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That One Loco

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That One Loco
Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 9:03 PM

Is it just me or do you remember that one locomotive when you were young shortly after getting into the hobby. That one you just had to have.  

You saved your lawn mowing money, shoveling the snow money or what may have you to buy that one locomotive that was really special to you.

Mine was the Burlington Northern. Cascade green was the color.  I wasn't thinking this way then,  but now looking back I'm sure it was not long after the merger.

They ran five blocks from my house where we grew up hauling taconite pellets from Duluth to Minneapolis to the steel mills.   I don't know exactly where they were going.  I just saw them go through.

When I bought that Burlington Northern Green Machine and ran it on my tracks for the first time. I'll never forget it.  It was magical.  The sight,  The sound,  The feeling in the air........ I almost remember there was even a smell.

Yes the taste was sweeter when we were Young.  I guess that was the way it was supposed to be.  

I buy locomotives now and it is exciting,  but it will never compare to that feeling I had once before.

This is still fun.  I am having fun again.

Regards

                Track fiddler

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Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 9:24 PM

I did a sort of tribute on my blog about my first HO locomotive.  Your correct about the old memories of ones first locomotive.
 
Here is a copy and paste from my blog, very similar to your past model railroad history.
 

Dec. 15, 2009 My first HO locomotive

A Tribute to my first HO locomotive, a 1952 Model Roundhouse 0-6-0 Yard Switcher
 
This is my first HO locomotive, I bought it from H&H Hobby Shop in El Paso Texas in 1952 with money earned from my paper route.  It is a Model Roundhouse 0-6-0 Yard Switcher.
 


It cost $6.85 and I was earning a whopping 75¢ per week from my job as an evening paper boy for the El Paso Harold Post .  The owner of H&H Hobby, John Henderson let me clean his store after I was through delivering my papers to earn extra money for my hobby supplies.

I gave it a new paint job and decals last summer, it runs as good as it looks.  I didn't keep a log of how much running time on it but I'm sure it's close to 1,000 hours.  I have given it several minor overhauls replacing worn parts in the 58 years that I've owned it and now I'm going to convert it to DCC operation.  About 18 years ago I replaced the frame due to an accidental derailment that broke off one of the front steps.


Sadly Model Die Cast closed down their operation in 2004 so if something happens to an MDC locomotive now that requires parts they are no longer available.  I also have 4 MDC 3 truck Shays, two with DC-70 motors and two with can motors.  Model Roundhouse (MDC) was in business for 67 years, I will truly miss them.
 
EDIT:
 
I didn't convert the 0-6-0 to DCC I decided to leave it as is.  I watched eBay for a couple of months and purchased a 1952 never opened 0-6-0 kit, it cost a bit more than my first one . . .  $47.  I installed a small can motor and wired it for DCC sound.  Later I found a Vanderbuilt tender that works great with the newer old MDC lovomotive.  I swap the tenders around for variety.  I still run my first 0-6-0 more than the newer one.
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 9:47 PM

That is really cool Mel.

Especially that you still have it and restored it.  I'm sure you guard it with a fine-tooth comb......I would.

I also found interest in the money earned in your era.  I can't imagine from now to then.

I like your first steam engine. Thanks for sharing.

                       Track fiddler

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 10:06 PM

Nice!  you found an ad-on,  I bet you were pleased about that one.  That is a rare find.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 10:23 PM

Oh I get it you're leaving your original as is and you found a comparable that you're doing modifications to.  Makes sense to me.  I would leave your original as it is too.  She's a Beauty

Take care Mel  I'm off to the rack

                 Track Fiddler

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 11:04 PM

That would be my Tenshodo 0-6-0T.  I was fascinated by the photos in the PFM catalog that showed how someone had made three different versions of engine by adding various detail parts.

I saved up about $16 or so and walked into DC from Arlandria VA.  I didn't want to waste any money on bus fare--a 15 mile round trip.

I got the engine:

 

I also got a snow plow pilot, a lead truck, a new stack, headlight, bell and cross compound compressor.

Some years later, I took off most of the parts and re-did the job a bit tighter.

