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I recently acquired a 3rd Rail brass B&O 2-10-2. It’s my first brass O scale locomotive. I don’t know what year it was made as I didn’t receive the box nor the manual. I had heard statements from others both positive and negative regarding how these 3rd Rail brass steam locomotives perform. So far, I am happy to report that in conventional mode, everything works as it should (lights, sound, smoke, whistle). It runs smoothly, albeit not very fast. Is this supposed to be the way they run?  I’m fine with this, just curious. I have yet to select TMCC mode and try to run it using my Lionel Legacy 990. As it’s a highly detailed brass locomotive, I’d be afraid to attempt to remove the boiler shell in order to check the grease. Anyone here have any experience with one of these? Any advice?

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@Trainmaster04, Wow, thank you for showing us this wonderful video of this B&O 2-10-2, and giving @William B Davis a first hand review of this beautiful steamer. Yes, Sunset 3rd Rail is not a hi volume manufacturer, but their gain to fame is the very best of Quality and attention to detail non existent from some of the major competitors. I really liked your tonality and clear review of this locomotive. The history and background lesson was very interesting. I will subscribe to your YouTube channel when I learn how. The price points sound affordable. Your nice layout and choice of rolling stock this engine pulled was nice. William, you have a nice locomotive. I hope you have years of fun running this beauty on your layout. Happy Railroading Everyone

Last edited by leapinlarry

Here is a full product review I did on this model about 2 months ago. It is a nice model. This one was also slow and handled O72 curves decently. However, the overhang was not the prettiest. I would suggest running it on wider curves.

Thanks for the link to this video! Mine has the same engine number (6175), so guessing they’re identical locomotives. I didn’t notice the cab light when I ran mine briefly for the first time. I’ll look for it next time I run it. O72 is the largest I can run on my layout, but it seems to run pretty well on the O72. Would you ask the owner of this locomotive if he has the manual, and if so would he take photos of the manual and send them to me? Thanks.

@leapinlarry posted:

@Trainmaster04, Wow, thank you for showing us this wonderful video of this B&O 2-10-2, and giving @William B Davis a first have review of this beautiful steamer. Yes, Sunset 3rd Rail is not a hi volume manufacturer, but their gain to fame is the very best of Quality and attention to detail non existent from some of the major competitors. I really liked your tonality and clear review of this locomotive. The history and background lesson was very interesting. I will subscribe to your YouTube channel when I learn how. The price points sound affordable. Your nice layout and choice of rolling stock this engine pulled was nice. William, you have a nice locomotive. I hope you have years of fun running this beauty on your layout. Happy Railroading Everyone

Thank you, Larry!

Thanks for the link to this video! Mine has the same engine number (6175), so guessing they’re identical locomotives. I didn’t notice the cab light when I ran mine briefly for the first time. I’ll look for it next time I run it. O72 is the largest I can run on my layout, but it seems to run pretty well on the O72. Would you ask the owner of this locomotive if he has the manual, and if so would he take photos of the manual and send them to me? Thanks.

I am glad the video was helpful. I’ll see what I can do on the owner’s manual and send photos to you via email.

It will be exciting to see a classic B&O engine in action on Norm's layout. Norm, how did you decide to bring a Big Six into your stable? I would love to hear your thoughts on the extent of what upgrades are possible with this engine, how challenging they may or may not be, and your musings on what you may or may not decide to do.

I am a fan of Appalachian steam lately and having the EM-1 and a nice I-12 caboose it seemed a natural addition to my collection. I just finished my Legacy Y6b so this might be the next engine project. EOB seems to work well, it just needs the chuff dialed in a bit. I plan on keeping EOB in it unless (or until?!) it croaks. There are some minor cosmetic issues to deal with (note the missing builder's plate) and the sound is too quiet for my liking. I may try to install a better speaker and see if I can mill some sound ports somehow. It will get a Kadee and I will add another roller on one or both of the tender trucks. I am curious to see how all the electronics were shoehorned into the tender.

I am working on my Big Six today. It was running just fine on the layout when it developed some jumpy starts from a stop. The drivers would crank almost a full quarter turn instantaneously. I got it into the shop and onto my Jak blocks and noticed a rubbing/grinding sound when bringing the speed down to a stop. Turned out the flywheel was loose and does NOT have a setscrew! I CA'ed it back onto the rear motor shaft but some LocTite 242 would work too. I was careful to maintain alignment with the EOB sensor. It's actually a snug fit once there's some adhesive in there. Just something to check out if you notice some jumpy starts. Hope to have YouTube up in the next few days. Now it's back to normal, not a bad runner with the vintage EOB.

Norm, thanks so much for this educational post. You are doing us a real service with this detailed information on how to trace a symptom to root cause. It’s surprising there is not set screw on the flywheel from a mechanical best practice point of view, but I don’t know if that is a standard approach in model railroading. Sometimes at the end of your videos you say you hope things didn’t run to long. Don’t worry about people like me. I tune in to try and learn stuff, so I am delighted when you go into things in detail. For example, I really want to hear about the importance of maintaining alignment with the EOB sensor.  

Way to stoke the crowd’s anticipation for your next epic, Norm! Thanks for the teaser trailer. That classic B&O Big Six looks fantastic. Great subject! I can blow up the photo, study every square centimeter and learn something about how weathering is supposed to look when it is finished. The weathering is bold enough to be noticeable, but you exercise the finesse and judgement necessary to make it look realistic and not overdone. You really made those bogeys on the tender pop with the dry brushing. Talk about eye candy.

Unsolicited market research feedback that nobody asked for. Feel free to roll your eyes and immediately disregard:

In your videos, please consider letting your explanations of your techniques run longer than you normally might. I imagine there is a spectrum of people who watch your videos. I don’t doubt that some are there to be wowed by your cinematography of trains in motion on your layout. Some of those people probably want a high impact, short video. On the other end of the spectrum is a person like me who would sit there for a half hour and watch you clean your airbrush while you talk about it in an offhand fashion. I could see you using your video footage to make two releases – one being a shorter, quicker highlights video for Hollywood thrills, and the other being an extended tutorial for those who appreciate the processes and techniques of a master at work. Sometimes editing videos can be tedious and time consuming. For the tutorials I would be happy with raw footage and natural, real time narrative rather than something more time consuming to film and edit.

In any case, always looking forward to anything you have time to share with us!

Hope to have this wrapped up this holiday weekend. Now I need another I-12!

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Norm, I was binge watching your channel last weekend as I sat in front of my laptop for several hours. I'd partially watch/listen to it occasionally popping my eyes back to it or from it. I need to find time to watch with eyes instead of ears. So much to watch still, lol. Can't wait to see more. I'll have to peak at the other videos here as well.

Glad you guys liked the vid. I really like the looks of this engine. Now I am hunting for a Q4b and maybe an old Gloor Craft I5 kit. I view these engine and rolling stock projects as exercises in constant self improvement. I would like to get back on some scenery work as I just snagged a long sought after structure kit but these engine projects have been a lot of fun.

I got about halfway Norm, I had to go to bed. Serves me right for starting to watch later than I should have. From what I saw, man, that is just a lot of work and crazy how you do it. Your knowledge of the 3rd Rail engines seems to be a good bit on how they have changed over the years as well as problems in offerings. I'll catch up later on the video.

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