Converting an Engine to P:48: What information do I need?

Well, P-48 is an extremely limited market, and will not be taking over soon.  Opinion, remember?

It is not for sissies - I for one cannot keep .115 tread wheels on the track.  As low as I can go is about .155, which is Sunset standard from two decades ago.  My problem is my limited attention to trackwork.

But I have great admiration for the efforts of those who are the prime movers - they are generally excellent modelers, and far more serious about it than I am.

If I were King, my edict would be 17/64.  I am not King, and am quite happy just building my own.  Most of my rolling stock is 1/4" scale rolling on O gauge .172 trucks.  Looks fine behind giant 17/64 Cab Forwards.

There really is room for everybody in this interesting hobby.

Opinion.

 

LLKJR posted:

If importers/manufacturers go where the market demands which format will prevail? VHS or BetaMax? BluRay or HD-DVD?  OW5 or P48?

 

Larry

There's an interesting question - market demands.  Just how many P48 engines has Sunset brought in in the last decade?  How about the other importers for that matter?

I could consider it were there realistic means to convert all of my steam engines. OTOH, 5' is very close to correct for PA trolley lines so I'd need to keep that track in place at the same time - anybody ever dual gauge P48 and 5'?


Isn't sanity really just a one trick pony, anyway? I mean, all you get is one trick, rational thinking!

But when you're good and crazy…ooh hoo hoo hoo…the sky's the limit!

 

 

 

FWIW, I keep a pretty good set of books and track (not a pun) all my sales.  Nearly half are for P:48.  I think the largest flaw in all the wisdom being shared here...just because you don't get involved doesn't mean others are not.  P:48 is growing far faster than most of you seem to realize.

There is a very large percentage of modelers moving from smaller scales to O Scale & P:48.

Like it, love it, hate it, ambivalent?  So is the large bird with his head stuck in the sand.

Jay

Am I angry.......nope. Do I consider my models an investment....LOL. Despite what you fine folks say, the only difference is the length of the axles, and ALL the other stuff you try and attribute solely to P48 can be done in standard O. You can post all your bogus pictures of large side frames and large wheel profiles, but the only REAL difference is the gauge alone.

Simon

Simon Winter posted:

Am I angry.......nope. Do I consider my models an investment....LOL. Despite what you fine folks say, the only difference is the length of the axles, and ALL the other stuff you try and attribute solely to P48 can be done in standard O. You can post all your bogus pictures of large side frames and large wheel profiles, but the only REAL difference is the gauge alone.

Simon

Difference is not gauge alone, but wheel width, tread size and flange.  PIctures are not bogus they clearly show the difference and when P48 trucks are placed on an OW5 box car, to me, the difference is striking and I don’t care what anyone else thinks and I certainly don’t care if anyone models in OW5.  

I have about 45 pcs of rolling stock and 6 cabooses that have been converted from OW5 to P48 and the conversion was painless except for a few bucks.  Also I am willing to spend the $$ to convert some of the locomotives I have to P48, the rest will go on sale/sold.

Once I saw the difference, it could not be “unseen” and I was bitten by the P48 bug. It is true that a model is not a 100% representation of the 1:1 real thing, but if you scale up an OW5 to 1:1, it would look so out of place and scale.

I am not “trying to obsolete thousands of models”, just the models I own.

Larry

 

“What are lookin’ at, Butthead.”  B.T.

 

I thought P:48 was a combination of correct track gauge and accurate wheel profile.  Then it is supported by a higher degree of modeling to correct and accurately scaled details then that on out of the box mass production models. 

The statement on the Proto 48 Modeler website appears to support my impression:

"This e-magazine is focused on standard gauge modeling. Proto48 defines a gauge and wheel profile for locomotives, cars and track but it also expresses a concept of finescale modeling. Our models start out with the correct gauge of 4' 8 1/2" and scale AAR wheel profile and continue throughout the model to create an accurately scaled replica of the prototype."

