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!

Old Steam Engines Ho

1861 views
21 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March 2019
  • 44 posts
Old Steam Engines Ho
Posted by MetrolinkFan on Friday, May 17, 2019 10:45 AM

Hi all I just recently got a box of some old steam egines,They ar all metal with the rope type electrical cord.I had tested it an no luck is there anyway to get these? Too work I never tried to take these.Apart not sure what to do any help would be great Thanks.What year are these these from also I have 9 packs of the Kadee couplers.They have the price on the pakcage what year is this from?

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,311 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, May 17, 2019 11:18 AM

Well, pictures would help.

I had a few old steamers, but they were so old they were junk and I just tossed them.

What model couplers are they?  Someone might be able to identify them from the model.  If they are the old reliable #5s, the age doesn't matter.  They will still work.

No, sorry, you're not sitting with undiscovered treasure.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 8,455 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Friday, May 17, 2019 11:44 AM

Right at the beginning of the forum is, How to post photos.

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 11,681 posts
Posted by wjstix on Friday, May 17, 2019 12:21 PM

If the metal they're made of is brass, they could be worth something. If they're not brass, they're probably old Mantua or MDC or Varney kit engines. Not particularly valuable.

"Rope type electrical cord"?? Confused

Stix
  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 1,194 posts
Posted by snjroy on Friday, May 17, 2019 12:56 PM

Well, as the saying goes, one man's junk is another man's gold... It's hard to say without pictures. It is likely that these engines (brass or metal) will have some value, unless the metal has started rotting away. I follow Ebay and I can tell you that the value of old MDC and Mantua steamers in working order is not going down...

Simon

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,000 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, May 17, 2019 1:05 PM

wjstix
"Rope type electrical cord"??

I'd guess it to be one of the old two-wire cords, with each wire covered in an outer sheath of fabric, and the two wires braided together.

MetrolinkFan
....also I have 9 packs of the Kadee couplers.They have the price on the pakcage what year is this from?

The price is irrelevant, but all Kadees are compatible for coupling purposes, but not necessarily so as far as uncoupling is concerned.  Kadees are usually classified by the part number shown on the envelope, for example #5,#8,#36,#146, or #178. 
You can check out the various Kadee couplers here, although there are some others which are no longer in production.

For the other stuff, pictures would help us to help you.

Wayne

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,347 posts
Posted by mlehman on Friday, May 17, 2019 11:35 PM

doctorwayne
Kadees are usually classified by the part number shown on the envelope...

I think Kadee had something going on before what became the #5 came along. But it seems it had no number in the original version. This unopened pack of Kadees was in among some other items donated to our division at a recent train show. Stuff seemed to all be mid-50s NLT 1956. For reference purposes, here you go.

Of course, if you're really old school, there are these:

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,000 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, May 17, 2019 11:58 PM

mlehman
I think Kadee had something going on before what became the #5 came along. But it seems it had no number in the original version. This unopened pack of Kadees was in among some other items donated to our division at a recent train show. Stuff seemed to all be mid-50s NLT 1956. For reference purposes, here you go.

Mike, those are very similar to the couplers I used on my first HO trains in 1956.  As I mentioned in my previous post, all Kadees will couple with all other Kadees, but won't necessarily uncouple from each other.
I knew these mainly as their K-type, although I don't know if that was ever an official name.  They offered remoted coupling via a diamond-shaped ramp, which, when a spring-loaded button on the control panel diagram was pressed, the diamond-shaped ramp lifted, spreading the two adjacent pins projecting from the knuckles, thereby opening the knuckles and separating the cars.

With a little practice (and some unlikely speeds for switching), one could do a flying drop into an adjacent track.

When the Magnematic couplers first appeared, I hated the look of the uncoupling wire for the track magnets, and cut them off as soon as I opened the package.  I still don't care for their appearance, but do use them and the magnetic uncoupling feature, too.

Mine were, I think, actually the version which followed the one in your picture, as all of mine included a coil spring for centering purposes - mine, in the photo below, would have had the metal piece, shown in your drawing, inside the coil spring....

I still have some in use on some of my MoW cars, minus the pins.

Wayne

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,347 posts
Posted by mlehman on Saturday, May 18, 2019 3:30 AM

Wayne,

Now that's a well-weathered coupler. Kadees can last just about forever if the environment is favorable. Sometimes I think it's not really appeciated how far we've come in a few decades. Or how lucky it was that Kadee had a solid design and a stable manufacturing environment under good management. Standardization was generally a good thing on the railroad and in the model world, too.

There are about half a dozen nice cars that are apparently built-up Mantua Metals kits - all with hook-and-loops. Yes, Kadees were a little too luxurious at the time, but the presence of a solitary envelope seems to mark an aspiration that better times were ahead. Alas, we don't know what happened to this particular RR in the making, but its cut-off date seems to be 1956, until it surfaced at the show.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,616 posts
Posted by dknelson on Sunday, May 19, 2019 8:03 AM

doctorwayne
I knew these mainly as their K-type, although I don't know if that was ever an official name.

Yes they were "Ks" -- the M in MKD standing for Magnetic.  I kind of liked the "slack action" that some of the Kadee types (such as the one in Wayne's photo, and also some of the magnetics, as well as the Varney dummy knuckle couplers) had due to that spring.  As you can see it would compress to a point when shoved.  The popular #5s (or as they were known at first, the #5/#10) lacked that spring-based slack action.  As soon as freight car trucks became more free rolling however that same slack action became somewhat annoying, as a train would look like a Slinky toy shifting back and forth.  The slack action worked better with trucks that had some drag to them.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 13,412 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, May 19, 2019 11:20 AM

Not to hijack the thread except briefly: can someone comment on the tech and history of the 'drop in fluid-drive conversion' mentioned on the envelope?

