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Following the post of 3rd Rail to revisit the N&W "Mollies", since 3rd rail has not redone any 3 rail brass steamers, how about doing the PRR D16b 4-4-0 that ran on the Strasburg RR til the end of the 1980s and/or the PRR  E2b 4-4-2 that ran on the Strasburg RR in the 1980's?

Last edited by prrhorseshoecurve
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Well most of the electronics would be in the tender. The question is can the smoke/whistle unit and ringing bell options be shoehorned in?

1223 and 7002 both had pneumatic bells during their years at Strasburg, so I'd personally opt for whistle steam.

Side note, Lionel needs to increase the speed at which PRR steamer's bells ring to make them sound more pneumatic (less time between "dings").

While any brass steam from Sunset is highly unlikely in the near future, I would like a good model of the D16sb.  Totally out of period for my NY&LB modeling, but so is my Gem F3 mogul.  With all the agricultural lines that intersected with the NY&LB, it could have happened!

I have a late build HO E2 by Mantua that is quite good.  I'm happy with that.  The other O steam I'd love to see would be a K2, but I'm not holding my breath on that either.

@GG1 4877 posted:

While any brass steam from Sunset is highly unlikely in the near future, I would like a good model of the D16sb.  Totally out of period for my NY&LB modeling, but so is my Gem F3 mogul.  With all the agricultural lines that intersected with the NY&LB, it could have happened!

A plain D16 might interest me despite that the CVRR had none.  They did however have 5 F3c's,

Something from the competition, the P&R, a smallish prototypically correct camelback of hitherto unseen wheel arrangement might be also of interest.

I'd love to see the PRR K2.     I have a  Max Grey model of 1223 which I painted and lettered for 1080 which was one of the other of the last 3 that were in service at the end of steam.   It was assigned on a local out of pittsburgh to Derry I believe.    The MG model is pretty nice in my opinon.   I have not checked if for scale accuracy.   It looks good from 3 feet which is fine on the layout.     It is probably plain jane compared to modern brass detailing.     IT is a small loco and runs pretty fast.   However, once I put in a DCC decoder I was able to make it a nice runner and reduce the top speed.    It will pull 3-4 GGD coaches on level track and probably 2 up my 1 1/2 percent grade.

@Prr7688 posted:

Not challenging this statement (I have full faith in what you say), but I am curious as to why?

Two reasons:

  1. Production costs on brass locomotives are peaking currently.  See Lionel's hybrid prices as an indicator.
  2. It is just difficult to get 75 O scalers to agree on anything from Sunset / 3rd Rail.  I haven't seen a locomotive project in many years that had that kind of consensus.  Unlike diesels where multiple units are common, steam is typically a one and done affair.

I wish it was otherwise, but will anyone be willing to pay around $2000 for a scale D16?  While we say it over and over, there is not much of a cost savings based on size of the locomotive and we always fight the perceived notion that bigger is more expensive when regardless of size, price is about the same.

I have no insider knowledge on Lionel's hybrid locomotive production numbers, but I suspect they are not as high as some might think.  From a manufacturer's standpoint, brass is designed for low production numbers in the 100 range.  Tooling for die-cast has to be in the 500-1000 range to pencil out remotely.

@prrjim posted:

I'd love to see the PRR K2.     I have a  Max Grey model of 1223 which I painted and lettered for 1080 which was one of the other of the last 3 that were in service at the end of steam.   It was assigned on a local out of pittsburgh to Derry I believe.    The MG model is pretty nice in my opinon.   I have not checked if for scale accuracy.   It looks good from 3 feet which is fine on the layout.     It is probably plain jane compared to modern brass detailing.     IT is a small loco and runs pretty fast.   However, once I put in a DCC decoder I was able to make it a nice runner and reduce the top speed.    It will pull 3-4 GGD coaches on level track and probably 2 up my 1 1/2 percent grade.

I'd like to find a Max Gray D16.  They come up on the auction site every now and then, but never when I am in a position to afford one!

@GG1 4877 posted:

Two reasons:

  1. Production costs on brass locomotives are peaking currently.  See Lionel's hybrid prices as an indicator.
  2. It is just difficult to get 75 O scalers to agree on anything from Sunset / 3rd Rail.  I haven't seen a locomotive project in many years that had that kind of consensus.  Unlike diesels where multiple units are common, steam is typically a one and done affair.

