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An electric locomotive project -- mostly daydreaming

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An electric locomotive project -- mostly daydreaming
Posted by crossthedog on Friday, December 2, 2022 12:53 PM

Starting a tangent off a recent thread:

I'm not saying I WOULD or even COULD do this... so let's not get hysterical, but if.... IF....a fella were to set out on an epic quest to build this in HO scale... 

gmpullman
The Cleveland Union Terminal "Motors" then:

 CUT_1050crop by Edmund, on Flickr

And much later (now classed P-2b)

 Penn-Central P-2b 4641 by Edmund, on Flickr

...scratchbuilding the body and the grabs and the thing on top (whose word I forget but it starts with a 'p' or a 't' and may have 'graph' in it), is there any nonbrass HO chassis already in production that would be usable for a "reasonable" modeling of the trucks on this unit?

By "reasonable", I'm going to have to ask at least half of you to leave the room (and you know who you are), because you won't be able to stomach the idea of anything that isn't prototype. But I'm talking about something almost impressionistic, something to which the word "freelance" would have no trouble sticking. I'm imagining standing 8 feet away and squinting and having something that looks anything at all like this locomotive. Never mind how I would power it and make it go. Right now I'm just thinking of what it would take to create a static model.

I know that it would probably be cheaper and far less trouble just to buy a brass model [ <--- there, I've said that much, so we don't have to spend any more time on it. ] What I'm thinking of is... I see that people mentioned how similar the GG1 is to this. Would a GG1 chassis be a candidate if I could get one cheapish? Other ideas? Has any of you ever built trucks out of wheels and styrene? Are there already component parts to do this? Or is this just the loopiest nonstarter that ever was?

Boy, I have a feeling I'm going to have a real hard time managing this thread. But go ahead. I can take it. I may just be quiet for a long while and take the pounding.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, December 2, 2022 1:21 PM

If you were going to build this, yes a GG1 would be a good starting point, plus it would automatically give you two pantographs.

The body could be made of styrene or possibly kitbashed from caboose bodies. 

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, December 2, 2022 3:12 PM

My first thought for the body would be to try to get ahold of 2-3 of the old MDC/Roundhouse boxcab diesels and splice them together. You'd have to figure out something for the curved ends of the NYC engine's body but it would be a start.

https://www.nmra.org/sites/default/files/sr201306_boxcab.pdf

 p.s. It would be cheaper to buy one of the old MTH O scale P2s, they sell cheaper than the HO brass ones do. Plus they run on three-rail track so would be easy to convert to pantograph or outside third rail, depending which version you choose. (Cleveland Union Terminal used pantographs, when they were sent east to NYC's line out of Manhattan, they used outside third rail.)

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, December 2, 2022 3:31 PM

Hello All,

crossthedog
Or is this just the loopiest nonstarter that ever was?

What a great project!

Now, slightly...Off Topic...

I am a big fan of specialty flatcars; heavy-duty 6-axle, 60 ton Gunderson Well, and multi-axled and truck depressed center.

My pike is based on a coal mine branch loop.

Lots of oversized loads for the mine arrive on specialty flatcars negotiating 15-inch curves and #2 turnouts.

As I look at the 2-C+C-2 configuration of this locomotive, the first thing that comes to mind is "minimum radius."

Just like the articulation of multi-truck flatcars, from what I can deduce from the photographs is, the truck assembly seems to be double-articulated.

From a modeler's perspective the cab unit could be easily replicated with a Gas-Electric box cab.

Reproducing (scratch building) the truck assemblies is going to be the challenge.

From the photographs- -the leading trucks seem to articulate independently from the side frames that support the traction motors.

The center pin of the entire truck assembly is the attachment point to the cab.

If I were to model the 2-C+C-2 truck assembly I'd look at Northwest Short lines Standon drives.

Perhaps the 38-inch assembly.

Even though these are only two-axle units, a third dummy pair of wheels could be mounted inboard of the drive wheels.