 

Ed

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Posted by Southgate on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 4:57 AM

As a young'n, I started with train set tyco locomotives with life spans measured in hours. At my LHS, I was shown an Athearn GP 35, with this huge 5 pole motor and these 2 flywheels, all metal frame, 8 wheel power pick up, and gears 1/8 inch thick. Oh how exotic! When I asked how much, cringing a little, he said sixteen bucks. I thought he said 60, and that seemed high but fair. When he clarified , one-six, My mom, who was present there bought it for me. I chose Chessie System just cuz I liked the colors.

It suffered rough handling, horrible kitbashing attempts and a million miles of running, and was still running until it got sent to the ozone layer in a shed fire. I'd still have it and run it otherwise.  I still enjoy running my 2 BB GP 35s, acquired later on, and hearing that familiar growl as they smoothly deliver the freight.

One, like my original, has the metal truck sideframes and the older motor, gray flywheels. It has it's honorary place among the P2K, Kato and other higher end locos, and other BBs too. 

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Posted by Jumijo on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 6:29 AM

I wanted the Tyco Spirit of '76 set one Christmas and was fortunate enough to get one. I ran the wheels off that loco and eventually decided to purchase a steamer from an ad in MR. I settled on an inexpensive Life Like Dockside 0-4-0 and it quickly became my favorite locomotive. I no longer have any of those trains from my youth, but I do have a nice collection of Docksiders, including some Varneys, Rivarossis, and a PFM Sakura. 

Modeling the Baltimore waterfront in HO scale

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 6:33 AM

For me, the "had to have" locomotive actually belonged to a friend of mine when I was 6 or 7 years old.

.

All my locomotives were cheap Tyco junk. My friend had a Canadian Pacific F unit that ran like a dream. Sometimes he would bring it over and run it on my layout.

.

We finally worked out a trade of toys, and it became mine. That was my favorite locomotive through grade school.

.

I have no idea what happened to it. It was lost in moving or packed away or something. I don't even know what brand it was, but it sure ran great.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 7:06 AM

 I was vastly disappointed by my "must have". It was when I was in N scale, and I built a 3x6 layout with curves (at least for the main) of not less than 15", and I REALLY wanted the Bachmann Sante Fe Northern. So I saved for it, found a new shop (more or less run out of this guy's basement, but he had a HUGE selection of HO and N, later on he built a large building and expanded to a full line hoobby shop which is still there). Well, from day 1 is was a horrible runner, wobbly, the rods jammed (even though they weren't even connected to all the drivers, they were mostly for show. Like a lot of N scale locos, each axle was geared, the plastic rods were not used to transfer power). It barely stayed on the rails on the straight track. It ended up living in the box, I later bought a little 0-4-0 switcher with tender and that thing ran pretty wel, although it liked to stall on the plastic Atlas frogs. My diesels ran fine.

As an adult, my only must-have was when PCM announced the Reading T-1. Small time dealer I know through local train shows was ordering them, no pre-order cost, and his selling price for the sound version was only slightly over the MSRP of the non-sound one. Got it the day they were delivered to him, and this time there was no disappointment. I've since aquired a second one. No more must-haves, unless someone does a K1se 2-10-2 in plastic or otherwise afforable

                                       --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 7:26 AM

The truth be told I was excited over Athearn's announced SW1500 and couldn't wait for them to arrive at Hall's hobbies.

Imagine my shock when the SW1500 turned out to be a SW7.I still bought two undecs.

Larry

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Posted by hornblower on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 12:00 PM

Back in the 70's, a local toy store would hold an annual 30% off sale.  In one of their display cases was a Rivarossi brand Milwaukee Road Chippewa Pacific steamer.  The orange, brown, grey and black paint scheme was just so eye catching and the Pacific class of locos just looked so right.  Needless to say, I saved all of my money waiting for the annual sale.  Being a true Rivarossi (not IHC) version of this loco, it ran like a clock and did NOT have cookie cutter wheels.  I enjoyed this fine loco until I went off to college. When I finally had space to build a layout again, I pulled this loco out only to find that the pastic centers of the drivers had become brittle and all but fell apart while in storage.  I could get new drivers for it but it would only become a display queen as it is simply too large for my current layout.

