Choo Choo Charlie posted:

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

Charlie, I found this post but YouTube link didn’t work

Post 51

Common Trains Run on the Layout – Space and Missile Trains and Cars

Well it has been 16 degrees at night and below freezing all day here in south Louisiana so it is time to hit the OGR forum and make a post.  We had a 1/2 inch of snow or sleet and with these kind of temps here all the interstates and bridges freeze up with no equipment to salt or sand.  The whole south is home bound.

 In the early 2000s I got interested in the late 1950s issued missile cars and trains after turning my nose up to them for years.  Most are fun but sometimes frustrating cars to operate.  But they sure look good and colorful.

 

My favorite is the Lionel reissued 19824 Target car that really works and will suspend a balloon target above the car and follow the car around the layout.  I love that it runs off of track power and not heavy, leaky D batteries.  My problem is my layout track has only one loop that does not have an overhead bridge structures or goes through a tunnel.

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I have several cars that shoot missiles or rockets.  The missiles do not fire very well with the spring powered propulsion and the missiles and rockets are poor fliers.  Some of my missiles are homemade and that may be the biggest problem.

One is the Lionel 3665 Minuteman Missile Launcher Car.  Mine is missing one of the top doors. IMG_0887

 

Another is the Lionel 6650 IRBM Rocket Launching Car. IMG_0877

 

I have a Lionel 3519 Satellite Launcher Remote Control car. IMG_0876

 

I also have a Lionel 6544 Missile Firing Car. IMG_0872

 

I picked up a Lionel 3349 Turbo Missile Launching Car. IMG_0869

 

The Lionel 6470 Explosive box car and a Lionel 6448 Target Car are the same.  They are very sensitive and use a spring mouse trap mechanism.  They are hard to assembly and often destroy themselves while going around the layout.  They also often will not explode when it by a missile.  But when they do explode, they are worth the trouble.

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I have the Lionel 44 US Army Mobile Missile launching engine that works well and will pull several missile cars.  It gives a train with the Lionel 6544 Missile Firing Car extra fire power to try to hit an exploding boxcar.  The picture shows the #44 coming out from hiding from enemy missiles in a tunnel .

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Charlie

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Charlie, 

 Nice assortment of cars you have there. I have the Target Launcher car too and have found some success with little Nerf-like balls. I wonder if ping pong balls would work? Maybe, slightly too heavy. 

 Good to know you are keeping your neighborhood safe from enemy attacks! 

 Keep warm. We've had lots of very cold days up here in the Northeast. 

  Tom 

Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Post 3   5-20-2016

The Beginning - Childhood Layout

I had childhood Marx 027 layout that had an oval and figure 8 utilizing four Marx 1590 switches on a ping pong 9’ x 5’ board on the floor.  The train was a Marx 999 freight set.  We had a Lionel 1033 transformer.  It was on the living room floor for two weeks after being installed on Christmas Eve with a Christmas tree in the plaster of paris mountain.

I had two friends that lived on my block in south St. Louis, one had a Lionel train with cattle car loader and milk car.  The other had American Flyer.  Both had layouts on the floor with a single loop and a bypass or siding with a couple of switches and down for two weeks at Christmas also.  I had the Marx with oval and figure 8 with four Marx switches and we all liked to run that 999 do lots of switching.

When my brother and I were 8 and 10 or so, the train gear was removed and the layout dismantled.  We had moved to new house my Dad and his friend built for us in Afton, a suburb of St. Louis.  My brother and I got into building plastic models, then stick and paper air planes, model boats and later 049 powered U control planes.  We went into Fox 35 U control planes in high school and I got into radio control (tubes & 67 v batteries !) boats.

Charlie

Pictures of Marx 999 set

 Marx-999 & Lydia Band 5-19-2016 005

Marx 999 engine (set is original but engine is retired due to worn out motor gear, this is a replacement)

 

Marx-999 & Lydia Band 5-19-2016 003

 

 

Marx Uncoupling section

Marx-999 & Lydia Band 5-19-2016 008

Looks identical to the one I had.  I later added some cars (reefer, cattle car, flat with a load, and two more box cars) and gave it a family friend's son when daddy lost his business just before Christmas.

I'm now "recreating" the layout I wanted back then and could never afford.

Thanks for showing us what some of us grew up with.

