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Big Boy questions

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Big Boy questions
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 7:48 PM
This week I'm buying my first home with the basement I always dreamed of, so naturally the wheels are turning in my head as to how I might become re-aquainted with my favorite hobby. I used to dream of a layout with long coal trains pulled by the 4-8-8-4 Big Boy, and now I finally have the space and means to make it happen.

My question: the Big Boy is so long, can you actually make the thing turn? If so, what's the minimum radius?

Thanks.
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Niue
  • 735 posts
Posted by thirdrail1 on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 8:15 PM
It all depends on what scale you model in. The N scale Big Boy will negotiate a 14 inch radius curve. If you want to run long coal trains, N scale would be the scale to do it in.
"The public be ***ed, it's the Pennsylvania Railroad I'm competing with." - W.K.Vanderbilt
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,300 posts
Posted by Sperandeo on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 1:20 PM
As Gregg says, the scale matters, and so does the model Big Boy you choose. Rivarossi's HO scale 4-8-8-4 can operate on 18"-radius curves, and the new model coming form Trix (Marklin) is supposed to run on 360 mm / 14-3/16"-radius curves. On both of these models the two engines – on articulateds each set of drivers is called an "engine" – pivots in the center, and that's what gets them around such tight curves.

On real articulateds only the front engine was free to move under the boiler, and it was hinged at its connection to the rear engine, between the rear cylinders. Imported brass model Big Boys have mostly been built with this more realistic articulation, but they need larger curves, usually 30"-radius or larger.

So long,

Andy Sperandeo
Editor, MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, September 27, 2001 12:00 AM
BIG BOY BY LIONEL,NEED A 72IN SWITCH TO GO THRU & WE HAVE VERY LARGE TURNS ON OUR LAYOUT,BUT BIG BOY ONLY WILL RUN ON OUTSIDE MAIN
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, September 27, 2001 10:11 PM
Hello,

Just a note. My Life Like 2-8-8-2 will go around an (HO) 18" curve and a #4 Turnout with out problems. Just remember that your trackwork needs to be good and solid to prevent problems.

I even have a curve on a 3% grade, and it runs it fine.

Have fun...and welcome back to the hobby.

Kaarde
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 28, 2001 11:11 AM
Thanks, guys, I appreciate your input. Today I became a proud new homeowner and can't wait to get started!! Furniture? Drapes? Wall hangings? Who needs'em...there's a layout to build!

--John

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