Tender-driven locos?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Andy's got you covered, CNWman. It's an AHM/Rivarossi model of a 4-8-8-2 Cab-forward. An interesting design made to help engineers in the long Espee tunnels. By putting the cab up front, the occupants weren't asphyxiated by the smoke produced by the engine. 'Til then, they'd have to wear air masks or lay on the floor with wet rags over their faces. Not well received in the beginning by crews for fear of hitting oil tank trucks at grade crossings leaving them unprotected, they soon caught on, having never hit an oil truck their entire service life. Oh...it only worked for the lead engine, the poor slobs doing pusher service would still have to eek thru the trip.:thumb: The "porch" between the loco and tender was called a "monkey porch" because of all the hobo traffic it would pick up. This because the usual hitching point, the tender was a dangerous place in the winter for a 'bo. They would pick up water on the fly thru a scoop under the tender, often overfilling the tank. The resulting wall of water would freeze a 'bo to the tender beam, leaving the crew to remove a frosty corpse from time to time, frozen to death in his place. Because the crew was so far forward from the tender, they could never here the screams for help.
  2. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

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  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    I have the same loco?

    Interesting -- I have [almost] the same loco, although mine has the pilot wheels. Mine has the same number (638) but the headlight is mounted up higher and the bell is made of black plastic. Otherwise, mine looks very similar. (This was one of the many locos that I inherited from my Dad, who had a large model railway collection.)

    Mine also doesn't run but a guy (who has done excellent work repairing quite a few of my locos) at a LHS thinks he might be able to get it working again. My guess is that they'd charge me about $30 to do this -- do you think it's worth it? I've put it off mainly because someone else advised me that it was not worth it because the loco's pancake motor was jerky with weak pulling power. Just curious.

    My other question is: I wonder if CN or CP ever ran locos such as this?

    If I get a chance, I'll try to post a pic of my Chattanooga 2-8-0 #638 loco.
    Cheers, Rob
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Robert,

    I wouldn't. It's a bit of a clunker, especially compared to what's available nowadays. If you watch the train shows, you should be able to pick up an IHC 2-8-0 for about $50, which will run much nicer (and looks a little better) than that Tyco.

    If you want a really nice consolidation, keep your eyes out for the Spectrum 2-8-0. I've seen them at the flea markets for $100-$120.

    CN and CP both did run consolidations, each road had several different classes of different sizes; but they didn't look much like the Chatanooga Choo Choo. That model is a bit of a hybrid, with a USRA light Mikado or Pacific boiler and a switcher cab.
  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Squidbait. All of this makes sense & I'll probably just leave it in my "not working" collection -- especially since it would cost $30 to fix and you can probably get something better for $50. I just tried turning the driving wheels and they didn't work as well (they jammed at one point). Rob
  6. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    There are quite a few layouts that I've been to where they double head with diesels and the second one is the powered one and the leading a dummy, one good reason I can think of is if the train derails the dummy will take the initial damage- but I'm not sure, personally I agree powered should be in the front, and I'm not really fond of tender driven locos- even though I own one.

    As a matter of reference and interest, some US harbour lines attached a "booster" to the tenders first bogie (Rivarossi makes an 0-8-0), so there is a prototype with a powered tender, don't forget climaxes, heislers and shays- just an interesting thought.:D

    Great question though, always wanted to see what others thought of tender drives.
  7. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    Piko (German manufacturer pronounced peco) also does this, not sure if these are in the US as well.

    One manufacturer whose locos are cheap but have excelently quiet motors (So soft you hear only the clickety click of the wheels!!!!!!) is Mehano (I.H.C. in the U.S.), but their motors are in the locos:thumb:
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Mechanically, I think it makes sense to turn more small wheels directly off the motor (like in tender drive or a diesel), rather than the gear-tower to single-axle drive of most steam locos. It's a lossy system, largely due to transmitting force to the drivers through the side-rods which give you less mechanical advantage than a gear on each axle. As well, the gear ratio is higher from the motor to the axle in the loco drive than it would be with driving small-diameter wheels like tender wheels, so you don't necessarily use the motor most efficiently.
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Squid's right, shelve it for nostalgia's sake, it just isn't worth the hassle. Your's would be similar because Tyco would interchange details, using common frames and boilers. It was a simple matter to change the boiler front, add a pilot truck---provision is there for a trailing truck, too---change the name and off to the races.:thumb:
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Shaygetz. I'll just shelve it then -- several people have now advised this! It sounds as if it were a mass-produced & poorly-detailed loco as well not being a great runner. Rob
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Robert,

    Most of the Tyco stuff from the '70s and early '80s was "train-set" quality at best. In the '70's Tyco offered most of the Manutua steamers as kits, and for the time they were quite good.

    The loco you have, however, comes from the "Chatanooga Choo Choo" set. I remember it quite well, because when I saw it in the Sears Christmas Wish Book, I wanted one! It had the loco with smoke, and a boxcar that made "chug-chug" sounds. IIRC, it had a big cylindrical chamber with beans or something in it that rolled on the track - not exactly protoypical! Anyways, what you have is a steamer that was designed for a toy set, with a cheap motorized tender... while you might be able to do something with it (power the tender with Spuds or Bachmann power trucks or something) it's more a curiousity than a serious runner.
  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Squidbait. That's interesting history re this loco. I'll probably just hold onto it for curiosity.

    FYI, I have a couple other locos -- diesels -- that I'm curious to ask about as well. These are also from my Dad's collection that I inherited. I might take pics and post these on a different thread. I have a hunch that they might be a bit better than this Chatanoogo loco, but not by much.

    Thanks again for your feedback.
    Rob