Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Victorian Era

21694 views
42 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • 2 posts
Victorian Era
Posted by lukash on Friday, April 10, 2009 9:20 AM

First off, I'm new to the forum, so "hello." 

I've been out of model railroading since the late '80s but plan to finally build my "dream" layout now that I'm moving into a home that will accommodate it.  I’d like to build the Burlington & Missouri Railroad’s Plattsmouth, Nebraska yards/shops circa 1890, as presented in an issue of the Burlington Bulletin published in the mid-‘80s.  The middle and focal point of the layout will be the yard/shops and the Plattsmouth bridge over the Missouri River.  Trains will cross the bridge and disappear behind a bluff where the will circle back and return to the yard.  I may also have another line which does the same thing, but in the opposite direction.  One going to Des Moines and the other going to Havelock, I guess.

I’m a fan of N scale but I don’t think I’ll be able to find the locomotives or cars I need to accurately model the Plattsmouth shop/yards.  I’ve obtained a locomotive roster of equipment built at Plattsmouth and it consists of 0-4-0s, 0-6-0s, and 4-4-0s.  I’ve looked at HO scale and although I can find many 4-4-0s which could work, there isn’t a lot of rolling stock for this era.  Same thing with O.

So, my question is this: is Victorian Era railroading not popular and therefore lacking a diverse product range, or am I not looking for applicable products in the right places?  I’ve tried many online sellers, but just can’t find what I’m looking for.  Is there a specialist I should know about?

Any thoughts/help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: NJ
  • 4 posts
Posted by Eric L. on Friday, April 10, 2009 1:22 PM

Hello:

I'm also recently new to this forum and have already found the following:

Yahoo forums - Early_Rail:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EarlyRail/

Yahoo forums - ER_Kits:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ER_Kits/

Also, check out the following:

http://www.btsrr.com/

http://www.geocities.com/bkempins/ASMMain/Main.html

http://www.labellemodels.com/

I model HO and am zeroing in on Civil War thru WWI so I hope the above is of some help.  I also eagerly look forward to the input of others!

 

Eric.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 10,736 posts
Posted by wjstix on Friday, April 10, 2009 1:38 PM

Another source would be MDC/Roundhouse trains, which you probably remember from the 1980's. They are now earned by Athearn, and generally only make ready-to-run products rather than kits.

http://www.roundhousetrains.com/

The most popular eras now in model railroading would be the transition era of the 1950's and the more recent years, maybe 1985-today I'd guess.

The problem with 19th c. modelling is it's kind of a vicious circle. Many people don't want to model that period because the equipment, structures etc. that fit that era are either not available or only available as wood craftsman's kits (when many people now only do plastic kits or buy RTR stuff). Since so many people won't model that period because so little is available, manufacturers don't see a demand to build more kits and RTR products for that period.

Kind of the reverse of whatYogi Berra said about a restaurant in his old neighborhood in St. Louis: "Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded". Smile,Wink, & Grin 

 

Stix
  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • 745 posts
Posted by HarryHotspur on Friday, April 10, 2009 1:50 PM

 I wish I could find a good source for O scale Victorian Era figures. Prieser has a few, but not many.

- Harry

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Chamberlain, ME
  • 4,565 posts
Posted by G Paine on Friday, April 10, 2009 2:13 PM

Sign - Welcome 

Also, search the forum for posts by "Spacemouse"; he has done quite a bit of modeling in the 1880s timeframe in a far west theme. He has a lot of pictures of his work.

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 10,736 posts
Posted by wjstix on Friday, April 10, 2009 2:18 PM

Grandt Line makes unpainted metal Victorian figures in O scale.

 

http://www.grandtline.com/miniatures/quarter_inch_figures_list.htm

 

Stix
  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,746 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, April 10, 2009 2:40 PM

What I've found by modeling the 1800's is you have to be a tad flexible as far as accuracy goes. The best models of locos available right now are the MDC 4-4-0's, 2-6-0's and 2-8-0's. You could convert those to 0-4-0's and 0-6-0's by removing the front trucks.

As for rolling stock your best bet is again MDC. You can pick up the old time kits fairly reasonably on eBay or at train shows, but with every passing month they are getting harder to find.

