that will actually pull around 15 woodside freight cars without wheel slippage or motor block failures. I guess train #6 will have to wait for a unknown amount of time before one is made. I was considering the MTH Challenger steam engine, but as someone pointed out it would be a big scale ratio difference and the MTH needs DCS to operate properly as far as sounds. I guess the one to watch would be Accucraft and see if they come out with something in their new AML or American Mainline Series which is 1:29 scale ratio and seems to be made from plastic and more reasonably priced.
     
  17. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Thoughts of why there isn't alot of mainline steam

    Originally posted Feb 23,2009

    If you follow the G sale models, you know if you like narrow gauge railroading in 1:20.3 scale, there are alot of choices out there. But if you like 1:29 scale mainlin locomotives, there are plenty of diesel choices, but not steam engine choices, especially in the 1:29 scale ratio.

    When I saw the Aristocraft Mikado 2-8-2 come out and though about the good luck I had with the C-16, I bought the Mikado in Rio Grande. The locomotive was awesome to look at and was heavy. I was impressed by the metal side rods and the main body was mainly plastic. I was disappointed however that there was no lit fire box. THe locomotive seem to run nice and smooth when it was new, but time sure would show a diferent side to this model.

    I started having running problems within 6 months of running,it would loose track power. It started to have a aweful surging to it, then there were actual blue sparks coming from under it, then boom the motor let loose. I bought another motor block on my own and installed it, but to no avail, the horrible problem with losing pick up power just got worse. It just got to the point where it was just not worth running any more. I sold this item on ebay to a diehard Aristocraft guy, he was nice enough to email me me back that this was one model Aristocraft should have taken back. He used the body for a kitbash project.

    Me and my little one being very disappointed are still looking for a good reliable and reasonable steam locomotive to buy. I just don't want to dive into that kind of money agian to have such troubles. I was considering replacing it with the MTH Challenger, if any one has input on that after running it for a while, it would be nice.

    As for the Mikado, I thought this steam engine had alot of potential and it looked good, another example of rushing to the public, this locomotive was a disaster from the beginning.

    I also visited many other train forums going thru google and targeted Aristocraft Mallet steam engines. It seems they have major issues also from what I read from forum to forum. The most major problems seem to be wheel slippage because they are not pressed on tight enough which causes side rods to bind up and then motor gearing failure. The second biggest thing was loss of pick up power just like on my Mikado. It seems the wheels pick up power, then it goes to a piece called the "finger" which then goes to a spring then goes to the motor. It seems from reviewing these other forums, the "finger looses it's shape and the will lose contact over time.Here is one guy who actually found all of this out and explains what happens and why.

    This is the site > www.elmassian.com/trains-mainmenu-27 Then in the main menu to the left click on motive power mods and you can read the article in detail. The mallet is just 2 Mikado motor blocks in one locomotive, so I'm sure the same problems would apply here also on the Mikado.

    I still think the Aristocraft Mikado could still have a lot of potential if there was a motor block redesign. The first thing that needs to be done is a larger and better motor should be installed in the block such as the one from Aristocrafts new GP-40. The motor inside the Aristocraft GP-40 is probably the best motor out there which is a ball bearing Mubachi 550. Then at least one drive axle should feature traction tires for those who desire to pull long freight cars, at least up to 15 Aristo delton woodside freight or USA American series woodside cars. Power pick up points on the tender should come directly off of the metal axles and go directly to motor wiring for help in power pick up loss. Drive wheels should be either loctited onto the axles while pressing or be flash welded to axles after pressing.

    Of course these are my suggestions, I would be willing to pay more for a quality locomotive, around $1,000 to $1,200 which is still cheaper than a Accucraft narrow gauge steam engine.

    I was inspired about the USA Trains J1E steam locomotive, but it seems as though the Rio Grande road name has been discontinued. I think I would like to get one, but now where do I go, would some shop really have one of these in Rio Grande laying around not sold? It was USA part #R20006 that was Rio Grande, USA trains now only showsthe high detailed New York Cetral on thier site. I guess I lose out again, I wasn't sure on investing that kind of money in what I would get. I would probably spend the average price of $1,500 for this one.

