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Hello,

I have gotten interested in this engine, but given that I have sworn to build my trains on a shoe string budget, this would be an expensive item for me, so I hope I can get a little more information.  Remember, I can only buy 027 engines.

1.  How durable and reliable are these little engines?   I have been warned about the small K-Line switcher motors, that seem to burn out fairly easily.  I certainly don't want and engine that will burn out just because it is pulling 4 or 5 light cars around, on a fairly often basis.  

2.  Some of the new ones I have seen have "can" motors.  Do they all have can motors?  Or just the recently manufactured ones?  

3.   What are the pros and cons of can motors please?  I am running DC current to power my tracks.

Thanks for all info.

Mannyrock

 

 

 

 

Original Post

If you are talking the 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotives, they are bullet proof.  I have an old conventional one that I've converted to DCC.  It has always pulled a ton of cars for it's size.  The only issue I've had it the couplers.  Due to their long arm length they break or bind easily, but then I ran mine on the floor where kids and cats are active.  Once I replace the coupler and it stays on the layout I expect many many years of good service out of it.  I might also get me one of the new LC+2.0 ones in the future to have two of them. 

The old conventional ones are AC only out of the box.  The LC ones should be DC or AC, but I've never tried to run LC locomotives on DC.  I do not know if the LC+2.0 ones are DC as I have not read the manual yet, but you can do that as Lionel has them online.  They do have DC motors, so you could remove the Lionel electronics and add your own, but opening and putting this little locomotive back together is a huge pain.

The short of it is I have no problem recommending this small scale locomotive to others to get.  My only question to you is why are you running O27 locomotives on DC when they are all AC natively.

I bought one new in 2004. No problems to date.  6-31733. It's the Jones & Laughlin slag train set. http://www.lionel.com/products...train-loco-2-6-31733

 I was raised in Cleveland along the Cuyahoga Valley with the  J&L steel mill and a blast furnace a mile or so away....I'll never forget the distinct smell of mills!  As a kid I'd visit the 'hobos' along the tracks. They had a small shed. First time I saw the Playboy Marilyn Monroe pic was on the wall of the shed.    I know TMI.  Feeling nostalgic I guess.

Last edited by ToledoEd

I loved my first docksider so much that I bought a second and I'm now considering a third. They do pull a lot of cars for their size. My only complaint is the whistle sound but that could be upgraded and the value makes it worth it. The couplers can be delicate but I ran mine into the front of a steamer that had no coupler so that's probably got a lot to do with it. I have the replacement but haven't put it on yet. 

I bought a bobber caboose recently. I intend to store a board for TMCC or DCS in that. Then I plan to attach a dynamo to the docksider and run a "power cable" from the dynamo to the bobber so the bobber has power. The conductor will do his freight paperwork (in the 1940s and 50s) in the bobber while switching. The cable will hopefully double as a tether for DCS/TMCC. We'll see! Maybe the minicommander from ERR will fit in the body of the docksider on it's own. 

I can attest to them being bullet proof. Mine decided to take flight one day when I caught it with a shirt sleeve. After a brief 45" trip a slightly bent driver and a dislodged fireman were the only damage. I got lucky as it seems to have landed flat on its side.

The whistle is a bit cheesy.

2017-08-19 15.23.00

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  • 2017-08-19 15.23.00

OK,

 

The Slag Train engine is 031.  The Sante Fe 2174 is O31.   I need O27.

Were there any docksiders made in 027?

I am happy to have one that is AC if they are better than ones with DC motors.  I run my AC engine on DC powered track because it runs much much smoother, particularly at low speeds.

And, I have no idea what a saddle tank locomotive is.  :-)

Thanks for extra info.

 

Thx, 

 

The MTH docksider is an 0-4-0 tank engine.  It's approximately scale-sized (a 1:48 model), but it will run just fine on O27.  Very solid engine, smooth quiet runner and I recommend it, maybe more so than the Lionel model.  Edit:  It has a DC motor (and also a circuit that changes track AC to DC.)  You can easily remove the circuit if you want to run it on straight DC.

Last edited by Ted S

I have three Docksider 0-6-0's; one in NYC, one SP&S, and one in Seaboard script. They are great little runners, smoke nicely, and as someone pointed out, their "whistles" sound more like something recorded from Thomas the Tank shipyards. But they are a great bargain and you don't have to blow the whistle, now, do we? Actually, my only report for a DOWNSIDE is the couplers, two of which I've had to replace. I have another on tap in case I need it, but these are solid little performers.

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  • A Docksider : My first Docksider
  • WP Plymouth : My WP Plymouth

Just some food for thought on 0-6-0 Docksiders...Lionel has several new Lion Chief Plus 2.0 Docksiders somewhere in the pipeline. They were due sometime late summer/early fall I thought. Haven't checked the shipping schedule lately.

Anyway, these appear to be feature rich at a decent price. Dave Olson mentioned (in a thread several months back) redesigned electro-couplers, smoke units, etc.  I've got one on pre-order.

EDIT: Just an addition to say that according to the latest Shipping Schedule these 0-6-0's are showing a November 2020 delivery. So appears that have slipped once again.