InterMountain Railway Company makes HO-scale 38-inch wheels.

For the leading two-axle units, 28-inch scale wheels might provide the clearance needed for the front articulating trucks.

Using the Stanton drives- -over traditional center-mounted motor/drivetrain configuration- -allows for the area previously occupied by these components to be used for easier installation of sound, ESDs, and other components.

Thank you for sharing your "what if" project.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, December 2, 2022 5:15 PM

Was it Ben Franklin or Winston Churchill that said "You're a day late and a dollar short"? Or maybe it was Groucho Marx.

Maybe two years ago I bought one of these "toy" models from an eBay seller:

 N-H_EP-3_3 by Edmund, on Flickr

It was less than $25. including shipping! I knew it was a "toy" but it really looks pretty decent for a non-operating display model (it included a display track).

 N-H_EP-3_1 by Edmund, on Flickr

My intention was to use it as fodder for a scrap yard scene but after a while I thought it was just too nice for that fate.

 N-H_EP-3_2 by Edmund, on Flickr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Haven_EP-2

 

It would certainly give you some very reasonable pieces to work with, especially the much sought after box-cab. Even the truck sideframes could be affixed to an operating HO truck, even one from a six-axle diesel. Who would know?

Here's the guts of a Broadway Limited GG1:

 BLI_GG1_Parts by Edmund, on Flickr

At one time there was a fairly reasonable GG1 from IHC or Rivarossi, I forget which, that wasn't too bad in the performance/cost ratio. Pemco, Penn-Line, Mehano and others.  The Broadway design is pretty robust including two motors but even from eBay or the Broadway "Refurb Depot" they still command something in the $250 range (and up). The Bachmann issue can be found at fairly reasonable prices, too.

I'll do some scouring of eBay and see if I can find anything similar to the New Haven electric I show above. I recall wanting to buy a few more and couldn't find them any more Sad

I'm glad to be the happy owner of a pair of Overland C.U.T. P-1as. One of my favorites!

 Cleveland Union Terminal P-1a by Edmund, on Flickr

 Cleveland Union Terminal P-1a by Edmund, on Flickr

 

[edit] After doing some Google sleuthing I have discovered the above New Haven model was produced for an outfit called Atlas Editions (I don't see any affiliation with Atlas Model Railroad Co.). There's a few various examples on eBay and some of the other sites.

This one is listed from Germany and I'm sure the "free Shipping" has the starting price bumped up quite a bit.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/165464047039

 Or this? (I don't know a thing about Ali Express)

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/2255799826107056.html?gatewayAdapt=glo2usa4itemAdapt&_randl_shipto=US

     I think your project has merit.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, December 2, 2022 9:43 PM

crossthedog
Or is this just the loopiest nonstarter that ever was?

Hi Matt,

Absolutely not! You have been given some great suggestions regarding what models would be a good starting point.

The roof part of the rounded ends might take a bit of work because of the compound curves, but they could be carved out of wood just like the ends of the old passenger car kits' roofs were. When finished properly the woodgrain won't show. The rest of the shell looks to be fairly straight forward.

As has been mentioned, there are several possibilities for making the drive system up. I have a couple of the Stanton drives and they work really well, although it might be cheaper to get a doner GG1.

I would definitely go for it. It will be a learning experience and a lot of fun!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, December 2, 2022 11:12 PM

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, December 3, 2022 1:29 AM

Hi Bear,

That is a very interesting find! Your search skills are definitely far superior to mine!

I'm still of the opinion that the OP should do a scratchbuild. That, IMHO, will provide far more modeling entertainment than putting a ready made locomotive on his layout.

My 2 Cents

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, December 3, 2022 3:54 AM

Hi again Matt,

I just came across a very appropriate quote for your project:

Jim Rohn, an American entreprenure, said the following: "Whatever good things we build end up building us".