Tom

   The correct IRBM rocket will fly quiet a ways Charlie. They make replacements too. A bit pricey maybe, but kind of worth it. They explode the boxcars better, and get pretty consistent distance at 5ft each for my post war and LLC versions both. Though with only at "one round", your aim needs to be right the first time  

   The rockets are one piece you can make a great looking homemade version of that will fly without the critics

...... But it likely won't go over real well in general  

.......Or even go over a General  

  You can always transfer the homemade ones to a red or black flat car paired with a red or blue derrick; other examples of LSA set cars

I alwys liked the IRBM better than the small missle lauchers. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Post 52   Homemade Lionel 6413 Mercury Capsule Transporting Car

I recently completed Lionel 6413 Mercury Capsule transporting car which was mentioned in a recent topic on Homemade Lionel Cars also. 

After looking for a reasonable or inexpensive Lionel 6413 Mercury Capsule transporting car or raised-center flat car body (they are rather hard to find and I have never seen one at a train show) I decided to make one. 

I have the other two center raised-center flat cars.  The first car is the Lionel ACMX 6519 Allis-Chalmers condenser car and it needed a raised-center flatcar deck to handle the tall height of the condenser (made 1958-61).  Then Lionel made the Lionel TLCX 6544 Missile Firing car using the raised-center flat car body from the 6519 (1960-64).  Later, the Lionel TLCX 6413 Mercury Capsule car (made 1962-63) was made from the Lionel Allis-Chalmers Condenser raised-center car body and the Mercury Capsule from the Lionel 3413 Mercury Capsule Launching car Missile.

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Here are a couple of the Lionel 6413 Mercury Capsule transporting cars I want to home make (picture below from the internet, not my car).  The slightly aqua green blue car in the front is rarer and brings more money.  Notice the track can be seen in the openings between the two metal straps holding up the Mercury Capsules.

Lionel 6413 aquamarine 1 2-16-2018

 

I made the car for zero money.   I found a Lionel 6800 flat car with a broken corner (the plastic  was harder than normal after being stored in the hot attic) and no trucks and wheels.  The second car used was a small Lionel un-numbered flat car complete with trucks in my junk box.  I used plastic from a discarded daily desk calendar base and a plastic paper easel.  I had the glue, blue paint and letter decals and rub-on numbers.  I did get to spend many hours of fun time building the car.

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 For the body of the Mercury Capsule car, I used the Lionel 6800 flat car upside down to make the raised centered car and cut out the middle of the brown flat car leaving the trucks. 

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I band sawed off the ends of the small Lionel flat car with trucks to add to the cars height.  I patched the broken corner of the 6800 car and added plastic to extend the skirts of the trucks.

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I decked the top ends of the car with decking left over from the short flat car.  Two small lugs were glued on to the edge to act as hooks for the elastic cord that would hold down the Mercury capsules.  I added in some seams to the side of the raised center car and added skirts to the trucks and extended the raised hump as seen in black plastic in picture below.

I made the rest of the top decking from plastic with holes for the Mercury capsules.  I made the deck a little wider than the car so personal can walk on the deck alongside the capsules.  The Lionel 6413 is wider in the middle than at the ends. 

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The Lionel 6413 holds the capsules via two metal brackets across the near bottom of the car with opening from the top to the tracks, presenting a unfinished look.  The Lionel Mercury capsules have cylinder on the bottom to simulate the mercury capsule retro rockets and the capsule is the same one used on the Lionel Mercury capsule rocket with the Lionel  3413 Mercury Capsule Launch Car and Rocket.  The real Mercury capsule would never be transported with the retro rockets attached.  My capsules set on the bottom of the car and the bottom is enclosed, the kind of job one would expect from NASA and the US Government.  The real Mercury capsules are 6 ft in diameter and 6 ft tall and would easily fit in a gondola or box car with wide doors so the Lionel Mercury Capsule cars is a fun item and allowed the use of existing molds to make and sell another interesting car.

My Mercury capsules are made from two toy optical viewers that lets the the grand kids see diamonds moving around when viewed and rotated.  I took out the clear plastic end to make the cones lighter.  I added some heavy paper strips to make the cones look more like they had heat shields on the sides and show the door and window.  The astronaut sits with his back to the bottom heat shield and views through the window.

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I painted the car with Model Masters 35183 F  S Bright Blue paint which I had and is fairly close to the Lionel 6413 color.  I then added “NASA” decals as I did not have room or letters for “Mercury Project Cape Canaveral” that Lionel used.  I also added press on numbers of 6413, not as neat as I wanted and all I had room for.  Clear glossy spray was used to seal on the lettering.