I really would have a hard time considering unmodified old Pola/AHM or Atlas/Roco models equipped with P:48 trucks and Kadees with no other changes as true P:48 models.  Or even contemporary mass production O Scale models from the likes of Atlas, Lionel or MTH..  Closer, but no cigar.

I really admire those folks on the P:48 Modeller website for their fine craftsmanship.  They have attained a level of modeling that I simply do not have the patience for.

Rusty

 

LLKJR posted:

I have about 45 pcs of rolling stock and 6 cabooses that have been converted from OW5 to P48 and the conversion was painless except for a few bucks.  

This is pretty trivial to do and not terribly costly.

Also I am willing to spend the $$ to convert some of the locomotives I have to P48, the rest will go on sale/sold.

So what are the real costs associated with converting steam engines to P48, sources of supplies of parts needed, etc.?  Maybe providing that information would be constructive information.

Still have no answers to: just how many P48 engines has Sunset brought in in the last decade?  How about the other importers for that matter?


Isn't sanity really just a one trick pony, anyway? I mean, all you get is one trick, rational thinking!

But when you're good and crazy…ooh hoo hoo hoo…the sky's the limit!

 

 

 

Martin asked, "Still have no answers to: just how many P48 engines has Sunset brought in in the last decade?  How about the other importers for that matter?"

I'm not sure I understand what difference it would make to the conversation.  Having said that, the short answer would be, none.  So what?  Sunset did produce replacement drivers, in P:48, for some of their steam engines.  If memory serves, they were for the SP/UP mikes and, later, the SP 2-10-2.  Glacier Park produced conversion kits for their models and so did Overland.  Were there other?  I don't know, didn't keep track.  Conversion sets are available for Sunset diesels.

Jay

Simon Winter posted:

The difference between 'standard' O gauge (1.25") vs. P48 gauge (1.17") is .08" or 3/32", which means each side gets adjusted in 3/64" to achieve P48 gauge

YOU WANT TO OBSOLETE THOUSANDS OF MODELS FOR THE SAKE OF A TRIVIAL MEASUREMENT.

JUST MAKE A STANDARD GAUGE WHEEL IN 115 PROFILE AND BE DONE WITH IT. YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT MAKING SO CALLED PERFECT WHEELS FOR IMPERFECT MODELS. START MEASURING ALL YOUR EQUIPMENT AND COMPARE IT TO BUILDER SPECS AND TELL ME HOW MUCH OF IT IS DEAD ON ACCURATE IN EVERY DIMENSION?

YOU'VE MISSED THE EASY, OBVIOUS ANSWER.

Simon

Your response with the capitalized letters in your post make me think you're a bit unhinged.   You appear to be mad at modelers for doing "their" thing instead of "your" thing. 

Patrick Welch

Grand Rapids Michigan

 

Jay C posted:

Martin asked, "Still have no answers to: just how many P48 engines has Sunset brought in in the last decade?  How about the other importers for that matter?"

I'm not sure I understand what difference it would make to the conversation.  Having said that, the short answer would be, none.  So what?  Sunset did produce replacement drivers, in P:48, for some of their steam engines.  If memory serves, they were for the SP/UP mikes and, later, the SP 2-10-2.  Glacier Park produced conversion kits for their models and so did Overland.  Were there other?  I don't know, didn't keep track.  Conversion sets are available for Sunset diesels.

Jay

Jay,

The question about response to marketplace prompted my questions. That importers are providing or have provided at least some reasonably available parts for conversion supports your contention of growth in interest. However, that still seems spotty at best.

So what are the costs and sources of parts for converting steam engines that lack such sources?


Isn't sanity really just a one trick pony, anyway? I mean, all you get is one trick, rational thinking!

But when you're good and crazy…ooh hoo hoo hoo…the sky's the limit!

 

 

 

mwb posted:
LLKJR posted:

I have about 45 pcs of rolling stock and 6 cabooses that have been converted from OW5 to P48 and the conversion was painless except for a few bucks.  

This is pretty trivial to do and not terribly costly.