Figures are available from Bachman, Gandt line and Rustic Rails. You can also find some stuff on eBay and train shows from time to time.

AS for structures, your best bet is the Campbell and Muir kits. Other stuff can be found on eBay, mostly built, that are coming from old collections. They can be restored pretty easily with paint.

Mostly for structures you scratch-build. The good news is that most of the structures are simple therefor easy to make.  

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Friday, April 10, 2009 3:14 PM

SpaceMouse

What I've found by modeling the 1800's is you have to be a tad flexible as far as accuracy goes. The best models of locos available right now are the MDC 4-4-0's, 2-6-0's and 2-8-0's. You could convert those to 0-4-0's and 0-6-0's by removing the front trucks.

Can't make an 0-4-0 from a 4-4-0 by just removing the lead truck.  The locomotive's center of gravity will be all wrong.

Mark

  • Member since
    April, 2001
  • From: US
  • 3,150 posts
Posted by CNJ831 on Friday, April 10, 2009 3:45 PM

To expand further in regard to Mark's comment, simply removing the pilot wheels of a locomotive does not automatically convert it to a prototypically accurate "coupled" engine. While some older 2-6-0's  and 2-8-0's were indeed downgraded to switcher service or other uses through such wheel removal, they were by no means representative of as-built road locomotives of that wheel arrangement, as is apparent if one examines photos of such period locomotives. Stripping the pilot truck from a 4-4-0 to make an 0-4-0 would, as Mark indicates, be a totally unrealistic move.

And to answer the OP's original question, the latter half of the 19th century is and always has been, the least popular era to model among hobbyists. The Civil War period is the singular exception. The 20th century's "transition era" became the most popular of all eras to model by the middle 1950's and has remained so ever since.

CNJ831

  • Member since
    November, 2002
  • From: Colorado
  • 3,942 posts
Posted by fwright on Friday, April 10, 2009 3:59 PM

19th Century modeling has several strikes against it that have not been already mentioned:

  • Locomotive mechanisms and prices:  Locomotives then were much smaller than they were in the 20th Century.  In the small scales, making a decent mechanism is that much more difficult than fitting one into a 4-8-4.  Compounding the good mechanism in a small space issue is the fact that model railroaders like to pay based on the number of driving wheels.  A good 4-4-0 drive is at least as expensive to design and produce as that 4-8-4 drive.  The superstructure of the larger model would cost at most 2% additional.  Yet, the equivalent quality 4-8-4 can command a price $100 greater than the 4-4-0.  So many of the 19th Century models end up being train set quality to keep the price less than their bigger brethren.
  • Locomotive mechanisms II:  In N scale and even HO, a scale size boiler often won't have room to fit a reasonably-priced motor and gear reduction to get the speed down where it should be.  Except in the industrial East on the major lines, 19th Century track did not support sustained operations above 45-50 MPH, even if the locomotives could.  In much of the West, train speeds around 25-30 MPH were much more common.  Which makes the gearing issue that much tougher, since smaller motors tend to run at higher RPMs.
  • Locomotive mechanisms III:  The small locomotives of the 19th Century make it difficult to add extra weight for traction.  Fitting decent size flywheels often just can't happen.  Wheels usable for electrical contact are at a premium, as well.  These issues make running 19th Century prototypes over the old style Atlas insulated plastic frogs, or typical dirty track less than a joy.  Which made model railroaders even more reluctant to buy them.
  • Scaling of locomotives:  In the past, liberties have been taken with scale to enable cheaper motors to fit.  This detracts from the attraction of modeling the era.  A person who chooses an era of which he has no personal experience gets some joy out of researching the past - or he wouldn't choose such an era.  When you do some research and realize how inaccurate the past offerings are, it's discouraging.
  • Scaling of locomotives II:  Because of the inherent difficulties in making good models of 19th Century locomotives, moving to a larger scale is not such a bad idea.  Because 19th Centruy prototypes are so much smaller than modern railroading, a larger scale model of 19th Century will fit in almost the same space as the smaller scale models of modern railroads.  Most HO 19th Century equipment will operate on 15" radius curves - about the same as modern prototype N.  O scale 19th Century will often work fine on 30" or 36" radius curves - not that much more than modern prototype HO.

