Category Archives: PCN Engines

2-4-4-0T Switcher

This is a led-over parts locomotive.  The thought process started out with this Roundhouse 3 in 1 kit.

Roundhouse 0-8-0

This is an old Roundhouse kit that allows the construction of a static (non-powered) steam engine.  The photo shows an 0-8-0T.  But this kit was designed for kit bashers – like me.  The kit offers another option, a 2-4-4-0T articulated shown in the bottom of the following photo.  This engine would never have existed in the real world.  But it sure fired my imagination!

2-4-4-0T Option

If you look at the parts set, it includes the components to model the above 2-4-4-0T.  If you look more closely, the frame and running components are the same as those in the Outside Frame Roundhouse 2-8-0 Consolidation kit with the exception of the connecting rods and piston rods.  But as you can see, these parts are in the kit.  If you compare the two kits in the following photos, the locomotive frame is the same as are the counterweights and under frame.  There are two sets of pistons in the bag as well as the drivers.  There are two sets of piston rods.

s-l1600

I happen to have three of the 2-8-0 kits. Those two kits are powered.  Two are destined to be used in building a 2-6-6-2T logging locomotive.  A third will be used in building a 2-8-2 Mikado.  But there may be enough parts left over from the other Roundhouse locomotive projects to build this locomotive.  It is also common to see 2-8-0 kits that are incomplete on eBay.  This will be the last engine built in this series.  I’ll see where we are in left-over parts when the other engines are complete.

So what if I started with the 3 in 1 kit.  The tank, cab and bunker look a lot like the cab/tank/bunker that came with the 3 in 1 kit.  So I took my razor saw and cut the frame in half …

Loggging Mallet Frame 1

Inserted a second set of cylinders …

Logging Mallet Frame 2

Then laid the boiler-cab-bunker along side.

Logging Mallet Frame 3

It should work.  The boiler-cab-bunker is a good match to this drive train.  Now I need to figure out the best way to power it.

Also, there is a ton of room inside the shell to work out drive train issues and find a place for the sound board and speakers.   I’ll need to add weight somewhere.

Baldwin 2-6-6-2T Logging Mallet

The project is based on this locomotive, a 2-6-6-2T  Logging Mallet that once ran for the Clover Valley Lumber Company. This locomotive doesn’t exist in HOn3 space.

clover4meh

Then I came across this eBay listing.

Roundhouse 0-8-0

This is an old Roundhouse kit that allows the construction of a static (non-powered) steam engine.  The photo shows an 0-8-0T.  But this kit was designed for kit bashers – like me.  The kit offers another option, a 2-4-4-0T articulated shown in the bottom of the following photo.  This engine would never have existed in the real world.  But it sure fired my imagination!

2-4-4-0T Option

If you look at the parts set, it includes the components to model the above 2-4-4-0T.  If you look more closely, the frame and running components are the same as those in the Outside Frame Roundhouse 2-8-0 Consolidation kit with the exception of the connecting rods and piston rods.  But as you can see, these parts are in the kit.  If you compare the two kits in the following photos, the locomotive frame is the same as are the counterweights and under frame.  There are two sets of pistons in the bag as well as the drivers.  There are two sets of piston rods.

s-l1600

I happen to have two of the 2-8-0 kits. Those two kits are powered.  I also have quite a few brass detailed parts, an extra set of drivers and extra front and rear two wheel trucks that are part of the extended parts set in one of the two kits shown in the following image.  The parts set has a set of drivers in the upper left corner, a set of tender trucks, and front and rear pilots.  There is a second set of tender trucks under the tender.  There is also another complete set of drivers in the box on the right side.  There is a fairly complete set of brass detail parts.  Not shown is two brass domes (one sand and one steam) a brass air compressor, and a brass pilot I picked up in separate auctions.