Hornblower

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Posted by angelob6660 on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 1:42 PM

My must have would be the Conrail Diesel Charger train set in N Scale. This was my second set I bought after the Santa Fe Little Joe both from Life Like. 

I admired the CR blue paint from the Southern Pacific grey and red, or the BN green in which I liked also. Since blue was my favorite color sometimes I wonder what if I saw the BM blue locomotives instead.

I saved money for it. I couldn't remember how long it took. I bought from Walthers by money order when it on sale. When it came around. 

I almost made buildings and scenery for it but I didn't have CA or proper tools/ skills at the 12.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 3:09 PM

SeeYou190

All my locomotives were cheap Tyco junk. My friend had a Canadian Pacific F unit that ran like a dream. 

I don't even know what brand it was, but it sure ran great.

 

Curiously, it was likely a Tyco.  I don't think Athearn did a CP F, but Tyco did.  And the ones I've seen ran very smoothly.  My neighbor had a twin-motor B&O version, and that thing could pull just about anything.

Because of that, I bought a single-motor F in Santa Fe freight colors.  My plan was to add the second motor and about two pounds of lead.  There WAS enough room, as the motor was down inside the truck(s).  AND they had traction tires.

I do suspect that one would have outpulled a Hobbytown.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 4:28 PM

7j43k
Curiously, it was likely a Tyco.

.

That would not surprise me. After all, he was a little kid also, so we both probably had the standard Tyco fare of the early 1970s. He might have been luckier than I and got the good one.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 4:50 PM

Well. I wasn't that young (24) when I got into the hobby as a hobby.  With a wife and baby son, money was tight but I managed to save enough to buy a Rivarossi V&T 4-4-0.  I still have it - pizza cutter wheels and all.  Even though I have changed scale, era, and locale, I still set up a loop of HO track and run it.  It still runs great after 45 years and is still my favorite locomotive.

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 7:31 PM

7j43k

I saved up about $16 or so and walked into DC from Arlandria VA.  I didn't want to waste any money on bus fare--a 15 mile round trip.

I got the engine:

 Ed

 

That was a long walk Ed.  Your steamer sure has character.  I like it.

Jumijo.  I had a Dockside 0-4-0 as well.  It was one of my favorites.  I remember the Horseshoe front end with all the rivets, kind of a stocky bulldog looking Switcher.  I have no idea what happened to mine.

Thanks all for sharing.

                   Track Fiddler

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Posted by moelarrycurly4 on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 8:47 PM

I got an Athearn blue box Santa Fe GP30 for Christmas. I still have it. 

I loved  that engine because it was the first smooth running with flywheel engine I had. All my other stuff was AHM or Tyco at the time. well after that I started saving for other Athearn stuff. 

It came with 2 left side hand rails and was missing the right side handrail. 

we took it to G&G model shop on Times Blvd in Houston ( my favorite shop, I believe it is stil there. ) Gus or George (G&G) gave me the missing hand rail for free. ( they scored big points for a young child with that move)

I recently converted it to DCC

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:54 AM

Track fiddler

 7j43k

I saved up about $16 or so and walked into DC from Arlandria VA.  I didn't want to waste any money on bus fare--a 15 mile round trip.

I got the engine:

 Ed

 

 That was a long walk Ed.

 

And it was in summer, DC's favorite season.

 

 Your steamer sure has character.  I like it.

                   Track Fiddler

 

That's the before picture, pardner (supplied off of the ole internet).  

Even MORE character after!  I guess my photo to-do list just got an addition.

