Building and Evolution of an Action Packed Fifties Era Lionel 027 Operating and Switching Layout

Boomer and fellows, thanks for the comments.  Boomer, I am not the quality of modeler they look at for magazines to publish.

I have been following Hurricane Harvey today (8-25-2017) and tonight.  I still have friends in Port Lavaca and Victoria, TX.  This one looks average in wind and heavy in rain.  We had Hurricane Carla hit right over Port Lavaca in l961 with winds above 175 mph.  It blew some of the roof off our house.  We went to Austin but my father stayed at the ALCOA plant (at Pt. Comfort, 6 miles over the causeway from Port Lavaca) since he was Hurricane Coordinator.  They  were all safe.  Please pray for those affected that they and their homes survive.

JD,  I have had the idea to automate the cheap Lionel 6-12774 Log Loader for over 30 years.  I would simply come up with a way to use a solenoid to trip a gate or tilt the ramp and let the logs roll.   Maybe some day, meanwhile I have that to look forward to.  In the post after next I will outline why I might speed that up.

Charlie

Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Boomer and fellows, thanks for the comments.  Boomer, I am not the quality of modeler they look for magazines.

I have been following Hurricane Harvey today (8-25-2017) and tonight.  I still have friends in Port Lavaca and Victoria, TX.  This one looks average in wind and heavy in rain.  We had Hurricane Carla hit right over Port Lavaca in l961 with winds above 175 mph.  It blew some of the roof off our house.  We went to Austin but my father stayed at the ALCOA plant (at Pt. Comfort, 6 miles over the causeway from Port Lavaca) since he was Hurricane Coordinator.  They  were all safe.  Please pray for those affected that they and their homes survive.

JD, have had the idea to automate the cheap Lionel Log Loader for over 30 years.  I would simply come up with a way to use a solenoid to trip a gate and let the logs roll.   Maybe some day, meanwhile I have that to look forward to.  In the post after next I will outline why I might speed that up.

Charlie

Charlie,A large amount of the layouts in "that other magazine" were built by professionals and not the work of the owner. The wonderful thing I see in your layout is that you don't need to spend a lot of money to have a great layout. Your thread should be required reading for anyone who is not sure they can afford the hobby. Thanks for sharing your layout!

I'm a simple man...I see a train I like and I buy it! 

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for your posts. I had all but given up on model railroading, but since I followed this topic, I have been periodically getting emails of posts from this thread. I've been inspired once again, and I'm now working on getting my own layout going. Thank you for your time and inspiration.

Post 42

Popular Trains Run on the Layout (5th Popular Trains Post)

Operating Car Train car The Gondola (or Coal Dumping car)

The gondola car servers many purposes such as receiving barrels from the Lionel 362 barrel loader in lieu of the Lionel 3556 Barrel unloading car, oil drums from the Am Flyer 379 Oil Drum Loader, dumping logs to the Lionel 464 Saw Mill, containers and scrape iron from the Lionel 12834 Gantry Crane and even coal from the scratch built operating coal mine in lieu of a coal hopper car.  You can see these simple cars provide a high level of operating action.

PS:   Next post will outline how I automated the Manual Lionel 6-12774 Lumber Log Loader

 

Gondola at rear of Operating Car Train

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Am Flyer 379 Oil Drum Loader  in action, Gondola car is a must for the 379

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Lionel 12834 Gantry Crane require a car like the Gondola to carry the load.

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Charlie

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Post 43

Automating the Manual Lionel 6-12774 Lumber Log Loader

Lionel Log Dumping car, a 9303 or 3451 are too low to be used to discharge logs to my Lionel 464 Saw Mill log feeding platform.  Both 027 track and Saw Mill are at grade.  I have found a Lionel Coal Dumping car, 9304 or 16600 are high enough and can be used to dump logs to the 464 Lionel Saw Mill loading deck.  Maybe not realistic but workable on my layout!

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The fact I can now discharge logs from a coal car to the 464 Lionel Saw Mill makes me more interested in automating my manual Lionel 6-12774 Lumber /Log Loader.  This will allow loading logs in a car and unloading the logs on to the feed platform of the 464 Lionel Saw Mill and then sawing the logs into lumber with the saw mill for double action tasks. 

The small Lionel 6-12774 Log Loader fits well adjacent to my mountain next to my automated coal mine.  The coal mine was kitbashed from a Bachmann Coal Station 1975, on page 2, in Post 15 here.  I think the loggers on my mountain drag or haul the logs to the Log Loader so space is not needed to transport the logs from grade to be loaded into a car like the fancier Lionel 164 and 364 Log Loaders.

