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7-Plus-NGM Digest October 2000

Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2000 09:21:01 -0400
From: locopart

Subject: Re: Found Lucky 7 source?

I too am building a C-19 using primarily Dave Conway's castings.
Unfortuneately, I started several years ago before I met Dave, and started using Milner drawings. Not knowing any better, I had Roger's-Cooke make me a set of frames for the Milner engine. Then, too late, I discovered Conway. So, after a LOT of welding and milling I had the frames modified 'bout as close to Conway dimensions as I could get them. Anyway, since this project has dragged out for more years than I care to count due to the demand of my business and delivering other engines to buyers, I have spent a good deal of time trying to ferret out every possible supplier of parts suitable for this engine. The only thing I have come up with for domes is John Braun's castings for his C-16. I have a set of these and they aren't TOO bad. Have no idea what he sells them for now. These domes are complete and cast in 1 piece. At worst, when it comes time to use them (assuming Dave doesn't have any at that time) the tops can be machined off and just use the bases and fabricate the balance.

I haven't looked at Daves Mogul castings...does he have the dome bottoms for this engine?
Can they be used?
Rudy do you know since you built one of Dave's Moguls?

Don Orr
1-1/2" and 2-1/2" scale steam accessories, gas burners and tenders

Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000 12:39:59 EDT
From: yrfavsob@aol.com

Subject: Re: RE: 3 3/4" scale

IKON Engineering in New Zealand offers that Shay - e-mail contact is ikoneng@xtra.co.nz


Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2000 15:50:42 EDT
From: Thime@aol.com

Subject: Re: RE: 3 3/4" scale

My responce rom them;

Thankyou for the enquiry regarding the Shay locomotive that I have recently had on display on the IBLS tour in the USA.

We manufacture finished locomotives to order.
We do not normally supply drawings or kits.
A finished Shay locomotive takes us around 4000 hours to build.
We normally complete one at our works in 10/12 months from reciept of the confirmed order.

Details are as follows -
Scale 3.3/4" to the foot
Track Gauge 7.25 or 7.5" (LH wheels are on splines)
Length 10 feet, Width over cab 28" Height over stack 33"
Weight 1600 pounds full of water - Firing - Propane 6 pounds per hour.
Normal operating speed around 4 - 6 MPH Max speed 12 MPH on good track.
Hauling capacity -40/50 adults on 15 passenger ride cars on 2% grades.
All shafts/ axles/ crankshaft etc run on roller or ball bearings.
Wheels are machined from 1045 med tensile steel for long flange life.

Costs ex our factory in Auckland New Zealand US$ 110000.00
Freight to the west coast of the USA aprox US$ 4000.00

We would crate the locomotive for shipping and also fly to your site and give you the necessary operator training when the locomotive arrives.

Delivery - The Shay 'ENTERPRISE #4' you have seen on the web site will be available for sale in about six months time - ie April 2001.

The ENTERPRISE has just spent the past month running at tracks around Canada and the USA.

You are welcome to visit NZ and trial run it if you wish. The next major run it will be operating is at the Havelock North miniature railway which is about 6 hrs drive south east of Auckland NZ.
The dates are October 27,28,29,30. We can of course run it at our 1.5 mile track in Auckland at any time that would suit you to visit.

If you require further information on this locomotive please contact me further and I will be happy to assist.

Thanks for your enquiry and I look forward to your reply,


Dave Giles
PO BOX 51056

PH @ work 64 9 5767162
@ home 64 9 5358577

Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 11:36:36 -0400
From: "Denis Larrick"

Subject: Re: Re: 3 3/4" scale

Stan and others,
We machined up 8 of the Wato pilot/trailing truck wheels and found them to have a very generous machining allowance. Don't know if RMI wheels are as big, but I would assume they are.
--Denis Larrick

Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 19:01:12 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Re: 3 3/4" scale

What tread dimension on the RMI wheels?

Cam B

Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 23:25:55 EDT
From: yrfavsob@aol.com

Subject: Re: Found Lucky 7 source?

Always keep in mind that a C-19 is a slightly larger C-16 - slightly longer wheelbase and larger diameter boiler. Most everything is else is interchangeable or the same design but tabled for dimensions on D&RG drawings.


Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2000 05:12:32 -0000
From: "Stan Rutledge"

Subject: 3 3/4" moving forward, backward

Well, I certainly did roust a few from the rafters.
We managed to get a good part of a pile bridge done Sunday, after an unexpected run to a few stores for lumber and a table saw.
Then after we got back we had to finish digging the pads for the bents. We used 4" dia PT fence posts for piles, 2' long, since the bridge is only 8' long. 2 vertical posts and 2 battered 2 in 12 with a 4" by 4" cap. We're using 2 sets of 2 2x6's for stringers, and attempted a "bridge" look by sawing 1.5" x 2" ties laid on their side on 3" ctrs. I'm sure they're undersize, they'll do until we find actual dimensions. We slathered on a coating of creosote/roofing tar/ #2 fuel oil to give it a bug-resistant coat. Most of this sunburns away pretty quick.
My friend's letter with his order was returned undeliverable today, he was bummed out because he wouldn't be calling in to his boss about "rail flu". Hopefully he's got that address correct now.
I guess that will give us a week to saw up some ties. We hope to get them pressure treated (creosote), but I'm not sure those Maine 2-footers had the extra money to treat the ties. Most of the 2-footers were gone by the 30's, and with so many good types of hardwood available back east I can almost see them going with untreated. That would be tough to simulate here, smaller pieces of wood here compost rather quickly.
Yes, Cam, I always type the same way as you, only I use my elbows.
When I try to use a spell check many times it has no idea of what I wanted to say. So if I don't try to proof read, I usually send a cryptic-looking message appropriate for CNC programming.
This one previous message in the group about a fireworks plant explosion- How sad! It is my hope that groups such as this would choose to share as much information as possible. "Unfortunate" circumstances are the greatest enemy to people like us- many were raised in the diesel age, and many are clueless on where to start, and how to do it when they get started. Many steamers have passed on, taking with them their knowledge. From coffee spills to fireworks plant explosions, our heritage slips away bit by bit.
I have been eyeing the RMI catalog and web page for a while now.
I have not been made aware of a loco from them based on the Stuart with a longer wheelbase. This, however, seems like a starting point.
I'll email them for additional info.
I can't afford to start a loco, but I also can't afford to wait until I ain't got the energy to do this stuff. Since I probably won't be modeling all of Sandy River's locos, I'll buy most parts machined. My friend works in a machine shop and is trying to sweet-talk the programmer into doing a program to finish wheel castings. He's ordreing an RMI axle-wheelset, and a couple rough cast wheels to see what machine will work best. A year ago they had one CNC lathe sitting quite idle. Now they have four going full-time. I just hope his boss doesn't suggest the machine with the fritzy tool-changer.
You might finish a wheel with a foot treadle and a nail file quicker.
That shop is so busy we will be LUCKY to get a machine open.
He is ordering 1" high aluminum rail from Real Trains in Yucaipa, CA., from a web page ad. I hope this rail will work O.K.
I better get my tiny bit of shop space ready...