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I think the Mercury Capsule car came out very well and it can serve as another car and load to use my Gantry Crane for, sort of an action car after all.  I glued steel washers to the top of the Capsules so the Magnet of the Gantry Crane could pick them up.

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I find fixing up a common car into something more special or useful a satisfying part of the model train hobby.  I have several more to share but do not have the pictures of the building process like the 6413.  Most of them are painting and lettering projects.

Charlie

 

 

 

Post 53 a  New engines and Track Upgrade

Been working some on the layout but just not posting much lately.

I have obtained a Williams F7 ABA Santa Fe diesel set at a warehouse sale and a Marx IC&G 0-4-0 diesel lately. 

Here are a couple of pictures

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The F7 powered 4032 has an issue with the E unit and would only run in reverse.  Not wanting to spend in excess of $40 for a new E unit I reversed the leads to the two DC can motors and the powered A unit runs forward with neutrals.  This is OK with me as I normally do not do much switching and reversing with an engine that will mostly just run around the layout pulling consists.  And now I can use it as a single A unit, an A and B unit, a AA unit and a ABA unit. 

This Williams is now a good runner.  This Williams F7 seams to be a minimal engine set with numbers only appearing on the lighted marker board and not on body.  It is on the smallish size for F7 or F3 engines compared to Lionel units but is bigger than my Marx F3 diesels.  This is good for me and my 027 toy layout and the Williams F7 does not have trouble with 027 curves and does not have much over hang.  All three units are very heavy and the powered A unit pulls very well with that weight and two powered trucks with traction tires.

The 4034 B unit has very loud engine and engineer talking sound with no cut off switch or volume control.  I added a small slide switch to the bottom to at least have a choice of loud railroad sounds or no sound.

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I had track issues with the Williams wheels and or pickups resulting in derailments usually around the Marx 1590 switches.  I spent lots of time isolating the problem areas and found the Williams engines were very touchy to small differences in rail heights at the 027 track joints especially before the Marx switches.  I found out filing off the edge of the less than 1/32 inch high spot at track joints before switches eliminated most of the derailments. 

I also added small pieces of thin aluminum flashing to fill in the gaps I had in several of the track joints between track sections.  This helped the Williams locos and should reduce wear on wheels and pickup rollers.  I have done this for years to large 1/8 inch gaps and just went around the whole track and filled many more smaller gap joints.  You can also see one of the popsicle wooden wedges I use to bank some of my 027 curves.

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I also took care of a long term issue with high spots where my three bridges lay on the layout.  I failed to recess the bottom of the metal bridges into the layout surface and the bridges are a least 1/16 inch higher that the other track.  I could not easily remove the bridges and repair without lots of work removing track and switches.  I used a bent flat nose pliers to flatten the metal ties on the 027 track on the bridges to lower the track and screwed the track down of the bridges.  This made a good improvement.

Some of the bent metal rail ties can be seen on the red girder bridge on the left.  That is a Williams BL2 that I have had for a while and it runs better with improved track too.  The BL2 is dressed up better than the F7 and has some numbers on the body.

IMG_1004

 

 

The little unnumbered Marx 0-4-0 switcher runs very well with the motor being from the Marx 999 engine.  It came with a Marx coupling on the rear and I added a Lionel dummy coupling on the front to allow use with both Marx and Lionel cars.  Lots of fun projects to improve layout operation and fun !

 IMG_1002

Charlie

 

 

 

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Ahem Choo Choo Charlie... those Santa Fe "Covered Wagons" are F7 and NOT e7's.

E7's have 6 wheeled trucks and Rectangular windows on the side car body...

your F7 Santa fe's have 4 wheeled trucks and round windows on the side car body. And I don't hink Santa Fe had E7's to begin with... Just EMD E8's.

 

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

 

Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Post 53  New engines and Track Upgrade

...I also added small pieces of thin aluminum flashing to fill in the gaps I had in several of the track joints between track sections.  This helped the Williams locos and should reduce wear on wheels and pickup rollers.  I have done this for years to large 1/8 inch gaps and just went around the whole track and filled many more smaller gap joints.

IMG_0982

 

Charlie

 

 

 

Hi Charlie,

 Good luck with your new additions to your roster. 

 Very interested in your technique on filling in gaps on your track. Can you add a little more on what type of aluminum you are using, where did you get it (I'm assuming it is some sort of sheet aluminum readily found at a hardware store used for flashing, etc., but could be wrong) , how you affix it to the track, any sanding/filing needed, etc.? While I currently don't have any derailments on my oval on the workbench, I do have some gaps and am interested more for any potential/future layout. No problems with conducting current I assume? Thanks. 

