State of the hobby (was Re: [HOn3] Not so great news)


Bill Lugg
 

I'm not up on the "mainstream" MRR magazines as I only subscribe to
NGSLG, a couple of historical society rags and I get the MRH Running
Extra online magazine, which I've found to be pretty good, though not
too rich in the NG arena.

I too have heard the concerns of the demise of the hobby and the cries
for new, younger blood.  It has occurred to me recently that we might be
seeing a cultural change in the way folks approach the hobby, most
hobbies of this sort, these days.  Could it be that the younger
generation are infatuated with video games, social media, etc., but as
they age, raise a family and get into their 40's or 50's their interests
turn to hobbies such as model railroading, RC cars/aircraft, etc.?  I've
seen several posts on other forums and a few on this one from folks who
have mentioned returning to the hobby after a long absence, perhaps
while pursuing a career, raising a family, dealing with a lack of
space...I just wonder if it's unrealistic to expect a lot of young
people in the hobby with all the competition from other forms of
entertainment in the world today.

All that rambling is to say I think we should probably expect the age
range of the average model railroader to shift a little older for the
reasons stated above and for economic reasons, but I'm pretty confident
the hobby isn't dying.  The challenge is to sustain some of these older
companies that have built up a large collection of assets and their
owners have reached a point of retirement.  San Juan is a perfect
example of one organization that seems to be making it work and there
are others.  Hopefully there will be more to come along as more of these
companies age.

Thanks for listening.
Bill Lugg

On 11/19/21 3:36 PM, Mike Conder wrote:
You know, I've been hearing about the contraction of the model RR
hobby for at least 50 years and more, reading some of my dad's old
magazine's from the early '60's.  But it's still here, new products
keep coming out, people are buying books and magazines ...

I also used to think that MR was superior to RMC, only partly due to
the number of pages.  But was noticing this month that the reverse is
now true, and RMC now has the advantage there.  It also has more
hands-on projects, especially for experienced modelers, while MR seems
to be aiming towards the RTR less-experienced modeler.  each is
pursuing the market as each feels is correct for them, and more power
to them.

But I still like the Gazette and NGDU and read everything in them
cover-to-cover, vs, scanning some and reading some for MR and RMC (but
reading a higher percentage of RMC these days.)

Mike Conder


Wayne
 

Have to agree with most of your thoughts but one must also realize that the hobby is a reflection of how we grew up.  I had a big Lionel as a child, we (the family) rode on passenger trains, the local freight came through town and blew it's whistle.  Exposure to railroading is no longer a big part of growing up these days, just as TV Westerns are no longer a part of nightly viewing.  The old Union Stations downtown are no longer part of life.  And then there is the technical/mechanical side to the hobby.  My first train with a working headlight and lit passenger cars and turn-outs was high tech to me.  Wiring a layout for lighted buildings, remote turnouts, passing sidings and cab control was high tech.  Today's youth is growing up with video texting, high definition video games and drones.  Unfortunately, us old model railroaders are dying off at a faster pace than younger ones are picking up the hobby and this is accurately reflected by the "Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette".  Circulation is less now than it was 15 years ago, it is 10 pages shorter and has approximately 50% fewer advertisers.


silent_11111
 

What are you defining as a younger generation? 

I’m 33 and I get the feeling sometimes reading these posts,  I’m in the youngest 10 percent of this group. 

There are a lot of reasons my generation and younger ones either are not into trains or can’t afford them. 

There are also amusingly ironic reasons. 

Paul


On Nov 19, 2021, at 19:29, Wayne <waynewtaylorii@...> wrote:

Have to agree with most of your thoughts but one must also realize that the hobby is a reflection of how we grew up.  I had a big Lionel as a child, we (the family) rode on passenger trains, the local freight came through town and blew it's whistle.  Exposure to railroading is no longer a big part of growing up these days, just as TV Westerns are no longer a part of nightly viewing.  The old Union Stations downtown are no longer part of life.  And then there is the technical/mechanical side to the hobby.  My first train with a working headlight and lit passenger cars and turn-outs was high tech to me.  Wiring a layout for lighted buildings, remote turnouts, passing sidings and cab control was high tech.  Today's youth is growing up with video texting, high definition video games and drones.  Unfortunately, us old model railroaders are dying off at a faster pace than younger ones are picking up the hobby and this is accurately reflected by the "Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette".  Circulation is less now than it was 15 years ago, it is 10 pages shorter and has approximately 50% fewer advertisers.