 Well, with the rainy weather from Hurricane Harvey I had some inside time to automate the Lionel 6-12774 log loader. 

The task was to glue the log loader kit building together and reinforce the building shell with corner braces and more plastic on the flimsy front where the logs are stored.  I will use the small wooden logs from the Lionel 464 Saw Mill instead of the cheap hollow plastic logs that came with the log loader kit.

 

 Next I added some beams on the ends of the frame that holds up the log loader building to take the wobble out.  The building will be heavier now with an automation mechanism.  I used hard balsa wood and 5 min epoxy glue.

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I had a Radio Shack 12 VDC solenoid on hand from a long time ago.  I added a Radio Shack 4 amp full wave bridge rectifier to change it to 12 VAC operation.   I doubt if RS has them anymore but junk O gauge switches have two 12 VAC solenoids that one could possibly use for this purpose and eBay has similar solenoids from China.

 The next issue to figure out is how to make the solenoid dump the logs.  The original tilted the bottom of the building to let the log roll out.  I lost the device that came with the kit to make the logs dump.   All that is needed is a way to knock out a prop.  The prop is used to flatten the tilt of the log table to hold the logs.  The prop must be knocked out to let the bottom tilt.  I decided to make a tilting prop mechanism from a small hinge.  Since I did not have one, I made a hinge out of two small pieces of pipe strap.

Picture of the homemade hinge

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The hinge will be straightened out with a pull on a short piece of string and the logs will be loaded by removing the roof.

 The solenoid would just pull another string, on the top half of the hinge, when activated, to jerk out the top half of the hinge to dump logs.

 

Picture showing solenoid and hinge in up position, J B Weld was used to hold the solenoid and hinge in the building;  white cord is keep solenoid piston from coming out

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The roof was glued together and bracing added to hold the roof angle as it will be removed and reinstalled often.

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Picture shows cord to reset the hinge prop to UP position

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Picture:  Note braces in corners and 1/2 inch black base foundation added to bottom feet due car being too high to dump into.

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  I added flood lights to the corners of the log loader to illuminate the car being loaded and the inside of the building.  Mini Christmas tree lights and sockets were used with aluminum flashing for reflectors.  I used two 7 v bulbs in series to lengthen bulb life with 12 v lighting transformer.  Adjusting the amount of bulb sticking in the building allows some light to stay in building. 

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I added some light weight card board to the log tilting rack to keep light from going to bottom of the bottom exposed log loader building.

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Movie

Or go to the Youtube link below as my videos never work on OGR Forum !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...amp;feature=youtu.be

 

Converting the manual Log Loader to automatic is an easy job, and the Log Loader is easy to reset and load and works every time. 

Charlie

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Thanks for the response.  I like flood lights especially for operating accessories and cars in low light.  Just figured out I need to add more light around the gantry crane to see where we are dropping canisters in gondolas.

Working on the automated log loader got me looking in to the coal mine dumping system.   Recently (9-2017) it was not dumping.  Turns out a plot of piston distance from the magnet shows the most pulling power is when the piston is 1/16 to 1/8 inch out.  It was much more so I had to modify by adding about 1/16 inch wood to the sloped part to make the trigger pull when about 1/16 inch out.  That fixed it. 

Charlie

 

 

Your "indexing" your edits is very considerate. Thank you for that.

  Why not a light on the bottom of the gantry's crane platform or one on each corner? And didn't Marx have a crane car with a flood spot for the boom? (migbt be AF..?) . I'm taking my cue from night shots of an intermodel beam crane that had ligbts on the underside of the cabin and at each end.

  Being to scale is not much of a concern for me, and my local RS is gone, so I picked up some of these l.e.d. mini reading lamps at The Dollar Store™. Two styles, both 3v, the one on the right has a better current tolorance though. 

I'll post a shot soon, got an issue, dogs elbow is bloody...gotta go.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Ok, an ingrown hair or skin tag, but she is fine till the vets.(140lbs)(extra attachment below) But my new carpet is toast.

..the lights. The one on the left is wired to run off the transfomer 5v with a tiny bridge rectifier, resistor, and capacitor to stop pulsing and flicker. The one on the right is still on button cell battery power. Also they are 4.5v not 3v; (I was sidetracked) The one on the right has better current handling.

A little large, but if not next to figures and vehicles, do the trick for me at a buck each. Base comes off, arms have screws or pins that can be pulled and the arm tilts can be adjusted.