 Bottom line for locomotives:  Good running, accurate models are a challenge, and usually won't be cheap.  SMR has produced some beautiful 19th Century models in O, but the prices are considerably higher than most mrs are used to paying.  The picture is slowly improving in HO; in addition to Roundhouse, the Spectrum 4-4-0 and 4-6-0 can be back-dated to 1890 or so.  There were also quite a few brass models of 19th Century prototypes produced in HO.  I don't know much about N beyond the Atlas, Athearn (Roundhouse), and Bachmann models.  The Atlas and Athearn models reportedly ran fairly well.

For rolling stock, there is quite a bit being produced in HO.  These are mostly wood or resin kits, and are seldom advertised in Model Railroader.  Scratchbuilding freight cars is really quite easy - practically all prototypes had very similar underframes.  In HO, there have been various lines of passenger cars available.  Labelle (kits only) and Roundhouse (Overland series) are the most common currently in production.  But Model Power, Bachmann, Mantua/Tyco, IHC/AHM, and others have all offered 19th Century freight and passenger cars at one time or another.  Much of this older production have relatively crude detailing, but they are easily improved.

To me the biggest challenge is finding a wide variety of figures, horses, and wagons to fit the era.  There are a few models of each in HO, but nothing like the variety that would be seen in real life.

Final comment, handlaid track will do a much better job of modeling 19th Century track than any commercial product.  Tie plates are not needed or wanted - just 4 spikes per tie where they can be seen.  Stub turnouts are perfectly acceptable, and are as easy to make as points. Some ties can be hand-hewn.  Ballast normally peaked in the center of the track, and fell off as the tie ends were approached.  Dirt ballast was not unknown.

Modeling the 19th Century demands a little more modeling than just visiting your LHS.  But it's quite rewarding to bring to life scenes from the past - and in a lot less space.

Fred W

...modeling foggy coastal Oregon, where it's always 1900....

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 25,003 posts
Posted by rrinker on Friday, April 10, 2009 4:45 PM

 Friend of mine is doign it in N scale, but moving up about 20 years, to about 1910. All his locomotives he had to at the minimum heavily modify a stock model, more often than not he's actually scratchbuildign them (who makes camelbacks in N scale?). Definitely not the sort of thing for a beginner.

 What's interesting is that when you look in the 50's issues of MR, contemporary modeling wasn;t all that popular (I guess everyone around still had recent memories of steam locomotives, and the modern diesels were just too 'yuck'). It seems the most popular era back then was the turn of the 20th century. Now we have a strong contingent of 50's era modelers (either childhood for many, or just prior), but also a lot of people modelling the contemporary scene - have to admit, being able to walk out to the nearest grade crossing to get ideas is pretty appealing.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 7,813 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Friday, April 10, 2009 5:13 PM

 Bitter Creek is going to release upgraded rolling stock The used to be produced by Bob Cook of BC Models. The BC Models stuff was somewhat crude but Jeff is upgrading everything. Here is a link to the BC Models catalog to show you "possible" models to be produced.

http://www.hoseeker.net/misccatalogs.html

I am presently building a 36' sixteen wheel Wabash flat car (circa 1900) with crank shaft load and Jeff has told me he will be releasing a version of this flat car. Jeff sells the crank shaft load now.

He sells 1870 to 1900 HO and Hon3 rolling stock.

Rich

N

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Coastal Massachusetts
  • 70 posts
Posted by Voyager on Friday, April 10, 2009 8:47 PM

As others have noted,  you cannot model Victorian railroads by buying every thing ready-made.  The few big import companies that dominate the ready-to-run market cater mainly to 1950s“transition era” and later. The easiest route  to period modeling is to focus on narrow gauge, because there is a wealth of kits and ready-to-run models, including engines, for HO, O, and even
S narrow gauge.  Bachmann’s rather extensive line of 19th century locos and cars for On30, in fact,  is an exception to the rule that early railroading doesn’t catch the interest of the big ready-to-run importers. And  look at what Paul Scoles has achieved in Sn3, technically a very minority gauge,  with his turn of the century layout  (http://members.westnet.com.au/mjbd/html/paul_scoles.html) using kit built locos.  