I think that describes scratchbuilding perfectly!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, December 3, 2022 4:08 AM
“Boy, I have a feeling I'm going to have a real hard time managing this thread.”
Before I get started, I’d like to apologise to Matt, because while I have no intention of derailing his thread, I just might.
hon30critter
I'm still of the opinion that the OP should do a scratchbuild.
 
I’m afraid, Dave, that I totally disagree, which may be surprising coming from someone who is still surprised to find, that I find, scratch building one of the aspects of Model Railroading that I most enjoy!
 
That said, the items I have scratch built are not commercially available, and unless a commercially available item was so rare and or expensive, I wouldn’t waste my time! Too many unavailable things on my to scratch build list.
 
Now I could be wrong but from Matts  Somewhere in time on the New York Central thread, I gather because of the model his Uncle Jim made for his Dad, Matt has an understandable sentimental reason for wishing to have the big electric locomotive.
And I for one would not go all “rivet counterish” and make a fuss about Him having an “Eastern” electric locomotive on his North Western US based layout.
I also feel that Matt would eventually become dissatisfied with a static model.
 
To qualify the following, I have to state resulting from a quick internet search…

1)   I do not have any knowledge about “lehobbies”.

2)   I do not know how good the “Model Engineering Works” products are.

3)   The same HO scale brass locomotives from other manufacturers appear to cost moonbeams!

4)   Suitable donor GG1 locomotives, like the Broadway Limited one, Ed depicted also appear to be as rare as hen teeth and priced accordingly.

 

So, in summation, there is a HO scale model, apparently available, at a price, that I believe that would be more economic than accumulating parts/materials required for a scratch build. (That said, accumulating said parts/materials over a period could be easier on the credit card). However, in my book, scratch building this locomotive could not only be very frustrating, but is a BIG waste of time.
 
BUT guess what!! Matt does not have to follow MY book, has received some very good pointers for this project, and can do what He likes, and all I can say is if it goes ahead, “Have Fun,” and keep us in the process by posting progress photos!!
 
Cheers, the Bear. Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, December 3, 2022 5:16 AM

2)   I do not know how good the “Model Engineering Works” products are.

I remember finding an MEW P-1a at a local train show. Couldn't wait to get it home and on the layout (back in DC days).

Well, coffee grinder doesn't even begin to describe the nasty gearing on these locomotives. Never did get that thing to travel more than a metre or two without the gears jamming up.

The NJ Custom Brass is only slightly better. Sadly, these specialty electrics still command a premium. 

Still, on a budget, a Bachmann, Rivarossi (AHM, IHC) GG1 base and a cobbled-together box-cab might still be in the works.

https://www.trains.com/mrr/news-reviews/reviews/staff-reviews/bachmann-ho-scale-sound-value-gg1/

I've always had an eye for those Rh-B Crocodiles. Thought they were neat! The PRR had a similar beast as I show in the other post. I could almost be convinced to bite on this but it is just a tad out of reach.

I did treat myself to a PRR FF1 a while back. I do love the sight of those side rods flailing about:

 PRR_FF1_3931 by Edmund, on Flickr

 You can find some inspiration here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/55122337@N06/albums/72157679711193741

 It CAN be done:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/55122337@N06/44242319445/in/album-72157679711193741/

 

 

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by crossthedog on Saturday, December 3, 2022 10:56 AM

Morning all. I wanted you to know I had not abandoned my post (<--- ha! See what I did there?). What a load of great suggestions! I really expected crickets or a list of reasons why the idea was crackers.

I don't have the time today to respond individually to everyone who so thoughtfully posted photos and -- my gosh -- did such thorough research! I'm actually still trying to get through all the links. But thanks to all of you.

I will say here, though, that Ed, your models of the C.U.T. motors are outrageously attractive. What I like best is how those anti-hunting platforms jut out behind and ahead of the cab, like the prow and stern of a ship.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, December 3, 2022 12:19 PM

gmpullman
2)   I do not know how good the “Model Engineering Works” products are.