Stan Rutledge

Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2000 01:21:19 EDT
From: DBauer2250@aol.com

Subject: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

For the benefit of any who don't have the series but have access to back issues, here is the entire construction series.
Don Bauer

Fitchburg Northern No. 34 Construction Series
Live Steam Magazine
February 1988 - April 1991

The complete series of articles published in "Live Steam" Magazine, and the topic of each article is listed below. For those who do not have the series, Allen Models includes an annotated copy of the series with the prints for the Fitchburg Northern No. 34. The bound series of articles supplied by Allen Models differs somewhat in that he deletes parts of the series where parts were changed by Allen. When he began to supply parts for the locomotive, many of the specified parts were were either no longer available from the original sources or were hard to get, such as those from Mercer Locomotive Works (see source list in part 6 for original suppliers). Allen effectively became a single source supplier for the FN.

Part 1 February 1988 Introduction
Part 2 March 1988 Shop and tools
Part 3 April 1988 Starting the Frame
Part 4 May 1988 Completing the frame
Part 5 June 1988 Spring rigging
Part 6 August 1988 Valve gear and source list
Part 7 September 1988 Machining wheels
Part 8 October 1988 Side rods
Part 9 December 1988 Axles, crankpins and quartering
Part 10 January 1989 Lead truck
Part 11 February 1989 Boiler
Part 12 April 1989 Tender trucks and frame
Part 13 May 1989 Pilot
Part 14 June 1989 Cylinder drain cocks
Part 15 July 1989 Crossheads, guides and main rods
Part 16 August 1989 Smokebox
Part 17 September 1989 Smokebox piping
Part 18 October 1989 Setting valves and test run
Part 19 November 1989 Fitting out the boiler
Part 20 December 1989 Stack, domes, lights and bells
Part 21 January 1990 Engine pumps
Part 22 March 1990 Brakes
Part 23 April 1990 Tender brakes
** June 1990 "A pause and a hint"
Part 24 August 1990 Tender tank
Part 25 September 1990 Finishing the tender
Part 26 November 1990 Cab
Part 27 December 1990 Finish the cab
Part 28 February 1991 Piping
Part 29 April 1991 Conclusion, tips and tools

Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 17:02:27 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: DC Motors

Has anyone used the following 24V DC motors in an electric engine? I'm in the process of gathering what I need to build one and I just want to make sure they're as powerful as claimed. They are rated at 1 HP which should be plenty enough power for the engine and a riding car.

I can't find any other decent source for a low cost motor. I don't want to spend $250-$350 for a commercial unit. I did find a surplus site but they were sold out.

I'd appreciate any help.


Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 17:12:12 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: oops Re: DC Motors

I forgot the link:


Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2000 22:44:38 EDT
From: btflco@aol.com

Subject: Re: DC Motors

Stan, RMI Railworks has 24V perm-mag motors at $125.00 which can be run in tandem etc. Although rated at 1/2 hp each, they are more than powerful enough, fully enclosed for outdoor operation, and have dynamic/regenerative braking capabilities.
http://www.rmirailworks.com gets you the website and more info.

Tell them Jeff Badger sent ya!


Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 07:49:05 -0700
From: "farside"

Subject: Re: DC Motors

What type of motor are you looking at? It was not in your E-mail. What are the following RPM,AMPs,True voltage? I have built several electric units with great succes. If there is anyway I can assist please let me know
David Rhoton

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 09:38:55 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: More details on DC Motors

Sorry for the lack of detail.

I want to build a model of an Alan Keef two foot gauge critter. Two axles, ugly cute. I'd like it to be 24 volts with one or two motors. If I can find one motor that is strong enough I'll use it and chain drive the second axle like the prototype. I don't need much power, I don't plan on pulling more than one car behind it with maybe 600 lbs. Our largest grades at PVLS will be around 1.5% with our new expansion.

I'll reduce the RPMs via chain drive to give me a top speed of around 8 MPH which is a touch faster than the club allows. My controller will handle 35 amps continuous and 50 amps peak. It supports regenerative braking and a magnetic brake output.

I've heard of guys using everything from commercial units to fan and wiper motors. I am open to any and all suggestions. My big problem is I'm not motor savvy when it comes to figuring out exactly what size I need. I know that 1 HP is overkill but I don't want to come up short on power either.

Most of the motors I've found don't even show a HP rating. They show torque rating in ounce/inches! This is greek to me. I'd LOVE to have a simple "hey Stan you need to look for this size motor(s)" from someone.
Thanks for all those who have responded. When I'm done building the engine I'll post the details. My goal is LOW cost but I still want a good running engine.

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 07:40:19 -0700
From: Jerry Kimberlin

Subject: Re: More details on DC Motors

Well, 24v at about 23amps is 3/4 hp. So if you can get one motor rated at that, that would do. But I think it would be easier to find two motors, 24v at 12a, which is 288 watts or 0.38 hp. Even one of these would probably be plenty as you are going to gear it down quite a bit.


Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 16:21:13 +0100
From: jonathan.joseph@rexam.com

Subject: Re: More details on DC Motors

I've been doing similar calcs on building an electric engine here in the UK - I'm electrical engineer in automation by trade, so the calcs aren't a problem (though I think in Nm, kgs etc, which would make them pretty much unintelligible to most people in the US, I guess). I'm starting at the other end, with the tractive effort I'd like the engine to have, and then working back up through the transmission/motor/control system to get that output at the speed I want.

Question I have is this. What is the typical rolling resistance for 7.25/7.5 in gauge stock on the level (gradients are easily calculated)? I've always seen a figure of something like 10lb/ton quoted for full-size railways, but I imagine it should be higher on smaller scale equipment. Is 20lb/ton safe? Too high? Does it change significantly for different wheel/rail material combinations - steel/stainless/aluminium/brass?

I've worked out a thumbnail of 60lb te plus being sufficent to haul a couple or three cars with a dozen passengers on around any reasonably level circuit (gradients less that 2.5-3%). Is this remotely right? (At 8mph, this te works out as a power just over 1kW, or about 1.3 (metric) hp - from earlier postings looks as though I might be over-estimating things a bit, but the gradients are on the steep side).

(This would be for a 4 axle G8/12, so I'd need some haulage capacity)


Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 18:19:49 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Re: DC Motors - low cost source.

Stan -

Suggest you go to C&H Sales Web site .

They are located in the city of Pasadena, CA and get lots of stuff from JPL and CalTech. They have a large assortment of DC motors at very good prices, but if you find one that suits I suggest that you buy it fast and buy as many as you think you will ever need 'cause as you've already found out, once gone, gone forever!

BTW: C&H is also a great source of all kinds of valves, gauges, high pressure flex tubing/pipe, bearings, etc. There is hardly a live steamer in the LA area that doesn't have some of their stuff on his engine!

Good luck,

Rudy van Wingen

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 14:57:46 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: DC Motors - low cost source.

I had my browser on that site when I got your email. Now that I know what to look for I've found a few motors that could do the job for under $50! They also have good prices on gears and chain.


Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 17:15:54 EDT
From: DBauer2250@aol.com

Subject: Re: Re: DC Motors - low cost source.