  If you search for a good vending/game supplier you will have a grand selection of solinoids to pick from. I'd make a suggestion but haven't been up to date on who is who in many years now. (If you ever get bored or need it, I bet you'd be a natural at vending/game repair. The variety keeps it "fresh" too)

Grainger had a lot of solenoids too.(seldom cheap, but good quality. one solinoid I used most often was actually cheapest there)

Fyi, that solinoid might be on its way out. Changes in performance aren't a good sign; real hard to say though, might be the rod has magnetized some. Time will tell.

(Updates have affected the ability to compose again. Most errors youyoull see for the next few days/weeks are googles errors, not ours fyi. Im not fixing anymore)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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Post 44

Passenger Trains - Common Trains Run on the Layout

One of the first buildings installed on the layout was a Plasticville Passenger Union Station.  I usually have at least one passenger train on the layout.

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Early on when I started with a few Marx and Lionel engines a set of Marx’s Santa Fe 3152 and 3197 tin passengers cars (10” long) found me for a reasonable $10 for three cars.  Lionel 2400 series cars were going for $25-35 per car back in the 1970s. 

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I added lights and a power pickup (made from Brass shim stock) to the observation car and added a Lionel coupler to a coach car to allow both Marx and Lionel coal tenders to pull the set.

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I put together a set of Lionel 027, 2400 passenger cars (11” long) from finding bodies and buying roofs, domes and window with silhouettes.  

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I make the base frames from sheet metal and added wheels and couplings making the electric pick - ups.  I cut the couplings off the short trucks and bolted the coupling to the body as I did not have the extended passenger couplings.  I have made two Lionel series 2400 sets. 

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A 4 car set of Lionel 027 Santa Fe 2400 size cars (#16060) were also picked up.

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Later I found a three car set of Lionel O27 Baby Madison 9500 series “The Milwaukee Road” passenger cars (12” long).  A second observation car was found too.

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I had a people set of US Presidents and made a ”IKE” lighted drum head sign and installed President Eisenhower and VP Nixon figures campaigning on the observation cars platform at the end.

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I also run the Lionel General 1862 or 8005 with two Lionel 9541 Santa Fe Railway Agency Express Passenger cars (11" long).  One came with lighted interior and the other was from a cheaper Lionel 8005 General set without lights.  I added lights and homemade light pickups.

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Here are two smaller train depots or stations on my layout.  The first is a Plasticville station behind Main Street buildings, in an industrial area with red stripped Lionel Santa Fe 2400s.

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A small Plasticville Depot across the tracks from Main Street with Lionel Santa Fe 2400s.

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Passenger cars that are 12” long or shorter look the best, with minimum overhang, on my sharp 027 curves.

Charlie

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Post 44  Passenger Trains - Common Trains Run on the Layout above has been added to.  Two pictures of a Plasticville station behind Main Street buildings, in an industrial area, with red stripped Lionel Stanta Fe 2400s stopping and one of a small Plasticville Depot across the tracks from Main Street with Lionel Santa Fe 2400s have been added.

Charlie

Post 45

Common Trains Run on the Layout – The Christmas Train

My Christmas train usually consists of a Lionel 627, 44 ton red diesel, Lionel 36743 Operating Santa Claus Bobbing Head Box car, two flat cars with Santa’s reindeer including Rudolph and one flat car with two reindeer and Santa’s sled and the fat man himself, a “CANDY” labeled gondola with Christmas Candy Canes, and a Lionel 26527 Christmas Work Caboose with Christmas gifts.

Trains, Rogers 12-27-2014 003

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I made the reindeer cars and from a Hallmark Cards Santa, Sled and Reindeer set. 

The original Santa sled was too big so a smaller one was made from balsa wood and sized for Hallmark Cards Santa.

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A blinking red light was installed in Rudolf’s nose and a power pick up was added to the car. 

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The Christmas Train is usually stationed on the hidden track behind the background and comes out by surprise for the kids after watching the trains run for a few minutes.  The all love the candy of course.

 

Charlie

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Charlie, Nice work once again. I would imagine you stop the train to allow candy unloading by the youngsters? 

My wife has a small, inexpensive necklace that is battery powered that looks something like this... http://www.partycity.com/produ...ce+17in+x+1+3-4in.do 

...If you want to string it on your reindeer or on the engine...just trying to add to your already festive mood. 

Tom 

  

That's about the only time I run my Penn Cen. log car, Burl. & BN gondolas. The bright green is just too much without the red, and very Christmas-y with any, lol.

A sleigh team would be neat on its own behind a pusher with that red nose out front...Hhmmm...might need weights, but..hhmmm

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Post 46

Common Trains Run on the Layout - General 4-4-0 Engines and Train

A General 4-4-0 train is also operated.  Often a Lionel horse car or Outlaw shooter car, a Lionel 3370 Outlaw and Sheriff car and an 1800’s period baggage/mail /passenger cars are pulled. 