 

Last edited by johnstrains

If Manny wants to run an engine with a DC motor on DC current the first thing he has to so is disconnect the motor leads from the control board and connect one lead to the pickup roller and one lead to the frame. Also best disconnect the control boards from the rollers and frame or they will be damaged. There is no point in getting a command control engine if a conventional version is available. 

Not sure why anyone who likes three rail trains would want to run them on DC but thats his/her decision. Just be aware whats at stake.

Pete

Last edited by Norton

I'm waiting on two of the new LC+ 2.0 Dockside Switcher 0-6-0T locomotives.  For a little over $200 street price, they look to be a fantastic deal, especially considering where model train prices have been going lately.  They have what is close to universal control capability, conventional, LC Universal Remote, Bluetooth, or TMCC.

Pennsylvania LionChief Plus 2.0 0-6-0T #2295

FEATURES:

  • LionChief® Command equipped - Lash-up with similar LC+ 2.0 locomotives in Command Control
  • LC+ 2.0 Control - operate with Bluetooth™ using Universal Remote or LionChief® App on your smart device OR via your TMCC/LEGACY®Cab OR conventional transformer
  • Die-cast boiler
  • ElectroCouplers™
  • Crew figures
  • RailSounds® equipped!
  • 4 Chuffs/Revs
  • Volume control via TMCC, Universal Remote or App
  • Headlight / Rear light
  • Directional Lighting
  • Cab Light
  • Firebox Flicker
  • Fan-driven main smoke
  • Speed Control

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  • mceclip0
Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Just to further expound upon @Norton's train of thought above:

Just because a locomotive is equipped with a DC can motor does not mean the locomotive as a whole is designed or able to be powered by DC on the rails. TMCC and Legacy Command systems CANNOT operate on DC at all. Additionally, universal motors run warmer on DC. Why put the extra thermal strain on the motor? It could end up that the cost of wrecking one locomotive outweighs the cost of properly powering your setup with AC, the standard of over a century of 3 rail.

@bmoran4@Norton, The issue of DC current to the track is not so clear cut. Currently all the LionChief train sets are listed by Lionel as being able to run on either AC or DC current.

I don't know... Lionel's catalog descriptions are not clear on this, but aren't the wall warts that come with the train sets DC powered? I looked in the 2016 catalog and there's no mention as to whether the wall warts put out AC or DC. Most wall warts I've ever seen put out DC current.

During the 1990's most Lionel train sets (and K-Line train sets) were advertised as being able to run on AC or DC current. But as bmoran4 correctly pointed out, you do need to look at a specific locomotive's instructions to know whether or not DC is safe for that particular locomotive. I know some of the engines that came with Lionel's "Trainsounds" have a warning to not use DC. 

But it is certainly not clear cut anymore. Some products have been made with DC capacity and some have not. As a general rule, the Lionel engines that will run on DC say "AC/DC operation" in the catalog.

-----------------------

I do have the option of running my layout on AC or DC current, which I have done because I have a bunch of non-command smaller, low cost engines with no sound boards (I have sounds that are on the layout, not on specific engines). By removing circuit board reverse units out of the small engines and adding additional weight, these engines run MUCH better and will pull more than 2-3 cars.

We've seen posts where guys have a filed circuit board and it is suggest that they wire in a rectifier and run the engine forward only. In my thinking, if I'm going to do that, well I'd rather have a DC power source and be able to run the engine forward and reverse at least.

But as with anything else in life, you make choices. I know I am not going to be running larger engines, or engines with command of any kind. I've made a decision that works for me just fine.

@brianel_k-lineguy, you make a great point that the Lionel may not do the best job of highlighting what is and isn't DC compatible and that there are many nuances to the DC discussion. However, I ask you to find anything in Lionel's, Marx's, Ives', MTH's or any other major 3 rail O gauge lineup (beyond the rare outlier DC starter sets from ~40 years ago) that is NOT AC compatible.

Last edited by bmoran4

It will be VERY interesting to see if the new LC+ 2.0 stuff will run on DC, I wonder if anyone has tried it with some of the early releases?

GRJ, I've found an example manual that plainly states that AC power gives full functionality, and that DC power gives limited functionality.

https://www.lionelsupport.com/...032010250LC2060T.pdf

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  • mceclip0
Last edited by bmoran4

Many, while some folks are obviously happy with their Dockside engines as written above, you should also be forewarned that the earlier production models of this engine have had a change to the motor and frame. These earlier parts are now OBSOLETE according to the Lionel website. So if you have a failed motor on one of the early units, it is going to require over $100.00 in parts to get it running.

See these posts:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...5#129252226555777525

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...3#140089643075643183

Being you are on a budget Manny, I would strongly suggest going with one of the MPC era Dockside or small steam engines like the 8300.

There is also a non-command starter line 0-4-0 engine that has a die-cast shell with origins on this postwar model:

http://postwarlionel.com/motive-power/steam/switcher/

Lionel MPC made one of these with the typical AC pullmor engine that was a Pennsy engine. There have been many modern era versions of this engine with a standard model DC motor (larger motor than in the discussed dockside), like this one below:

http://www.lionel.com/products...witcher-101-6-38654/

...Being you are on a budget Manny, I would strongly suggest going with one of the MPC era Dockside or small steam engines like the 8300.