Wayne
 

You.  I {and the previous author) are Baby Boomers, you are a Millenial.  There is no value judgement attached to that, it's just that different generations by definition grow up in different times and end up with dissimilar interests as they age.


On Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 6:35 PM silent_11111 via groups.io <silent_11111=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
What are you defining as a younger generation? 

I’m 33 and I get the feeling sometimes reading these posts,  I’m in the youngest 10 percent of this group. 

There are a lot of reasons my generation and younger ones either are not into trains or can’t afford them. 

There are also amusingly ironic reasons. 

Paul


On Nov 19, 2021, at 19:29, Wayne <waynewtaylorii@...> wrote:

Have to agree with most of your thoughts but one must also realize that the hobby is a reflection of how we grew up.  I had a big Lionel as a child, we (the family) rode on passenger trains, the local freight came through town and blew it's whistle.  Exposure to railroading is no longer a big part of growing up these days, just as TV Westerns are no longer a part of nightly viewing.  The old Union Stations downtown are no longer part of life.  And then there is the technical/mechanical side to the hobby.  My first train with a working headlight and lit passenger cars and turn-outs was high tech to me.  Wiring a layout for lighted buildings, remote turnouts, passing sidings and cab control was high tech.  Today's youth is growing up with video texting, high definition video games and drones.  Unfortunately, us old model railroaders are dying off at a faster pace than younger ones are picking up the hobby and this is accurately reflected by the "Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette".  Circulation is less now than it was 15 years ago, it is 10 pages shorter and has approximately 50% fewer advertisers.



--
Wayne Taylor


@Erik_The_Train_Fan
 

I'm 14 years old and got into the hobby about two years ago. I started with a few bachmann rtr sets and learned that buying older models is a good cheap way to get into the hobby. as time has passed I have started dabbling in building model locomotive kits and custom painting and decaling models. A few months ago I decided to start doing some Hon3 modeling as I am from Durango Colorado and narrow gauge trains are my favorite. I have found that Hon3 is quite expensive but have managed to get some equipment at fairly cheap prices.


Russ Norris
 

Welcome to the greatest hobby in the world, Erik.  You will find a lot of friends and guides among us.  And you will enjoy hours of fun and learning new skills.  You will also encounter many challenges, as you would in any new endeavor.  But don't be discouraged.  We all started where you are now.   Feel free to jump in and ask questions.

Russ


On Fri, Nov 19, 2021, 10:26 PM <erikdhobby@...> wrote:
I'm 14 years old and got into the hobby about two years ago. I started with a few bachmann rtr sets and learned that buying older models is a good cheap way to get into the hobby. as time has passed I have started dabbling in building model locomotive kits and custom painting and decaling models. A few months ago I decided to start doing some Hon3 modeling as I am from Durango Colorado and narrow gauge trains are my favorite. I have found that Hon3 is quite expensive but have managed to get some equipment at fairly cheap prices.


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


AdamKP
 

I too am a younger member as well, a junior in college to be exact. Trains have always been a lifelong interest of mine but it was in the last couple years that I seriously got into model railroading. I have been blessed with supportive parents and an environment where I have time on my hands to partake in the hobby. I also try to purchase older models when possible, eBay is a great place for this, but I also believe that things like weathering can make even the cheapest model look halfway decent. I’m currently building my most ambitious project yet which consists of three levels set in the Sierra Nevada’s. I’ve also started a model railroad club at my college and hopefully myself and the few members we have so far will be able to put together a small HOn30 switching pike, using Bachmann UK and 3d printed products. Anyways that’s my two cents.


claneon30
 

Gentlemen, Adam and Erik are Exhibits A) & B) of why I am bullish on the hobby. There are as many young people coming in as there ever was. The older folks just don’t always see them as we look for people that look like us.

Also, they don’t engage in the same way many of the older folks do. This may well have been the first post from either of them, but they are out there, watching and learning.

More from me next week.

Chris Lane - Editor HOn3 Annual
chrislaneon30@...