2-8-0 bund

I know how to make these kits run smoothly.  The drive train parts are available from North West Short Line – gearbox, axle gear, and can motor.  You can see that the 2-8-0 parts set already has upgraded NWSL gears.  Did I mention that all three are HOn3 kits?

The 2-4-4-2T would be created by cutting the frame for a 2-8-0 Consolidation in half and inserting an additional pair of cylinders from the 3 in 1 kit.  The boiler-tank-cab-bunker from the 3 in 1 kit is almost perfect in size for this locomotive.

Logging Mallet Frame 3

The next logical step might be to use a Roundhouse 2-8-0 Outside Frame kit and a 3 in 1 kit to produce a 2-6-6-2T like the Clover Valley Mallet.  The first frame would be cut into a 2-6 block by removing the last driver pair and the remainder of the rear frame.

2-6-6-2T Frame 1

The second frame would be cut into the 6-2T block by removing the front driver pair and the rest of the front part of the frame.  The second set of cylinders would go between the two driver blocks.

2-6-6-2T Frame 2

The boiler would need to be extended to deal with the longer frame.  The boiler diameter is from the 3 in 1 kit is 3/4″.  Plastruct makes a tube in that diameter with 1/16″ walls.  Or the size of the boiler could be upgraded to 7/8″ or 1″.

2-6-6-2 Boiler ExtSide rods could be cut down to handle a six coupled driver set rather than the eight coupled sets in both kits.  Cylinder mounting would be similar to the 2-4-4-2T including piston rods, yokes, etc.

Note that this is an outside frame locomotive and the Baldwin Mallets were all inside frame engines.  But virtually all of them are standard gauge locomotives with 4′ 8″ between the rails.  Had Baldwin been asked to produce a logging Mallet for 3′ 0″ narrow gauge, they may well have recommended an outside frame.  An inside frame locomotive would be a bit tippy on curves if armed with a large boiler.  Given this is a freelance locomotive and the parts are outside frame parts hopefully the rivet counters will forgive me for deviating from the norm.

Of course there is the difference in the cylinder sizes to deal with.  Or is there?  I was poking around on Jon Davis’s web site, Mallets in the Tall Timber and came across his discussion of simple Mallet Type Articulateds like  Weyerhaeuser 111 with both sets of Cylinders the same size.  Note the double stack.

weyer111cmpmeh

At his site Jon has a very useful discussion of the advantages of simple versus compound Mallets including this drawing of the steam routing on a Simple Mallet Type Articulated.

Simple Mallet Articulateds

Check out his discussion on this page and let Jon fill you in on the details.

Powering this unit would be less of a challenge than with the 2-4-4-2T as there would be plenty of room to mount two motors.  The 2-8-0 Consolidation powers the second driver pair from the front,  That driver pair exists on both driver blocks.

Given that this is an easier bash than the 2-4-4-2T, I think I will take it on first.  A builders log will be maintained.  Individual posts for that blog will be shown below.

Blackstone K-27 No 456 Unweathered – Rio Grande Herald

This is a 2-8-2 Mikado.  It is often referred to as a mudhen.  The following is a prototype photo.

DRGW 456 Proto1

These are prototype photos of other K-27s.

D&RGW K-27 Proto2

D&RGW K-27 Proto3

D&RGW K-27 Proto4

D&RGW K-27 Proto5

Here is the Blackstone Model No 456, weathered.

Blackstone 456

So what would a K-27 be doing on the NPC.  In the North Shore days they had three C-17 2-8-0 engines.  One came from the D&RGW.  It is not outside the realm of possibilities that they may have leased a K-27 to deal with increasing freight loads.  That is what I am gong to assume.

Baldwin 2-4-4-2 Mallet

Skookum1

One of my prototype love affairs is with ‘Skookum’, the Baldwin 2-4-4-2 that initially ran on the Little River Railroad.  It was Baldwin’s first 2-4-4-2.  The image at the top of the page is her builder’s photo.

Here is a drawing showing dimensions.