There is also a non-command starter line 0-4-0 engine that has a die-cast shell with origins on this postwar model:

http://postwarlionel.com/motive-power/steam/switcher/

Lionel MPC made one of these with the typical AC pullmor engine that was a Pennsy engine. There have been many modern era versions of this engine with a standard model DC motor (larger motor than in the discussed dockside), like this one below:

http://www.lionel.com/products...witcher-101-6-38654/

I have an 0-4-0 from a while back (80s I think) and it is an absolute beast! I can't believe how well it pulls and runs. Even smokes nice while it does it! No whistle though. That sucks. But hopefully it'll get an upgrade in time. 

@bmoran4 posted:

GRJ, I've found an example manual that plainly states that AC power gives full functionality, and that DC power gives limited functionality.

https://www.lionelsupport.com/...032010250LC2060T.pdf

I couldn't find a manual in a brief search, but that makes perfect sense.  I was wondering how they got conventional and TMCC operation with DC, it appears it's simple, they don't!   Clever they did BT with DC to maintain that compatibility.

I have high hopes for the LC+ 2.0 line, it offers a lot of bang for the buck if they live up to the claims.

@Mannyrock posted:

OK,

 

The Slag Train engine is 031.  The Sante Fe 2174 is O31.   I need O27.

Were there any docksiders made in 027?

I am happy to have one that is AC if they are better than ones with DC motors.  I run my AC engine on DC powered track because it runs much much smoother, particularly at low speeds.

And, I have no idea what a saddle tank locomotive is.  :-)

Thanks for extra info.

 

Thx, 

 

I run mine on 027 with no problem.

@bmoran4 posted:

@brianel_k-lineguy, you make a great point that the Lionel may not do the best job of highlighting what is and isn't DC compatible and that there are many nuances to the DC discussion. However, I ask you to find anything in Lionel's, Marx's, Ives', MTH's or any other major 3 rail O gauge lineup (beyond the rare outlier DC starter sets from ~40 years ago) that is NOT AC compatible.

No argument here! 

I will add, we often read some negative comments about the DC only train sets first introduced by MPC and then continued for a while during the Kughn ownership of Lionel. BUT the worst thing about those sets was the TYCO copy of the DC power pack that came in the sets. It started with a minimal 6 volts to the track, making it impossible to run the engine only without speed demon, jack-rabbit starts. If you run those engines with a better DC power source that starts with a lower start voltage, you can make those engines run slowly.

-----------------------------

Manny, since you're on a budget, I would really strongly suggest you consider one of the Lionel starter set 4-4-2 steam engines. Very similar looking to your current Scout, but much improved. With a DC motor that will run on AC or DC, you can run the engine on DC, and then blow the whistle by hitting the direction button on your DC power pack... this will not affect the running direction of the engine.

The 4-4-2 starter set steamer was made for a good many years and was the best selling item in the Lionel catalogs for all those years, so it is a very common engine. Meaning parts are available. The motor and the smoke unit are both common and available parts. A with a little searching, you can find a good one for under $50.00. I've paid as little as $35.00 for one in perfect operating condition. Usually these are priced better than the Bethlehem Steel 0-4-0 I referenced above, or any of the other road names of this particular engine.

And using the Lionel Premium smoke fluid is a huge improvement in smoke output versus the regular smoke fluid that came with the sets.

The newer ones have an LED attached to the smoke unit instead of a socket and snap in light bulb. There were also some early ones made in the late 1980's-early 1990's that came with as non-whistling tender (those are usually less money). The only other real variation in these locos was visual: Some had a water heater in the shell casting, some had molded-in handrails, others had separate handrails. Some of the later issue versions from the late 1990's into the early 2000's had more complex paint schemes.

But in summation, they are reliable, well running locos for the money. And because of their large and lengthy production runs, they are affordable and parts are available.

 

Thanks as always for the great info.

The DC running to my track is from a Bridge Rectifier, converting the AC outlet of my transformer to DC.

I have almost zero concerns about damaging an AC engine by running it on DC.  I am only buying  post-war, old school, Lionel AC engines.   Probably the early 1960s will be as late  as I will buy.   None of these have command circuit boards, blue tooth, or anything else of that nature.  If one happens to burn out from running it on DC, then lesson learned.  I will replace the motor and move on.

My1949 Scout runs great on the DC track, with no sparks, grinding sounds, or choppy running at low speeds.  The only issue I have with it is the bouncy back truck, which I am going to fix.

As far as my obsession with DC power  :-), . . . frankly, in my opinion only,  too many folks are obsessed with command control boards, bluetooth technology, and software products.  For me, this takes all of the old school mechanical and electrical charm and skill out of the hobby, and tends to turn it into just another push button game, with software doing everything, including things like voices being broadcasted out of the engine.  Hook it all up correctly,  download the software, fire up the bluetooth, and no further manual operating skills required, except for deciding which computer button to push with your thumb.   :-)               I know lots of people love that stuff, which is great, but it is not for me.

Best,

Mannyrock  

 

 

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