HO in the 70's

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by diesel, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. diesel

    diesel Member

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    Hey All,

    I was just reading the post about dirty track and rhtastro had compared the stuff we had in the 70's to today. I had mostly Tyco, AHM and Bachmann as many did, but I also had an Atlas SD 35, which was my best runner. I still have it today, I put a Spectrum motor in it as the original wore out.

    So, what did you guys have? More Atlas and Athearn or the Tyco stuff like me. (I still loved it anyway)
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    I had the Tyco Hustler, an Atlas something and Athearn. Also had the Rivarossi Bigboy and Challenger. All my rolling stock was Athearn. Sadly , there all gone.:curse:

    Loren
  3. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    I was started in the hobby in 1978 with a model power train set. I still have the engine (an alco c-420) in my junk box and a hopper car from the set. I didn't aquire my first good-running engine until 1985, an Athearn F-7 super powered.
  4. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    Mostly Tyco. Though I did have a couple of AHM's. I guess the AHM Pennsy Shark Nose was my favorite. Though I also had an AHM 0-4-0T.
    Wish I had them today..........
  5. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

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    I started in the early 70's with Atlas and Tyco and later with AHM's. Don't miss them too much. But it was still fun. Later went to Marklin. When I think about then and now, the technology of today is just amazing. Who would have thought.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    I mostly had Tyco. I still have a number of the freight cars. I've converted a couple of the locos into dummies.
    Ralph
  7. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

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    My Pennline 2-10-0 was my pride and joy, factory painted and lettered for the Southern Pacific (!) It was really heavy and had great pulling power even though only four drive wheels actually contacted the rails. A rubber-band drive Athearn F-7 and an AHM 0-4-0 Dockside rounded out my motive power. Rolling stock consisted of mostly Ulrich, Mainline, Cliff Line, and Silver Streak kits; a few Athearn kits thrown in including an Athearn Crane mounted on Athearn's sprung Buckeye six-wheel trucks. I still have all of the stuff except for the rubber-band drive F-7.

    I took a short break and went into 'N' guage for a few years, then returned to HO a bit later to do some serious prototypical railroading over the next 30 years.
  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I had a couple of Tyco sets back in the early 70s. The only thing that survived was a green Cities Servicetank car. I modified it with body-mounted Kadee #5s and she gets an occasional jaunt around the layout. Like mentioned above, I wish I had the rest of it.

    Ralph, thanks for the explanation on the sigs. I only have dial-up at home, and every extra bit is excruciatingly painful. And besides that, it is my opinion that gaudy sigs are a distraction. After I have seen someone's gaudy sig line for the 25th, or 48th, or 395th time, it just kinda loses its impact, ya know?
  9. CN_Fan

    CN_Fan New Member

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    My First train

    I still have it. It's a Tri-Ang CP Canadian. Wonderfull old train set. The wheel flanges are huge so It doesn't run on track much these days.:thumb:
  10. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

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    Spawn of Chaos,

    Always nice to talk to a fellow Pacific Northwesterner!

    Rubber-band drive was successful and lasted quite a few years. The last run Athearn made of their RDC units were equipt with rubber-band drive. For those who may not be familiar with it, the rubber bands were used to transmit power from a long shaft at the end of the motor to a drum on the axle of each wheel. The setup allowed for smooth running, however there was a little bit of jerking when the engine started out. Some locos were faster than others and the industrial switcher, the 'Hustler', was clocked at a scale 400 mph! Sure, the rubber bands became brittle and cracked in a couple of years, but replacement bands were available for 25 cents a bag.