Skookum7

And a couple of in service photos.

Skookum2Skookum3

She still exists in parts.

Skookum4

Skookum5

Maybe some day she’ll move again under her own power.

This engine doesn’t exist in HOn3 space.  But what if I took:

  • Two Roundhouse 2-8-0 inside frame kits.
  • Detail parts.  In addition to the extended parts set with the second kit along with parts I’ve acquired separately, I’d pick up brass parts as needed.  Wiseman has just released a huge array of brass HOn3 detail parts.

Of course there is one major problem.  Skookum is a standard gauge 2-4-4-2.  Can I produce a convincing inside frame 2-4-4-2 in narrow gauge?  We’ll see.

I had to ask myself, why is the Skookum so attractive to me?

  • Is it the history?  Not so much.
  • Is it the fact it is articulated.  Yes, I want an articulated locomotive.
  • Is it the fact it was a logging locomotive.  Yes, logging is a major industry on my model railroad.

NPC No 14 – Brooks 4-4-0

Prototype

In the 1890s the NPC acquired three Brooks 4-4-0s No 14, 15, and 16.  They had 48″ drivers, 16″x20″ cylinders, and weighed 70,900 and 70.100 pounds.  They were built by Brooks in 1891 and 1894. In the second renumbering on the NWP they carried numbers 92, 90, and 91 respectively.  Two were the last engines to run on the narrow gauge.  This is the builders photo of NPC No 14.

NPC 14

This was after she became North Shore No 14.  That was around 1902.  Notice the celestory vent at the top of the cab.

North Shore 14

This is her sister, No 16 after being renumbered to NWP No 91.  That happened around 1910.

NWP 91

The existence of three virtually identical locomotives certainly argues for having one or possibly two in the PC&N locomotive roster.  Two were the last engines to run on narrow gauge track.

Model – FED Spartan HOn3 4-4-0 in Brass

The Far East Distributers Spartan HOn3 4-4-0 was based on Brooks prototypes and bears a sharp resemblance to the prototypes.  Today these models are 30+ yeas old.  Dome shape and position match the prototype as does bell location, stack, and headlight.  The pilot is close.

Brass 4-4-0_1

A second view.  Tender and cab appear to be a good match.  Top tool boxes may need to go.  One of the NPC engines was converted to run on oil.  See bunker in middle prototype shot.  I may want to add an oil bunker,

Brass 4-4-0_2

Certainly some detail needs to be added – piping, whistles, LED headlight, etc.

Brass 4-4-0_3

This and the following photos are from an earlier auction on the same model.  I’ll need to check driver, truck wheel, and cylinder dimensions.  Valve boxes over the cylinders are taller on the prototype.

Brass 4-4-0_7

Note that the drivers are driven by a large brass gear.  The side rods transmit the power to the other pair of drivers.  Two of these drivers have to be insulated along with the wheels in the front truck.  Otherwise there would be a dead short across the engine.  So it should be possible to fabricate a suitable wiper to pick up power from the drivers and possibly the lead truck.  Here is a link to a tutorial that includes fashioning wipers from Kadee #5 Centering Springs.

Brass 4-4-0_5

This shot shows the underside of the tender.  The copper sheet is the electrical pickup to power the motor.  The brown floor is actually printed circult board.  Note that only two wheels on each side are used to pick up electricity.  This needs to be improved on as electrical pickup is one of the problems with this engine running smoothly.

It can’t be seen on this photo but this is a tender drive locomotive which is why the main electrical pickup was in the tender.  I see no evidence of any electrical pickups on the engine.  So you can see why this engine acted up when it went through switch frogs.

Brass 4-4-0_6

Approach to upgrading this locomotive

I have been able to find three resources that lay out approaches to upgrading and tuning performance of this locomotive.