On Nov 19, 2021, at 8:58 PM, AdamKP <penncentral13@...> wrote:

I too am a younger member as well, a junior in college to be exact. Trains have always been a lifelong interest of mine but it was in the last couple years that I seriously got into model railroading. I have been blessed with supportive parents and an environment where I have time on my hands to partake in the hobby. I also try to purchase older models when possible, eBay is a great place for this, but I also believe that things like weathering can make even the cheapest model look halfway decent. I’m currently building my most ambitious project yet which consists of three levels set in the Sierra Nevada’s. I’ve also started a model railroad club at my college and hopefully myself and the few members we have so far will be able to put together a small HOn30 switching pike, using Bachmann UK and 3d printed products. Anyways that’s my two cents.


Russ Norris
 

Welcome Adam.  Sounds like you and your club are well on your way.  A lot of colleges and universities seem to have model railroad clubs.  Getting together with like minded friends who share your interests is a great idea.  

Russ


On Fri, Nov 19, 2021, 10:59 PM AdamKP <penncentral13@...> wrote:
I too am a younger member as well, a junior in college to be exact. Trains have always been a lifelong interest of mine but it was in the last couple years that I seriously got into model railroading. I have been blessed with supportive parents and an environment where I have time on my hands to partake in the hobby. I also try to purchase older models when possible, eBay is a great place for this, but I also believe that things like weathering can make even the cheapest model look halfway decent. I’m currently building my most ambitious project yet which consists of three levels set in the Sierra Nevada’s. I’ve also started a model railroad club at my college and hopefully myself and the few members we have so far will be able to put together a small HOn30 switching pike, using Bachmann UK and 3d printed products. Anyways that’s my two cents.


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Mark Lewis
 

Chris,

Thank you for acknowledging Eric and Adam and their positive impact on the hobby of model railroading.

An observation that I made, as a 72 year old modeler while attending the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Hickory, NC, this past September, was of 2 people/groups, in particular, David K.- the owner of Western Rails, an up and coming 3D printing company, there as a vendor and Juan N. & his friends, from Nebraska(?), there as a modular layout exhibitor. Both would be considered "young" and both had eye catching products, displays and flawlessly running HOn3 layouts. What impressed me the most about both of them, was their ease with interacting with potential customers and admiring visitors to the modular layout.....something that many "experienced" vendors/exhibitors failed to do, and have a gloomy outlook on the hobby.  Kudos to them both.

Looking forward, Chris, to your in-depth observations on this topic, coming next week.


Mark Lewis
Narrow gauge modeling in N.C.


Nigel Phillips
 

Welcome Adam.

I was struck by Adam's comment on modeling with Bachmann UK products and 3D products. Thomas the Tank HOn30 range mechanisms and 3D bodies presumably.

I used to model OOn9 using Bachmann US N-scale or Hornby Minitrix chassis and Langley Models white metal bodies running on 9mm track. Good reliable mechanisms.Looking at what's available in HO/OO bodies today (resin or 3D) I am sorely tempted to go back to HO/OO narrow gauge on 9mm track. Why? It doesn't cost a small fortune when compared with HOn3, the products are available now, and what is available is not focused on 2-3 lines. If you model the usual candidates (D&RGW, RGS, EBT, etc.) it's a lot better, but still very limited and expensive.

Some of my modeling friends raised their eyebrows when I said I was going to give HOn3 a try. "Going Western then? Hope you've got deep pockets". I did my homework on HOn3, the problems I saw are not related to the age of the individual, more to the range of available products, their cost, and the fact that many of the older products have a lot of intrinsic issues that will cost in many cases almost as much as the original to resolve. Case in point - the recent thread on locomotive chassis binding on tight curves. If it's an old brass model it was not meant to go around 18"-22" radii. I had a look at the Westside C-16 2-8-0 I recently bought, it only goes around 22"-24" radii curves because it has no rims on the inner pair of wheels and there is very little lateral movement of the axles. Anything more (tighter radii) will involve milling the chassis and installing some lateral springing in the form of pickups. Remotoring it professionally would be almost as much as I paid for it (DIY will be the grand sum of $25 with postage, but not everybody has the inclination to do that). My plans involve dual gauge running, something is amiss when the cost of a brand new and available today HO Consolidation with sound is half that of a new HOn3 one (that is if and when it's ever made).There is a used Athearn Old Time D&RGW 2-8-0 with sound on eBay at the moment for $300, and numerous brass grinders for around $250-$300. A new old stock IHC with a can motor and flywheel comes in around $150, add another $100 for sound. The way things are going I am probably looking at an HO layout with a small HOn3 operation over some dual gauge track.