Unfortunately, the situation is less promising for standard HO gauge, where there is a dearth of good, early locomotives.  Even that can be overcome, if you track down  older brass engines like the PFM Reno 4-4-0 Baldwins and re-motor them—or  kit bash AHM, Roundhouse, and other ready-made models. For inspiration,  visit the Pacific Coast Airline site’s 1905 page  (http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/) and associated links. Even a big home Victorian layout is manageable if you enlist the help of friends in building it.  See Craig Bisgeier’s  1890’s Housatonic site (http://www.housatonicrr.com/), which probably best matches your interests in terms of time, for a great example . And if modeling  that era seems daunting  look at what Thom Radice (http://web.me.com/cello55/Thoms_W&A_RR/W%26A_RR.html) and Bernard Kempinski  (http://usmrr.blogspot.com/) have achieved modeling the Civil War era. As to available kits, check the Files section of the Early Rail site mentioned in another post for lists of these.

Keep in mind, however, that the  work involved in making much of your own equipment means it’s best to think in terms of small but intensely worked  layouts. European modelers, who lack North American basements (and are far more eclectic in their period interests) have shown the way—though  Art Fahie’s Wharf Street ( http://www.barmillsmodels.com/wharf_street_.html ) rivals the best of theirs.   But for capturing a “Victorian” mood and a distinctive landscape,  it’s hard to beat layouts like David Passinham’s Maeport East (http://www.gwr.org.uk/layoutsmaeport1.html) or Frits Osterhun’s  Cochemer Bahn (http://www.osterthun.com/Gallery/Layout/A1.htm)  I hope someday you succeed as well in capturing the look and mood of an 1890s Missouri River town!

Best of luck,

Voyager
  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,309 posts
Posted by dehusman on Friday, April 10, 2009 9:51 PM

Except for Roundhouse, the major model manufacturers think railroads were invented sometime between 1930 and 1945.  They have completely ignored the first 75 years of railroading.

If you go to the specialty companies (BTS, Alkem, Labelle, Art Griffin Decals, etc) you can find several early era models.

The Early Rail Yahoo group is very, very active with many excellent modelers and lots of information.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,746 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, April 10, 2009 9:52 PM

markpierce

SpaceMouse

What I've found by modeling the 1800's is you have to be a tad flexible as far as accuracy goes. The best models of locos available right now are the MDC 4-4-0's, 2-6-0's and 2-8-0's. You could convert those to 0-4-0's and 0-6-0's by removing the front trucks.

Can't make an 0-4-0 from a 4-4-0 by just removing the lead truck.  The locomotive's center of gravity will be all wrong.

Mark

My bad. I've gone the other way and added trucks but not removed them. I AssUMe'd you could go the other way. Sorry.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 25,003 posts
Posted by rrinker on Friday, April 10, 2009 9:57 PM

 Well you CAN, you just have to ALSO modify the frame and boiler to get it to look plausible.

                                  --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: Seattle, Washington
  • 1,082 posts
Posted by IVRW on Friday, April 10, 2009 10:32 PM
I model the same period in HO scale. I have come up with the same dilemma, but the era is doable. There is no need to worry about lack of kits, because all you need in that is a wood [not wood wood, but i.e. a plastic kit that looks like wood.] kit. I agree with you that there is not much rolling stock available, but after browsing a hobby shop, I found an Athern owned co. called RoundHouse. They make 4-4-0s, 2-6-0s, and 2-8-0s, as well as a whole slew of freight cars. However, you cannot order any of that online, it all has to be done via hobby shop, though I would highly recommend RoundHouse.

~G4

19 Years old, modeling the Cowlitz, Chehalis, and Cascade Railroad of Western Washington in 1927 in 6X6 feet.

  • Member since
    November, 2002
  • From: Colorado
  • 3,942 posts
Posted by fwright on Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:15 AM

The Roundhouse line - both pre- and post-Athearn takeover - has convinced many that the 1880s were a time of 36ft boxcars and reefers with truss rod underframes, Overton passenger cars, and that the Roundhouse Old Timer locomotives are accurate representatives of that era as well.  You could do your Victorian era layout with Roundhouse equipment, and 9 out of 10 visitors would say the layout was right on.  Most folks - including most model railroaders - have no idea of the differences in railroad equipment that occured between 1875 and 1905.

