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Victorian Era

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 12:10 PM

Another good source of information on that period is the Clover House dry transfer catalogue. It not only has diagrams of cars of that period, but notes the specific years the lettering would be seen.

www.cloverhouse.com

BTW In the fifties very few people modelled the fifties, the most common era was the 1920's-30's. Even when I started in HO in 1971 most modellers were all-steam. In the thirties when model railroading really got going, a lot of those early hobbyists were old enough to remember the 1890-1900 era and so 'turn of the century' models were common. Of course back then it was more about building  models and seeing if you could get them to run well, layouts were generally built by clubs and were usually fairly generic as to time and location.

In the UK the most common period has seemed to be the "Between the Wars" period of the twenties and thirties for a long time, though as here I'm sure younger people entering the hobby are more interested in more recent trains. Victorian era modellers are more common in Britain I think too...of course as OO modellers they have an advantage - their trains run on HO track but are about 12% bigger in linear scale. (4mm = 1 ft in OO vs 3.5mm = 1 ft in HO.)

Come to think of it, I believe we have a forum member who is modelling a US railroad in the Victorian era using OO trains....Smile

Keep in mind if you go to say 1907 that cars and engines run a long time, you'd still be seeing cars and engines from the 1870's-80's running in 1907.

Stix
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Posted by Voyager on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 4:34 PM

The often made claim that there is little rolling stock available for 19th Century modeling is only true with regard to ready-to-run equipment.  For those willing to build wooden or resin kits, there has never been a better time than the present to take up early railroad modeling.  Take a look at all that is listed on the Early Rail site’s freight car list:  http://www.earlyrail.org/freight-cars.html .  And here are two more manufacturers not even listed  there:

Bitter Creek (http://www.bittercreekmodels.com/CARKIT.html)

REM’s Railroad Models (http://www.remsmodels.com/HOKits.html)

True, much less is currently available when it comes to motive power.  But a lot of what has been produced in the past can be found used. For a list of what to look for check the ERLOCOLIST1.XLS file on the Early Rail file page at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EarlyRail/files/  .

 Voyager

 

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 5:12 PM

SpaceMouse
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

 

You can go from a 2-6-0 or 2-8-0 (or 2-8-8-0) to switcher by removing the pilot truck, real railroads did it all the time.

But the 4 wheel pilot trucks carried too much weight.

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

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Posted by CNJ831 on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:04 PM

wjstix

BTW In the fifties very few people modelled the fifties, the most common era was the 1920's-30's. Even when I started in HO in 1971 most modellers were all-steam. In the thirties when model railroading really got going, a lot of those early hobbyists were old enough to remember the 1890-1900 era and so 'turn of the century' models were common. Of course back then it was more about building  models and seeing if you could get them to run well, layouts were generally built by clubs and were usually fairly generic as to time and location.

 

Well, not exactly, Stix. Your statement doesn't take into account what locomotive models were to be had at the time. What you see in way of hobbyist's choice of eras during the 1950's was more a reflection of what was available in the way of model kits than a matter of real hobbyists' preference. 

Up through the mid 1950's there was only a very limited selection of diesel locomotives available in HO. Most of the manufacturers were still concentrating on producing mainly 1920's-30's styled steam (although Mantua did have a small roster of vintage locomotives in addition to its regular line). Penn Line, John English, Bowser, Mantua and a few others were providing the majority of locomotives for the hobby and although many hobbyists modified them, they were still limited by what the kit loco orginally represented. It wasn't until around 1960 and later (Athearn's famous plastic F-7 didn't appear until 1956) that diesels were really well enough represented in diversity that hobbyists could truly model a representation of the "transition era" for many railroads.

Likewise, during the 1950's the average age of modelers was, unlike today, quite young (the average being just 31!), so most probably wished they could model contemporary railroading but there just wasn't the equipment available to allow this. You'll note that the pages of MR were filled with articles on creating your own modern diesels, so the interest in contemprary railroading must have been there. I will say that it was the older guys modeling in O-gauge, particularly the scratchbuilders therein, that were often modeling turn of the century prototypes right up through the 1950's, as Trackside Photos illustrates.

If you'll look up the MR surveys, I think you'll find that each time the question was posed, from say 1960 onward, as to which era was the most modeled, the answer ALWAYS came back the transition era 

CNJ831

 

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Posted by CNJ831 on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:10 PM

dehusman

SpaceMouse
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

 

You can go from a 2-6-0 or 2-8-0 (or 2-8-8-0) to switcher by removing the pilot truck, real railroads did it all the time.

