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T O P I C    R E V I E W
OK Hogger Posted - 06/02/2016 : 8:48:01 PM
I'm BAAAaaack!

As threatened, here's an update concerning my first fledgling efforts at creating the Colorado & Pacific's first "kit-bashed" steam engine. At this point, I'm just experimenting with the basic components that I hope to make work for my first late-1870s/mid-1880s Mogul.

Here's a pic of the first combination (on the right):

Obviously, I'm starting with the venerable Pocher "Reno". It's sitting on a modified MDC/Roundhouse Old Timer 2-6-0 frame. The stack/cylinder center lines match up, so that works. (At this point, the stack is a Tyco "General" stack which may, or may not, be used.) The boiler will need just a bit of "massaging" (filing the inside edges) to allow it to snuggle down over the frame to sit lower. The "Reno" cab fits fine, should I decide to retain it. At this stage, there were a few more questions I must address:

* Can I use the Pocher cylinder/guides assembly (with new scratchbuilt main rods/side rods)?

* Can I get a Sagami 16x30 to fit inside the rear portion of the boiler? (Or do I need to go smaller?)

* Should I retain the MDC/Roundhouse 72:1 step gear ratio (using an NWSL gear set), or go with the NWSL 45:1 MDC gear replacement set? Experimentations/decisions/ ahead. I hope to answer those questions "soon".

Next, for gits n' shiggles, I experimented with what a 60" driver version would look like by using Mantua 60" drivers (that's what they measure using my dial calipers) installed into an MDC 63" driver Mogul frame. Here's the result:

Don't like it. This is supposed to be a "freight hog" and this looks like a passenger engine.

So, I then decided to piddle n' diddle some more with the 52" driver version, so I detached some more parts from the Pocher assemblies. (Wow, Pocher was way ahead of their time in devising complicated assembly procedures! Would make the "Ah so. We Chinee!" mfg folk proud!)

I massaged the boiler so it would snuggle down more on the frame and added a leading truck using a modified MDC lead truck assembly with a NWSL 26" flush end wheelset. I also modified the Pocher cylinder/pilot assembly and it fits fine. However, I think I would prefer the longer pilot version that came with the Pocher "Genoa" instead of the short version on the "Reno".

Anyway, here's what this combination looks like:

Ah... NOW we're getting somewhere! I like the overall lines and "stance".

What I don't like is the "bulk" that the MDC cover plate creates because it extends up PAST the front driver. To me this makes the frame look too "thick" between the front driver and cylinders. (Compare that area on the Jupiter in the pic above.)

So, I think I will be cutting off the MDC cover plate back toward the center axle. This ought to result in a "deep firebox" look which is definitely desired, but create more "space" under the frame for the front driver. (I will use a thin piece of brass screwed to the frame w/small a pair of bolts/screws to hold the front driver set in place.)

I then got the happy idea to try an MDC "Old Timer" cab on it to see how that looked. Here's a pic of that experiment:

Nope. Ain't happening. Looks like it's been "modernized" in the mid-late 1880s and I don't want to go there. I want it to look more "original". So, that attempt was a dud.

Now, from here I learned that a 16x30 Sagami round can will NOT fit the Pocher/MDC combination. It will fit the MDC frame (have done so in the past) but will NOT fit the Pocher boiler, even after using the dremel to remove the ridge inside the Pocher boiler that's up at the top. (Hits the boiler taper before the can motor is far enough forward for the MDC frame.)

So, this means I need to find an alternative motor. Thus far, it looks like the NWSL 12mm x 25mm is the most likely option at this point. That combination will require an adapter bushing for the shaft to retain use of the NWSL MDC regear sets available.

Which brings up this question:

Have any of you any experience re-gearing an MDC Old Timer from the stock 72:1 step gear to a NWSL 45:1 step gear? If so, what were the performance changes?

Okay... I think that's it on the updates for now.

Any input most welcomed!

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Michael Hohn Posted - 05/28/2020 : 10:53:51 AM
What a contrast!
OK Hogger Posted - 05/28/2020 : 10:20:04 AM
A picture illustrating one of the attractions of the 19th century for model railroading purposes: Small engines and cars!

To wit, this pic purportedly taken in the 1920s showing the progress of modern railroading at the time. How tiny that 19th century car looks!

railman28 Posted - 01/10/2020 : 3:28:48 PM
Originally posted by OK Hogger

Even though I'm hip deep in my diesel era, I'm still looking to the future and my 1880s era. Just picked up this NIB earlier today:

Nickle silver wheels/etc. Currently, the roster projects are heavy with 2-6-0's and not enough 2-8-0's. This will help some!


Some indeed, put a AHM Reno body over the drive. I think you'll like the results.

OK Hogger Posted - 01/10/2020 : 2:17:04 PM

Even though I'm hip deep in my diesel era, I'm still looking to the future and my 1880s era. Just picked up this NIB earlier today:

Nickle silver wheels/etc. Currently, the roster projects are heavy with 2-6-0's and not enough 2-8-0's. This will help some!

OK Hogger Posted - 01/08/2020 : 12:30:18 PM


Don't know what kind of glitch that was, but I posted my above post several hours ago and it never showed as an update within the thread listing?