SuperGlideDrive Conversions – This is a set of parts and instructions for upgrading this loco and its companion 2-6-0.  There are two variations.  One kit, the K-2, leaves the tender as the motor location.  it is simpler to implement but costs $120, $200 with a DCC decoder mounted.  The second kit, the K-2S, relocates the motor to the engine and uses the tender for a DCC sound decoder and speaker.  This kit apparently is not in release.  here is what the manufacturer says about the K2S kit.

K-2S (Sound). The Far East Distributors (Spartan Series) 2-6-0/ 4-4-0 are very nice size locomotives and the wheels and gearing are far better than the Ken Kidder 2-6-0 and can be made to run supurbly. I have just figured how to mount the motor/flywheel in the boiler so the tender will be empty and a sound system can be wired in. This kit requires more work to install than the K-2 kit, the top of the loco frame must be ground down flat to above the bottom edge of the boiler then a circular grove is ground down the middle of the top of the frame to fit the motor shape, it took me 30 minutes of hand grinding with a Dremel and routers and frequent test fitting of the motor.. The kit is a Faulhaber 1319 motor with a worm on the front and flywheel on the back. These are cemented on a mounting plate that has a NWSL delrin idler gear mounted under the worm, You drill a hole up through the frame for a 2 MM screw that will hold down the motor to the frame. Following the complete instructions you carefully adjust the motor fit to the frame to get perfect idler to axle gear mesh. The grinding does not have to be precice, you have to grind enough to get the motor and idler gear down for proper gear mesh but if you grind too much, just add paper shims under the motor to move the motor back up for proper mesh. then remove the motor assembly. Since the boiler and cab floor are very narrow, the motor, flywheel, idler gear and mounting bracket are inserted through the cab back then the boiler and motor are mounted down to the frame which ties all the gearing together. The tender wiring is modified the same as the K-2 kit to give 4 wheel electrical pick-up off each rail and 2 two wire TCS plugs will transmit power from the tender back to the locomotive for the motor and the LED headlight. The kit also includes sheet weights for the cab roof and inside the cab underneath the windows for better traction. Last detail is a C-16 backhead casting and a half circle of brass tube for the boiler shape inside the cab which is just wedged in place. Everything above is included in the kit.
Even though I figure sound is the main reason to install this more complex K-2S kit, the sound system in the tender will not be part of the basic K-2S kit though I can supply these items if you want to order them as a kit supplement, lets call it the Spartan Sound kit.
This kit has quite a few steps to install although it is not overly difficult and does not require special skills. Tools almost required are a Dremell motor tool with routers similar to #115, #124, #193 and #198, a #46 and 3/16″ drill, a flat hand file, a pencil soldering iron and a Verneer or DIGITAL CALIPERS is very useful but an included gauge can do this job. If you are afraid you can’t assemble it, TRUST ME, YOU CAN AND AFTER YOU COMPLETE IT YOU WILL BE A BETTER MODELER and have more confidence. If you absolutely freak out after starting I can complete it but I will bill for my time and YOU MUST START IT AND GET AS FAR AS YOU CAN, BELIEVE ME, YOU CAN DO IT. Don’t chicken out, you will be proud of what you do.
The instructions will fully explain how I fitted into the Spartan Series tender a Soundtraxx ECO 100 decoder, a “sugar cube” high bass speaker and a TCS Keep Alive KA-1.The time it takes me to build this kit will price the K-2S kit at a much higher price than the K-2. The Spartan Sound Kit with full instructions will just be the total of parts prices. STAY TUNED FOR RELEASE.”

This second kit will go for substantially more – how much is not stated.  The whole approach seems expensive.

NWSL Project Page – I found this project page (click link on the left) on the Northwest ShortLine web site.  It promotes use of the following to upgrade this engine.

  • NWSL motor – the biggest that fits the boiler
  • NWSL Gear – 10 tooth 72DP spur gear
  • NWSL Gear – 20 tooth 72DP spur gear
  • Drive line pickups to improve electrical continuity.