    -Ed
  11. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    Although I didn't start model railroading in the 70's, I have aquired some stuff which can probably date back there. First, there's my Hustler, which according to what people here have told me could've been made in the 60's (although it's not rubber-band driven anymore). Then I have two TYCO's and an almost-mint Life like with horn-hook couplers. They seem old enough, and the TYCO's have more than enough of something (I don't even know what it is) on their wheelsets, while the Life Like seems to have never been run at all.
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    In the 70s I had HO..100% Athearn..SW7s,GP7,GP35s and SD45s and around 75 freight cars.
  13. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

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    For X-mas in 1977, Santa brought me a Tyco Brown Box Chattanooga set. I had a nice layout for a few years then I put it away. Recently I have gotten back into the hobby and was using that same controller until just a few weeks ago when I got a new controller with momentum and a brake.

    That 2-8-0 still smokes as it goes around my track... and I haven't put oil in it since 1978!! That dang thing was so frustrating as a kid and even more so now. I have to 'get out' and push it every so often to keep it running.

    I am thinking of putting it either in my yard to look like a part engine or I will put it in a park with a fence around it.

    George
  14. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    Why don't you try to get a new motor for it? TYCO trains weren't made for the model railroadist, but for the christmas joys of kids, so their engines pretty much weren't made to last the ages. The shells from their engines are good bases for improvement, however, from what I've seen.
  15. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

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    I started out back in '73 with a Life Like 0-4-0 + the Katy cattle car & a caboose but then went to Athearn when I could afford it. I did buy a bunch of the roundhouse steam engine kits, but never had any luck with making them reliable. Had a Tyco Chattanooga, which I made a box cab electric out of the tender since that's where the motor was. Still ran up until a few years ago until the gearing finally disintegrated.
  16. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

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    My stuff was mainly Tyco and Bachmann. My first train set was a Christmas present from my grandfather when I was 4. My mom worked at Gemco (Like Wal-Mart back then) and Tyco cars were $.99 a piece. When mom would pick me up from Pre-school and Kindergarten, she'd have usually a car or caboose in the trunk of the car for me *IF* I had behaved and was good at school that day, so I amassed a nice collection of cars. Every once in a while, it'd be an engine, or building kit, or accessory if she could afford it. I always loved getting building kits, since that usually meant I could talk my Dad into sitting down at the kitchen table after dinner or before dinner after he got home from work if he wasn't too tired to help me assemble it. I still have 4 of my 5 favorite Tyco sets MIB. in fact, they are on top of my closet right now, one I bought on E-bay recently that is a still sealed Chatanooga Diesel set from 1978. Never opened. I still get them out when my ex brings her little boy over to visit, he's enamored with the trains he sees in the display cabinets and shelves around the house here. He loves getting to set the Tyco stuff up in the living room and I still enjoy it immensley nearly 30 years later.

    Tyco was my generations Lionel in my opinion.
  17. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

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    I still have a number of the Burlington Boxcars and US mail Boxcars that have the automatic unloader built into them. I have them on my layout on a non-working siding but the ramp with the contacts is working so when my grandkid comes in he can push the buttons and make them work. I also have the fork lift container unloader and the pipe unloader and they all still work fine (the electric versions).

    I also have a number for the switch machine controllers with the colored bulbs in them so when you push the button the bulb rotates and changes the color of the button pushed. Great idea as LED's hadn't made it to the mainstream yet (back in the 70's) I had to re-manufacture some parts from plastic sheets and styrene but it's well worth it when the kids are all smiles!!
  18. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

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    Back in the '70's layouts were in black & white.
  19. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    I was using mostly my ol' man's stuff: an Athearn 4-6-2, a 0-4-0 (which has now desintegrated), a Tyco GP-20, which still runs OK (now & then), but has a nick on one of the wheel treads...(Anybody out there have a spare one they're not using..?). I also had a B&O F3 A&B set, manufacturer unknown, which never ran worth a hoot and is still in the almost-junk box. The rolling stock was mostly my ol' man's old Athearn steel cars (all of which I still have..!!). This was rounded out by a Fleischmann 0-6-0 train set...I also added a Bachmann 2-8-0 and a 2-8-2 later on, maybe early 80's.
  20. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    what do you mean by 'disentergrated'? if it's just the motors, I might be able to find a better motor for it.