But because I wasn't alive in 1900, I've had to do research and reading to find out what railroads and life was really like back then.  Reading White's book on freight cars is a real eye opener.  You discover that prototype cars typical of the Roundhouse models didn't come into being until around 1905 to 1910.  Car lengths were generally around 24-26 ft during the Civil War period, and gradually grew to 36ft nearly 40 years later.  After that, steel underframes took over, and car length and height and capacity grew again.

Similarly, the Old Timer locomotives have a rather large boiler (all share the same boiler) compared to any prototypes before 1890.  And the boiler is mounted higher than on most prototypes.  And that doesn't deal with the issues of headlight types, generators, air compressors, and driver counter weights.  The Model Power 2-8-0 and 4-6-0 (made by Frateschi and still available under the Frateschi name) are much more accurate models of 1880s Baldwins - almost dead ringers for Colorado Midland Baldwins (except for the tender).  But these use a rather poor all-tender drive, and the engine chassis, side rods, etc., are plastic.

Fred W

....modeling foggy coastal Oregon, where it's always 1900....

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,309 posts
Posted by dehusman on Saturday, April 11, 2009 10:02 AM

fwright
The Roundhouse line - both pre- and post-Athearn takeover - has convinced many that the 1880s were a time of 36ft boxcars and reefers with truss rod underframes, Overton passenger cars, and that the Roundhouse Old Timer locomotives are accurate representatives of that era as well. 

Most older cars would have either ladders/grab irons on the ends or sides, but not both.  The Original Roundhouse models had just grabirons on the sides.  They "upgraded" them to include grab iron on both the ends and the sides, effectively dating them after 1910.  During that "upgrade" they also added a brace across the door, more typical of the era around WW1.  Basically they changed them so they would more appropriate in a late 30's or early 1940's era layout, which is where modelers were drifting. 

The major model manufacturers haven't come out with a new pre-WW1 wood car in over 30 years (getting closer to 40 years). 

You could do your Victorian era layout with Roundhouse equipment, and 9 out of 10 visitors would say the layout was right on.  Most folks - including most model railroaders - have no idea of the differences in railroad equipment that occured between 1875 and 1905.

Add the model manufacturers to that group also.

But because I wasn't alive in 1900, I've had to do research and reading to find out what railroads and life was really like back then.  Reading White's book on freight cars is a real eye opener.  You discover that prototype cars typical of the Roundhouse models didn't come into being until around 1905 to 1910. 

 

36 ft cars were reasonably common  in 1900 and by 1905 the vast majority of the B&O's boxcar roster was 36 ft and a large part of the PRR was 36 ft also.  On the other hand, 36 ft cars were unusual enough that in the 1900 ORER there is a listing of all cars 36 ft or longer.

Car lengths were generally around 24-26 ft during the Civil War period, and gradually grew to 36ft nearly 40 years later.  After that, steel underframes took over, and car length and height and capacity grew again.

Many of the early steel underframe cars were 36 ft cars (the PRR XL and the related designs.)

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: On the Banks of the Great Choptank
  • 2,916 posts
Posted by wm3798 on Saturday, April 11, 2009 11:26 AM

 It is generally accepted that in the United States the Victorian period spanned from about 1870 to 1910, at least architecturally, although Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901.

In either case, that's a pretty broad target.  What years specifically were you looking at?

If you're considering the early 20th Century, the Model Power 4-4-0 is generally regarded as a good N scale locomotive, and it's based on a 1905 prototype.  They also offer a 2-6-0 Mogul.  Between these and the MDC Consolidation, you should be able to cobble together a reasonable turn of the century fleet.

There are also a variety of early 20th Century and late 19th Century cars available both RTR and in kit form.