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I also pull my homemade lighted Gold Bullion car for the sheriff to guard, shown here as the silver car.

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For a long time I ignored the Civil War and missile/space trains and cars.  I thought they tended to be plasticity, flimsy and troublesome to operate.  In the last three years I warmed up to them and some reasonable priced items were found. 

 

The first General 4-4-0 was a General Lionel 1862 engine and coal tender with a chip out of roof and a Lionel 9541 Santa Fe Railway Agency Express Passenger car.  The roof was repaired and painted.

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The second General 4-4-0 obtained was a cheap Lionel General 4-4-0, 8005 dc powered set with coal tender and Lionel 9541 Santa Fe Railway Agency Express Passenger car.  I added a full wave rectifier and changed the Lionel 8005 to ac operation although in one direction.  A selector switch was added for manual reversal.  The engine was dressed up with gold stripping, a lighted head light and painting all red engine black for the boiler and stack.

 

A fuzzy picture of Lionel 8005 before painting and dressing up!

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The Lionel 8005 was painted, along with the red and silver front wheels and painted domes.  The body and stack were painted Black.  Gold stripping was added to dress up.  Much more beautiful !

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Now that I have two Lionel General 4-4-0 locos I can simulate The Great Locomotive Chase of the Civil War between the General and the Texas.  The Disney movie “The Great Locomotive Chase” is a good train movie to watch and the kids will enjoy it too.

Train -General 4-1-2016 003

Charlie

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  Such good taste! I recall you working on the black one. Did you use the hand rails to run power to the light like the originals? 

   The Wells Fargo 3370 is nearly always behind one of my Generals too. I recall opening the gift wrap on it vividly. I asked for one for years. 

I have an old RR Association (which?) comic book of the chase & this booklet from L&N. I can try to get better shots of each page if you'd like.

(bad focus, I'll try again soon)

It's very hard to do, but is possible to derail, roll, and have a handrail short on an adjacent tracks. I've seen two PW with melted stanchions and cab from the shorted handrails heat.

And thnks to your Fort Knox "kitbash" I have an idea! I hope to share soon

EDIT:  the group of men was the surviving raiders in the 20s

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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  Yep, on post war era Generals, power hits the smoke restor and light via handrails.  The smoke piston is horizontal, and it's cylinder is the narrowest portion of the boiler, up front. So i.e., there is no room for wires inside; and underneath then forward then up, would have needed fine wire, too fine for smoke, and even fine, would also still be exposed and in sight. 

They are not the easiest locos to work on. The can motor units are easier to deal with, and adding weight to either helps a lot. They are not great pullers when light and magnetration was great addition when there.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





By mpc at least that was changed for the pulmore, but I don't know when. I'm just thinking now that mine arent connected in the cab anymore either.(and they are not) I think now hot goes up via bushed connection to the copper strip shown under the headlight; a reworking of the same parts really.

They still look live via this lights live metal bracket and its power delivery strips; but the cab's connection plate on the cab wall, isn't there to hit when the handrail comes in. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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Post 47   Common Trains Run on the Layout - Wrecking Train

A wrecking crane car and wrecking caboose are always occupying the track around the turntable that allows a switcher engine to pull it from the spur track, across the TT and go into action when a train wreck occurs.  This a quick response train.

 

I like the Lionel 8516 ,O-4-O switcher, it is good runner.  It is usually in one of the Round House stalls ready to go.

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I also use the Lionel 8310, O-4-O switcher, older to me.

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And the even older to me, Marx 400, O-4-O switcher.

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A Lionel 8111 NW-2 switcher is also available to pull the Wrecking Train.

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Charlie

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  Always such good taste Charlie.  My DT&I work train shares a designated room with a Virginian, but has its own track except for one wall. The caboose and cribbing are pulling Halloween duty. It has a can motor frame at the moment so another unit can pull more cars. The DT&I  original chassis now sports an early F-units motor with really great magnetraction, the can motor U.S.C.G. engine needed it more   

  I just couldnt find a Burro crane I liked for a good price; I hadn't found a six axle Bucyrus crane yet either; and wasn't to interested with being correct...or waiting.  But later, I did find a mini cranes DT&I number in a photo. I broke out the sharpie again and adopted  the number.

 I excpected to need a 6 wheel truck, but this actally does great with or without the aluminum boom supported by the next car, though it guides the booms swing well when supported ; not tippy. I bashed in a second coupler and it can lead for a heavy train wthout worry.

Reaching up isn't happening well today, best I can do. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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