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I cannot NOT turn my locos -- hand me my pick-axe.

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Posted by NorthBrit on Thursday, June 16, 2022 6:05 AM

crossthedog

 

Just a technicality CMD.   The second film is in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Steam locomotives running tender first has been a feature on riailways in the U.K  since  the dawn of railways. 

Two pictures of 'Tornado'  running tender first.

 

Leaving Redmire Station.

 

  IMG_2308 by David Harrison, on Flickr

 

Arriving Leeming Bar Station

 

 IMG_2283 by David Harrison, on Flickr

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

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Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 5:59 PM

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 Wednesday, June 15, 2022 4:40 PM

A number of railroads -- Ed will have data and pictures -- optimized some of their power to run 'in reverse' with a pilot on the tender, better headlight arrangement, etc.  I do not know how many of these went on to modify the throttle, brake, etc. to make reverse running more convenient, but there are sure ways to do that.

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Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 11:36 AM

wrench567
Will your steamers go around a fifteen inch radius curve? That's tight even for a small steamer. Pete.

Pete, my Atlantic will, because even though it's a big engine there are only two drivers. My Prairie has three drivers but it is a small engine. The 2-8-0 and the switcher -- both the same Mehano item, only one lacks the front truck -- may have trouble there. Good point. I could make it 18" radius but it's also not critical that EVERY steamer be able to take this branch job.

I'm reassured and comforted by all these other stories of steam locomotives running backward, and in fact my BLI Great Northern Consolidation has a big bright stalag searchlight mounted on the tender which duly lights up on reversing. However, this is a DCC locomotive and I don't run DCC that often.

With the feedback I'm getting, I may just work on front couplers and leave the track as it is. However, I have drawn a quick sketch of the cassette I have in mind:

-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 richhotrain on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 11:11 AM

Pruitt

To amplify a bit on what others have said -

While not a general practice, backing steam locomotives a fair distance (particularly back down a branch line), with or without a train, was more common than you might think.  

You might want to take a look at how difficult it would be to improve or add a front-end coupler. Doing so has the additional advantage of easier switching with the loco, as well as pulling a train in reverse.

 

During the steam era, passenger trains were pulled into Dearborn Station at 8th Street in downtown Chicago. After the passenger car consist was uncoupled from the steam engine, the loco would back up to the engine servicing facility at 49th Street. That is 41 city blocks or just over 5 miles. Along the way, the steam engine had to back up over the 26-diamond configuration at 21st Street. 

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 10:55 AM

To amplify a bit on what others have said -

While not a general practice, backing steam locomotives a fair distance (particularly back down a branch line), with or without a train, was more common than you might think.  

You might want to take a look at how difficult it would be to improve or add a front-end coupler. Doing so has the additional advantage of easier switching with the loco, as well as pulling a train in reverse.

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Posted by wrench567 on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 10:33 AM

  Matt.

  Will your steamers go around a fifteen inch radius curve? That's tight even for a small steamer.

      Pete.

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Posted by wrench567 on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 10:26 AM

 

ndbprr

Real railroads had the same problem.  Many installed a headlight on the tender to solve the problem.  The PRR had 4-4-2, 4-6-0, and some 2-8-0 engines outfitted this way

 

 To add to this. Most of the locomotives assigned to pusher service had tender mounted headlights. There were also a few cabooses with roof mounted headlights and whistles. Although not very common.

     Pete.

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Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 9:52 AM

ndbprr
Real railroads had the same problem. Many installed a headlight on the tender to solve the problem. The PRR had 4-4-2, 4-6-0, and some 2-8-0 engines outfitted this way

This is good to hear. You may remember I was trying to get a coupler mounted on the front of my Atlantic a month or so ago... still haven't done that. If I could get front couplers that worked well on my steamers, then maybe I'd leave the track alone.

Lee 1234
Why not make you cassette double ended so you can pick it up and turn the whole train around? Been done by many modelers.
Lee, that's basically what my proposed design is, only I'm clumsy, so instead of actually picking it up, I'm sliding it toward me in a track (slot) where it is still supported all along its length, then rotating it as you suggested. And I'm not turning the whole train, just the loco and tender.

-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 crossthedog on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 9:41 AM

richhotrain
Matt, as an alternative, why not just spend $35 to buy the surface mount Atlas Turntable? No cutting required, and it can be easily motorized with simple wiring.