Also I am willing to spend the $$ to convert some of the locomotives I have to P48, the rest will go on sale/sold.

So what are the real costs associated with converting steam engines to P48, sources of supplies of parts needed, etc.?  Maybe providing that information would be constructive information.

Still have no answers to: just how many P48 engines has Sunset brought in in the last decade?  How about the other importers for that matter?

In my case, the cost to convert a USH 0-8-0 (machine the 4 pair of drivers) was less than the cost of the model.  I bought a pair of P48 tender trucks < $60, about $175 in PSC detail parts and $90 misc and I’ll have a great looking model (to me) when I’m done.

A diesel is being fit with a Midwestern Model drive with P48 wheel sets, and I have two other steam locomotives being converted to P48 by Matt Forsyth of Forsyth Rail Services.  He did the 0-8-0 conversion and some work on the cab and drive tuning work, great job BTW!

One thing that P48 has done for me is to focus on what I really want and not just “acquiring” stuff. It’s too easy going to an O scale meet and going home with three or four locomotives and a bunch of rolling stock.  

P48 can be done on a limited budget converting plastic diesels so it isn’t cost prohibative.

If you are looking for RTR P48 out of the box, well the choices are limited.  P48 is not for the faint of heart and one really needs to consider all aspects before taking the leap.

I never looked back.

Larry

 

“What are lookin’ at, Butthead.”  B.T.

 

mwb posted:
Jay C posted:

Martin asked, "Still have no answers to: just how many P48 engines has Sunset brought in in the last decade?  How about the other importers for that matter?"

I'm not sure I understand what difference it would make to the conversation.  Having said that, the short answer would be, none.  So what?  Sunset did produce replacement drivers, in P:48, for some of their steam engines.  If memory serves, they were for the SP/UP mikes and, later, the SP 2-10-2.  Glacier Park produced conversion kits for their models and so did Overland.  Were there other?  I don't know, didn't keep track.  Conversion sets are available for Sunset diesels.

Jay

Jay,

The question about response to marketplace prompted my questions. That importers are providing or have provided at least some reasonably available parts for conversion supports your contention of growth in interest. However, that still seems spotty at best.

So what are the costs and sources of parts for converting steam engines that lack such sources?

Hey Martin!  You've been playing with trains long enough to know the answer to your tongue-in-cheek question. 

Steam locomotives require either drop-in driver conversions (uncommon) or a machinist to convert/make drivers (the usual way).   Not a hobby shop or eBay item but something relatively uncommon and varying in price due to the skilled labor required.  

Sadly Joe F seemed to carry a grudge or he'd have done fantastic P:48 conversions.    No idea why, I could have as much fun with P:48 as I do with 3 rail.    I just prefer P:48. 

Luckily, diesels are often relatively easy to convert.  With NWSL (soon to close ) offering wheels for Atlas locomotives and with Right-O-Way offering drop-ins for Sunset locomotives that isn't the big issue that it is/was for steam era modelers like me.

The lack of a "Snap track" or "Shinohara" quality ready-to-use turnout is a much larger issue in my very humble opinion.    This permeates standard Ow5 since the only ready to lay turnouts or crossovers are the crappy Atlas/Lenz European profile ones.   Everything else requires handlaying track.  Time consuming, but it  certainly IS something this scale really shines in since superdetailed O scale  track looks more real than the smaller scales.

The OP, as a modern modeler, represents a growing segment in a largely stagnant hobby.   If he wants P:48, so be it. 

Rob M. ARHS # 3846 PRRT&HS # 8141 EPTC "Life Is Like A Mountain Railway, With An Engineer That's Brave..."

Jay C posted:

No Snap Track but P:48 Flex Track is available.

Jay

And in both Code 125 and 138!

All we need yet is Code 100 for sidings and we'd have the range of rail weights (if not profiles) covered.

Rob M. ARHS # 3846 PRRT&HS # 8141 EPTC "Life Is Like A Mountain Railway, With An Engineer That's Brave..."

