Query for rolling stock suppliers ...


Richard Main
 

Hi all,

I am planning a new modern-era HO layout, and am considering making room for a HOn3 tourist / heritage railroad (ie: like Puffing Billy here in Melbourne, Australia, or the Cumbres & Toltec in Colorado and New Mexico).

I have a few queries for the brains trust:
*  I am considering Peco code 70 HOn3 track, is this a good option?
*  I can only find Blackstone Models as a motive power supplier (unless I go brass), are there any other suppliers?
*  I'm not adverse to building kits, but are there models of Southern Pacific narrow gauge? I understand there was a planned / announced brass set of SP rolling sock, but the manufacturer closed down and didn't do the models

My current thinking / wish list is that my layout is proto-freelanced around Sarcamento to Dunsmuir, and the narrow gauge line is an old logging line that was saved by the local train preservation society, with loco's and rolling stock sourced from old salvaged SP and leased equipment. It won't be a logging line, but it will run a work train (leaning towards the Sierra West Models kits, if I can get some), and a few passenger cars (a few trains each way). Would ideally like both steam and early diesel (to run trains on total-fire ban days!).

I have the last few years of the HOn3 Annual (a gold mine of information), but am after some more leads if I can get some.

Any thoughts / comments / suggestions / pointers welcome.

Kind regards to all,

Richard Main
Melbourne, Australia


Mick Moignard
 

Richard

Peco track is fine, but MicroEngineering make Code 55 flextrack, which IMHO looks better.  A bit of digging will find Code 55 turnouts from other people that need a little work to lay but also work well with care.
No other RTR than Blackstone other than some Con-Cor geese and Microtrains cars, but they're OOP these days.
SP locos are available in brass, and some later ones (Westside Models mainly) are quite decent.  PFM ones less so.  SP rolling stock kits are available.  

Google is, as ever, your friend here.

Mick
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Scott Baker
 

I agree with Mick that code 55 looks better and I hand lay Micro Engineering code 55 with no operational problems. That being said, considering what you are planning, Code 70 (ME makes that as well) is, and has been, readily available from multiple manufacturers over the years and is therefore easier to find and less expensive because of its prominence in the used market.
Have fun with your project!
Scott


Mark Kasprowicz
 
Edited

I agree with Scott and Mick, code 55 looks better but I laid Code 70 on the main part of my RR and once painted and ballasted it looks fine. Though if this is a tourist line then something around Code 100 would be more appropriate.
As far as locos are concerned Westside made 1, 8, 9 and 18 steamers. Look for the non tender drive versions (especially if going down the DCC Sound route.)8 and 9 are very similar and 9 can be converted to 8 very easily. NWSL made Diesel No1 .
Cliff Mestel at Trout Creek models in Buena Vista CO makes kits for the SPNG depot at Laws and the Keeler engine house. He also offers some SPNG cars kits. The SPNG inherited a large variety of cars from various NG railroads like the NCNG, NPC, SPC and so on and the result was a collection of freight and passengers cars no two of which seemed exactly the same.
Cliff is also a member of the SPNG Historical Society and there is SPNG.io groups though it isn't that active.

Mark K


Ray
 

You seem to have a good grasp of where to go with this.  As far as engines you have assessed the Blackstone/Brass scape quite well.
I suggest scratch building SP structures.  It really isn't hard and if you don't worry about exact replicas it goes pretty fast - after all there are no instructions to fathom!
--
Ray in Colorado


Mike Conder
 

Yes on locos I agree with Ray but all Blackstone locos are definitely RTR right out of the box, whether or not they're DCC.  Some very early Blackstone K-27's had an issue with over-oiled motors but if you get a new one or one that has been running there should be no isse.  No issues with the C-19's.

Brass is very individual, some are good runners right off but many take a little bit of tinkering/tuning.  And others are just dogs.  So that depends on which one you find.  So far I've found most Westside locos to be pretty good though I'm sure there's an exception or two.

Many others on this list have LOTS more experience with brass than I do.  So if you find something, might be worth asking here on the particular engine to get more specific advice.

Mike Conder

On Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 11:02 AM Ray <rayhon3@...> wrote:
You seem to have a good grasp of where to go with this.  As far as engines you have assessed the Blackstone/Brass scape quite well.
I suggest scratch building SP structures.  It really isn't hard and if you don't worry about exact replicas it goes pretty fast - after all there are no instructions to fathom!
--
Ray in Colorado


Mark Kasprowicz
 

I think that if it's SPNG you're modeling then Westside is the place to be for locos espcially if you're into whaleback tenders (and I am). But to ask advice on a particular model sight unseen is very difficult. They vary so much and Ebay is a dumping ground for rubbish, so beware.

Mark K


Lee Gustafson
 

FWIW, Westside models imported the following HOn3 SP narrow gauge locomotives 4-6-0’s #8, #9, #18 and 2-8-0 #1. If I recall the first run were tender drives, the second run the motors were cab mounted with an angle drive and the last run had cab mounted motors with an horizontal idler gear box. If I recall the builder was Micro-cast in Japan. As I say I’m doing some of this from memory, I encourage others to correct or add to this post.

On Friday, March 26, 2021, 1:56 PM, Mark Kasprowicz <mark@...> wrote:

I think that if it's SPNG you're modeling then Westside is the place to be for locos espcially if you're into whaleback tenders (and I am). But to ask advice on a particular model sight unseen is very difficult. They vary so much and Ebay is a dumping ground for rubbish, so beware.

Mark K


prichie@...
 

Hello Richard,
Don't forget Labelle models, Trout Creek engineering andClassic Miniatures for wood kits and I think there
are others as well as Shapeways. The biggest problem would be bogies. Locos are probably the hardest
thing to find especially here in Aus. Of course there is ebay!!! Paul R. from Ballarat.

On Fri, Mar 26th, 2021 at 10:25 PM, Richard Main <richard@main.id.au> wrote:

Hi all,

I am planning a new modern-era HO layout, and am considering making room
for a HOn3 tourist / heritage railroad (ie: like Puffing Billy here in
Melbourne, Australia, or the Cumbres & Toltec in Colorado and New
Mexico).

I have a few queries for the brains trust:
*  I am considering Peco code 70 HOn3 track, is this a good option?
*  I can only find Blackstone Models as a motive power supplier (unless
I go brass), are there any other suppliers?
*  I'm not adverse to building kits, but are there models of Southern
Pacific narrow gauge? I understand there was a planned / announced brass
set of SP rolling sock, but the manufacturer closed down and didn't do
the models

My current thinking / wish list is that my layout is proto-freelanced
around Sarcamento to Dunsmuir, and the narrow gauge line is an old
logging line that was saved by the local train preservation society,
with loco's and rolling stock sourced from old salvaged SP and leased
equipment. It won't be a logging line, but it will run a work train
(leaning towards the Sierra West Models kits, if I can get some), and a
few passenger cars (a few trains each way). Would ideally like both
steam and early diesel (to run trains on total-fire ban days!).

I have the last few years of the HOn3 Annual (a gold mine of
information), but am after some more leads if I can get some.

Any thoughts / comments / suggestions / pointers welcome.

Kind regards to all,

Richard Main
Melbourne, Australia