This solution continues to use the Spartan’s gear box.  Parts numbers are out of date but a written step by step is given.  This solution relocates the motor to the engine, freeing up the tender for a DCC control board and sound.  This solution is in the $60 range.  The instructions in this resource might be used in conjunction with this next resource.

Mark Schutzer Approach – Mark has given a number of regional and national clinics on troubleshooting and rebuilding brass locomotives.  Mark’s approach is generic but would apply to this locomotive.  Taking this approach would involve the following parts.

  • NWSL motor- the largest that would fit – $22-$25
  • NWSL Gear Box – Some variation of the 0.3 Mod – $40-$50
  • NWSL Couplings – Universal Joints and Shafts – $15
  • Torque Arm – Fabricated from scrap brass.
  • Electrical pickups – some variation of the Kadee #5 Centering Spring or SBS4DCC.com pickups

Total component cost – $80-$90.

The sound board (Soundtrax Tsunami 750) and Sugar Cube Bass speaker might run another $140.

My first FED Spartan Hon3 4-4-0 came to me on eBay for $129.  It looks to be in excellent condition with little use.  Total engine cost including upgrades, DCC and sound – $360 plus paint.  Not out of line for a brass 4-4-0 with DCC and sound assuming I can turn it into a smooth runner.  There is even some money in a $400 budget for detail parts.

Conclusion: The FED 4-4-0 is a pretty good starting point for an bash into NPC 14, 15, or 16 – possibly more than one of the three.  It falls within my engine budget of $400 per engine or less.  The drive line is also a potential solution for turning Wiseman’s NPC No 21 parts set into a working model.  I may end up with three of these FED models.

15 Ton Class A Climax – Keith Christensen Memorial

Prototype Research

The reason for modeling this engine is mostly emotional.  A good friend who passed last year owned the last surviving Class A Climax.  We are taking 1:1 scale.  Here is a photo of Keith Christensen’s engine.  His was builder number 313, a 15 ton Class A Climax initially sold to the Golofin Bay Railway, Council City, Alaska.  The Climax site indicates it was last operated in 1910.

Keiths Class A Climax

Here is a drawing of a 15 ton cllimax.

Class A Climax Drawing

Here is another 15 ton Climax drawing.

Class A Climax Drawing 1

The vertical steam engine used by the Class A Climax.

Class A Climax vert-cyl

 

An in service photo.

Class A Climax Photo1

Note where the fuel is carried.  And a second in service photo.

Class A Climax Photo2

A third in service photo.  Note the link and pin couplers.

Class A Climax Photo3

Keith collaborated with David Fletcher and i on the back head drawing for NPC No 21.  Keith was very helpful in assembling the Mason Bogie Archive at this site.

The Model

This auction is currently on eBay.  This is a Westside WMC /Nakamura engine that is 30 +/- years old.  Here are three images of the model.

KeithMemorial

A view from the rear.

Keith Memorial 2

From the front.

Keith Memorial 3

As I write this post the auction price is $156 with about two days to go.  I expect it to go much higher.  I plan to snipe at $355.  Hopefully it will come to me for less.  If it doesn’t come to me at $355 I’ll wait for another.  They have been coming up around once a month.

2/16/2016 – Got lucky on this one.  My snipe prevailed at $280.

I think about this as my Keith Christensen Memorial engine.

It is my intention to paint and letter the model to make it more similar to the prototype.  I need to dig for photos.  I intend to turn this into a smooth running engine that initially serves as the switcher for the Sonoma Magnesite and Duncan Mills section of the layout.  Later, it will serve one of the lumber mills.  In order to do that, It will need some of the following modifications.

  • Paint and lettering
  • Re-gearing
  • Re-motoring
  • Conversion to DCC with sound

In investigating these upgrades, I have found the following.

Re-Gearing

The best solution here is likely to be a NWSL 0.3 Mod GearBox and gears.  There are a number of variations available ranging in price from $39.95 to $46.95.

