New member introduction, and questions - 57" drivers

Ken Clark

Inexpensive is in the eye of the beholder. Frequently on eBay there
will be some older brass models sold for parts at reasonable prices
(for Brass). Yesterday a United/PFM UP 2-8-0 sold for under $90,
it was missing the original box and motor. These Harriman 2-8-0s
had nominal 57" drivers and a short driver wheelbase. The tender could
be re-sold for $40-50 so the parts cost would be only $40-50 for a very rugged
mechanism with cylinders, rods, frame, pilot. The boiler superstructure
could be used for parts or re-sold for another $20-30. PFM imported thousands
of 56/57" drivered 2-8-0s (UP and the even more common Santa Fe);
this abundance means that frequently one of these models is available for a very
reasonable price. I find that it is easier to modify and rebuild brass models than
plastic and die-cast ones; but then I did force myself to learn how to solder...

Kenneth R. Clark
P.O. Box 127054
San Diego, CA 92112

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 - krickman1@...
Salisbury, NC