I model in a couple of other scales but with layouts that are of the same size. The cost of the HOn3 one could be almost 3 times more than the HO one, and 2 times more than the OO EM gauge one (and that one requires extensive regauging modifications to the running gear, with new wheelsets costing $150 and up).

Modelers today look hard at the costs and availability, and go where the goods are. Which means the box-shifters and HO or N.

Nigel




 


On Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 6:44 AM Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:
Welcome Adam.  Sounds like you and your club are well on your way.  A lot of colleges and universities seem to have model railroad clubs.  Getting together with like minded friends who share your interests is a great idea.  

Russ

On Fri, Nov 19, 2021, 10:59 PM AdamKP <penncentral13@...> wrote:
I too am a younger member as well, a junior in college to be exact. Trains have always been a lifelong interest of mine but it was in the last couple years that I seriously got into model railroading. I have been blessed with supportive parents and an environment where I have time on my hands to partake in the hobby. I also try to purchase older models when possible, eBay is a great place for this, but I also believe that things like weathering can make even the cheapest model look halfway decent. I’m currently building my most ambitious project yet which consists of three levels set in the Sierra Nevada’s. I’ve also started a model railroad club at my college and hopefully myself and the few members we have so far will be able to put together a small HOn30 switching pike, using Bachmann UK and 3d printed products. Anyways that’s my two cents.


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


 

I guess today the "force" in me is leaning toward the philosophical.  Here's a couple of lines from a posting l just wrote for our local neighborhood internet forum. (the subject had to do with laser cutters)
"One other thought on laser cutters and other modern computer controlled tools.  If your plan is to use it for a business, the investment in money and your time can give you a competitve edge, especially if you are one of the early adopters or have an especially creative way to use the new tool. 
"On the other hand, if it is for hobby use, beware.  The tool can become a new hobby.  And if that hobby involved making things with hand tools you may well be disappointed when the automation takes away the deep satisfaction that comes from work you do with your hands.  Especially if you made perfecting your tool sharpening skills a first priority."
I really believe that there will always be those among us who have physical motor skills like good hand-eye coordination and a creative mind.  In spite of their general lack of participation in group activities like clubs, shows and group layout running sessions they are the real core of the hobby. And there is no generation monopoly on these often loners.
EdW


Alan Kilby
 

I would suggest you see if there are train clubs in your area that you could possibly join,The clubs I've been member of have had members your age.Even if it's not HOn3 you could gain a lot of modeling knowledge.I was fortunate when I was your age to have stumbled upon Jack Burgess at library with timesaver layout,boxcab and a few freight cars set up on folding table.I joined his round robin group and in addition to his layout we visited others of varying scales.I was handlaying brass code 100 rail($3.50 a bundle)at time until I saw his code
One that stands out,maybe someone here knows of it,had all trestles/bridges 4' tall from garage floor and no benchwork.This was in San Francisco in 70's.


From: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io> on behalf of Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...>
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2021 7:48:18 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io>
Subject: Re: State of the hobby (was Re: [HOn3] Not so great news)
 
Welcome to the greatest hobby in the world, Erik.  You will find a lot of friends and guides among us.  And you will enjoy hours of fun and learning new skills.  You will also encounter many challenges, as you would in any new endeavor.  But don't be discouraged.  We all started where you are now.   Feel free to jump in and ask questions.

Russ

On Fri, Nov 19, 2021, 10:26 PM <erikdhobby@...> wrote:
I'm 14 years old and got into the hobby about two years ago. I started with a few bachmann rtr sets and learned that buying older models is a good cheap way to get into the hobby. as time has passed I have started dabbling in building model locomotive kits and custom painting and decaling models. A few months ago I decided to start doing some Hon3 modeling as I am from Durango Colorado and narrow gauge trains are my favorite. I have found that Hon3 is quite expensive but have managed to get some equipment at fairly cheap prices.


