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Battery Powered Locomotive Train Set

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  • Member since
    July 2021
  • 2 posts
Battery Powered Locomotive Train Set
Posted by Fred S on Monday, July 12, 2021 9:28 PM

Hi all, new to Garden Railway (N Scale modeler 50 years ago).  I would like to put in a very small / modest railway in my garden, mainly for the grandson and neighbors.  Not looking for ultra realism, etc, but just something 'fun' for kids to look at occasionally. I think ideally for me a battery powered locomotive with a simple remote would be best (vs a powered track). (rechargeable a plus)  I am considering a simple two oval track (over/under), so no switches, etc.

Any suggestions on a battery powered train set (no live track)? Nothing fancy really.  I do plan on storing away for winter as well.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Fred

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 800 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 2:01 PM

Fred,

You cannot go wrong withe PIKO "Clean Machine."  PIKO now offers this with a simple remote, or you can add a GScale Graphics "Magnetic Critter Controller" as we did to ours (see:  Anybody ever put a Magnetic Critter Controller into a PIKO Clean Machine? - Garden Railways Magazine (trains.com)).  This little loco is a tank, it runs on AA batteries (buy a charger!), and is just joy.  Depending on the crew's age, you may wish to remove the detail parts prior to letting it loose on the tracks.

 

If you can still get hold of them, Hartland Locomotive Work "minis" are perfect "missile sponges" for small operators.  If not, given your presumed skills after 50 years, you can scrounge for plastic wheel sets and easily craft some flat cars and gondolas. I am new to scratch-building / kitbashing, and I prioritize making projects kid-friendly, and came up with a simple chassis design we've used in a variety of applications (see:  M&K Sugar Co. Cane Cars - A Project So Simple Even I Could Do It - Garden Railways Magazine (trains.com)).  Maybe there is a seasonal project for the kids in this, as well.

 

Have Fun!

 

Eric

 

Have fun!

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: North Coastal San Diego
  • 940 posts
Posted by Greg Elmassian on Friday, July 16, 2021 2:33 PM

If you want to add R/C to an existing loco, look at "G Scale Graphics", a wide range of remote control from very basic to ones that can control an inexpensive sound card.

 

Greg

Visit my site: http://www.elmassian.com - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site

 

  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,801 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:55 PM

PVT Kanaka

Fred,

You cannot go wrong withe PIKO "Clean Machine."  PIKO now offers this with a simple remote, or you can add a GScale Graphics "Magnetic Critter Controller" as we did to ours (see:  Anybody ever put a Magnetic Critter Controller into a PIKO Clean Machine? - Garden Railways Magazine (trains.com)).  This little loco is a tank, it runs on AA batteries (buy a charger!), and is just joy.  Depending on the crew's age, you may wish to remove the detail parts prior to letting it loose on the tracks.

 

 

 

The Clean Machine is one of their 25-tonner engines, and if you don't want the cleaning part, you can get the battery-powered engine in two versions. Here's one: https://www.piko-america.com/collections/diesel-locomotives/products/38504-union-pacific-r-c-ge-25-ton-diesel-locomotive-g-scale

I've used these and they are a lot of fun. The remote works well and operation is easy. The remote reminds me of a car key fob.

Rene Schweitzer

Classic Toy Trains/Garden Railways/Model Railroader

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Smoggy L.A.
  • 10,737 posts
Posted by vsmith on Thursday, July 29, 2021 7:00 PM

The secret to the Piko 25tonner is to invest in rechargable AAA batteries and a good charger. My 'Clean Machine' will pull two cars but not really anything above that as its not intended to. The non-track cleaner version should be able to pull more. 

   Have fun with your trains

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: North Coastal San Diego
  • 940 posts
Posted by Greg Elmassian on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 9:45 AM

By the way, an "under and over" layout takes a lot more space than you realize, to keep the grades to something reasonable. Also steep grades will cause the loco to noticably speed up and slow down, i.e. trying to find a throttle speed high enough to get up the hill, and then that same setting does not overspeed going down, pretty tough.

 

Try to keep the layout all at the same level, batteries and trains will last longer, run better and fewer derailments.

 

Greg

Visit my site: http://www.elmassian.com - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site

 

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