 

Ed

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, November 09, 2017 6:54 PM

rrinker

 I was vastly disappointed by my "must have". It was when I was in N scale, and I built a 3x6 layout with curves (at least for the main) of not less than 15", and I REALLY wanted the Bachmann Sante Fe Northern. So I saved for it, found a new shop (more or less run out of this guy's basement, but he had a HUGE selection of HO and N, later on he built a large building and expanded to a full line hoobby shop which is still there). Well, from day 1 is was a horrible runner, wobbly, the rods jammed (even though they weren't even connected to all the drivers, they were mostly for show. Like a lot of N scale locos, each axle was geared, the plastic rods were not used to transfer power). It barely stayed on the rails on the straight track. It ended up living in the box, I later bought a little 0-4-0 switcher with tender and that thing ran pretty wel, although it liked to stall on the plastic Atlas frogs. My diesels ran fine.

As an adult, my only must-have was when PCM announced the Reading T-1. Small time dealer I know through local train shows was ordering them, no pre-order cost, and his selling price for the sound version was only slightly over the MSRP of the non-sound one. Got it the day they were delivered to him, and this time there was no disappointment. I've since aquired a second one. No more must-haves, unless someone does a K1se 2-10-2 in plastic or otherwise afforable

                                       --Randy

 

Randy.   I remember I wasn't very happy with some of my Bachmann engines in the 70's either.  I think it was hit or miss.  My grandfather's Seaboard Coast Bicentennial he gave me for my birthday present ran like a charm.  My Burlington Northern Green Machine ran pretty good.

My earlier Great Northern blue F7 ran like crap.  It was either balls to the wall or nothing .  You had to floor the Transformer to get it to go.

I became a little disappointed in that one.  Needless to say there was no ladders or fine detail left on that engine as it flew off the tracks onto the floor.

           Track Fiddler

PS   Did you ever get that leaky pipe fixed in your basement?

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Posted by marksrailroad on Friday, November 10, 2017 6:38 AM

My first had to have loco was an HO Tyco Santa Fe yard switcher set that I got for Christmas back in the mid 1970s. It ran great for about a month but then broke down and wouldn't run anymore so I tossed it and moved on to other things... 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by emdmike on Friday, November 10, 2017 6:56 AM

I remember a couple of my "first" engines.  The very first one that got me back into HO scale was an Athearn UP GP38-2 I got for my 9th birthday.   The next year I got the engine that opened up the world of logging railroads and changed everything, a Mantua Booth Kelly 2-6-6-2t. My first brass model came in my early teens with my mowing money and the rest is history.     Mike the Aspie

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, November 10, 2017 7:25 AM

I grew up after steam was long gone from mainline revenue service, but if I could say there is one "that loco", and it was a bit of a thing in my family, was an Athearn SP SD45. 

I grew up in Davis California where the 2 track Southern Pacific mainline passed through.  In early 1970's, SD45's ruled the freight trains that came through town.  Naturally being a train nut thats what I wanted for Christmas at age 14 in 1973.  My mother, being a stickler for table manners told me I would have to hold my fork correctly if an SD45 was going to be in my future.  All that fall it was hold your fork right!  An SD45 did arrive under the tree that year and it was my "that loco".

While my modeling focus is late 1970's D&RGW now, you can bet I have a gaggle of bloody nose SD45's from Athearns RTR line with the details - by my count, 8, and a host of tunnel motor brethren.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, November 11, 2017 6:50 PM

riogrande5761

I grew up after steam was long gone from mainline revenue service, but if I could say there is one "that loco", and it was a bit of a thing in my family, was an Athearn SP SD45. 

In early 1970's, SD45's ruled the freight trains that came through town.  Naturally being a train nut thats what I wanted for Christmas at age 14 in 1973.  My mother, being a stickler for table manners told me I would have to hold my fork correctly if an SD45 was going to be in my future.  All that fall it was hold your fork right!  An SD45 did arrive under the tree that year and it was my "that loco".

 

Well I guess you learned to hold your fork right.  Your Mom sounds like a great Mom. Manners are very important.   My Mom was like that too.  I passed what I learned from her to my children.

I remember Sunday brunches in my house when I was a kid.  I would grab my Fork like a little shovel and shovel it in. That didn't quite fly with my Mom either.

There was no such thing as too many manners in my house.  Say thankyou more than once was even better.