Re-Motoring

NWSL offers a variety of can motors that are DCC compatible.  I won’t know the size until I check out the existing motor.  I’m also going to need universal joints and shafts.  Budget $50-$60.

DCC With Sound

The best decoder boards out there are SoundTraxx TSU-750, the Logging Engine version.  The board retails for around $119.  I’ll need to add a speaker and a LED.  The speaker will be a variation on the Sugar Cube High Bass Speaker ($20).  I can probably place the speaker under the tank.  The decoder and sound board could be concealed in a wood load along side the boiler.

Painting and Lettering

I am not even close to being competent with an airbrush.  I’ll need to seek out a local painter.  I’m not sure what to budget.

So the total cost could be as high as $525 plus paint.  That is pretty expensive for a yard switcher but as I say this is an emotional buy.

PC&N Locomotives – Blackstone C-19 D&RGW No 345

Prototype Research

Shortly after the North shore took over from the NPC, management purchased three Baldwin 2-8-0s.  No 40 came from the Denver & Rio Grand.

North Shore 40

Note the fluted domes.  This engine was built by Baldwin in 1880 and was slightly smaller than the other two engines.  In this shot it has been converted to an oil burner.

Numbers 31 and 33 were identical Baldwins built in 1885 purchased from the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic.

North Shore 31-33

Note the rounded domes.

C-19 D&RGW No 345 – The Prototype

I’ve been looking for a yard switcher to serve the Sausalito yard and docks.  Would the PC&N use a 2-8-0 as a yard switcher.  Certainly the D&RG did as this prototype photo shows.

D&RGW C-19 No 345-Proto Photo

This from the Blackstone Web site.

“Arriving from Baldwin as D&RG No. 401 and originally named “Grand River”, this diminutive teakettle certainly led one of the more interesting lives of the Class 70/C-19 locomotives. Famed early Colorado photographer William Henry Jackson first recorded the 401 working near Marshall Pass in 1882. Seven short years later, the Grand River would be converted to standard gauge and re-classified as Class 74 No. 803. When the year 1900 arrived, the 803 was needed back on narrow gauge rails and was once again re-built, this time as D&RG class 74 road number 405. After years of continued service, the 405 was re-numbered 345 in 1924 and designated as class C-19. Along with sister locomotives 343 and 346, it was leased to the struggling South Park Division of the Colorado & Southern Railway from 1936-1937. While working out of Denver to the fabled South Park region, the 345 chugged its way through the Platte Canyon and over Kenosha Pass en-route to Como and Leadville. In April of 1937, the C&S terminated its lease of the D&RGW 2-8-0s and the 345 headed back home to Alamosa with the two other C-19s. After returning to the D&RGW, the 345 often worked out of Montrose and over Cerro Summit throughout the war years and was eventually sent down to Durango, Colorado.

Engine 315 had been assisting the 453 in the daily switching duties for Durango. On October 13, 1949, the 315 did a “double shift” of Durango switching, and that evening the old F&CC consolidation unceremoniously ended its many decades of service. That same day, the old 345 was being hauled dead-in-consist from Mears Jct. to Alamosa after a trip over Marshall Pass from Gunnison. Arriving in Durango a few days later, she was readied for switcher service and on Saturday November 12th, the 345 went to work on the 7:30 AM shift at Durango with engineer House at the throttle. Over the next year and a half the 345 and 453 would share the daily duties of turning the Silverton Mixed and San Juan consists as well as switching out the various Durango industries and customers about town.