Even the relatively cheesy Bachmann Old Timer cars can be tweaked and detailed to look and run better.  Their bobber caboose would be a staple for your conductors to properly punctuate their trains...

It would also be a lot of fun, I would think, to find unique cars and try some scratchbuilding.  You'd do well by visiting the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, which has a considerable collection of equipment of this vintage.

Lee

Route of the Alpha Jets  www.wmrywesternlines.net

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • 2 posts
Posted by lukash on Saturday, April 11, 2009 12:10 PM

Thanks everyone for your advice and guidance.  As stated in my first post, I was targeting the 1890's, but it appears I should shift my target to 1907 because more products for that era are available.  In 1907 the Missouri River flooded and wiped out the shops, turntables, and anything else that could be demolished including cars and engines to a lesser extent.

 I'll have to see what was going on around 1907, which isn't exactly the era I wanted to model, but it may have to do for now.  I could easily jump back 10 or perhaps 20 years by simply swapping out locomotives and cars because the structures didn't change much over that period.

 Thanks again everyone.

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: CA
  • 337 posts
Posted by DavidGSmith on Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:17 PM

 An alterative is On30, the equipment goes on about the same radius track as HO. The main thing is that most rolling stock from the pre 1900s has truss rods and may or may not have air brakes. I modeled in HO pre 1900 for many years. I used Juneco kits (wood) for box cars, flats and gons. I beleive LaBelle still makes some equipment that is suitable. Most rolling stock has to be kits, some are craftsman, more difficult but look great. Check swap meets and shows for built up rolling stock. I usually found some at most shows.

Dave

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Culpeper, Va
  • 7,753 posts
Posted by IRONROOSTER on Saturday, April 11, 2009 6:37 PM

 Another alternative is to use Bachmann On30 rolling stock for S standard gauge.  They aren't exact but the baxcar is about 34' long, a little wide at 9'6", and about the height of a USRA boxcar - others are similar..  Replace the ladders and grab irons and modify the trucks and you're good to go.  At least one person is reported to have converted the Bachmann 2-6-0 to S standard gauge.

Enjoy

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
  • Member since
    September, 2002
  • From: California & Maine
  • 3,801 posts
Posted by andrechapelon on Saturday, April 11, 2009 9:50 PM

You might want to check out Don Ball's site. He models 1895.

http://www.sandcrr.com/

And this one:

Craig Bisgeier's Housatonic site: http://www.housatonicrr.com/

Andre

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • 166 posts
Posted by toot toot on Sunday, April 12, 2009 4:14 PM

fwright
The Roundhouse line - both pre- and post-Athearn takeover - has convinced many that the 1880s were a time of 36ft boxcars and reefers with truss rod underframes, Overton passenger cars, and that the Roundhouse Old Timer locomotives are accurate representatives of that era as well.  You could do your Victorian era layout with Roundhouse equipment, and 9 out of 10 visitors would say the layout was right on.  Most folks - including most model railroaders - have no idea of the differences in railroad equipment that occured between 1875 and 1905.

 

 

it started long before Roundhouse got into the act, back when (for example) Laconia made the Sierra coach and combine (prototype 1902) and called it "Old Time."  Don't forget Central Valley's Central Pacific California Fast Freight Line as a 36' car with air brakes and knuckle couplers.  Even Edwin P Alexander couldn't keep his eras straight, building a Grant 2-4-2 and lettering it US Military RR (prototype built 1870) and then putting it in his book on Civil War Railroads and Models

All that aside, the Victorian era has many advantages:  Shorter trains; smaller towns; small equipment looks ok on our tighter curves and pigmy sized; lots of scratchbuilding; great variety in fallen flags.  Disadvantages: lots of scratchbuilding;  scale rail yields poor electrical performance (scale rail would be code 40 and code 55);  not much in the way of locomotives or rolling stock prior to 1890;

 

I protolance model the 1890-1910 era. 

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • From: New Hampshire
  • 459 posts
Posted by ChrisNH on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:29 AM

andrechapelon

You might want to check out Don Ball's site. He models 1895.

http://www.sandcrr.com/

And this one:

Craig Bisgeier's Housatonic site: http://www.housatonicrr.com/

Andre

 

I was going to suggest both of those! Great sites!

