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I wasn't sure which forum to put this under. Please move it if needed.

I was using the search feature to find if anybody had put their own reversing valve gear that worked onto a steamer. I'm not a master of the search so I didn't find anybody that did but I did find a lot of interest in having this feature. I also found stories of 3rd Rail engines doing it. I couldn't find any Youtube videos of 3rd Rail engines doing it, unfortunately.

So I have to ask two questions:

1) Has anybody hot rodded their own working reversing valve gear onto a locomotive?

2) Can anybody find a good video of one in action on an O Scale engine?

I have a growing interest in modifying locomotives and rolling stock to improve them. I'm not really at that stage of building a layout yet but I enjoy reading up on project in my spare time.

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The only reference I can recall is Howard Bixler's conversion of a Max Gray O Scale Burlington 4-8-4 in the July 1985 Model Railroader.

The locomotive used electronics designed by his son.  Beside operating reversing gear, the locomotive also sported a working mechanical bell, turbo generator smoke (and I think also whistle smoke) working brake shoes and moving throttle and engineer arm, along with sound.  The boiler was full of electronics, motors and servos.  The "prime mover" motor for the locomotive was in the tender.

I saw the locomotive in operation at a train show in Harper College in Illinois 20 some odd years ago.  It was an impressive sight.

Rusty

Found this thread here from the past. I will have to keep digging to see if I can find some details. The depleting coal load is darn cool in my opinion but I think it's nowhere near what could be accomplished. I don't know if lever-pulling-engineers will be something found in production locomotives but it might something we accomplish in the after market.

As little movement in O scale as you’d see, I don’t think the work would be worth the rewards,….IMO only of course, others may think differently, ….now if that animation peaks your interest, then by all means,….but I do a lot of custom work, and that thought hasn’t crossed my mind, due to what I said above,…..maybe something more achievable like an ashpan effect, where you stop the locomotive over an ash pit, and hit a button and smoke rolls out from the ashpans simulating the steam & smoke generated by the fella running the wash out hose??…..something like that would have a bigger reward than a power reverser squirting out a couple of millimeters …..

Pat

@harmonyards I honestly am not even that familiar with the motion in the full scale world. I understand what it does but it's not something I specifically noticed in the past when I saw steamers. I looked for it in recent videos I have seen. So your point is a good one! It might not be that great. That's part of why I was hoping to see some videos of it in the O or HO world. I believe 3rd Rail's new Allegheny has it. What would you say your most common custom request is?

Adding details like this does interest me greatly. I enjoyed changing out the interior on my little Lionel Docksider. I also added a tool box to an 0-8-0 engine I added TMCC to (needed a home for the Railsounds board). Those static details were cool additions. Now I'm interested in upping my game a bit to something that moves.

Must admit that I don't understand what "Hot Rodding" has to do with this, as I used to Drag Race my 1968 SS396 (375 HP) Camaro back in 1968/1969. But,,,,,,,,,,,that said, I had a Sunset/3rd Rail C&O H-8 2-6-6-6 that had built-in reversing valve gear, however you had to be REALLY observant to watch for it. I thought it was really cool, but then I'm pretty familiar with real steam locomotives and the valve gear.

@Hot Water posted:

Must admit that I don't understand what "Hot Rodding" has to do with this, as I used to Drag Race my 1968 SS396 (375 HP) Camaro back in 1968/1969. But,,,,,,,,,,,that said, I had a Sunset/3rd Rail C&O H-8 2-6-6-6 that had built-in reversing valve gear, however you had to be REALLY observant to watch for it. I thought it was really cool, but then I'm pretty familiar with real steam locomotives and the valve gear.

I drag raced a 67 goat back then. And yes I cheated. Had too. The light weight camaros were extremely competitive. If I didn't get off well in the first 15 feet, I was usually toast. Switched to big block vettes and was rarely beaten. Ah the good ole days!

Ron H

@BillYo414 posted:

Is "hot rodding" not a verb where you're from @Hot Water?

Not when it comes to railroading nor model railroading.

We use it where I'm from to describe the act of customizing something beyond it's intended form.

In modeling that is generally referred to as "super detailing", at least where I come from.

Sounds to me this isn't a project worth pursuing unless it's an easy project. Sounds like little reward for potentially much work.

And there you have it!

@BillYo414 posted:

Is "hot rodding" not a verb where you're from @Hot Water? We use it where I'm from to describe the act of customizing something beyond it's intended form.

Sounds to me this isn't a project worth pursuing unless it's an easy project. Sounds like little reward for potentially much work.

If doing mods and upgrades is your cup of tea, start small and increase your own challenges as you master each technique,….start by adding ( or even subtracting sometimes) components that should or shouldn’t be there,….this is the path to becoming a modeler, and not just an operator,…..pick a locomotive, or piece of rolling stock, and study the prototype,……add pieces and parts to suit a particular timeframe that interests you,…..half the fun is just developing models that the big 3 ( now 2 1/2) didn’t make,…..that’s far more rewarding than a rod popping out 1-2mm…..😉…as an example, this was a 18009 Lionel Class L3a Mohawk I’ve rebuilt into an earlier class L2d ,….so gone is the Worthington heater in favor of the accurate Elesco, with MOSTLY the correct plumbing,….I’m sure Jack can pick out the one part that isn’t correct, and what plumbing needs to be re-routed, but it’s on my winter to do list now that I have the parts on hand,….but the point is, start small, then work your way up,…..next thing you know, you’ll be the master,…..

Pat F8792973-D7A6-4E3E-82AF-221DBAFB9FB6

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Never heard of super detailing @Hot Water

@harmonyards posted:

.so gone is the Worthington heater in favor of the accurate Elesco, with MOSTLY the correct plumbing,….

I appreciate the encouragement very much. This part I quoted above has stumped me a number of times as I hear people call out details on locomotives. Are historical societies the best place to find out these details? Is a lot of the info available online/at certain libraries? I spent a lot of time at the steel museum here in town when I was starting to build my blast furnaces so I'm not new to the concept. It's just there was a museum here in town so it was easy to find the place that had the details I needed. The archivist there was able to help me as well.

My first project is likely to be adding opening doors to the top of the hopper in the attached picture. Hopefully it's a good starting point.

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You need to figure out what peaks your interest, and then develop your own archive system,…..whether it be physical books, on line research, here on this forum, museums, historical societies, or on line reference materials …..I have all of the above for the NYC, plus a plethora of friends to bounce ideas off of,…..I’ve asked Jack ( HW ) for technical questions on stuff I’m not sure about too,….it all depends on what interests you, and then you make your own research laboratory,….I’m building a couple never been done before in 3 rail steam locomotives for fellas. Before I pick up the first tool, I engross myself with prototype pictures, build information, restoration techniques ( if applicable) people that knew the appliance well, and if it still exists, I’ll go put my eyeballs and my camera lens on it,…

Pat

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