Just wondering what you are using for a controller?
Don B

Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 17:30:32 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: Re: DC Motors - low cost source.

I bought the controller here:


It's designed for motorized scooters and small golf carts, $40 each.

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 12:37:05 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Two footers

1) Does anyone know what colors the Billerica & Bedford cars were? I can't find it in my notes or books.

2) I'm interested in building some peat cars to pull behind my battery engine and the prototypes were unsprung. Does anyone run unsprung, two axle cars? I'm concerned about derailing more than anything else.

3) If anyone has plans for such a car, even a simple sketch I'd appreciate a copy. I have a few photos from the net of cars being pulled in England.

4) OK, don't flame me on this one - I had a chat with a member of another club at our blow-down about modelling two footers out of scale. The problem I have is my club's track has some spots where a 3.625" scale boxcar would have some problems. The car would be about 24" wide and 7'7" long. My thought was to build them to 3" scale which would make them a more reasonable 18.3" wide and 6' 3" long. Any thoughts on this idea? This has been done in Gauge one and it still preserves the "look" of the equipment but makes it fit in with the smaller scale stuff.


Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 12:45:01 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Motor Torque

Just when I thought I had it all figured out I noticed something wierd about the different motors. The 1HP motor puts out 350 oz/in of torque while the 1/3rd HP motor puts out 500 oz/in of torque. I always thought torque would track horse power but the numbers don't seem to make sense to me.

Should I buy based on torque or the horse power figure?


Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 15:05:34 -0400
From: "Denis Larrick"

Subject: Re: Two footers


Best example I can think of was when Don Young designed Lucky 7 (the Bridgton and Harrison engine). As an outside frame engine, it was 3.75" scale. As an inside frame, the gage was the same but the scale was considerably smaller. It still had all the appeal of the B&H. --Denis Larrick

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 15:27:42 -0400
From: "Denis Larrick"

Subject: Re: Two footers

We tried a four wheel ballast car because it is easier for one person to re-rail (a special L shaped tool fit in the coupler pocket and used the track for the fulcrum as a first class lever to pick up one end of the car. Once one end of the car was in the air, that end could be pivoted laterally to find the track. That lever also was used as a handle for the 0-2-0 pulling the car). The axles were sprung and ran great with a load, but followed the track only out of idle curiosity when empty. Then I saw that Baldwin used concentric springs on the rear truck of some tenders. Tenders were notorious for tracking problems because they were either heavy or light only on one end, so the three legged milk stool effect was destroyed in one condition or the other. The inner spring was longer and flexible under light loads. With heavy loads, it compressed all the way and the car rode on the shorter outer springs which were beefy. It worked !!! My rule of thumb is to compress a spring to half its compressible length under load (halfway between full length and compressed length). In this case, the inner would be at that point when the car is empty, and the outer would be at that point when the car is full. Of course, without careful choice of spring length, the inner could bottom out before outer gets to this point.
I would recommend also posing this question to our European friends who have much more experience with two axle stock. A friend of mine is building an engine with a two WHEEL (one axle) tender. Can't wait to see how that works !!
--Denis Larrick

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 14:19:34 -0500
From: "Tom Casper"

Subject: RE: Two footers

Why would you change from outside to inside as you changed scales?
To be a real B&H #7 you can't change inside and outside. Just the size would change or was I missing something in your post?

Tom Casper

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 09:32:57 +0100
From: jonathan.joseph@rexam.com

Subject: Re: Motor Torque

Power = Torque x (Rated)Speed

If the rated speeds are equal, then torque will track up and down with power, otherwise not.

With your two motors above it looks as though you can expect the 1HP motor to run at about 4 times the speed of the 1/3rd HP. (About 3000 and 700 rpm respectively)

Obviously, you could gear the 1 HP motor down so that the output speed of the gearbox was about 700rpm - you'd then expect perhaps 1400 oz.in, less gearing losses. (Incidently oz.in are units of torque, not to be confused with oz/in, applicable to spring rates)

However, since one of the more difficult (and expensive) items is going to be the actual transmission, and the higher a gear ratio you need the more so it becomes, I'd be inclined to go for the 1/3HP unit and use more than one of them if you need the Te.

(to get 8mph with 6 inch wheels from a 700rpm motor, you need to gear down by about 1.55:1, easily down with chain sprockets, timing belts etc. If you start with the 3000rpm unit, you need a gear ratio of over 6:1, too much for single stage of chain, so then you need idler shafts etc.. - I don't know what size wheels you're using, but 6in seems a likely size)



Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 05:59:35
From: Ian McKinley

Subject: RE: Two footers

Hi Denis, Tom, and Stan

What Don Young did was to design the model as 1.75" scale to run on 3.5" gauge track. Then for 7+ gauge track he moved the wheels outside the frame and created a STANDARD gauge engine still in the 1.75" scale. This was acceptable for the English market but not for the American one. So he designed a 3.75" scale model for 7+" gauge.

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 08:42:45 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Thanks Re: Motor Torque

Once again the list comes through! Thanks for the explanation, I feel a little tingling in the grey cells I thought I burned out in High School. This sounds like Physics! Thanks Jonathan and all others who helped on this.


Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 09:18:47 EDT
From: DFWSVW@aol.com

Subject: Re: Two footers

Yes, the Late Don Young's Mini Lucky 7 1.75" scale locomotive is greater than our normal 1.5" but because of the size of the two footer, it is still a small locomotive. I know, I built one. For people running on a small track, without significant grades, it is a very good locomotive for the "American one." Lots of detail and it looks great. However, it is an excellent running locomotive but because of its relative light weight and small water reserve I rather run my 2 1/2" Lil Lima.

Doug from Seattle

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 09:28:38 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: Two footers

Doug's information goes to part of my concern with an 0-4-4. If I build one too small it won't pull much and I won't run it. It sounds like 2 1/2" may be a good starting point for power so my idea to build in 3" scale should be okay.

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 07:00:36 -0700
From: Don Dickens

Subject: Re: Re: Two footers

Build to the average width of the foot pegs most use and then keep your feet inside the engine or tender. Twenty one inches worked fine for me. About 35 inches for height looks visually pleasing but even higher if the prototype calls for it.

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 15:32:33 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Re: Two footers

Stan - Don't waste time & money on springs, you don't need 'em. Equalized three point suspension will take care of your problem, since you have a stable situation either loaded or unloaded (the previous mention of tenders is a special case where fluid "slosh" creates special conditions.

Simply make one axle rigid to the frame, and fix the other axle so that it can pivot in the center.

I have a few drawings of 2' gauge cars, I will look and see if one is a peat car; I think mostly I have flats, gons, boxes and cabeese.

Rudy van Wingen

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 11:37:59 EDT
From: nashnash@aol.com

Subject: Snifting Valves

I see that most British engines have snifting valves but most American engines do not. Does anyone have an option on this? The 0-4-0, 2 1/2" English tank engine I am rebuilding has a sniftner valve on top of the smokebox.

John Nicholson
Bear Valley Railroad
Golden Gate Live Steamers

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 13:08:09 -0400
From: "Rich D."

