Old Tooling Movement

Doug Gosha Mar 19, 2015

  1. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    In my continuing effort to MT couplerize some of my locos that never got the conversion, I decided to do my Con-Cor Great Northern heavy Pacific I bought in the 1990s although it was probably made in the 1980s. It's a Rivarossi with the later Mabuchi motor and the large six-axle tender.

    It has long been thought or known that the tooling for the original MRC Berkshire ended up with Rivarossi after Rowa went out of business. The Berk, of course, has the same tender and today, while I had the rear truck off the Pacific tender, I saw, in faint outline, "Made in Germany" on the tender bottom right in the same place as the full relief lettering on the bottom of my Berk tender - proof that the same tooling did, indeed go to Rivarossi.

    The shell is the same right down to the coal lump shapes. The only things Rivarossi changed were to add a separate ladder on the back where it was molded in on the Rowa, change the peg on the front to a drawber as the arrangement is reversed on the Riv compared to the Rowa Berk, and thicken the railings around the rear of the shell. They must have reasoned the thinner rails of the Rowa mold were too breakable.

    I wonder if the tooling is at Hornby now.

    Doug
     
  2. nickelplate759

    nickelplate759 TrainBoard Member

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    There is at least one more difference in the tender. The Rivarossi tender trucks were mounted with screws. On the original Rowa model they are riveted in place.


    George.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmmm. That is an interesting question.... Hopefully it has survived, somewhere.
     
  4. Backshop

    Backshop TrainBoard Member

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    Any reason you'd want an old MRC Berk when both LL and Bachmann have made more sophisticated versions since?
     
  5. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

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    IMO, only if you wanted to start a museum. I have 3 Con-Cor Hudsons and a MP Pacific to contribute.
     
  6. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Is there any reason you guys want to turn this into a "bash the original Berkshire" thread? For one thing, I said nothing about "wanting" an MRC Berkshire. I already have one and have had it for 45 years.

    Second, it is an excellent steamer when in good condition. Something which is lost on many. They will take an old locomotive and expect it to run like new with no attention.

    So, please hold off on showing off about how much you know about N scale locomotives.

    Doug
     
  7. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    I'll take one of your Hudson's:).

    Like Doug, I love these things. Brings back memories.
     
  8. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Aside from the earlier versions which had the Zmac crumbling prone chassis, later improved, these were not bad locos. Performance wise they could take a 8 car heavy weight consist and move it out and with a little extra weight shoehorned in could move out 10 or more. With the type of details that weren't easily damaged not a bad loco for the money back then. About the only upgrade I would do to the later versions as marketed by ConCor would be to lash an all wheel pick up tender on behind. Not a bad looking loco in my book that will more than hold its own with some of the modern junk. And you don't need a PhD in electronics to work on it.
     
  9. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

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    Doug, I'm sorry if I hit a sore spot. I didn't mean to derail the thread subject or demean your Berk.
    I have wanted a J1e Hudson since I got back into model railroading in 2006. Being from Upstate NY I used to watch them pass through the Syracuse area as a kid.
    I bought 3 and tried to convert them to DCC to operate on my layout. I'm sure with enough patience and time they could be made to work. After much time and effort I couldn't come up with what I wanted in that locomotive so I chose not to continue.
    More power to you in your quest for an early Berk.

    Harold
     
  10. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

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    You're right John, none of the "modern junk" compares to my Key Brass Berk but I enjoy them anyway.

    Harold
     
  11. nickelplate759

    nickelplate759 TrainBoard Member

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    The other reason for wanting the original Rowa/Rivarossi Berkshire is that it's actually a different prototype. Both the LifeLike and Bachmann are NKP class S-1 (I forget which). The Rowa/Rivarossi is class S-2. Details are different - for example, class S-2 had roller bearings on all axles, whereas the earlier classes had solid bearings.

    George
     
  12. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    With the Rowa Berk, the roller bearings should be less of a maintenance headache while the Lifelike/Bachmann Berk you still run the possibility of hot boxes and trackside fires from the friction bearings. Also getting that little teeny grease gun on those zerk fittings in N scale is almost impossible
    :cute:
     
  13. steamghost

    steamghost TrainBoard Member

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    There are things that are needed for these times like smaller driver flanges for code 55, and hopefully better tender electrical pickup, otherwise it would be good to go. They are pretty basic and robust (the later runs were the best) as is, and would be good steamers for (upgraded) train sets. I don't see them ending up much cheaper than, say, the Bachmann 2-8-0 nowadays but they would be something the occasional runner or kid could just take out of the box and run.

    I fear that the tooling may no longer exist. There was a problem with finding all the tooling with the sale of Riv to Hornby, as there always is in finding old tooling. It might not be in the hands of the builder but one of their subcontractors, who themselves may not even be in business anymore. The plastic mold can be lost in some general storage area, with parts of it in different places. The old body mold may or may not fit current injection molding machines. Then again, it might be sitting on the boss's desk at Hornby with the thought that some new steam is needed in N.
     

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