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Wayne
 

Nigel:  Regarding your statement: " I had a look at the Westside C-16 2-8-0 I recently bought, it only goes around 22"-24" radii curves because it has no rims on the inner pair of wheels and there is very little lateral movement of the axles. Anything more (tighter radii) will involve milling the chassis and installing some lateral springing in the form of pickups." I think you have it reversed.  I have 3 Westside C-16's and they all run fine on 12" radii curves.  The purpose of the blind drivers is precisely to allow for the locos with 8 drivers to negotiate tighter curves.  The only potential issue is that on some of the HOn3 brass locos the pilot wheels sometimes don't have sufficient play to negotiate tight turns, but that is an easy fix. 

--
Wayne Taylor


Alan Kilby
 

  An advantage to clubs is the diversity of methods and interests in hobby.I prefer working on locomotives and building rolling stock over trackwork although I find building turnout and handlaying track relaxing,in my experience some club members will do/specialize on a certain aspect of modeling :scenery, trackwork,electrical,equipment maintenance some diesel others steam.DCC is a big part of hobby learning about installing and programming decoders is very helpful.
  Most of us mrr's are happy to help/encourage newcomers to our clubs and hobbies so don't be reluctant/hesitant to ask about membership in club,most clubs have open houses which is a great time to ask if their accepting new members.Also ask if there's membership fees some have them.
  There are several very talented experienced members in this group happy to answer  questions and help each other.Welcome.


From: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io> on behalf of Alan Kilby <alankilby@...>
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2021 8:40:29 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io>
Subject: Re: State of the hobby (was Re: [HOn3] Not so great news)
 
I would suggest you see if there are train clubs in your area that you could possibly join,The clubs I've been member of have had members your age.Even if it's not HOn3 you could gain a lot of modeling knowledge.I was fortunate when I was your age to have stumbled upon Jack Burgess at library with timesaver layout,boxcab and a few freight cars set up on folding table.I joined his round robin group and in addition to his layout we visited others of varying scales.I was handlaying brass code 100 rail($3.50 a bundle)at time until I saw his code
One that stands out,maybe someone here knows of it,had all trestles/bridges 4' tall from garage floor and no benchwork.This was in San Francisco in 70's.


From: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io> on behalf of Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...>
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2021 7:48:18 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io>
Subject: Re: State of the hobby (was Re: [HOn3] Not so great news)
 
Welcome to the greatest hobby in the world, Erik.  You will find a lot of friends and guides among us.  And you will enjoy hours of fun and learning new skills.  You will also encounter many challenges, as you would in any new endeavor.  But don't be discouraged.  We all started where you are now.   Feel free to jump in and ask questions.

Russ

On Fri, Nov 19, 2021, 10:26 PM <erikdhobby@...> wrote:
I'm 14 years old and got into the hobby about two years ago. I started with a few bachmann rtr sets and learned that buying older models is a good cheap way to get into the hobby. as time has passed I have started dabbling in building model locomotive kits and custom painting and decaling models. A few months ago I decided to start doing some Hon3 modeling as I am from Durango Colorado and narrow gauge trains are my favorite. I have found that Hon3 is quite expensive but have managed to get some equipment at fairly cheap prices.


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Mike Conder
 

Nigel, no question that HOn3 RTR is more expensive than SG RTR equipment. But that doesn’t mean that this niche has to be unaffordably expensive for those who are willing to try to do some old-fashioned kit building and scratch building. 

HOn3 rolling stock kits are around for $10-25, a good example are the RailLine box and stock cars.  LaBelle is another great example. 

On locos, the old MDC loco can be made into a fine runner for $200 and DCC/sound for $300.  Kits currently run on Ebay for $100-150.  I’ve done it for less though without DCC and with a kit that cost $75 back then .. total about $150 for a loco that took a Merit award at an NMRA regional contest. 

So it can be done with a hit if work and elbow grease. 

Concerning the hobby “decline” I’ll offer a piece of anecdotal info.  I’m a moderator on the Sergent coupler Facebook page.  We have gotten about 2 dozen new members, all apparently under 30 or 40 and many from overseas, especially Brazil.   So I think the hobby is maintaining and most likely actually growing. 

Mike Conder

On Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 9:10 AM Nigel Phillips <nigelp18000@...> wrote:
Welcome Adam.