As the 345’s role as a Durango switcher declined in the spring of 1951, a final twist of fate for her checkered career loomed ahead. In 1951, Hollywood producer Nat Holt brought a tinsel town entourage to Durango to film a somewhat fictitious account of the D&RG’s Royal Gorge “war” with the AT&SF backed Canyon City and San Juan Railway. In the cinema’s grande finale, two consolidations destined for the scrap heap were used to stage a head-on collision on the Silverton Branch. The 345 was chosen to be a stand in for C-16 268 in this much anticipated “spectacular” crash staged on July 17th. With a splash of bright yellow paint, black pin striping, and the number “268” added to her cab sides, the old Grand River’s throttle was finally opened wide for the last time as she raced head on toward D&RGW #319 near MP 475. The fiery result was captured on celluloid and the movie Denver & Rio Grande remains a western cult classic to this day.”

Blackstone C-19 D&RGW No 345

How about leasing that engine from the D&RGW?  After all, they were running an engine from the D&RGW.  Maybe they lease one at the same time.  I love the look of this model.

D&RGW C-19 No 345-1

Yes, that is a yard switcher pilot.  And the same is true of the front.

D&RGW C-19 No 345-2

If this engine looks at all familiar, maybe this paint scheme is why.  Yes, No 345 was the real bumble bee engine, wearing a different number.  Of course that paint job happened much later so I ordered the non-colorful version.

D&RGW C-19 No 345-3

Here are the specifications.

Blackstone C-19 Specifications 

Scale: 1:87.1
Gauge: 36″ Narrow Gauge
Construction:
Die Cast Metal with plastic, metal and wire details
Ready-to-run

C-19 Features
Multiple Road Numbers and Paint Schemes
Also Available in Painted, Unlettered Versions
Precision Can Motor with Balanced Flywheel
Cab Interior
Individual Grab Irons and Hand Rails
Piping and Valve Detail
Operates on both DCC and DC
18″ Operating Radius

Sound Decoder Features

  • Tsunami Digital Sound Decoder by SoundTraxx
  • Sounds Recorded from the Prototype
  • Whistle
  • Bell
  • Exhaust
  • Dynamo
  • Airpump
  • Blower and more!
  • Directional, Constant Lighting
  • Headlight
  • Backup Light (where prototypically accurate)
  • Maintenance-free Golden White LEDs

Model Details:

  • Fluted Style Sand and Steam Dome
  • Pyle Visor Headlight
  • Flared Side Tender
  • Wood Panel Cab Sides
  • Two 11-inch Single Stage Compressors
  • Switcher Style Pilot Tender Footboard
  • Prototype Specific Running Board Arrangement
  • Pyle Visor Tender Backup Light
  • Flying Grande Herald

So my quest for a yard switcher ends for now.  At some point I may want to convert her back to a road engine, should a suitable switcher become available.

 

PC&N Locomotives – MDC HOn3 2-8-0 Consolidation kit

Prototype Research

Shortly after the North shore took over from the NPC, management purchased three Baldwin 2-8-0s.  No 40 came from the Denver & Rio Grand.

North Shore 40

Note the fluted domes.  This engine was built by Baldwin in 1880 and was slightly smaller than the other two engines.  In this shot it has been converted to an oil burner.

Numbers 31 and 33 were identical Baldwins built in 1885 purchased from the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic.

North Shore 31-33

Note the rounded domes.

The Model – MDC Roundhouse HOn3 2-8-0 Consolidation Kit

This is an engine produced from the kit by a modeler.  It is a much closer match to Nos 31 and 33 than the Blackstone model.

MDC 2-8-0 Kit

This is the box containing the kit.  It is an outside frame 2-8-0, more consistent with the greater weight of Nos 31 and 33.

MDC 2-8-0 Kit 2

 

And the following is the kit contents.

MDC 2-8-0 Kit 3

 

North West Short Line makes an upgraded gearing kit for this engine, which I will install as I build.  I’d like to locate an identical kit so I can build them both together.

PC&N Locomotives – Blackstone C-19 Unlettered

Prototype Research

Shortly after the North shore took over from the NPC, management purchased three Baldwin 2-8-0s.  No 40 came from the Denver & Rio Grand.