Tom 

  

Tom

Here is an addition to Post 53 a

Post 53 b Track Nibbers and Track Cutting Jig

Yes it is aluminum flashing sheeting but you will need only a small scrape.  I had some left over from gutter work.  If not in hurry, I would watch the trash, where roofing jobs are underway, a used thin cake pan, check out small hardware stores for fee scrap, etc.  If it is painted, just scrap or sand off all the paint on both sides.  This goes for if it is anodized also, to get better conduction.  You can use tin from a tin can too.  Tin can will probably wear less but will be harder to bend.  It just needs to about the thickness of the metal used for your rail.  If you get fancy get a small piece of brass shim stock from a machine shop.  I have a few pieces but find it to hard to find and too valuable to use for this purpose.

Probably the best hint is get a pair of nipper pliers shown below.  Mine are from a cheap Chinese pliers set (Harbor Freight now days) and are small, about 4" long.  I use these to tightly wrap the piece of shim or flashing stock around the pin in the gap.  I usually cut a strip of flashing about 3/8" wide and a few inches long.  Then I use a small tin snips to cut a piece about the width of the gap and it will be 3/8" long.  I cut it too wide and then keep trimming it down until it fits in the gap.  I then wrap it around the pin in the gap with my fingers and squeeze it tight with the nipper pliers.  If 3/8 " is to long I just let it hang down.  It should take only a minute or two do each gap.

IMG_1030IMG_1031

This will not work with the gap from the tooth picks I use mostly used for insulated center rail gaps.  (I know Lionel makes plastic pins for this use but I did not have them years ago.) Note the picture above has a Lionel plastic pin in the center rail.  I have lots of insulated center rails as my whole layout is blocked into 5 or so foot sections.

I cut a gap sized of plastic insulation from some solid electrical wire to fill the gap.  I split the little do nut of insulation with a X acto knife and slip it on.

 

Track Cutting Jig

Early on I made a Track Cutting Jig to help cut short sections of straight 027 track.

It is made from a scrap of 3/4"  wood 2" x 2 1/4 " with a same size 3/8" plywood glued on the bottom.  Three slots were sawed, with a band saw, 1/4" deep and 1/8" wide at the spacing of the three rails of 027 track.  A 1/16" wide slot was cut at 90 degrees to the track slots to accommodate a hack saw blade.

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A piece of 1/2" plywood was made to act as a Track Hold Down.  Shown at the top of picture.  Groove was cut to go over the track tie if necessary

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Picture of clamp holding Track Cutting Jig, track to be cut with hack saw and Track Hold Down.  The Track Cutting Jig is held in vise.  The vise is a 4in X 10in Columbian woodworking vise I have had for 40 so years.

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I use a fine tooth hack saw blade and find the Track Cutting Jig make cutting shorter pieces of track and easy neat job.

Charlie

 

 

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Post 54   Cab-Forward Engine

Years ago I purchased a Lionel 2025 2-6-4 steam locomotive that came with a homemade enclosed cab and white wall painted wheels.  I left both intact.  The Lionel 2025 and 2035 are my favorite engines to run on my layout.

 

My closed cab Lionel 2025 with white walls

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Recently I was reviewing a March 1999 Classic Toy Trains magazine and read a product review of a 3rd Rail Brass O gauge Southern Pacific Cab-forward 4-8-8-2 steam locomotive.  I was not familiar with cab-forward engines.  The article pointed out cab-forward steam locomotives were made to solve a life and death problem Southern Pacific had due to asphyxiation of crew when operating in long tunnels and snows sheds in the Sierra Mountains in the early 1900s.  Baldwin developed the cab-forward style locomotive and over 195 engines were made from 1920 and used into the 1950s.

 

Real Cab-Forward steam locomotive

cab forward 10

 

Since I already, more or less, had a enclosed cabin steam locomotive, the Lionel 2025 mentioned above, all I would have to do to make a cab forward locomotive is find oil tender (an oil tender must be used as there is no way to get coal from a coal tender to the fire box with the cab in the front of the train).  Next was to make a hookup connector from the front of my 2025 steamer to the front of the oil tender at the tender slot coupling.  I know a Lionel 2025 2-6-4 is not a 4-8-8-2 which would have no chance of running on my O27 track !