Subject: Re: Snifting Valves

I don't know if you are refering to miniature engines or full size, but either way ALL locomotives must have snifters (vacuum relief valves) fitted. American designs locate them on the cylinder blocks. The closer to the cylinder the better. My Atlantic has one for each cyl end (4).
Rich Dean

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 16:30:48 -0400
From: Arno Martens

Subject: Re: Re: Snifting Valves

Most British models I have seen use manually opened cylinder drain cocks.

Most American models use automatic drain cocks with a ball in a hollow space, sealing on steam pressure but allowing water to push past the ball to drain. These work a snifting valves when the throttle is closed. Actual snifting valves allow for vacuum relief when the throttle is closed without having to open the drain cocks manually.

I do not know if drifting and snifting valves are only a question of semantics or if one or the other is upstream or downstream of the throttle. Arno
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 18:19:39 -0700
From: Jerry Kimberlin
Subject: Re: Snifting Valves

Most American models use automatic drain cocks with a ball in a hollow space, sealing on steam pressure but allowing water to push past the ball to drain. These work a snifting valves when the throttle is closed.

Never thought about this aspect of automatic drain cocks..... I probably wouldn't trust them for this function. My Chloe locomotive has drifting clack valves on the front of the steam chests. I also have automatic drain cocks - but with a teflon diaphram not a ball.

On the Schools class 3-cyl engine I am building, I have snifting valves as per the prototype located on the smokebox. This will feed into the dry header (after the superheater) once I decide how to pipe them in. The drain cocks are automatic and are of the piston/shuttle type.

Actual snifting valves allow for vacuum relief when the throttle is closed without having to open the drain cocks manually.

True, and this is to prevent ashes from a coal fired locomotive from being sucked down into the cylinders through the blast pipe.

I do not know if drifting and snifting valves are only a question of semantics or if one or the other is upstream or downstream of the throttle.


I wonder if drifting valves are really needed on a locomotive that doesn't produce ash? Propane fired locos wouldn't seem to need them. I think oil fired locos would need them since the stack exhaust is pretty dirty and contains particulates.


Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 20:20:04 -0600
From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Re: Snifting Valves

Hi John:

Somewhere in the steam circuit, there has to be a method of "breaking the vacuum" when a locomotive is drifting with the throttle shut. The purpose is to prevent ashes, etc. from being drawn back down the exhaust stand by the vacuum in the cylinders.

Baldwin, in their 1896 parts catalog, called their valves "Vacuum Relief Valves". Most American slide valve engines had the relief valves at the front of the steamchest. They are an angle fitting, usually in line with the valve rod. Piston valve locos usually had them either on the valve chest heads or directly tapped into the steam passages. The Pennsylvania Railroad had a very destinctive valve at the base of the branch pipe connection to the valve chests. The valves are sometimes called "Drifting Valves", though that more correctly refers to a position of the throttle that allowed a small amount of steam to enter the dry pipe when the main throttle was closed. On the Riverside & Great Northern, I used to drift with about 5 psi of steamchest pressure (we had a gauge), because I didn't think that our relief valve was big enough.

When you open the throttle on a slide valve loco, the "snifting" valves on the steamchest blow a puff of steam, then snap shut with a "pop". When you're drifting down the track, you can hear them sucking in air.

The British generally mounted their snifting valves directly on the dry pipe, or the branch pipes, at the top of the smokebox. They would be out of the dirt up there, and the theory was they would suck in cleaner, cooler air.

I hope this helps.


Mike Decker
Decker Estates Amalgamated Railways

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 02:23:26 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Witherill Air Brake

Does anyone know anything about a "Witherill Air Brake". I inherited an air pump, bigger that 1.5" scale but on the small side for 2.5" scale that has a brass plaque on the side with that name on it and a capital "W" inside a circle logo.

The plaque is pretty crude, appears to be hand stamped. The pump body is cast iron and looks very good, and the workmanship is also good. The pump appears to have been run quite a bot with pretty obvious wear marks, and I got is in a partially disassembled state as though someone were preparing to repair it or trying to figure out what was wrong with it.

Rudy van Wingen

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 20:32:13 -0600
From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Re: Snifting Valves

Hi Jerry:

According to my 1954 edition of "Locomotive Management", by J. S. Hodgson & C. S. Lake, The Tothill Press, Westminster, S.W.1, the proper location of the vacuum relief valves on a superheater header is ahead of the superheaters. One purpose of the relief valves is to admit cool air to the superheaters, to prevent them from burning out when drifting with the throttle closed. There's a drawing of a superheater relief valve used by the Southern Railway, possibly on your "Schools" class loco, on page 269.


Mike Decker

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 02:29:12 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Power Model Supply Comany

I have heard a story that the the owner of Powere Model Supply Company died in a fire at his place caused by his experimenting with surplus parachute flares. I have been trying to call the phone number there [(636)-586-6466]; it rings but no one answers.

Can anyone substantiate this story? If true, was the business completely destroyed, including all inventory? Is/are their any heirs who might have records of who his suppliers were?

I would hate to see this rather good line of products disappear from the limited sources we have...

Rudy van Wingen

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 19:54:45 -0700
From: Jerry Kimberlin

Subject: Re: Snifting Valves

Great. Thanks for that bit. I don't have any drawings of the arrangement and haven't done it as yet, so I can easily change from the superheater output to input. I don't think I would have a problem burning out my superheaters, but the idea makes sense. While I have a bunch of loco books, I don't have the Locomotive Management one. If Hodgson says the Southern Railway used it, I'm sure the Schools did....



Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 19:58:12 -0700
From: Jerry Kimberlin

Subject: Re: Power Model Supply Comany

Yes. All gone. Fred Ellis dead. Wife Joan still there but not answering the phone, for obvious reasons of berevement. I don't know that he was experimenting, but fact is the place blew. Fred got out, but then went back in and the 2nd story or roof collapsed on him. I hear that all patterns, drawings, records, everything was lost.

I only know this from stories on other lists posted by people who knew Fred and Joan.


Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 07:11:26 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Witherill Air Brake OOOOPS!

Sorry, but I had a senior moment there; the spelling on the nameplate is "Witherell with an "e", not Witherill with an "i".

Rudy van Wingen

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 07:30:45 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Power Model Supplies loss

I have now heard from several 7+NGMers confirming what I had heard; my sympathy and condolences go out to Fred's wife Joan and the Ellis family.

While I did not know Fred at all well, we had corresponded over the years and he always worked with me in a fair and honest manner; I am sure he will be missed in the hobby.

He was my source for the Jurgeson Water Gauges that Como Roundhouse Products sold. We had a purchase agreement that allowed me to buy in quantity for resale at his selling price with a small markup for my time and trouble.

If anyone knows who produced the gauges for Fred, I would like to be put in touch with that individual so that CRP may continue to purchase these fine gauges for resale to the hobbyist. Please, if anyone knows who actually produced the gauges, put them in touch with me at:

Como Roundhouse Products
2275 Huntington Drive, PMB279
San Marino, CA 91108-2658

Tel/FAX 626-792-2639
Email dmmcomo@socal.rr.com

Thanks in advance,

Rudy van Wingen

Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 16:43:28 -0700
From: "Dennis & Marie Weaver"

Subject: Re: Power Model Supplies loss


Dennis and I got the copy of the newsletter for the Scottsdale group.
Enjoyed it very much except a minor error has occurred. The goose was built by Dennis but it is my toy. Could we correct that little error.