Joe was doing a service at way below "labor" costs.  He was doing what he did out of some affection for the hobby.  Asking him to do stuff unrelated to his personal interests at the same price is unfair.

I wouldn't even do .172 drivers for others on a commercial basis.  I find cutting driver tires both boring and excruciating - as in "work", not fun.  But I taught my brother Mike how to do it, and he had no emotions involved so proto-48 was the same cost - $80/axle a quarter century ago.  At that price he couldn't keep the lights on, and closed his machine shop.  I think there are around 25 locomotives out there that he converted.

Rule292 posted:
mwb posted:
Jay C posted:

Martin asked, "Still have no answers to: just how many P48 engines has Sunset brought in in the last decade?  How about the other importers for that matter?"

I'm not sure I understand what difference it would make to the conversation.  Having said that, the short answer would be, none.  So what?  Sunset did produce replacement drivers, in P:48, for some of their steam engines.  If memory serves, they were for the SP/UP mikes and, later, the SP 2-10-2.  Glacier Park produced conversion kits for their models and so did Overland.  Were there other?  I don't know, didn't keep track.  Conversion sets are available for Sunset diesels.

Jay

Jay,

The question about response to marketplace prompted my questions. That importers are providing or have provided at least some reasonably available parts for conversion supports your contention of growth in interest. However, that still seems spotty at best.

So what are the costs and sources of parts for converting steam engines that lack such sources?

Hey Martin!  You've been playing with trains long enough to know the answer to your tongue-in-cheek question. 

Steam locomotives require either drop-in driver conversions (uncommon) or a machinist to convert/make drivers (the usual way).   Not a hobby shop or eBay item but something relatively uncommon and varying in price due to the skilled labor required.  

 

Actually, I don't know what the real costs of that might be given those drivers in many cases are probably not available.  And, I have no idea of sources for drivers of all types & sizes.

And, if the P48 folks would step up and provide that kind of information, then maybe more folks would consider following through.  It would seem to me that the lack of parts is a real impediment and limited to cottage industries at best.  Yes, Joe F. could have but realistically his prices for conversions and modifications were seriously below real costs.


Isn't sanity really just a one trick pony, anyway? I mean, all you get is one trick, rational thinking!

But when you're good and crazy…ooh hoo hoo hoo…the sky's the limit!

 

 

 

If you put P48 wheel sets on a rigid MTH truck block about the only thing you are going to get is a lot of derailments,  unless your track work is exceptional.  The flanges are simply too small to deal with less than perfect track work unless the trucks can equalize some.  Part of P48 is "track is model too".  You can use .115 P48 wheel sets and the gauge difference is indeed hard to see.  Lee Marsh and MMW are both making their models in both 5' and 4'8.5" with .115 wheels.  

Both O Scale Turnouts and Signature Turnouts can make P48 turnouts but the former uses P48 cast frogs which have a prototypically deep flange depth so regauged .145 wheels will likely derail due to the too large flanges.

rdunniii posted:

If you put P48 wheel sets on a rigid MTH truck block about the only thing you are going to get is a lot of derailments,  unless your track work is exceptional.  The flanges are simply too small to deal with less than perfect track work unless the trucks can equalize some.  Part of P48 is "track is model too".  You can use .115 P48 wheel sets and the gauge difference is indeed hard to see.  Lee Marsh and MMW are both making their models in both 5' and 4'8.5" with .115 wheels.  

Both O Scale Turnouts and Signature Turnouts can make P48 turnouts but the former uses P48 frogs which have a prototypically deep flange depth so regauged .145 wheels will likely derail due to the too large flanges.

Since any layout I make to start in P48 is likely going to be a switching layout, I was actually thinking of buying flextrack, but making my own turnouts so I can use my space to the maximum (e.g. constructing a 24" radius switch for a spur extending out from a curve). It seems like P:48 ready-built switches are very wide in their radius (#6 and #8) and relatively long, which in my opinion is great for mainline running, but less so for short mainlines and switching.  

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