I was struck by Adam's comment on modeling with Bachmann UK products and 3D products. Thomas the Tank HOn30 range mechanisms and 3D bodies presumably.

I used to model OOn9 using Bachmann US N-scale or Hornby Minitrix chassis and Langley Models white metal bodies running on 9mm track. Good reliable mechanisms.Looking at what's available in HO/OO bodies today (resin or 3D) I am sorely tempted to go back to HO/OO narrow gauge on 9mm track. Why? It doesn't cost a small fortune when compared with HOn3, the products are available now, and what is available is not focused on 2-3 lines. If you model the usual candidates (D&RGW, RGS, EBT, etc.) it's a lot better, but still very limited and expensive.

Some of my modeling friends raised their eyebrows when I said I was going to give HOn3 a try. "Going Western then? Hope you've got deep pockets". I did my homework on HOn3, the problems I saw are not related to the age of the individual, more to the range of available products, their cost, and the fact that many of the older products have a lot of intrinsic issues that will cost in many cases almost as much as the original to resolve. Case in point - the recent thread on locomotive chassis binding on tight curves. If it's an old brass model it was not meant to go around 18"-22" radii. I had a look at the Westside C-16 2-8-0 I recently bought, it only goes around 22"-24" radii curves because it has no rims on the inner pair of wheels and there is very little lateral movement of the axles. Anything more (tighter radii) will involve milling the chassis and installing some lateral springing in the form of pickups. Remotoring it professionally would be almost as much as I paid for it (DIY will be the grand sum of $25 with postage, but not everybody has the inclination to do that). My plans involve dual gauge running, something is amiss when the cost of a brand new and available today HO Consolidation with sound is half that of a new HOn3 one (that is if and when it's ever made).There is a used Athearn Old Time D&RGW 2-8-0 with sound on eBay at the moment for $300, and numerous brass grinders for around $250-$300. A new old stock IHC with a can motor and flywheel comes in around $150, add another $100 for sound. The way things are going I am probably looking at an HO layout with a small HOn3 operation over some dual gauge track.

I model in a couple of other scales but with layouts that are of the same size. The cost of the HOn3 one could be almost 3 times more than the HO one, and 2 times more than the OO EM gauge one (and that one requires extensive regauging modifications to the running gear, with new wheelsets costing $150 and up).

Modelers today look hard at the costs and availability, and go where the goods are. Which means the box-shifters and HO or N.

Nigel




 

On Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 6:44 AM Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:
Welcome Adam.  Sounds like you and your club are well on your way.  A lot of colleges and universities seem to have model railroad clubs.  Getting together with like minded friends who share your interests is a great idea.  

Russ

On Fri, Nov 19, 2021, 10:59 PM AdamKP <penncentral13@...> wrote:
I too am a younger member as well, a junior in college to be exact. Trains have always been a lifelong interest of mine but it was in the last couple years that I seriously got into model railroading. I have been blessed with supportive parents and an environment where I have time on my hands to partake in the hobby. I also try to purchase older models when possible, eBay is a great place for this, but I also believe that things like weathering can make even the cheapest model look halfway decent. I’m currently building my most ambitious project yet which consists of three levels set in the Sierra Nevada’s. I’ve also started a model railroad club at my college and hopefully myself and the few members we have so far will be able to put together a small HOn30 switching pike, using Bachmann UK and 3d printed products. Anyways that’s my two cents.


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/

--
Mike Conder


Nigel Phillips
 

Hi Wayne,

Yes, strange. The only purpose of rimless drivers is/was to allow the prototype to go through sharp curves (locomotives don't actually need rimmed drivers when on straight track due to the cant in the rails and tread). Even then there were limits, dictated by the tread width, usually of several hundred feet radii. Unfortunately it seems nobody told the brass builders that it would be advisable to have some lateral movement on the rimmed drivers when scaling down from 1:1 to 1:87. Lateral movement on the drivers was of the order of an inch or less on the prototype (check the Baldwin diagrams), brass builders just followed instructions. These locomotives were handbuilt, no two the same. Or even 2 sides the same. All part of their charm. The fact that the leading trucks need modifying to go around model track radii  just emphasizes the point that gentle curves are the order of the day.