Chris

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 7,813 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:59 AM

This site might have suitable engine crews. I by all mine through him

http://www.yardbirdtrains.com/YBSfigures.htm

Here is an example of a circa 1900 60 ton truss rod  flatcar with load I am building. Maybe half scratch built with Tichy details and Bitter Creek trucks. Long way to go to finish. It uses four arch bar trucks. A on line company will make it available as a kit this year.

You have to do a some research and buy suitable books. Some books can be found in libraries.

I found the photo of the car in White's, The American Freight Car. It is copyrighted so I cannot post the photo.

There is a nice Yahoo Early Rail group modeling the era but I hesitate to suggest Yahoo Groups anymore. Spammers and hackers have figured out the different Yahoo groups and I get a lot in my Yahoo email spam folder whenever I post a message there. I use a Linux operating system so no issues with possible viruses.

Rich

N

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Culpeper, Va
  • 7,753 posts
Posted by IRONROOSTER on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:43 AM

richg1998

This site might have suitable engine crews. I by all mine through him

http://www.yardbirdtrains.com/YBSfigures.htm

Here is an example of a circa 1900 60 ton truss rod  flatcar with load I am building. Maybe half scratch built with Tichy details and Bitter Creek trucks. Long way to go to finish. It uses four arch bar trucks. A on line company will make it available as a kit this year.

You have to do a some research and buy suitable books. Some books can be found in libraries.

I found the photo of the car in White's, The American Freight Car. It is copyrighted so I cannot post the photo.

There is a nice Yahoo Early Rail group modeling the era but I hesitate to suggest Yahoo Groups anymore. Spammers and hackers have figured out the different Yahoo groups and I get a lot in my Yahoo email spam folder whenever I post a message there. I use a Linux operating system so no issues with possible viruses.

Rich

 

There's an article on building this car (or a similar one) with this load in MR's Easy-to-build Model Railroad Freight Cars book from 1971. It's a reprint from the June 1960 issue.

Enjoy

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 7,813 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:51 AM

 Here are comparison photos of the Spectrum 4-4-0 and Roundhouse 4-4-0.

The Roundhouse 4-4-0, 2-6-0, 2-8-0 all have identical boilers and tenders. Loco and tender light fixtures will vary.

The Roundhouse pulls a little more because of traction tires. The Roundhouse tenders pickup track power from all eight wheels, plus drivers.

The Spectrums pickup from drivers also but only four wheels on the tenders.

Rich

N

  • Member since
    April, 2006
  • From: THE FAR, FAR REACHES OF THE WILD, WILD WEST!
  • 3,672 posts
Posted by R. T. POTEET on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:53 AM

 Glad to have you aboard the forum!

You have picked a very interesting location for your modeling--that Burlington bridge across the Mighty Mo at that location is indeed a magnificant structure. Unfortunately at the same time you have really picked a quandry-producer for your choice of eras.

In the era specified by your posting Burlington was using 4-4-0s, 2-6-0s, and 2-8-0s. I'm reasonably sure that almost any 4-4-0 on the market would be reasonably close to Burlington's specifications. I don't know who has Moguls (2-6-0) on the market but Burlington's of that era were using 64" drivers--according to Kalmbach's Guide to North American Steam Locomotives in 1900 Burlington's West Burlington shops built the premier Prairie-type (2-6-2) locomotive by extending the frame of one of those 64"-drivered Moguls to accomodate a two wheel trailing truck. Consolidation's (2-8-0) of that era were using 57" drivers and I suspect that any Consolidation you are going to find on the market nowadays is going to have 63 inches. Getting an acceptable steam locomotive may amount to a make-do situation.

Your big problem is going to be rolling stock; I will admit that as an N-Scaler I don't really pay an awful lot of attention to HO-Scale availability but I'm sure that I would probably have noticed any line which offered products from that era. When I got in the hobby in the early '60s there were more products available from that era; I don't recall having seen a feature in the hobby press dealing with 19th Century modeling in a long, long, long time.

Again, welcome, and the best of luck in your endeavors!

From the far, far reaches of the wild, wild west I am: rtpoteet

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!