Re: [HOsteam] New member introduction, and questions

Victor Bitleris

Hi Ken,

Salisbury huh, close enough to Spencer where you can go, take pictures and measure to your heart's content. Every day if you like LOL.

Regarding getting drivers, it is not so easy nor as inexpensive as it used to be, but the price of milk, bread and gasoline has gone up as well. You should continue to look at eBay as a reasonably priced source for drivers, but there are other places, Greenway, a bit high at $18.00 each, Bowser, may still have some at reasonable prices, under $10.00 each. Not sure about Model Power, but Dan at Yardbird trains is also a reasonably priced source.
Keep in mind that 57" drivers could range all the from about 53 or 54 inches to 58 inches, I would even push to close in on 60" inches. The 3 inch difference in HO is pretty small and not out of wack. The smaller sizes are more prototypical as the engines got older and went through maintenance, the drivers were turned on lathes to get them back to be round again. They usually lost a couple of inches in that process. Regarding counterweights, it is easy enough to remove the old counterweights with a Dremel tool. Once you get the counterweight level with the spokes, you can now make a new counterweight from thin brass or styrene and ACC to the driver center. Once painted you cannot tell.

Regarding the Southern 2-8-0's, I have a Spectrum that I want to make more like Southern 711, I believe it still exists in Dillsboro, but only talked to one person who knew anything about it. I could not find it on the following site:

I am currently stalled (diverted from) a project of converting a Mantua BIG SIX into a Southern A7 very similar to 1740, check out:
You can see my progress here:

You may wish to look into Yardbird trains and brass locobuilders groups in Yahoo as well to get more information and ideas..

Good luck and regards,
Vic Bitleris
Raleigh, NC

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 09:14:44 -0400
Subject: [HOsteam] New member introduction, and questions

Hi folks,

I'm a new member of the list, but hardly new to HO modeling. I joined

because I have a deep and abiding love of all things steam and would

like to share that with others of like mind. I'm also a bit of a rivet

counter, and a bit frugal, which lead to kitbashing and scratch building

as the only viable options.

My interests at the moment are primarily Southern Ry., and in particular

a semi-autonomous subsidiary, the Danville & Western. My layout is

based on the D&W, ca. 1940, and will rely on small 4-6-0's and 2-8-0's

for power. A few Southern 2-8-0's will likely show up as well, from

time to time. In addition, I have a number of larger Southern models on

the bench, which will probably end up being built and sold.

I've added a folder in the photo section, entitled "Ken's Creations",

showing off my latest and most successful projects. One started out

life as a Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0, and was heavily kitbashed into a

Southern Ry. Ks-3 (a bit of a rare bird, but the best fit on the

Southern roster for the Spectrum model). The other is an almost

entirely scratch built Southern Ry. Ks. The only commercial parts are

the tender trucks, an IHC 2-8-0 chassis and drivers (modified) and a few

detail castings.

Now for the questions. Many of Southern's consolidations had 57"

drivers. The D&W's ten wheelers also had 57" drivers. Unfortunately,

HO scale 57" drivers are scarce, and what few are out there are either

expensive (Greenway, Alan Gibson) or in expensive models (USRA 2-8-8-2,

2-10-2), and they have the wrong counterweights (except for the AG

wheels). I have found that the old Bachmann 4-4-0 (the toy train

version, before the new release) has nice 57" drivers with no

counterweights, and can be adapted for a scratchbuilt chassis nicely.

So, first off, does anybody know of an inexpensive source of those

drivers? Most of the engines on e-bay are going for $20-30 with

shipping, which is more than I'm willing to spend on a couple drivers.

Second, does anybody know of another reasonably priced source for decent

57" drivers? Bowser used to have some, but they're not the prettiest

things on the planet, and I'm not sure if they really are 57".

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to being a member of this list,

Kenneth Rickman


Kenneth Rickman -

Salisbury, NC

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