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I just received a like new 6-38055 Santa Fe Northern #3751. I grew up in San Bernardino and remember it being on display there, which is why I wanted this loco.

Anyway, as any of you who own Lionel steamers probably know, the “bell cord” is a relatively inflexible filament that runs from cab to bell, passing through some guides on the boiler. But to me, it does not look right at all. It does not lay flat, but rather stands stiffly away from the boiler more like a pipe than a line.

Question: anyone have any experience making it look more prototypical? Any suggestions as to adjusting the existing cord or replacing with something else? The bell itself also swings, which is a nice detail but does mean you can’t put any tension on the cord.

thanks for any ideas.

p.s.. I love seeing and hearing the engine run, but there is one thing about the crew talk that kind of irrationally bothers me. They keep saying “over and out” to end the radio dialog. That’s not radio protocol, and it just bugs me! 😀

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@ByronB posted:


p.s.. I love seeing and hearing the engine run, but there is one thing about the crew talk that kind of irrationally bothers me. They keep saying “over and out” to end the radio dialog. That’s not radio protocol, and it just bugs me! 😀

This comment cracks me up. I'm not a major fan of it either. I gotta admit though, it has become a little bit endearing for me.

Anyway, I'm leaning toward the wire. I feel like a thread is going to be heavy enough to hang right.

BTW, don't portray too much slack in the bell cord.  I doubt the engineer...or fireman... would like to pull 4' of bell cord slack before getting a good 'ding-dong' going!  With everything else he's focused on it's no wonder that the cord eventually gave way to a small bell-mounted air cylinder for actuation.

Rich and/or Jack probably have a better perspective on the whole topic.

Last edited by dkdkrd

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