But the 4 wheel pilot trucks carried too much weight.

While true, such 0-6-0 or 0-8-0 models will not be representative, even as stand-ins, for most as-built 6 and 8 coupled locomotives of the late 19th century.

CNJ831

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:20 PM

CNJ831
While true, such 0-6-0 or 0-8-0 models will not be representative, even as stand-ins, for most as-built 6 and 8 coupled locomotives of the late 19th century.

 

One question--since it wouldn't even qualify as a stand in, then what, pray tell, can a person do if there are really no small steam of that era to be had?Whistling  Would one be able to, theoretically at least, scratchbuild one that would fit the as-built state?

Any argument carried far enough will end up in Semantics--Hartz's law of rhetoric Emerald. Leemer and Southern The route of the Sceptre Express Barry

I just started my blog site...more stuff to come...

http://modeltrainswithmusic.blogspot.ca/

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Posted by CNJ831 on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:22 PM

blownout cylinder

CNJ831
While true, such 0-6-0 or 0-8-0 models will not be representative, even as stand-ins, for most as-built 6 and 8 coupled locomotives of the late 19th century.

One question--since it wouldn't even qualify as a stand in, then what, pray tell, can a person do if there are really no small steam of that era to be had?Whistling  Would one be able to, theoretically at least, scratchbuild one that would fit the as-built state?

Well...the OP cited that he was interested in vintage locos with an 0-4-0, 0-6-0 and 4-4-0 wheel arrangements. While there are some reasonably suitable 4-4-0's around today, the same can not be said for either of the first two, except for maybe the little ex-Mantua camelbacks. A lot depends on just what RR you model as to what might or might not work.  

During the 50's and 60's there were a number of small, vintage, steamers available that have long since vanished from the scene. Mantua's Eight-Ball Mogul, if re-worked and detailed, is a reasonable stand-in for a period 0-6-0 when the lead truck is removed, plus being remotored and additional pickups added, as would be perhaps half a dozen other small, better detailed, brass imports of obviously higher quality from the same period. I've always been particularly fond of the little 2-6-2T "convertible" loco (the owner can vary the wheel arrangement various ways) offered by Gem, LMB, et al. during 60's. Subsequently LMB alone offered it with footboards, instead of spoked pilots, making it more suitable for use as a small switcher. Further, LMB also brought in a somewhat larger "suburban" commuter, or Forney-type, engine from the late 19th century. Such locos as these can be found from time to time on eBay for a not unreasonable price. Plenty of appropriate period rolling stock is available in the form of old craftsman kits as well.

However...folks wishing to seriously (i.e. accurately) model this time period are pretty much expected to be accomplished scatchbuilders, kitbashers and craftsmen, as good operating equipment for this era is not available right out of the box. 

CNJ831  

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 8:35 AM

I suspect re how many people were modelling the 1950's in the 1950's, you'd find it kind of a "chicken and egg" issue. If you asked modellers why they modelled the steam era, they might say because there weren't a lot of 'modern' diesels available, so they buy steam. If you ask the manufacturers why they don't make more diesels, they'd probably say because steam engines are what everyone is buying. Smile

I wonder how common 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 engines would have been c.1885?? It seems to me that railroads just used older engines for switching then. I remember seeing pics of Great Northen using an 2-8-0 with the pilot axle removed as a switcher c. 1900 in one of my old GN books. My impression has been that railroads generally didn't buy engines specifically designed as switchers in any great numbers until around 1900 or so...and when they did, it was the 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 type, with 0-8-0s coming along around say 1910-15??

Stix
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Posted by blownout cylinder on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 9:15 AM

CNJ831
However...folks wishing to seriously (i.e. accurately) model this time period are pretty much expected to be accomplished scatchbuilders, kitbashers and craftsmen, as good operating equipment for this era is not available right out of the box. 

 

And how does one become accomplished? By practicing that thing called scratchbuilding---

It is related to the ever popular question of teenagers the world over when it comes to getting their first job. How does one become an 'X' when one does not have the experience? By starting someplace--maybe not related but it gets you in the ground floor. Scratchbuilding then has something of a ground floor called small buildings et cetera--SmileSmile. I'm starting to scratch together, even if the dang thing becomes a mere static display, a 2-6-0.Mischief I found I have accumulated enough brass pieces, frames, wheelsets, motors and such that I could conceivably toss something that looks like it may work---that we'll seeWhistlingBlindfold

Any argument carried far enough will end up in Semantics--Hartz's law of rhetoric Emerald. Leemer and Southern The route of the Sceptre Express Barry

I just started my blog site...more stuff to come...

http://modeltrainswithmusic.blogspot.ca/

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 10:55 AM

blownout cylinder

CNJ831
However...folks wishing to seriously (i.e. accurately) model this time period are pretty much expected to be accomplished scatchbuilders, kitbashers and craftsmen, as good operating equipment for this era is not available right out of the box. 