I'll go back and check the BtB on the drivers, maybe they have been pushed out a tad by the previous owner. The wheelbase is of course an 0-4-0 when it comes to curves. Could also be I'm using a true 10.5" gauge.Might have to reduce that a bit. Although I never intend to go down to 14"-18" curved track so it probably doesn't matter.

I think part of the problem is the misconception that going narrow gauge allows tight curves. My rule of thumb is nothing less than 24", preferably 36" radii and nothing less than a #8 frog. (A #10 would be better). The section of dual to single gauge track I'm building at the moment has two #8 turnouts, one straight, one curved, minimum exit radii of 47" and 74", the latter with a curviform frog. The software I use has flashing red numbers when I go below 25" radii. Keeps me honest. And I'll be using radii derived from the track plan of Lethbridge yard.

Nigel


On Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 11:40 AM Wayne <waynewtaylorii@...> wrote:
Nigel:  Regarding your statement: " I had a look at the Westside C-16 2-8-0 I recently bought, it only goes around 22"-24" radii curves because it has no rims on the inner pair of wheels and there is very little lateral movement of the axles. Anything more (tighter radii) will involve milling the chassis and installing some lateral springing in the form of pickups." I think you have it reversed.  I have 3 Westside C-16's and they all run fine on 12" radii curves.  The purpose of the blind drivers is precisely to allow for the locos with 8 drivers to negotiate tighter curves.  The only potential issue is that on some of the HOn3 brass locos the pilot wheels sometimes don't have sufficient play to negotiate tight turns, but that is an easy fix. 

--
Wayne Taylor


Mike Conder
 

A point of near-useless internet:

In about 1902, the Morenci Southern bought three Class 56 locos (predecessor to the Class 60 which became the C-16) from the D&RG.  Like virtually all NG locos, these came from Baldwin with blind center drivers and flanged outer drivers. 

But the MS had tight curves and requested that the D&RG swap drivers so the 1st & 3rd drivers were flanged and the 2nd & 4th drivers were blind.  The D&RG did so but told the MS they wouldn’t run the modified locos on their rails for testing. 

I have found no info on whether or not the MS kept the drivers that way …

Mike Conder 

On Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 9:40 AM Wayne <waynewtaylorii@...> wrote:
Nigel:  Regarding your statement: " I had a look at the Westside C-16 2-8-0 I recently bought, it only goes around 22"-24" radii curves because it has no rims on the inner pair of wheels and there is very little lateral movement of the axles. Anything more (tighter radii) will involve milling the chassis and installing some lateral springing in the form of pickups." I think you have it reversed.  I have 3 Westside C-16's and they all run fine on 12" radii curves.  The purpose of the blind drivers is precisely to allow for the locos with 8 drivers to negotiate tighter curves.  The only potential issue is that on some of the HOn3 brass locos the pilot wheels sometimes don't have sufficient play to negotiate tight turns, but that is an easy fix. 

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Wayne Taylor

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Mike Conder


John Lyans
 

My model railroad interests include both HOn3 and outdoor, 1:32 & 1:20.3 large scale. I do the newsletter for our Ventura, California based garden railway club. We had a "meet" today and there were two members in their teens, and three or four members in the 30 to 40 year-old range with their young families attending. One fellow had a radio controlled live steam engine and the others were running Airwire battery controlled trains. The kids were all having a great time, some as young as 8 running the battery powered RC trains. Even though our club membership is skewed towards the older ages, we have seen an influx of younger members in the last two years. I think model railroading will continue to be pretty popular.
Best wishes,
John Lyans


Mark Kasprowicz
 

Westside D&RGW C-16's have blind drivers because the full size ones did. As did D&RGW C-Class Baldwins, like the 17, 18 and 19. Increasing the lateral movement would only add to the problem because if the curve was tight enough, the central two pairs of drivers could fall off the track. (This BTW was almost the case with D&RGW 315 when it went round the D&S balloon in Durango. It had to go around very carefully.)

As for a WS C-16 not being able to negotiate anything less than 22", I can only say that mine do, as do my Balboa C-19's and of course the whole range of Blackstone locos (ie both of them!) were designed to work on something like 19" radii. So I suggest something is not quite right with your WS - the middle four play no part in keeping the loco on the track, they only transfer power to the track.

Remotoring? Only $1.50 with a 15mm Minebea and around 30 minutes work though I am not sure how this would improve the radius limit.

Mark K