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My friend is considering buying a 2023 Visionline Big Boy for his layout, but his outer O-72 loop has a portion that has about 2.75" clearance from the centre rail, from his town scene raised up on 2" foam board. A scale MTH S1 6-4-4-6 clears it with a bit to spare, but that isn't articulated of course. Any idea if the Big Boy would clear?

I could also cut a groove into the "wall" under the town for the deck of the Big Boy, but I'd prefer not to of course.


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Since I have the 2014 Vision Line Big Boy and I'm pretty sure the mechanical design is identical, I can say it almost surely will not clear 2.75" from the center rail.  Mine needs 3.0" from the center rail clearance, and the MTH Premier Big Boy needs almost 3.25" from the center rail.

Would you be able to measure the height from the railhead to the lowest point on the front edge of the boiler, i.e. the point that would first contact anything like the steampipe to the front cylinders? This is his Lionmaster Challenger from an earlier post just as a sample, and if you look close, the steam pipe can almost clear the top of the trolley track (if the trolley wasn't running, of course), so if the Visionline is slightly taller in that spot, then it may fit. I know I'm grasping at straws here lol, but I'm just trying to help my buddy out. I could also raise that track up with another layer of cork, but it's ready for ballast at this point.

challenger clearance


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  • challenger clearance

We picked it up on Saturday and brought it straight to our local club to try it out, and he was very impressed. I tried it out on his layout today, and it fits (height wise) with room to spare! Though the trolley can't run at the same time since they could contact in one spot, it saves me from having to raise the track the locomotive is on. Also being able to run it off of my phone is very handy to check clearances.

big boy fits 2big boy fits


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  • big boy fits
  • big boy fits 2

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