I found a metal case from a junk DVD player as a source of sheet metal for the connector.  This metal sheet is thicker than tin can, strong enough for the connector and can be cut easily with a pair of tin snips.

Sketch of connector

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Bottom view

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Top view with tabs going on top of front wheel axle

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View of connector in action, it turns well and navigates my Marx 1590 switches

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Lionel 2025 as Cap-Forward engine pulling oil tender

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Close up of an oil tender I found I already had

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Connector is strong enough to pull other cars after the oil tender

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The connector was quick and easy to make and works well.  It is a little weird to see a steam locomotive tooling around the layout backwards !  Someday I may add a headlight and markers lights to the front of cab-foward  loco.  (see headlight on first picture of real cab-farward Loco)

Charlie

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Hi Charlie,

  So, what you invented is the first Pennsy cab forward! 

  Maybe you should also string some extra insulated black wiring to sort of copy the extra piping needed on the original.

  For a potential headlight...I helped someone else to tell them sometimes plastic pens have a chrome-like center piece/ring that just about fits being an O Gauge headlight frame, if it helps you to scrounge. 

Tom 

Bill

Thanks for the response and comments.  I am glad you figured it out.

My Post 1 has a picture of the control panel which is the track plan.  I know the control panel does not show that the top bypass track is hidden very well.  This one below is from Post 8 is a little better.  I will darken the red, yellow and green color of the track pin stripping to show up better.

102_0456

If one looks real close at the top track tape it has a dim red, yellow and green Sharpy markings of the pin stripping to indicate the color of the the track occupation signal to show where the isolated track sections are that can be killed to hold a train.   Also the top right shows this track coming out of the back of the mountain tunnel green painted mountain outline, to the hidden track.  I might need to find a way to add a dotted line on the control panel showing where the back ground is that hides the hidden track.  Space on the diagram between the second and third by pass track is very small.

 

Red signal light ON to show track occupied to the right 1/3 of track.  Signal is located on the corner of the roundhouse in easy view of engineers.

Train addition 9-5-2016 2016-09-04 026

Three sections of the hidden track, located at each end and in the middle of hidden track, have isolated outside rails to trigger a track occupation signal to indicate if a train is present on the track since the track cannot be seen.  The signal power is controlled by the roundhouse light switch.  The signal is mounted on the left end of the industrial building, in full view of the engineer.  12 volt mini Radio Shack bulbs of red, yellow and green are used for the signal.  Each bulb represents a section of hidden track that is occupied, and all three “on” mean the track has a long train hidden.  The lights also indicate the progress of a train moving along the hidden track.

Charlie

Charlie - thanks for the update. There's a lot to like about your layout. The hidden staging tracks are much simpler than one going down an incline & under the layout's main level, like others have done. I like the "K.I.S.S." principle whenever it can be applied :-)  Also like the creativity of the "duckout" thru an engine servicing building rather than the ubiquitous "tunnel." The "track occupied" signal lights on the building is a great idea as well. You did a nice job on your track plan's switch panel, too.

Hi Charlie,

  I had a question about your Marx switches since I'm not familiar with them. One the first page of this topic, you mentioned about inserting a nail/pin in the center rail section. I was wondering, when the switch moves doesn't that pin prevent the opening/closing of the switch or does the rail bend around the nail/pin to accommodate the pin being there? That's what it looks like is going on here, but maybe a video would show it better? 

Tom 

charlie's marx switches

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Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Post 11   7-8-2016

Back to the Good Ole USA

The main train board with turntable was built in 1977 and 1978 in Kingston, Jamaica.  It was down on the living room floor for Christmas 1978.  The only structures were a Bachmann Coaling Station kit stuck together and a small Marx water tower.  But fun was had running the Marx 999 set and the four plastic body Lionel 2-4-2 engines and playing with the turntable.

We moved back to the states, to Little Rock Arkansas, to a house with a two car garage and a small room of to the side.  I used it as a work shop.  After moving in, buying cars and getting settled in, it was time to get to building and collecting structures for the train board.

 

Roundhouse Construction

The first consideration in building a $10 roundhouse is to decide how many stalls the RH will have. 

I think the minimum that looks good is three.  Many more can be added than three but I find that you cannot see and enjoy your engines as much when they are in the RH as all that one sees is the engine fronts.  I decided to make my RH a four stall one and I am very pleased with it.  It has a good shape verses a three stalls and fits my area very well.