Thanks Marie Weaver
Galloping Goose owner

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 07:50:57 -0400
From: "Denis Larrick"

Subject: Re: Re: Two footers


You might take a look at the 30" gage 2-4-0 tender engines built for Tokyo Disneyland (photos and drawing in Michael Broggie's "Walt Disney's Railroad Story"). These were patterned after Disneyland #4 "Ernest Marsh" which was patterned after D&RG "Montazuma", though heavier (I once thought of building a 2.5" scale #4). In 3" scale, the gage would be 7.5" and it would be a fairly beefy engine with all the weight on the drivers and a tender that you could build with plenty of water space. It probably would be wide enough in 3" to get your feet in the cab. And I would think that you could adapt Wato or Roll Models castings to build it. It could be built with either Stephenson or the simpler Hackworth. Note that the Tokyo engines were designed aesthetically in America but were engineered mechanically and built in Japan. For some reason, the Japanese reversed the sand and steam domes. Sure looks funny with the sand pipe coming from the rear !! That's my two cents worth, anyhow.
--Denis Larrick

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 07:55:10 -0400
From: "Denis Larrick"

Subject: Re: Re: Two footers

3 point 4 wheel suspension sounds much simpler !! I've always believed in milk stool suspension on 8 wheel cars, but never tried it on 4 wheel ones. Let me know if you have any prototypical references to how they did it.
--Denis Larrick

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 08:48:08 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: Two footers

It looks like a cute engine but I'm shooting for a Forney. I have the RMI catalog and it looks like a good starting point.

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 10:17:00 -0400
From: "Denis Larrick"

Subject: Re: Snifting Valves

For my engine, I made an open topped brass fitting that looks like an old fashioned oil cup on top of the steamchest. The bottom of the cup is tapped for 1/8" pipe and has a knife edged hole above the thread. A 1/8" close nipple connects the cup and steamchest head. The nipple has a piece of coathanger wire crosswise through it to keep a ball from dropping into the steamchest. When running, the ball is blown up against the knife edge to seal it off steamtight. When drifting, the ball drops and breaks the vacuum. When sitting, the ball drops and I can give the cylinders a manual cup full of oil (also at the end of the day). If I start up before all the oil drains down, I get a nicely weathered smokebox. It has been very practical, especially when my mechanical lubricator isn't working well. I plan to make a top for it to keep soot from getting in and lapping my valves.
--Denis Larrick

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 14:59:26 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Re: Goose ownership correction...

Marie -

I think you just did, unless there is further action you would like me to take...'course, if you and Dennis were to pack up your trains and come on down to JT&S November 10th to 12th, then you could show everyone just whose Goose it is!

Abject apologies,

Rudy van Wingen

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 10:02:23 -0600
From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Video Commercial

Hi Folks:

I'm sorry for the multiple posts, as I'm sure many of you are on all these lists.

I've done some work on my web site video page. It now lists and describes all the Graham Whistler videos I have in stock. Graham told me this morning that he has two new videos, that I'll have next month, and that he is upgrading his web site. The first video is on British Miniature Railways, which includes 7-1/4" gauge. They do some pretty impressive things with 7-1/4" over there. The second is his latest Ravenglass & Eskdale video on the 125 years of the Railway/40 years of the Preservation Society Gala this Spring. Graham assures me that there is lots of footage of the visiting Heywood locomotives. I expect both these videos to sell for $29.95 each, plus $3.50 Priority Mail.

Another new feature (thanks to Carlo) is that I can now accept payment via PayPal, see the following:

"Did you know you can send money online with X.com's PayPal service?

X.com's PayPal lets users send and receive money online. Use PayPal to split restaurant tabs, collect club dues, pay friends for movie tickets, or buy an item at an online auction. PayPal charges the money to your credit card or bank account. It's faster, safer and easier than mailing a check.

As soon as you sign up and verify your account, PayPal will automatically add $5 to your balance!

We're confident you'll want to use PayPal, but if not, you can transfer the money to your bank account at any time. No strings attached. Click on this link to sign up and see for yourself:


After signing up, you'll get an email like this to send to your friends and family. PayPal will give you $5 for each friend you refer. It's that easy!"

As soon as I can figure out how to get the system plugged into my web pages, there will be a button to use for payment.

Thanks for your time.


Decker's Trains
Rt. 1, Box 102-E
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 16:32:22 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Two footers

See my early fulminations in this e-group on the sometimes neccessary fudging of scale when one gets into 2 ft and even 3 ft. prototypes. Who is going to sue if you get the look right. Ol' Tom Rhodes of Firch. No. fame, put together a side dump D&RGW gon boidy to sit down on one of our venerable club flats at ALS. Looks great! Is is still to determined, I believe, if it'll make it everywhere on our line, especially where God put trees too close to the track.

Find your clearance or loading gauge and work backwards a bit from that.

Too soon back from Maine Brown

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 16:54:28 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Snifting Valves

Still catching up on lists; up to 10/1.

Real engine snifter valves? B&SR #7 and 8 certainly had them and, watching a video of the SR&RL last night, I'd vouch for their #9, 10, 24 and Im not sure about #18.

Cam Brown

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 17:12:23 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Re: Two footers

Sytan: The Peach Bottom RR down Pa. way had a neat little 2-4-0 Columbia that may suit you. Reply; I've a print of her here somewhere.

Cam Brown

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 15:25:12 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: 6 1/4" wheel source

I have found a source for 6 1/4" wheels that are CNC machined with IBLS flanges. The wheels are black oxide finished. I need to know if anyone is interested because I will have to place a minimum order of 64 wheels. Please reply to me off list if you are interested.

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 23:08:10 -0400
From: John Pilling

Subject: Re: 6 1/4" wheel source

Hi Stan,
What's the price on the 6 1/4" dia. wheels?
John Pilling

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 23:09:37 -0400
From: John Pilling

Subject: Re: 6 1/4" wheel source

Sorry for the e-mail to the list. Meant to send to Stan only.

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 10:03:20 -0700
From: "Dennis & Marie Weaver"

Subject: Re: Re: Goose ownership correction...

unfortunately Dennis and I are unable to make the trip due to work schedules but thanks for the invite. When I respond to the correction I was not aware that I would be send the correction to the entire country. But since I did and I am now aware, I would like to say that the Goose is my Toy but Dennis (DW) built it with such detail that I am proud of the workmanship and the time he has spent in providing me with such a beautiful engine.
Of course there is no prejudice.


Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 12:17:54 EDT
From: DBauer2250@aol.com

Subject: Re: Re: Goose ownership correction...

Dennis and Marie:
How about a picture of the "Goose" so the rest of us can see what the messages are all about.
Don B

Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 15:51:24 -0400
From: locopart

Subject: Re: Re: Goose ownership correction...


I have one from TM that I took as you and Marie were leaving the yard on the BIG exodus. Since I have nowhere to post it I'll send it to you.