Rich, thanks for doing legwork and finding this. If you mean why not use that Atlas table off the layout where I planned to put a cassette, the first reason would be that it is only 9" long, and my favorite steamer -- the Atlantic -- is nearly 12" in length.

The other reason would be that the track approaching this table would have to curve away from the wall after crossing over the yard, which I suppose would be possible but now we're building a pretty wide shelf over my workbench that was not part of the approved permit.

If instead you meant why not install it on the layout, in the yellow-circled area just past the escape turnout, then there are more reasons. I don't really like the way it looks. I've never seen a real-world turntable that looks like this (granted, haven't seen many r-w turntables). Is it based on a prototype? Is there one of these anywhere west of the Mississippi?

And even if it weren't too small for my 4-4-2, and even if I thought it the most handsome apparatus, there isn't room at that spot for the diameter of even this small table. The track runs right along the edge of the "town board".

I suppose I could tear up the turnout and curve everything a little so it would fit, but I think that would look terrible and then there would be trouble coupling on a nonstraight track.

I'm open to the idea, because it would sure be easier to install this if I could find room for it, but those are my initial ruminations.

Thanks,

-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 Lee 1234 on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 9:37 AM

Why not make you cassette double ended so you can pick it up and turn the whole train around?   Been done by many modelers.

Lee

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 6:59 AM

Matt, as an alternative, why not just spend $35 to buy the surface mount Atlas Turntable? No cutting required, and it can be easily motorized with simple wiring.

https://shop.atlasrr.com/p-208-ho-turntable.aspx

Rich

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Posted by ndbprr on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 6:33 AM

Real railroads had the same problem.  Many installed a headlight on the tender to solve the problem.  The PRR had 4-4-2, 4-6-0, and some 2-8-0 engines outfitted this way

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I cannot NOT turn my locos -- hand me my pick-axe.
Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 12:20 AM

I've decided I don't like how my tracks end in the town up at the end of the branch. It's fine for diesels; an RS1 or RS2 comes in on the arrival track at the head of a mixed local, and then backs out on the escape track, moves the caboose if there is one, then switches out industries, and then leads the train back down the mountain.

upperTown

But I have a bunch of steamers I'd like to use on the branch, too, and it's ridiculous that they should have to back all the way down the mountain with a train behind (in front of) them. Also, the steam locos often don't have a great coupling function in the front. I hadn't originally planned on this, but I now want to turn the power up here. The yellow circled track in the photo above is as far as they can go right now, but the second photo shows what I want to do.

cassettePlan

I'm going to add a 15" radius curve that will turn right over the end of the yard and off the layout. I'll build a cassette here that will be sturdy and mount to a base frame fixed to the wall like a shelf, extending through where the pencil sharpener is right now. I've been lying awake at night trying to figure out how to make it work with the limited tools and the limited carpentry skills I have, which are both suited more to building a rough chicken shed than to furniture making, let alone a turntable of this nature.

I've come up with a design. I'll try to draw it next weekend. The cassette will be like a turntable bridge only with sides like a through girder instead of a deck girder. The problem here is, how do you spin a thing like this when it's so close against the wall? Well, the cassette bridge will be fulcrum'd on a center pin that will go down into the base like an inverted bolt with a wide head. The head will keep the cassette bridge from coming up and out. But instead of going into a hole, this bolt will be in a slot in the base that runs perpendicular from the wall. This slot will be blocked at the end away from the wall so the cassette bridge cannot come all the way out. When it is thus pulled away from the wall to a distance equal to just over half its length, it can be rotated, then pushed back in toward the wall. So the loco comes across the first bridge (shown in the photo) and gets onto the cassette bridge and stops. You pull the cassette toward you -- the bolt/pin enabling it to ride along the slot -- rotate the cassette and push it back so that the track lines up again with the track of the spur. Your loco arrives back at the station facing the other way. The base that holds up the cassette and in which the slot is located will have to be wider at the point where the slot is, maybe it will bulge out like a half moon, to accommodate the slot/track that the cassette must move along and to provide balance and support for the cassette.

With this design, I can build something that is strong and stable but doesn't have to be very fine or sophisticated. This is my plan but it will be a while before I get to this, so there's lots of time to lie awake thinking of reasons why it won't work, or ways to better the design.

-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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