I like the stepped roof style RH and I like lots of windows so as they are typical of the era as electric lights were not all that common in the early times and windows provided daylight.  I have windows on both sides, all along the back wall and on the stepped roof wall facing the front.  I did not leave room or have room for a shop or tool room that many RH have.

My roundhouse is made from my typical 1/8 inch thick, one side smooth Masonite tempered sheeting.  A sheet costs about $13 for 4ft x 8ft sheet and you will only need one half of a sheet or less.  I cut this with saber saw, or jig saw.  I used my old Craftsman 18 inch jig saw with 1/3 hp motor, now out of storage, to cut out the windows after drilling a hole to allow get the blade in the window area.  You can use a sabre saw for this if that is all you have.  The smooth side is put on the outside of the sides and back wall.  Some 1/8” Masonite strips were used to reinforce the bottom and door frame. 

Front of Round House

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The outside walls will be covered with modeling brick paper, glued on with Elmer’s white glue after the building is assembled with Elmer’s glue.

The roof is made from Masonite too but the rough side is up to be the exposed roof surface, to simulate  gravel on a wood and tar paper roof.  I have a step in the roof with windows in the bricked section between the two roofs so the roof is made in two parts. 

 

Four Tracks and four Stalls in Round House

IMG_0098

 

You can see how I determined the size of the RH by fitting it in over 4 sections of track.  I made sure not to include my one section where I can drive on the TT and directly to this one section with a long consist of engine, coal tender, wrecking crane car and wrecking caboose.

The picture below shows how I had to cut out part of the rear of the RH to go over a switch machine housing.  It also shows I had make sure the RH did not get too close to the tracks.  It is a tight and custom fit.

 

Rear of Round House - wall over switch machine, Electrical connector (from 9 volt batteries) for RH lights right of switchIMG_0100

I assembled the RH with Elmer’s glue and added plywood angles to strength the wall to roof joints.  I painted the inside walls brown and the inside roof light gray to better illuminate the inside.  The outside of the roof was painted light gray, with a dusting of black paint to be dark dirt.  Then I installed the brick paper doing a good job around the windows.

The windows are made from clear plastic sheeting from boxes lids from toys or other heavier clear plastic.  The windows had panes made from black 1/16 inch auto pin striping on the inside.  The windows were glued on the inside with "Pliobond" rubber cement or contact cement.

Inside RH showing Roof and wall braces, windows and some lightsIMG_0165

 

Picture showing double thick front wall and thicker bottom brace.  I painted the center of the tracks in the RH black to simulate a pit below the tracks to let workers work on the under side of the steam locomotives (shown in picture below).IMG_0173

 

I made RH stacks, with covers to keep rain out.  The stacks are to remove smoke for the steam engines.  Balsa wood was used to make the stacks.  I like the square style stacks better than round ones.  Rain covers for the stacks were made.   I also installed a ladder or two to get on the roof.  Ladders were made from N gauge railroad tie plastic strips with the rails removed and every other tie cut out with a pair of diagonal wire pliers and trimmed with a Xacto knife.

Ladder, stacks and Roof, and also emergency generator from Lionel searchlight carIMG_0167

  Close up photo of a Stack with cover and dust on top!IMG_0169

 

Lights were installed in the ceiling of the RH in two rows and are operated by a slide switch on the control panel.   I am big on night train operation with the room lights dark or dimmed and lots of controlled lights in all building, flood lights, street lights, yard lights, cars and engines, etc. 

See how the lights let the engines show up in the RH in a semi dark roomIMG_0195

  Photo showing the balsa wood TT operator shack on TT bridge and view into RH.IMG_0197

Photo from outside into lighted up RHIMG_0201

 

Another neat photo of lighted RH in semi darkness, just to encourage you to build a TT and RHIMG_0203

I chose not to make doors for the front of the RH as I wanted to see the fronts of the locos inside and I would have had the doors open most of the time and they would just get in the view and way.

I love my round house and it is my favorite building on the layout and the most fun and satisfaction to build.

Charlie

This installment is of GREAT interest to me. My son and I have a similar roundhouse planned to use with an Atlas O turntable. Keep this great information coming. Your layout looks GREAT!

Randy,  Thanks for the gracious comments and I hope your round house building is as much fun to you all as I had.

I purchased a Marx Airport beacon at a recent train show for a few dollars.  It had a dished top beacon bulb and the rotating red and green lens beacon part.  I started to look for a place to put it on the layout. 