Don Orr
1-1/2" and 2-1/2" scale steam accessories, gas burners and tenders

Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 16:27:13 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: Goose ownership correction...

You can put it in the files section on egroups for this list.

Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 21:34:36 -0400
From: locopart

Subject: Re: Re: Goose ownership correction...

I fear that I am not smart enough to know how that works.....

Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 21:16:10 -0700
From: "Dennis & Marie Weaver"

Subject: RE: Re: Goose ownership correction...

I have a picture that was taken a vouple of weeks ago at Victoria. I'll see if I'm smart enough to get it sent to the files section.


Date: 21 Oct 2000 04:24:06 -0000
From: <7-plus-NGM@egroups.com>

Subject: New file uploaded to 7-plus-NGM


This email message is a notification to let you know that a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the 7-plus-NGM group.

Marie's Goose

Description : Marie's Goose



Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 04:35:27 -0000
From: hogger@net-nw.com

Subject: Marie's Goose

Well I managed to do it. There is a picture of the infamous "Marie's Goose" in the files section. (And above)

For those who are interested, I'm either blessed or cursed, depending on your perspective with a wife who loves to run trains! Marie's first thought was that she wanted a Mason Bogie, as that is her favorite steam loco. But after some reflection she decided that she didn't want anything that complicated. The end result is that the #2 Galloping Goose was her next choice.

As you can see in the photo it's not quite totally finished. still need to get the headlights and a few other small details done. It is powered by a 24 volt motor located in the hood area with a drive shaft to the rear truck. The front axle of the rear truck has a 1/1 right angle gearbox and the rear wheels are chain driven the same as the prototype. Two 12 volt deep cycle batteries supply the juice, and it will run for about 6 hours at Train Mountain on a charge.


Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 17:58:50 EDT
From: DBauer2250@aol.com

Subject: Re: Marie's Goose

And a splendid machine she is. Good photo as well. One must assume that Marie is behind the "Goose" and under the hat. Can't go away without mention of the plushest riding car I've seen lately.

Don B.
Maricopa Live Steamers (Phoenix AZ)
Fitchburg Northern (under const)
Baldwin-Westinghouse Electric (under const)

Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 12:31:28 +0100
From: "Hubert Wetekamp"

Subject: 11th convention for american railroadfans in Switzerland

Hello together,

last weekend I participated the 11th convention for american railroadfans in Switzerland.

After returning home, I changed the advertising-page for the convention and set up a small picture-page. Also, you can find a link there to an french-page with 60 photos from the convention, covering all gauges from N to O, and on my page, my backyard-critter on 7.25" gauge is shown.

Check it out under http://www.wetekamp.de/convente.htm

Moderator of the 7-plus-ngm - mailing list

Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 18:39:49 -0700
From: Russ Wood

Subject: Re: 11th convention for american railroadfans in Switzerland


Great convention shots and also the French link. Thanks for sharing what you folks are doing. WOW!


Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 05:09:03 -0000
From: "Stan Rutledge"

Subject: track standards

Which way do I go? In the process of laying track I have come to a frog. I am building a bolted rigid design which should pass for a 2' gauge frog, but if I set the wing rails at anything near the 1 1/2" scale standard, it no longer appears to be a 2-foot gauge frog. In 3 3/4" scale I reckon my gap to be around .6", and setting the rails up that way is really convincing. But if we adhere to 1 1/2" scale standard to have access to more clubs, I can't have so wide a gap. Frustration.
I have seen the IBLS Standards for wheels in 1 1/2" scale, I really need to know what the flange gap through frogs is supposed to be. And which scale flange profile do I use for 3 3/4" scale to be run on 1 1/2" scale track?
We'll be ordering wheels soon, it looks like a cobbled-up version of swing motion trucks with dimensions of Sandy River trucks will be used until a source of castings for journals, etc. can be found.

Stan Rutledge

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 09:31:37 -0400
From: "Bruce"

Subject: Re: track standards

You will need to use the IBLS wheel standards for 1 1/2" scale on your wheels if you intend to run at tracks where IBLS standards are used/enforced. The gap for the frogs in 1 1/2" scale is 1/4" and the gap for gaurd rails is 3/16". I hope this helps.

Bruce Mowbray (president)
TMB Manufacturing And Locomotive Works
1 1/2" Scale & 2 1/2" Scale (Narrow Gauge) Live Steamer

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 10:14:38 EDT
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: track standards

Can't recall if I have repeated my rant re paying more attention to keeping close to scaled down prototype 2' wheel tread, and blind drives on the center pair (this on the assumed Mogul or Praire) then pick the flange profile of your choice to fit the frog flangeway. This all in a sneaky attemt to build a loco that will be comfortable on both 7 1/4" and 7 1/2" track. And not mess up the track so that the track owner(s) catch you in this perfideous act. Note that I carefully avoid the wheel back to back spec. said action shall probably drive the purists nuts.

Cam Brown

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 18:56:37 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: File Deleted...

The File "Photos of Gene Skoglunds Sterling Station and Tank" has been deleted to free up space on the group's file page. It has been posted since early June of '00 and I think everyone who was going to or wanted to has had a chance for a "look-see".

Anyone wanting to see the photos in the future should eMail me outside the group; I still have them on file.

Rudy van Wingen

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 19:15:24 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Re: track standards

Stan -

I have posted a file titled LMB001.Rev. B.tif; you might want to take a look at it.

We use this flange profile at JT&S on our 2.5" scale 7.5" gauge track. It meets any club's IBLS standards gauge but exhibits superior rolling qualities to the IBLS standard and does far less damage to the rail on tight radius curves. It also appears to cause the wheels to wear better and the flanges to stand up longer.

It was developed by Lorin Brown and is basically a scale down of the flange profile used by the prototype. If you intend to operate on 7.5" gauge 1.5" scale layouts you will need to meet their (often) IBLS standards.

Good luck, and if you do decide to use the profile, I will be interested in hearing how you feel it works for you. Incidentally, Como Roundhouse Products sells a flange cutting tool that cuts this profile in one plunge cut to a prepared wheel.

Rudy van Wingen
JT&S RR Club and Museum V.P.
Como Roundhouse Products

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 19:18:10 -0000
From: "Rudolph (Rudy) van Wingen"

Subject: Re: track standards; Flange Profile...

Stan -

In case you are not familiar with the files section of 7+, the URL is

Rudy van Wingen


Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 04:22:05 -0000
From: "Stan Rutledge"

Subject: track standards...thanks!

I appreciate the input! So now I take the dimensions out to find my 1/4- 20 threading die is broken... I have an unbolted bolted frog. Oh, well. Tomorrow the hardware store is open.
Just out of curiousity... Anybody else in the group have experience with bolted frogs using aluminum rail?