I wish it was otherwise, but will anyone be willing to pay around $2000 for a scale D16?  While we say it over and over, there is not much of a cost savings based on size of the locomotive and we always fight the perceived notion that bigger is more expensive when regardless of size, price is about the same.

I have no insider knowledge on Lionel's hybrid locomotive production numbers, but I suspect they are not as high as some might think.  From a manufacturer's standpoint, brass is designed for low production numbers in the 100 range. Tooling for die-cast has to be in the 500-1000 range to pencil out remotely.

Thank you for explaining!

I never really considered how maximum quantities could play a role, I always thought more orders was better.

@GG1 4877 posted:

Two reasons:

  1. Production costs on brass locomotives are peaking currently.  See Lionel's hybrid prices as an indicator.
  2. It is just difficult to get 75 O scalers to agree on anything from Sunset / 3rd Rail.  I haven't seen a locomotive project in many years that had that kind of consensus.  Unlike diesels where multiple units are common, steam is typically a one and done affair.

It is just difficult to get 75 O scalers to agree on anything. - stop right there!

I wish it was otherwise, but will anyone be willing to pay around $2000 for a scale D16?  While we say it over and over, there is not much of a cost savings based on size of the locomotive and we always fight the perceived notion that bigger is more expensive when regardless of size, price is about the same.

Well, if they were in the price range and level of the SMR engines such as that last PRR engine, you could probably find 20-50 buyers; just a quick back of a dirty envelope guesstimate,

@GG1 4877 posted:

I wish it was otherwise, but will anyone be willing to pay around $2000 for a scale D16?

But as you said, look what Lionel is charging for their Strasburg #90 (almost that much), and what they charge for their big articulateds, and especially what they charge for their Vision Line Big Boys!  Their die cast steamers have caught up in detail but are still way behind 3rd Rail.  It's the Legacy effects that give them the edge for operation -- and a lot of what they sell is fantasy / "what if" paint schemes at crazy prices (and yes, there's absolutely a market and people buy them).  But the last two Lionel Legacy steamers I bought new were DOA and required months out to get fixed (both had the dreaded single flash cab light straight out of the box and needed board replacements, which means terrible QA).  I'd really have to be in love with one of their new steamers before pulling the trigger on one again after these last two.

So I do think folks would pay $2k for certain scale locos, especially 3rd Rail brass.  For the D16 though, I don't know that you could get enough orders (100) to make it fly.

SMR Trains did two models of the D6 and D6sb in both 2- and 3-rail.  I think that these were the last brass locos that he did.

I think that the best chance for a brass steam locomotive to be produced if it ran on the few popular railroads:  PRR, NYC, UP, etc.

Jan

Corrected D16 to D6

Last edited by Jan

I am fortunate to have a SMR D6 and 2 passenger coaches in brass.  I would have liked a D6sb,but they were gone.  I got the last D6,one of 10-20 produced in total.

These are remarkable models by SMR.  I think that it would be extremely difficult,if not impossible,to duplicate these little gems in true 1:48 scale today.

One of these days I will have TMCC installed,a real tight fit even using a coach for some of the electronics.

Norm

Last edited by Norm
@Norm posted:

I am fortunate to have a SMR D16 and 2 passenger coaches in brass.  I would have liked a D16sb,but they were gone.  I got the last D16,one of 10-20 produced in total.

These are remarkable models by SMR.  I think that it would be extremely difficult,if not impossible,to duplicate these little gems in true 1:48 scale today.

One of these days I will have TMCC installed,a real tight fit even using a coach for some of the electronics.

Norm

Norm,

Would you be able to post some pictures? Not sure if I've ever seen this engine in O scale and Google images shows D2's.

@GG1 4877 posted:

Two reasons:

  1. Production costs on brass locomotives are peaking currently.  See Lionel's hybrid prices as an indicator.
  2. It is just difficult to get 75 O scalers to agree on anything from Sunset / 3rd Rail.  I haven't seen a locomotive project in many years that had that kind of consensus.  Unlike diesels where multiple units are common, steam is typically a one and done affair.

I wish it was otherwise, but will anyone be willing to pay around $2000 for a scale D16?  While we say it over and over, there is not much of a cost savings based on size of the locomotive and we always fight the perceived notion that bigger is more expensive when regardless of size, price is about the same.

Well then this is a good argument for the PRR K3 for BOTH  the PRR and the 5 that was sold to the N&W!

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