    One more thought crosses my mind, there are some many reasonably priced reliable 1:29 scale diesel locomotives out there, why are we so limited on 1:29 scale reasonable priced and reliable steam locomotives. A steam locomotive that has big pulling capacity unlike the Aristo Mikado. Yes Accucraft makes a nice steam locomotive, but not everyone can aford the price of brass and I'm glad to see Accucraft get into the 1:29 scale market finally, because I think it's a scale ratio that is growing in popularity.

    Fort those who don't know, Accucraft came out with a "AML" model line up or also called "American Mainline" which is 1:29 scale ratio. They are primarily plastic construction and hopefully they will come out with a steam locomotive with many road names including Rio Grande. They already have a PRR K-4-4-6-2 which is very reasonably priced at $1,200 with no sound and $1,400 with sound. Manybe I will just sit back and see if Accucraft comes out with a steam locomotive in multi road names, a mainline mountain type would be nice, I would be first in line to buy one in Rio Grande.

    I would be willing to pay the price for Accucraft's AML series K-4 at $1,200, it's really nice, but who can afford these brass Accucraft $4,000 and up locomotives. I'm not in that kind of income bracket. I think if Accuraft built more steam power in the more reasonable priced AML line up, they would have alot more buyers.

    It's sorta like if you own a Mercedes dealership, you are selling a high quality car, but not everyone can afford it, so you don't sell many. Now if you owned a Honda dealership, you will have alot of poeple buying cars because they are reasnoable and reliable, maybe not as fancy, but attractive to buyers.

    In the same analogy, I know I would be buying alot more steam power, especialy if I knew it was reliable and affordable like the Accucraft AML series and yes I probably would break down and buy the USA Prestiage series J1E in Rio Grande if I found one for the extreme price tag of $1,500. The Accucraft K-4 is only around $1,400 and it has sound included, add sound to the USA J1E and you are close to the $2,000 mark.

    I still say it is possible to manufacture a mainline steam engine in 1:29 scale with sound, have it relaible and it be able to pull at least 15 woodside freight cars for $1,000, especialy if the manufacture will know if it will be a hot selling in multi road names, they will make there investment back without having to charge everyone a fortune for engineering costs and mold costs. Most manufacturers don't like to wait for return money which is why they hit you right up front.
     
  18. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Steamed over lack of locomotive choices

    Originally posted March 1,2009

    As we discussed in the last thread I posted in my section, it seems that if you are modeling narrow gauge, there is plenty of locomotive choices in many budgets. The best part is that a good percentage of these narrow gauge G scale locomotives are 1:20.3 scale ratio. Although 1:20.3 scale ratio seems to be the ratio getting closer to be a standard narrow gauge ratio to model in for Gauge #1 which would actually be F scale, there are still people who use 1:22.5 scale ratio for narrow gauge railroads.

    If you wanted to buy Mainline steam locomotives, the choices are very few and again, the scale ratios are badly mixed. Lets take a look out there and see the different manufacturers.

    Aristocraft - 2-8-2 Mikado which is a 1:29 scale ratio is a nice looking steam locomotive, the biggest down fall to this locomotive is that Aristocraft only recommends pulling around 8 average size freight cars at the max. It is not a heavy puller and also prone to running gear problems and pick up power problems.

    Aristocraft - 2-8-8-2 Mallet is 1:29 scale ratio and is a strong puller but reliabiltiy is not there since it just uses 2 of the same Mikado motor blocks. I used google and Aristocraft Mallet as a search term and found many forums with people who had basically the same problems with them. Believe me, I would love to buy the mallet since I like thee type of locomotives, but Aristocraft needs to go back to the drawing board on these units and make them better.

    USA Trains J1E Hudson - Is a 1:29 scale ratio made mainly of diecats and a very heavy locomotive at about 20lbs, but will pull a very long string of freight cars. The biggest disadvantage is the average $2,000 price tag. verses the $600 of the Aristcraft Mallet.

    Hartland Locomotive Works - Also better known as HLW, they make locomotives in 1:24 scale ratio also beter known as 1/2 scale. You would think these would be perfect to pull your USA Trains American series woodside cars which are also 1:24 scale ratio or those Aristocraft Delton series woodside freight cars in 1:24 scale ratio. Again, HLW doesn't make them strong enough to pull anything long or at least more than 8 freight cars. There locomotives are also modeled after ones in the 1800's, too early for me.