Stan Rutledge

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 08:41:04 -0700
From: "Howard Springer"

Subject: Re: Digest Number 158

To Stan Rutledge:

We inherited some bolted frogs with a batch of track we bought from a defunct club. As default switch builder, I deferred using them on our new turnouts 'till all the cast frogs with the "built in" ?frog guard rails? were gone. After eight years on the ground, I can attest to the fact that this bunch, at least, has not given a moment's trouble. I assume as a "newbie" that by "bolted frogs," you mean a cast frog with the "inner" guard rails formed from the incoming closure rails, which are bolted to the frog casting using spacers. I expect that you could use also pieces of rail bolted together, in place of the cast frog piece too, if you machined them carefully and provided a triangular spacer. For my own peace of mind, I'd tack weld the point area on the bottom where it's out of sight, at least.
A few point that have recently been bugging me are:
1. What is a 75 foot radius switch? Is it one with a 75 ft radius from the points to the end of the curved stock rail?
2. If so, what is done about the tangent section of that rail, as it parallels the frog? I have always used a 24" long tangent, centered on the frog point, but don't have any authority to cite.
3. Officially, is the curved stock rail, as it runs along the points a curve, or is it straight. Our design uses a sharp kink just before the point (gives the point a plaace to hide), then runs straight (diverging) for the length of the point, to a spread that gives clearance between the two rails, then commences its 75' Rad. curve so that it comes tangent 12 inches before the frog point. Beyond the tangent at the frog, it resumes 75 foot raadius. (In case it's not obvious, we aare expanding our yard with 75 ft switches!) Any observations appreciated.
Howard Springer (I promise I'll get a new keyboaard the doesn't repeat letters soon!)

To Cam Brown:

To those of you with the 7-1/4 - 7-1/2 gauge problem, (and I do sympathize with you). How in Tunket do you plan to finesse the back to back problem with wheels for dual gauge? Just an academic question.

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 10:21:39 -0600
From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Re: Switches/Digest Number 158

Hi Howard:

Full size mainline (even narrow gauge) switches aren't described by their radii, but by the "angle" of the frog, 1:4, 1:6, 1:20, etc. The only ones I know of that are, are portable track switches, used in mining, etc., that came in 15, 20 and 30-foot radii. On the portable switches, everything is curved, from the toe of the point to the toe of the frog. The only curve in a "regular" switch is between the heel of the switch point and the toe of the frog. As you say, the diverging rail is straight from the "kink" for the toe of the point to the heel of the point, and straight again alongside the frog. I don't know how long your switches are, but 24" of tangent doesn't sound unreasonable.

Another thing about the points is their height. On the CB&Q standard switch point, the toe of the point is planed down 1" for 12". Then, the beginning of the point sits on thicker slide plates that lift the top of the point about 1/2 inch above the stock rail. The nose of the point is still below the top of the stock rail, but as the wheel moves down the point toward the frog, the tread rides up on the point rail so that the wheel isn't sliding sideways on the stock rail as the point diverges. The slide plates taper off, so that by the heel of the point, the rails are level.

BTW, track speed through a turnout is generally determined by the length of the points. We have 25, 35 and 50 MPH power switches (the hand throws are all 10MPH) out here in the Powder River Basin, and even at their rated speed, heading in is a rough ride. The points on the 50MPH turnouts are so long they have two sets of throw bars. Some of the switches at the bottom of hills have the points bent into a reverse curve! When you come downhill with 20,000 tons of train in full dynamic brake and air set, something has to give, and it's generally the points. The welders spend a lot of their time building up the points of the frogs, too.


Mike Decker

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 12:36:55 -0400
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: 6 1/4" Wheel order

This is a semi-commercial post, I apologize but I may be able to help some folks save a bit on wheels. I don't make parts, I'm just negotiating a deal with someone who does.

I'm about to place my order for 6 1/4" wheels. They have an IBLS flange, 3/4" axle hole, 1" tread. They're CNC machined steel with a black oxide finish. If anyone is interested here are the costs:

Here are the prices for the wheels:

8 Wheels - $27.20 Each
16 Wheels - $21.00 Each
32 Wheels - $17.75 Each

Broaching will be an additional $5.00 per wheel.

Axles made from CRS stock would run about $13.00 Each with black oxide finish (not including keyways).

Shipping cost is extra, they ship from Euclid, OH, 44132. I ran the shipping charges for a few folks around the country from the UPS web page. I will see if I can find a cheaper method to ship. Here are the rates:

StateUPS per 8 Packing
TX, SD35.33$7.00

If we can get a big enough order I can reduce the price by about $2 per wheel. I'm ordering 64 based on the responses so far, that's all I can afford to pay for. The next price break is at 128.

The axles will extend 1 3/4" beyond the wheels and maintain the 3/4" size of the wheels. This will allow the use of standard bearings. I have only received one request for axles so far so I can't get a quantity discount.

Please contact me off-list ASAP if you are interested.

Stan Zdonick
Large Trains On-Line 64 Ridge Rd.
Longmeadow, MA 01106-2538

phone (413) 567-1694
Fax (413) 565-2998
PCS (413) 221-5948
Pager (800) Sky-tel2 Pin# 1244373

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 13:36:57 -0600
From: "Mike Decker"

Subject: Re: track standards

Hi Stan:

You can put the wing rails anywhere you want them. The IBLS "standards" are set up for 1-1/2" scale models of standard gauge equipment. The worst thing that will happen with a wide spacing is that the wheels might drop down into the gap a little when the tread passes from the wing rail to the point of the frog. In the long run, it's not something you want to happen, because it's hard on the point of the frog, but with a wide tread (that is, wider than 1-1/2" scale), as your 3-3/4" scale wheels will probably have, it shouldn't be anything to worry about. The important dimension is the guard rail-to-point of frog, also known as the "check gauge". All that really has to happen is that the guard rail keeps the flange from picking the point of the frog. Your "track" standard has nothing to do with your being able to run on someone else' track. As long as your wheels are set up to something close to the IBLS standards, they should fit most people's track, and as long as your check gauge is within a reasonable tolerance of the IBLS standard, anyone else should be able to run on yours.


Mike Decker

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 22:27:28 -0700
From: "Bonville"

Subject: Re: track standards...thanks!


Yes, What do want to know? And how can I be of help?

Curtis Bonville

Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 20:33:07 -0000
From: andy.jagger@btinternet.com

Subject: Shops

I've just started in this small live steam. I work up on the worth valley branch on a weekend. i'm looking for a small 3 1/2" gauge loco a 0-6-0 or something of the like ( built up in running condition).
can any one tell me any web sites with these on.

Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 15:12:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Raymond Davis

Subject: RE: Digest Number 160

Andy; There is probably a lot of sites that have what your looking for but heres a couple of places you could go to get started. The first one has got several areas that I'm sure you will find interesting including a for sale and a live steam discussion board where you could ask if any has one for sale.
Give em both a try & good luck.


Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 22:01:45 EDT
From: DBauer2250@aol.com

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

John P and others building FN:
I have begun work on the lead (pony) truck, or at least collecting parts and find the casting for the swing bolster to be a puzzle. Why is this one larg mass of cast metal? It makes for a difficult drilling project to get the swing link pivots straight and true. It seems a better way to do this is with 2 pieces of 1/4" plate cut to the contour, bored together, and sandwitched with a plate in between for the center bearing. The holes are lined up, it is easier to make, and probably a bit more prototypical looking.
Any comments?
Don B.