I have an Lionel Airport beacon located on the main board near the round house.  I just installed it where it looked good and was out of the way years ago.Airport Beacon 11-29-2018 2018-11-29 002

Well after a little searching I found out the beacon should be located near the airport as they were used by planes flying at night to help the pilot locate the airport at night.  So I decided to locate the new airport beacon near my small Plasticville airport.  I also decided the Marx airport beacon tower did not look as nice as an old Lionel airport beacon tower I had in the spare part box so I used the Lionel tower with the bulb and beacon lens from the Marx.

Airport Beacon 11-29-2018 2018-11-29 009

Notice the new to me Lionel 1862 4-4-0 General and tender with the homemade wooden cow catcher and cab I got at the fall TCA train show in Ponchatoula, LA. 

General w wood cab 11-7-2018 2018-11-07 004

Charlie

 

Attachments

Photos (3)

Here one I got from P51. Lee says the arrows we once saw on roofs of barns, businesses, etc. were visual guides for pilots before more elaborate navigation became common.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





MNCW posted:

Hi Charlie,

  I had a question about your Marx switches since I'm not familiar with them. One the first page of this topic, you mentioned about inserting a nail/pin in the center rail section. I was wondering, when the switch moves doesn't that pin prevent the opening/closing of the switch or does the rail bend around the nail/pin to accommodate the pin being there? That's what it looks like is going on here, but maybe a video would show it better? 

Tom 

charlie's marx switches

   Hopefully Charlie isn't working on answer yet...No the pins are to make up for the fact the curved point rail doesn't align nice when it becomes a center rail, and the straight point rail doesn't align nice as a curved center rail. A skinny or offset roller could fall off. 

 They act more like stops in thier position. Sinking them in the tube further open a gap ( a slight gap ensures full point closing on the lead points(not shown)

  I.e. those two pictures show the full point travel left to right. They dont move far because each rail changes orientation of common&variable as it moves. Your expecting them to travel further than they do becuse of other point types you are used to.

  Each point rail is isolated and changes rail orientation when a pilot rail attachment rivet arrives on either contact pad for a com or var. connection. 

  There is not frog or gap & guidrail. These are the smoothest conducting switches Ive ever used.  Creep over them with any loco, no issue. (Pingman just donated a pair to me. "McLovin' them" )

I also added one more pin deeply sunk into the short straight exit rail to close the gap that is needed for point swing clearance. The gap is wide and wheels were catching the straight rail. About 3/32" of exposed Marx pin tapered/rounded just slightly, not as much as a Lionel pin, stopped the wheels from picking at the blunt tube edge and climbing. I used Lionel pins on the usual center rails because the bullet head's taper allowed me to extend them further than the blunter Marx. (But since wraping pins precedes this, the smoother marx pin might provide less wear because of the Lionel notch on both ends. Even backwards the Marx single seating notch is thinner and shallower.  But in my case, the notch is actually below the point rail tops so may be overkill. It would take that "certain engine" and no pin to ever know if I truely needed it.)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Post 55    Homemade Vanderbilt Tender

I finally got around to making a Vanderbilt tender.  This project was previously posted on the Homemade Cars Post.  The Vanderbilt tenders have a cylinder shaped water tank which was lighter and cheaper to build than a rectangular shape water tank that had to have more internal bracing and more rivets and time and material to make.  I used a junk Lionel New York Central coal tender, a hard shell mailing tube, the bottom of a hair spray can,  a piece of junk metal roofing and some popsicle sticks.  All junk stuff, all free or slight cost for the junk coal tender, and paint and decals I had.

I cut up an old coal tender that is shown below.   I cut the angle at the coal pile with a band saw and the bottom cuts with Dremel saw blade and Xacto razor saw.  Note the crack in the section cut out in the LI  NES letters, thusly earning the title 'junk coal tender'.

Vandy Tender 2-27-2019 2019-02-27 003

 

Coal tender section, frame from sheet metal, and Vanderbilt water tank from mailing tube and hair spay bottom (dia. 2 1/8 inch, a bottom of a Pam cooking spray can will also fit my mailing tube) with decking from popsicle sticks.  I added internal wood braces and bottom sticks to popsicle the mail tube.  I had to cut about 1/16 inch from bottom of tube make smaller diameter to fit in between top of coal pile and bottom frame.

Vandy Tender 2-27-2019 2019-02-27 009

 

Assembled ready for painting with Krylon semi gloss black paint.  I added a back up light.