I remember finding an MEW P-1a at a local train show. Couldn't wait to get it home and on the layout (back in DC days). Well, coffee grinder doesn't even begin to describe the nasty gearing on these locomotives. Never did get that thing to travel more than a metre or two without the gears jamming up.

That was not what I was wanting to hear Ed, though I was wondering about the price discrepancy.Sigh
 
I haven’t been able to find a dimensional drawing but what with the dimensions given here…
 
 
…and the number of good quality square on side photos, coming up with a build drawing should be relatively easy. Added to this the abundance of good photos showing the details will help immensely, though it still won’t be a 5 minute task.LaughLaughLaugh But definitely not a day dream!
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, December 3, 2022 9:12 PM

I haven’t been able to find a dimensional drawing but what with the dimensions given here…

I've got a copy of the original GE clearance drawing that I'll have to get digitized some day. It is about 2 x 8 feet. I did post this on the other Collinwood thread.

 NYC_motor_P1a by Edmund, on Flickr

The MEW model as well as the NJ Custom one is pretty close to dimensional accuracy, maybe a bit of added "air-space" above the trucks, to be expected for a mosel to operate on our curves. Detail wise the MEW is "minimalist at best and the NJCB is only a tad better. Relief on the truck sideframes is next to none.

I'd really think it would be a neat project to tackle one of these Crocodiles and make a go of an operating HO model. I used to have one of the #1 gauge LGB models Smile

Ebay Crocodile:

Fun Stuff, Ed

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, December 3, 2022 10:08 PM

gmpullman
I've got a copy of the original GE clearance drawing that I'll have to get digitized some day.

I'll have to bump this up on my priority list!

 GE_P-1a-legend by Edmund, on Flickr

 GE_P-1a-end by Edmund, on Flickr

 GE_P-1a_right by Edmund, on Flickr

 GE_P-1a-pivot by Edmund, on Flickr

 

My time machine is a two-seater. Want to come along?

 CUT_P1a-construction-Erie by Edmund, on Flickr

 CUT_P1a_Dedication-Erie by Edmund, on Flickr

Note the pantograph extension to reach the too-high wire at the GE test track in Erie.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, December 3, 2022 10:50 PM

I haven’t been able to find a dimensional drawing

"There are none so blind as those who will not see.
 
Thanks, Ed,for posting that P-1 dimensional drawing TWICE!!!
 
Bang HeadBang HeadBang Head I hang my head in shame!!!Embarrassed
 
Cheers, a sadder but probably not wiser Bear.
 
CUT PRR001 by Bear, on Flickr
 
EDIT: This is what I should have done had I been…
 
Here’s Mkll, the NYC P-1a dimensional drawing is, of course, from the Library of Ed.
 
The PRR GG1 drawing is courtesy of http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/
 
CUT PRR Mkll by Bear, on Flickr
 
Cheers, the Bear.

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by Morpar on Sunday, December 4, 2022 6:20 AM

While I can't be so helpful as to even guess at a year, there was an article maybe back in the 80's where someone used an HO scale GG1 model (Mehano or Rivarossi maybe) and made a boxcab electric out of it. The author (maybe Hegge?) removed the lead and trailing trucks for his model but still had a body similar to the P-1. If my memory serves the roof was fashioned out of a wooden passenger car roof from an older Walthers kit and the body used the MDC boxcab diesel as a start. When I first read this post it reminded me of that article.

Good Luck, Morpar

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Sunday, December 4, 2022 4:36 PM

Here's the address for the manufacturer

Editions Atlas SA
Route des dragons 7
CH-1033 Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne
Suisse (Switzerland)

How's that for an address? "Dragon Road" (OK, it might mean "Dragoon" - a type of cavalryman that originated as mounted infantry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Morpar on Wednesday, December 28, 2022 6:11 PM

This thread has been banging around in my head for a while so when I happened to see an old AHM GG-1 for sale at a hobby shop for $20 this morning I knew it would have to come home with me. We test ran it before purchase and it did okay. Once I got it home I popped the shell off to see what the driveline looked like. In the very center is a motor (I hesitate to call it a can motor) which drives the outer and center wheels of each of the power trucks using a spring looking connector in place of a regular drive coupling. Basically think a normal model diesel driveline. The pantographs are connected by a wire which is not attached to anything but would be very easy to connect for overhead wire. The design of this locomotive would make it very easy to cut up the chassis to have the open porches in lieu of the enclosed body of the GG-1. I'm not real sure what I am going to do with this locomotive, but it does leave some options for modification the BLI model doesn't. 