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 23:25:25 -0400

From: John Pilling

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

Hi Don,
You're going through what many people go through when faced with machining an odd shaped casting (including many machinists). It really isn't all that bad but it does require one to think through the various operations before starting. Measure the casting to determine how much should be removed from each side keeping the top boss reasonably centered. After machining the the thickness to size, I then hold the casting upside down in the milling vise and level off the two points before tightening the vise. A very small amount can then be milled of these two points to allow the casting to rest level and square after being turned upright. To machine the top boss, mount the part on a lathe faceplate holding it with a threaded rod through the center hole. I usually have an aluminum plate at least 1/2" thick mounted on the faceplate to be used as a fixture plate(a sacrifice plate to be machined as needed). After centering the workpiece, machine the outside diameter of the boss to the correct diameter along with the flat face at the bottom of the boss. Before loosening the center stud, clamp the part to the faceplate with the clamps bearing on the flat surface machined with the boss. Remove the center stud and machine the top surface and inner diameter and spring seat. Then lay out the swing motion holes and drill and ream them in the milling machine. It all sounds much worse than it is. If any of the above needs further clarification, please let me know.
Have fun.
John Pilling

Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 13:51:36 -0500
From: John Pilling

Subject: FN Pilot Truck Swing Bolster

Forgot to mention in the description of machining the bolster casting that I will be machining three more pieces shortly. If anyone would like to have the machine work done on his part, please contact me directly.
John Pilling

Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 22:44:32 EST
From: DBauer2250@aol.com

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

Hi John:
Thanks for the encouragement, but I still think the part would be better made from plate. What was the attachment you sent, I couldn't open it?

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 09:54:56 -0800
From: Gary Woolard

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

First off, It's true confessions time. I'm a newbie/wannabe/lurker type on this list; I'm a backyard G-Scaler who hasn't been near a lathe since high-school shop class! But I live reasonably close to the L.A. Live Steamers site, and every time I visit there I have a great time, and come home wondering "gee, you suppose I *could* ...?"

But I'll bet I'm not the *only* wannabe lurker here... so on behalf of us all, may I ask a question of you folks who so obviously know what you're talking about?

What the heck IS a Fitchburg Northern? What's its wheel configuration? What's its design prototype? I've been going through the message history and the files section, and seen pictures of frames & bolsters, but nothing of a complete engine design. The only clue I can find is that somebody makes a C-16 style firebox door that fits. Is it a C-16? Or similar?

It's been a fascinating discussion, and I've been learning stuff just by lurking. But finally, I just gotta ask! So if anybody can post a note about the prototype, or first model, or a picture, even a url to a site with such stuff if you've got the time, this newbie would appreciate it.

Thanks for your patience,

-Gary Woolard-

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 15:10:11 EST
From: Thime@aol.com

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group



The Fitchburg Northern is a 2.5" scale 7.5"/7.25" gauge 2-6-0 offered by Allen Models.

The prototype would be a rather small 3' gauge plantation engine. Of course in 2.5" scale she makes an neat engine of some size, and her design is exceptionally well thought out. I own a copy of her plans just for reference matrial.

A C-16 would dwarf this engine, but one should always look for quality parts to use.

Keep asking questions,

Curtis F.

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 18:12:45 -0500
From: John Pilling

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

Hi Don,
Don't forget the upper portion of the swing bolster. The springing arrangement on the front deck locates and bears on it. No attachment.

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 20:43:25 -0500
From: John Pilling

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

Hi Gary,
If you have or can get access to Live Steam magazine, the Fitchburg Northern construction by Tom Rhodes was serialized in that publication from Feb., 1988 to April, 1991 inclusive. There are 29 segments covering this engine.
The locomotive construction is quite straightforward but requires some machining experience along with at least a 9" swing lathe and a milling machine. I'm building five at present and find Tom Rhodes series along with the Allen Models blueprints to be easy to follow. If I can help anyone on this engine please let me know.
John Pilling

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 22:10:14 EST
From: Jubilatede@aol.com

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

Fitchburg Northern #35 was designed and built by Thom Rhodes of the Adirondaxck live steamers. It is a generic (no true prototype) Mogul (wheel configuration 2-6-0) based roughly on a 3 ft. guage engine. Long "how to build" series in Live Steam magazine a few years backI'll stop now as your posting suggest too many tangents to take off on Hang out at LALS and pick brains.

Cam Brown

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 23:00:41 -0600
From: Curtis Hustace

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group


Allen Model makes a Fitchburg Northern kit. It is based on the components of the Chloe like the original freelance locomotive. If you get one of Gene Allen's catalogs it has a good photograph of what it is supposed to look like.


Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 12:34:30 EST
From: DBauer2250@aol.com

Subject: Re: Fitchburg Northern Discussion Group

Hi Gary Woolard:
Welcome to the land of lurkers, wannabies, etc. Actually, if the truth be known, many of us are wannabies to a degree. Most feel they can't do it but are willing to talk about it (building a steam engine, that is).

I got interested in the Fitchburg Northern project about six months ago, after reading through the series by Tom Rhodes in "Live Steam" magazine. I have about 15 years of "Live Steam" as a resource and ocasionally start reading through some part of them. I have more unfinished locomotives than completed ones, but now that I am partly retired, perhaps I can complete some of them. Current projects are the Fitchburg Northern and an electric traction locomotive.

The FN has been described by several people already, so I will only add that Tom did a freelance design based on Baldwin Loco Works parctices for narrow gauge locomotives, so it looks quite nice (especially if you are a Baldwin fan). It is a smallish locomotive, with 5" diameter drivers, so is not intended to be a race horse, but to lumber along as most narrow gauge locos did, hauling "stuff" around short line railroads. That makes it a good project for people with moderate machining skills and equipment. It is also small enough that transporting it to the track isn't a big problem. (Although it will be more than a handful ;-) ). I am working on the frame, tender, lead truck, and a few accessories. I'm not in a hurry, but would like to end up with a good piece of machinery, so started the FN discussion group. People like Tom Rhodes and John Piling are kind enough to provide answers for me and for the lurkers and wannabies who are afraid to ask.
So don't be afraid to ask, you may find your G-Scale gets a big brother.
Don Bauer

Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 13:04:15 -0500
From: Stan Zdonick

Subject: Re: Lurkers

I too started as a lurker. I now have a 7.25" Live Steamer and a battery critter in the works. My plan is to build an engine in BOTH gauge 1 and 7.25". This way the kids get to run a small version of their fathers toys. That is, when they aren't running daddy's toys.

I don't a big price difference in the two gauges if you are willing to do the work. The big exception would be a large live steamer. The price of good gauge 1 stuff will buy you enough materials to build a decent battery critter. Okay, maybe add a couple hundred bucks, but it's still not that big a jump.

I have also been the beneficiary of a couple really good deals on unfinished engines. My best advice would be to prowl all the places where stuff is sold, especially ebay. But, be careful, I have seen plenty of stuff sell for MORE than retail on ebay!

The other bit of advice is to find and join your local club. Many clubs have an associate level for a minimal fee. This will allow you to hang around and ask questions. If you're lucky they may even have a gauge 1 group. If not, start one, I did! There's nothing like doing work for the club to put you in good graces with the folks who "know".