If the world still had the same upbringing practices as it once did it would probably be a much better place.  Just basic common courtesy and respect for others would be a plus to manners in this crazy world.

I'm very familiar with the SD 45 bloody nose loco.  I admire that one.  You have eight of them Rio?  Yup,  that must be your one loco, and still is.

Regards

               Track Fiddler

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Posted by msrrkevin on Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:10 PM

When I was a kid, seems like all I had at first were F-units.  I wasn't too big into the F-untis because I thought they were passenger locos and I had no passenger cars.  I dreamed about having a road switcher until I saved up birthday money to get a GP40. 

- Kevin

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Sunday, November 12, 2017 8:11 AM

First of all, I thank Track Fiddler for starting this intersting thread. The contributions so far are outstanding. I would like to see several more. 

My contribution to this thread is a Tenshodo Santa Fe FT ABBA which I purchased in the late 1950's along with a string of Tenshodo "shorty" Santa Fe passsenger cars. I remember working many long ours mowing lawns, doing yard work, and performing odd jobs just to save up enough money to buy ithe train. 

My family moved to the Chicago area just before my fifth birthday (born in Texas. Lived a couple of years in Tennessee)..... I became interested in trains at an early age. I first had a Marx train set, and next I had a Lionel train set. ... We lived close enough to the Burlington Route so I could see the trains from my house. Model train manufacturers in the 1950's offered hardly any Burlington locomtives, and I chose other roads. We traveled by train in those days, and Santa Fe was among the railroads on which we traveled. So, I was a Santa Fe fan when I was a teenager. 

By then Santa Fe trains were hauled by F3's and F7's. Santa Fe passenger FT were converted for freight service much earlier than when we were riding on the Santa Fe. Nevertheless, I liked the looks of the Tenshodo FT, and that is what I selected. 

The old FT ABBA will still run (DC of course), and is in very good condition. I keep it in my own model railroad museum which means the shelves over my work table. 

Here it is parked on my current layout. 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:00 AM

Garry    Thank you and thanks for displaying your Santa Fe.  Looks good.  

I did not know F units were only used for passenger trains in the beginning and then switched to freight later.

The overgrowth embedded in your ballast looks really good.  I also zoomed in to your Chicago influence in the background of your picture. Nice!  

Thanks for sharing

                     Track Fiddler

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Posted by moelarrycurly4 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:49 AM

Garry, 

 

Nice SF ABBA set! 

I will post a picture of my loco that I described earlier when I get back home.

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Sunday, November 12, 2017 2:22 PM

Track Fiddler ... thanks for your comments. EMD F-units (FT, F2, F3, F7,and F9) we’re freight units, but some railroads purchased them equipped for passenger service. Santa Fe bought FT’s with a group for freight and a group for passenger. Later, Santa Fe modified the passenger FT units for freight service and the two groups of FT’s were intermixed in freight service thereafter. 

 

MLC. .. thanks for commenting. Looking forward to seeing yours. 

 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, November 12, 2017 5:47 PM

Garry   I got to admit I'm not very knowledgeable about all the engine number specifications, history and all that.  I am learning though, I know the ones that I own now.  Sometimes not knowing some things and a new learning experience can break the monotony of the things you do know.  That's where I'm at right now.

I got to tell you I was a bit relieved when you corrected me and told me an F7 was used for freight.  That is what I bought it for.  I'm more of a freight guy.  

Now that you told me they had F7s for both Freight and Passenger cars it makes sense now.  I had a Great Northern F7 with silver trucks.  I brought it back to the Hobby Store and traded it in for an F7 AB set thinking I was doing an upgrade.  From what I read on eBay that F7 with the silver trucks was a Kato rare edition.  I should have kept it.  Now I'm thinking that was the passenger version.  Oh well it is what it is, too late now.

It would have been nice if I would have paid attention to engine number classifications when I was young.  I would really like to replace my Burlington Northern one loco when I was a kid but for the life of me I don't know what it was.  A lot of them look pretty similar.  Maybe one will ring a bell if I look at enough of them.

 Thanks

              Track Fiddler

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