Engines: How tall is too tall?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by TrainClown, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

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    So I'm altering some engines I got as junk and I am making smoke stacks for them. It looks good, but, How tall is too tall? Or, What is the maximum proto hight for an engine?

    Please help.

    TrainClown:wave:
  2. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

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    Hmmm... How high are your tunnels?
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    IMHO 16 or 18 ft, go with a 18 or 20 ft tunnel
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    If you get an nmra standards gauge, you will notice it is shaped like a tunnell openning. It sets the minimum standards for a tunnell openning in the scale you choose. If you set the gauge on the tracks (with power off of course) a locomotive stack must be low enough to pass under the top of the gauge.
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Since you're just bashing something up, I assume you're not following a prototype. The NMRA gauge, mentioned above, would be the most obvious thing to use. However, some roads had clearance restrictions. NYC, for example could never run dome passenger cars or three deck auto racks due to height restrictions. The domes would've crashed into the tunnel entrances to GCT. There were other ;ow clearances along the Hudson division. The Erie, on the other hand, had no such restrictions and could, and did, build enormous Berkshires.

    If you'd like to model a really tall stack, just bear in mind you'll need to build your railroad with sufficient clearance.

    Gary
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    TC
    I have a feeling that stacks should be just about the height of the cab roof, or possibly a little higher. Some of the early locos (Rocket, deWitt Clinton, John Bull) with no cabs did have great long pipes for chimneys. I think this was to draw the fire better. The later locomotives with huge boilers had almost no stack at all -- it would have been all inside.
  7. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

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    Thanks guys :thumb:

    Good tip Russ. I checked out the nmra standards and found out the tunnels are to be 22 feet tall from the track surface. So my bash is ok at 19.5 feet.

    Gary, your right. Good thing I'm building my engines first and the layout later on, to fit, so to speak.

    60103, no way can my stacks be the same hight as the cab, as the cab is only slightly taller than the boiler. I am making my own head lamps and I find the lamp makes the taller stack look right. (to me anyway) I'm modeling in the turn of the century so it is the time of the big spark-catchin' stacks.;)

    I will post pics soon.

    TrainClown
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Hey TC!

    There is a short article in the April 2003 MR about "retractable" stacks that were made for (name escapes me now, of course) RR, which had very tight clearances on the bigger steamers. The stack had a telescoping part that was put up for better draw on the smokebox, but could be lowered for really tight tunnels.

    There was a scissor type arrangement on both sides of the stack that was activated by a steam (what else) cylinder. Apparently, these detail parts are not widely available anymore...

    I'll see what else I can find...

    Andrew
  9. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Santa Fe used these on some of their modern steam, don't know who or if other roads used them as well.
  10. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    If you have an engine house or roundhouse planned, you might check its' opening. The several plans I have range from 16 to 20 feet. In fact, one roundhouse plan I have ranges from 16 to 20 feet depending which door you pick :D :D :D Nothing wrong with NMRA standards, but you want to make sure they will work for you. Of course, there's always the smoke stack-ectomy if it turns out to be a foot too tall one day :D :D :D
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    :wave:

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  12. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    The opening is 17.5 feetish

    I believe the chimney is designed to raise up 4 or 5 ft, then be lowered over the lokeys smoke stack after the lokey is in place. I'm sure there's a schmardt guy out there that can confirm. If so, the 16 or 16 1/2 foot clearance under it woud not be a factor, but the 17 1/2 foot opening to get in would be for sure.

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  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Looked at that short article (it is indeed the April 2003 MR). They mention only ATSF as having the exenders, and note that no one they know of currently produces the detail parts required.

    Andrew
  14. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    I came across these photos while doing some research .

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  15. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    #2

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  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Cool - love those shots Ray!

    That second one especially - there is so much going on...

    Andrew
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Santa Fe had very few tunnels, so they put those "top hats" on their big steam locomotives to lift the smoke up and over the cab. With the stack extended, they were too tall for the tunnels, so they had that linkage seen in the close up to allow the engineer to lower the stack when approaching a tunnel.
  18. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    I was looking for reference photos for an AT&SF 4-4-2 that is a close match for the MDC 4L1 Atlantic kit, that I'm assembling for the Maricopa Express Youth Railway. When I saw these photos I remembered this thread.