Vandy Tender 2-27-2019 2019-02-27 016

 Vander Tender final 3-6-2019 2019-03-06 028

Vander Tender final 3-6-2019 2019-03-06 029

 

Pictured with new to me Lionel 3435 engine from the old Marx 333 mold

Vander Tender final 3-6-2019 2019-03-06 009

Vander Tender final 3-6-2019 2019-03-06 016

I have enough material to make another Vanderbilt tender but with a longer body better for use with longer 2020 and 2046 engines.

I have also been busy adding bottom plates and trucks to several coal and oil tender bodies I have had on the project list.  Now have an abundance of extra tenders, some with front trucks that have hook ups for loco and knuckle couplers for using two or more tender per loco if needed for extra water storage.

Charlie

 

Post 56   Small Engines Used on the Layout

A little eye candy for a slow forum day and a stormy day here.

There are several small engines operated on the layout.

Two are Dockside switchers, 0-4-0 types.

The one below is MTH 840 Jersey Central dockside switcher.  This is a well made, heavy metal body and great running little engine, has couplings on front and back, by far my best small engine.

Small Engs & boiler fronts 3-26-2019 2019-03-26 009

 

The second is a Lionel 8905 dc dockside switcher.  It is light weight, plastic and dc which I converted to ac by use of bridge rectifier.  Only runs in forward as I did not install a reversing switch while adding the rectifier.  I like that little smoke stack.

Small Engs & boiler fronts 3-26-2019 2019-03-26 011

 

The  third one is a Lionel 520, boxcar electric locomotive from 1956-57.  It is well build and runs very well although it is rather boxy and plain looking.

Small Engs & boiler fronts 3-26-2019 2019-03-26 014

It is fun to have a few small switchers to run and play with.

Charlie

Attachments

Photos (3)
Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Post 56   Small Engines Used on the Layout

A little eye candy for a slow forum day and a stormy day here.

There are several small engines operated on the layout.

Two are Dockside switchers, 0-4-0 types.

The one below is MTH 840 Jersey Central dockside switcher.  This is a well made, heavy metal body and great running little engine, by far my best small engine.

Small Engs & boiler fronts 3-26-2019 2019-03-26 009

 

Charlie

Hey Charlie, 

I have one of the MTH switchers, too. I could be wrong and I don't have it right in front of me right now, but isn't the boiler shell plastic? Either way, I like it, also. 

Tom 

MNCW posted:
Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Post 56   Small Engines Used on the Layout

A little eye candy for a slow forum day and a stormy day here.

There are several small engines operated on the layout.

Two are Dockside switchers, 0-4-0 types.

The one below is MTH 840 Jersey Central dockside switcher.  This is a well made, heavy metal body and great running little engine, by far my best small engine.

Small Engs & boiler fronts 3-26-2019 2019-03-26 009

 

Charlie

Hey Charlie, 

I have one of the MTH switchers, too. I could be wrong and I don't have it right in front of me right now, but isn't the boiler shell plastic? Either way, I like it, also. 

Tom 

MTH has not made any plastic boilers on its O gauge steamers. The Docksider is metal. All you have to do is check MTH’s product listings if you are ever in doubt about the composition of a locomotive.

https://mthtrains.com/30-1290-0

Jim R. 

Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Post 56   Small Engines Used on the Layout

A little eye candy for a slow forum day and a stormy day here.

There are several small engines operated on the layout.

Two are Dockside switchers, 0-4-0 types.

The one below is MTH 840 Jersey Central dockside switcher.  This is a well made, heavy metal body and great running little engine, by far my best small engine.

Small Engs & boiler fronts 3-26-2019 2019-03-26 009

 

The second is a Lionel 8905 dc dockside switcher.  It is light weight, plastic and dc which I converted to ac by use of bridge rectifier.  Only runs in forward as did not install a reversing switch while adding the rectifier.  I like that little smoke stack.

Small Engs & boiler fronts 3-26-2019 2019-03-26 011

 

The  third one is a Lionel 520, boxcar electric locomotive from 1956-57.  It is well build and runs very well although it is rather boxy and plane looking.

Small Engs & boiler fronts 3-26-2019 2019-03-26 014

It is fun to have a few small switchers to run and play with.

Charlie

Very nice, Charlie. Those small switchers are fun to operate. 

Great post on the Vanderbilt tender. It really turned out terrific. 

That’s a nice example of the 520 box cab, but it needs a pantograph  that would help its ‘boring’ look.

Your 520 looks too nice to modify, but if I had one in rough shape, I’d be tempted to add directional headlights as well as a cab light inside. 

Thanks for sharing.

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