Good Luck, Morpar

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Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, December 28, 2022 8:02 PM

M

Morpar
This thread has been banging around in my head for a while so when I happened to see an old AHM GG-1 for sale at a hobby shop for $20 this morning I knew it would have to come home with me...
Morpar, I'm glad this rambling thread has inspired you to go where I fear to tread. If you're successful, please post a photo here. Better, make a video as you go in case I ever decide to gird up my loins and try the same. 

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 29, 2022 10:06 AM

If I were doing this -- and every time I look at the thing I get tempted -- I would start with the dummy EP-2 that one of the Chinese hobby companies posts on eBay (I won't post the eBay link as it will expire at some point, but look for seller 'Qiaowei' and search for EP 2 (1919) - I can post the link if anyone can't find it)  This would appear to have at least a guide for non-GG1 sideframe detail, and I suspect the body would be relatively easy to adapt -- if nothing else, as a starting place to use Ed's drawings for detail.

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Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, December 29, 2022 11:42 AM

Overmod
look for seller 'Qiaowei' and search for EP 2 (1919)

Overmod, I couldn't find that seller (now I think about it, I may have put a "u" after the Q when I searched), but I searched for the EP 2 (1919) alone and found it being sold for a reasonable price by seller guoyueh9. I see what you're thinking. It's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like it doesn't have the separate fore and aft sections, unless this is just hidden by the length of the body. Either way, it does look like it would be a good start, as you say.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 29, 2022 5:33 PM

The New Haven EP-2 comes from al older school of 'high-speed' electric locomotive design, in which unpowered pony axles were needed to stabilize bogies/trucks (and hence a bidirectional locomotive would need pony trucks on either end of the large ones that, as in this design, supported large twin motors for quill drive. Note that these axles aren't pivoted; in fact I don't think they act as Cartazzi axles with a little constrained radial steer to their lateral.  This is no different from the design found in a number of early deep-firebox engines with small trailing axles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Haven_EP-2

This was perpetuated on some electrics with three-axle underframes and no underframe articulation by keeping lateral pony axles inboard and using pin-guided lead trucks outboard, so the engines resembled a pair of Pacifics back-to-back in how they were guided.

The New Haven EP-3 would, of course, if it were available as a model 'ring all the bells' in this thread.  It has a boxcab with comparatively long porches on the ends, and it has a thoroughly GG1-like undercarriage... in fact the EP-3 was the class that directly inspired the GG1s, so there is more than expedience in 'retconning' someone's GG1 chassis into one of them.

The Milwaukee Road bought (as their class EP-3, which is confusing if you don't know what you're reading about) locomotives very similar to the EP-2s.  They were liked by the crews and were initially good performers... but the frames were built too lightly, and the amount of lateral suitable for Mr. Morgan's railway was not at all suitable to parts of the PCE.  (This is part of why heavy cast underframes rather than composite fabricated frames came to be used under this kind of electric locomotive...)

The easiest approach if you want a longer engine is to replicate the 'double-Pacific' arrangement as you modify the EP2's frames to take an actual set of powered axles -- extend each half-frame so it has a full pin-guided lead truck and pilot, and if you like shift the pivot slightly for each half-frame so the overhang at the center of the boxcab is a bit less.  This could be either an inside- or outside-bearing truck (with the GG1 engine trucks being perfectly satisfactory if a bit anachronistic choices for an engine retaining fixed lateral pony axles on the inside ends of its underframes)

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