    MTH - Makes real nice steam locomotives such as the Challenger, but they are in 1:32 scale ratio which wold be too much ratio difference to pull 1:24 scale ratio wodside cars made by USA and Aristocraft. Also another disadvantage is that you need to buy DCS for these to get the full advantages out of the sound units which adds to the cost.

    Accucraft Fine Scale - Accucraft makes a 1:32 scale ratio steam locomotives, but since they are in fine scale and museum quality, you better take out a 2nd mortgage to afford these locomotives. They are also to out of scale ratio to pull your USA or Aristocraft 1:24 scale ratio woodside freight cars.

    Accucraft AML - Accucraft formed a new division called American Main Line or AML for short which is a 1:29 scale ratio and most of these products are made of plastic aking them more affordable. Right now there is only 2 steam locomotives available in this line up which are pretty reasonable, but nothing I would buy.

    The bottom line is why are we in the G scale hobby so limited on mainlin steam locomotive choices. Why can't a manufacturer build a universal type of steam engine for all railroad names, then just let the modeler add the correct details for the road name of his choice. You could sell it as a semi-model kit to keep the rivet counters from complaining. So lets say a manufacturer like USA Trains built a universal Mountain type steam locomotive in plastic as a semi-model kit. You would get a running locomotive without the details, then USA trains would make and offer the correct details for each road name seperately to keep the rivet counters from complaining. It would also be nice to see the new offereing in 1:24 scale ratio.

    My question that comes to mind is how can USA Trains offer 1:24 scale ratio woodside freight cars and no 1:24 scale ratio steam locomotive to pull it with. Aristocraft has the C-16 locomotive, but it is not a heavy puller either, only about 6 to 8 woodside freight cars and the wheels are slipping after that.

    To all G scale manufacturers, we need a affordable and reliable steam locomotive made in 1:24 scale ratio that should be modeled around the 1940's or 50's. Something like the Mountain type locomotive that can pull at least 15 woodside 1:24 scale ratio freight cars. The key word being reliable here. The cost should be $1,000 or less range, so plastic construction would be ok here.
     
  19. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Time to email USA Trains

    Originally posted March 1, 2009

    In my frustrations of finding a good steam engine to pull my 1:24 scale ratio woodside freight cars, I figured I would e-mail USA Trains as to making something in a steam engine to pull these with.

    Here is what I wrote to USA Trains:

    Hi,



    I'm a big collector of USA Trains, I now own 15 locomotives and close to 100 rolling stock of which all of it but 8 pieces of rolling stock is USA trains. I own about 10 American series woodside reefer and box cars which I know is 1/24 scale. I also own a nice American series caboose to go with it. Unfortunately there is really no affordable steam locomotive to go with it. I really don't car for the dockside switcher and the Hudson is out of my price range. This forced me to go and try a Aristocraft Mikado which was total junk, then I even tried a Bachman 10th anniversary steam locomotive, but it just had no pulling power.



    Have you ever though of building a reliable, but reasonable steam locomotive in a American 1/24 scale that would primarily be plastic with perhaps diecast side rods and have a dependable motor block with a traction type wheel arrangement on it so it could maybe pull about 20 rail cars, but something from the main line railroads and not the same old narrow gauge steam engines everyone one else is making. This would be great to have and pull my American wodside reefer and box cars with.



    Well, I though I might make a suggestion, keep up the good work.





    Shawn


    Here was USA Trains response:

    Thank you for your comments. We like to get input from our customers.

    USA TRAINS
    P.O. Box 100
    Malden, MA 02148
    781-322-6084


    I think it was nice that they at least gave me a response back. I think if we all got together and e-mailed USA Trains they may actually consider building a steam engine in 1:24 scale ratio.
     
  20. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

    1,735
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    RARE Charles Ro flat car found for sale

    Originally posted March 7,2009

    I stumbled upon someone selling a Charles Ro flat car stock number R1700 with the original wod plank load. Everything was still sealed in it's original plastic wrapping, so for the $40 asking price, I bought it and am not disappointed. It looks right at home on my "Flat Service" train
     

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