  • Member since
    March 2019
  • 44 posts
Posted by MetrolinkFan on Sunday, May 19, 2019 4:45 PM

They are Varney steam engines diecast metal.With a big plastic gear underneath the engine.Between the wheels what is that for the gear?

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,000 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, May 19, 2019 8:47 PM

Overmod

Not to hijack the thread except briefly: can someone comment on the tech and history of the 'drop in fluid-drive conversion' mentioned on the envelope?

 
Despite being a fairly early user of Kadee couplers (1956), I've never heard of their "fluid drive conversion", but have submitted a query to Sam the Answer Man, at Kadee, regarding this.  If I get a reply, I'll post it here, but I've also invited him to chime-in if he wishes.
 
Wayne
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,000 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, May 19, 2019 9:07 PM

MetrolinkFan

They are Varney steam engines diecast metal.With a big plastic gear underneath the engine.Between the wheels what is that for the gear?

 
Most diecast locomotives had a gear on one of the driver axles, and it was usually driven by a worm on the motor shaft, or, in some cases, on a separate shaft, connected to the motor.
You can't really see the gear on this one, a Varney "Old Lady" Consolidation...
 
 
...and the same loco, painted, for a friend...
 
 
This is the cast metal superstructure of Varney's "Casey Jones" 10 Wheeler...

 
...and similar one, somewhat modified...
 


Here's one (or the other) modified a little more, and now riding on the running gear of a Bachmann 10 Wheeler (Casey Bachmann?)...
 
 
...slap on a little paint, and put 'em to work...
 
 
Wayne
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,000 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, May 20, 2019 11:54 PM

doctorwayne
Despite being a fairly early user of Kadee couplers (1956), I've never heard of their "fluid drive conversion", but have submitted a query to Sam the Answer Man, at Kadee, regarding this. If I get a reply, I'll post it here, but I've also invited him to chime-in if he wishes. Wayne

I got a very prompt reply, as usual, from Sam at Kadee.  Here's his response concerning both the coupler package shown in Mike's post, and the reference to "the snap-on fluid drive units":

"The coupler package is one of our very first marketable couplers designs. Kadee officially began in 1946 and that coupler came along soon after and that was long before we started to use product numbers.  We had several couplers that were on the market long before the common #5 was developed.

Also, the Kadee "Snap-on fluid drive units" was a simple cyndrical torque converted that helped to control the momentum of the loco during acceleration. Apparently back in those days transformer throttles were not very smooth or fine tuned. The fluid drive contained oil that you could change the weight (SAE) that would change the momentum speeds. The product really didn't last long as electrical technology was getting better that modernized the throttles being used."

Wayne

  • Member since
    March 2019
  • 44 posts
Posted by MetrolinkFan on Friday, October 16, 2020 9:15 AM

Here are my Ho Diecast metal Ho Steam Engines,I think they are Varney Mantuas.Hope the link works.If someone can tell me how much they are woth Thanks.

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/my-drive

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 5,472 posts
Posted by rrebell on Friday, October 16, 2020 9:39 AM

MetrolinkFan

Here are my Ho Diecast metal Ho Steam Engines,I think they are Varney Mantuas.Hope the link works.If someone can tell me how much they are woth Thanks.

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/my-drive

 

Even without the pictures, if discription is right, they are not worth much unless someone needs a part, list them all together and see what you get.

  • Member since
    May 2014
  • From: Berwyn, PA
  • 682 posts
Posted by Trainman440 on Friday, October 16, 2020 9:54 AM

Diecast metal engines were made by TYCO/Mantua, MDC/Roundhouse, Aristocraft, Varney, Penn line, Bowser, and Sakura(PFM).

Some price points for operating engines:

TYCO Mantua, Varney and Penn line engines sell for around $20-40

MDC/roundhouse engines sell for around $40-60

Bowser, Sakura, and diecast PFM Engines sell for around $70-100

Like always, there are exceptions.

They may not be valuable on their own, but sell them together, and you can make some money! Good thing about these diecast engines, they're built like tanks and often just need some soldering or some cleanup to get them running. 

Certainly don't them away, if you want to get rid of them, I'll take em! Wink

Charles

PS your link doesn't work. It just brings me to my own drive, not yours. 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 13,412 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 16, 2020 10:47 AM

Wayne, thanks.  And please thank Sam for me.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: St. Paul
  • 740 posts
Posted by garya on Saturday, October 17, 2020 6:50 PM

MetrolinkFan

Here are my Ho Diecast metal Ho Steam Engines,I think they are Varney Mantuas.Hope the link works.If someone can tell me how much they are woth Thanks.

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/my-drive

 

Are they Varney, or Mantua?  Anything on the bottom?  Pics don't work--you'll have to post on Imgur or flicker or some such place.

Value depends on condition and model you have; I've bought both Varneys and Mantuas for $10-20 at shows.

Gary

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,000 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:50 PM

Trainman440
Diecast metal engines were made by TYCO/Mantua, MDC/Roundhouse, Aristocraft, Varney, Penn line, Bowser, and Sakura(PFM).

You forgot John English....I've had this one since the mid-'50s, but I believe it's somewhat older than that...

 

It runs nicely, still with its original open frame motor, but I plan to update it with a can motor and NWSL gearbox, along with new drivers from Greenway, as the original brass drivers are in constant need of cleaning....one of eight steam locos awaiting rebuilding.
Here's the John English Pacific in its current state...

Wayne

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,879 posts
Posted by rrinker on Sunday, October 18, 2020 12:48 AM

 Fluid drives and clutch systems were popular int he 50's. There are ads for several makes in old MRs. There may have even been a DIY article on makign one, if I recall correctly. 

                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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!