 

And how does one become accomplished? By practicing that thing called scratchbuilding---

Although harder to find than they once were, you can still find steam engine kits from Mantua, Bowser and MDC around. Learning how to put the parts together would give you an insight into how down the road you could do a kitbash or even a scratchbuilt engine. I know taking apart a couple of old Mantua RTR engines to add a can motor, add some details, adding a new tender etc. and decorating the resulting engine gave me a lot of valuable experience.

Stix
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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:54 AM

wjstix
I wonder how common 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 engines would have been c.1885?? It seems to me that railroads just used older engines for switching then. I remember seeing pics of Great Northen using an 2-8-0 with the pilot axle removed as a switcher c. 1900 in one of my old GN books. My impression has been that railroads generally didn't buy engines specifically designed as switchers in any great numbers until around 1900 or so...and when they did, it was the 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 type, with 0-8-0s coming along around say 1910-15??

0-4-0 and 0-6-0 switchers were very common in the late 1800's (although the only ones I've seen, other than camelbacks, are brass).  On my prototype, in 1885 9 of 29 engines were switchers (seven 0-4-0 and two 0-6-0).  None of the other engines were listed as switchers (12 4-4-0, 6 4-6-0 and 2 2-8-0).  After 1900, the 0-4-0's were gradually retired and replaced by 0-6-0's. 0-8-0's were used sort as "roadswitchers".  Some of the switchers in service by 1900 were bought in the 1860's and 1870's.

Another thing you have to take into account its the nature of the railroad.  I model the eastern seaboard.  Lots of concentrated, heavy industy, established urban areas and yard trackage, short runs.  On the other hand the GN with more rural areas, lower density of industry and longer runs, it might be more practical to use a more multi-purpose engine.  Just as some places a 1950's RR would use an SW1200 but other places a GP7 might switch.  Same decision process.

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

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Posted by Autobus Prime on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 12:30 PM

Folks:

John Nehrich has made an interesting point about the Victorian era.  As far as the physical plant goes, steam era modelers, however late, *are* largely modeling the Victorian era...I would extend this to say that even the most modern railroads are often a skeletal remnant of that era with a few modern appurtenances grafted on.  That's when a great deal of US railroads were built, and many standards were set. 

If you build a model railroad to 1893's state of the art, you could run Hudsons on it, and neither would look out of place.  Relatively few elements of the railroad proper would be strikingly odd...maybe some obsolete signals or details. Most would just look familiar and railroady

Add a few structures and you could run Geeps on it.  Tear down some of it and paint the rest some ugly pastel green, and you've got the 1970s.  Tear down even more structures and run stack trains for the modern era. This gets into more of an exaggeration as we progress along these lines, but the fact remains that the 1890s were not as long ago, railroad-wise, as we might think.

I'm reading an excellent book right now, Berg's Buildings and Structures of American Railroads, published in 1892, as I look for my next structure-building project, and it's amazing...the majority of the structures described and pictured in there could find use on any steam-era model railroad.  I heartily recommend this book to anyone...you can find it for free on Google Books.

 Currently president of: a slowly upgrading trainset fleet o'doom.
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Posted by CNJ831 on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 12:52 PM

wjstix

I suspect re how many people were modelling the 1950's in the 1950's, you'd find it kind of a "chicken and egg" issue. If you asked modellers why they modelled the steam era, they might say because there weren't a lot of 'modern' diesels available, so they buy steam. If you ask the manufacturers why they don't make more diesels, they'd probably say because steam engines are what everyone is buying. Smile

Read the story of Cowen's reluctant introduction of the Lionel F-3, which turned out to be a run away success with Lionel's customers and you'll better understand the situation with HO manufacturers in the early 1950's.

As to 4 and 6 coupled steam engines, as Dave has already indicated, as-built examples were very common and purpose-specific on lines serving most highly populated areas. They were not created simply out of older road engines less their lead trucks. Pick up just about any photo intensive late 19th century history of railroad motive power and you'll find this immediately apparent.

CNJ831

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