North Shore 40

Note the fluted domes.  This engine was built by Baldwin in 1880 and was slightly smaller than the other two engines.  Numbers 31 and 33 were identical Baldwins built in 1885 purchased from the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic.

North Shore 31-33

 

Note the rounded domes.

The Model – Blackstone HOn3 2-8-0 Consolidation Unlettered

This model is on order.

Blackstone 2-8-0 Unlettered

Blackstone 2-8-0 Unlettered 2

General Specifications:

  • Cab Interior
  • Individual Grab Irons and Hand Rails
  • Piping and Valve Detail
  • Operates on both DCC and DC
  • 18″ Operating Radius

Sound Decoder Specifications:

  • Tsunami Digital Sound Decoder by SoundTraxx
  • Sounds Recorded from the Prototype
  • Whistle
  • Bell
  • Exhaust
  • Dynamo
  • Airpump
  • Blower and more!
  • Directional, Constant Lighting
  • Headlight
  • Backup Light (where prototypically accurate)
  • Maintenance-free Golden White LEDs

Model Specific Specifications:

  • Blackstone B310214-S HOn3
  • Russian Iron Boiler Color Jacket
  • Diamond Stack – Fluted Style Domes
  • Box Headlight – Flared Side Tender
  • Wood Panel Cab Sides – Single 11-inch air compressor
  • Road Pilot – Early Baldwin contoured smoke box front

Modifications and Kitbash:

There is not a lot of work needed here.  But some of the differences may be addressed including:

  • Lettering
  • Smoke stack
  • Headlight
  • Cab
  • Fuel – Convert to oil
  • Air compressor and tank

 

MDC 2 Truck Shay – HOn3

MDC HOn3 2 Trk Shay

Prototype Research

The Shay is a renowned logging locomotive that was less common in mining areas.  Yet its short radius capability along with its ability to deal with less than perfect track and grades make it a plausible engine to run in this section of the layout.  Besides, I love these engines.  I’ll doing up some prototype photos when I get a chance.

Modeling the Shay

I picked up this engine in kit form produced by MDC Roundhouse.  It is an early run engine which means it was produced in the 1970s.  These MDC engines have a reputation of being difficult to bring to smooth operating status so there are a fair number of unfinished kits out there.  The image is an example of the assembled product.  My engine will be assigned to the Sonoma Magnesite Company mining district.  It is likely to be joined by a second Shay when an appropriate kit becomes available.

Here are some kit images.

MDC Shay Kit 1

MDC Shay Kit 2

 

MDC Shay Kit 3

Obviously someone got started on assembling the kit then set it aside.  Hopefully all the parts are there.  These engines have a reputation for the drive line binding due to manufacturing issues with the plastic gears.  I picked up upgraded metal gears from North West Short Line.  This is the Bull Gear Upgrade set.

NWSL MDC Upgrade 1

This is the partial running gear upgrade.

NWSL MDC Upgrade 2

I also picked up a NWSL can motor, and a copy of Jeff Johnson’s MDC Shay Handbook.  So with the parts in hand, I’m going to start building this Shay.  In Jeff’s book he shows step by step construction of a two truck Shay using kit parts and a three truck Shay using NWSL drive train components and other super detail parts.  I’ll be \doing with my two truck Shay kit what he did with his three truck Shay.

I have the additional challenge of finding a place for a receiver and battery pack is what is a very small engine.  Fortunately, this is a district that uses oil as its fuel and construction of a taller than normal fuel bunker should allow me to solve the battery storage issue.  The receiver can probably be tucked under the cab roof.

I hadn’t started on the first Shay kit when a second kit showed up on eBay.  I got the second a bit cheaper as the seller wasn’t sure all the parts were there.  I think they are.  So while I’m waiting for that kit’s arrival, I ordered a second set of NWSL gears.  I also have two can motors and two sets of flywheels.

Once the second Shay and parts have arrived, I’ll work on both kits together.