OK Hogger Posted - 01/08/2020 : 09:34:57 AM
Glad you enjoyed them!

The logging pictures are fascinating. Such a tight, small hollow to work within!

railman28 Posted - 01/06/2020 : 5:42:43 PM
love these pictures! Quite the contrast from a 1880's main.


OK Hogger Posted - 01/06/2020 : 5:24:42 PM

Just saw these today and found them fascinating.

Thought of you all and decided to share downsized versions of them here. These are from the Portland Lumber Company up at Grays River, WA. Circa TOC19.

Whereas I'm quite happy with my Ozark theme, I can't help but feel that these photos could be quite inspiring for someone dabbling with the idea of a proto-lanced NW US logging theme via On30, or even HO std gauge.

And, after sharing pictures of your layout, should someone play the "Too Funky" card on 'ya... you could show them these pics!!

All fer now.

OK Hogger Posted - 01/06/2020 : 12:50:55 PM
A follow up...

Unfortunately, my planned Saturday rendezvous with the second group of two train nut friends didn't pan out. Took a direct shot of the "crud" on Friday, and by that evening I had no voice, only being able to whisper. I had no choice but call off the Saturday operating session.

The final days prior to the ill fated session, I had created/printed simplistic switch lists and manifest sheets for use on switch jobs and through freights.

I had also entered the car #'s and destinations on the switch lists and had the manifest sheets ready for the through trains that were to run.

Oh well, maybe later this week.

Though I'm still firmly entrenched in my 1960s diesel era (trying to get it up to operational speed), I still thoroughly enjoy seeing/reading about TOC19 endeavors such as prototype history, prototype pictures, and TOC19 modeling efforts of others.

"One of these days" the layout will be converted to accommodate my late 1880s era and my fledgling group of operators (all operator prospects to date have diesel-oriented interests) will get a chance to operate under totally new circumstances with drastically different motive power and operating practices.

However, for now, they just need to learn the basics via the more simplistic railroad world of diesels.

Occasionally, I will see prototype pictures that can be superimposed onto the Ozarks with a bit of imagination. I recently saw this picture on one of the several TOC19 Facebook pages I frequent:

Aside from that Belpaire firebox, THAT scene could represent many locations in the Ozarks in the late 1880s-early 1890s. Love the small diameter logs on the flat car!

All fer now!

Michael Hohn Posted - 12/29/2019 : 4:10:25 PM

Itís good to see an update and to read of your progress.

Iím pleased with my NCE and donít see going the cell phone route either.

Meanwhile, installing switch throws is fussy work but so necessary to good operation. Iíve tried sticking to the rule of installing them as soon as Iím happy with new trackwork.

OK Hogger Posted - 12/29/2019 : 2:07:55 PM
Some belated replies...


I got lazy and didn't get out to see the Big Boy. I sort of regret that now... but it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

Yes, I've been pleased with the overall performance of my older NCE over the 12+ years I've owned it and messed with it.


Yes, I hope the NCE will last the lifetime of this layout. I purchased all at once so all the items are compatible as to versions, and I shouldn't need to add to the system later. I could possibly be interested in one more "cab", but honestly, four operators out there would definitely have the potential for clogging up the alcove area. Three trains moving at once will likely have to be the maximum.

Like you, I don't have any interest in using my phone (WiFi). With the tactile nature of the NCE handhelds, one can learn to adjust speed, direction, and a few other rudimentary functions, by feel. Can't really do that with a flat, featureless, screen that requires LOOKING at where your finger is placed on the screen for control.


Thanks. So far it's proving to be what I had hoped for. Next time I have the steam stuff on it, I'll snap a few pics. (Diesels are on it currently.)


Over the past week I've installed Caboose Industries switch throws at ALL switch locations. Gone are the temporary fiddle-some safety pin throws. The installation of the Caboose throws has really made a world of difference in making switching easier.

All fer now!

RyanAK Posted - 12/29/2019 : 11:50:59 AM
Love the progress youíve made. Such a neat layout. Keep on it, Hogger!
masonamerican Posted - 12/24/2019 : 3:53:23 PM
A NCE system sounds like a great system and a sound investement. Well isn't everything Model Railroady a great investment
I have myself a Roco system (similar to Lenz) which works great. It has Wifi capability using a Iphone but haven't much used that as I like the feeling of control using a controler knob.

railman28 Posted - 12/02/2019 : 5:09:28 PM
Let the Good Times roll. Did you get see Big Boy roll by? The NCE system should be a good bet. I've not heard of a unhappy owner.

OK Hogger Posted - 12/01/2019 : 5:45:15 PM
Hi Bob!

Thanks for asking!

Well, I'm hip deep into my "riding season" and I have been doing a lot of dual sport riding in the mountains of OK and AR. Wife has also been riding some with me (she rides the XT225 I purchased the past April.) That so, my model trains haven't been the top priority.

However, what HAS been priority has been the saving of my hobby allowance in order to make a large (to me) investment in NCE DCC components.

Among all the other things vying for my hobby funds, I finally saved back enough that I was ready to go forward and order the stuff. I have ordered:

1 completely new NCE DCC R/C Starter System that includes an R/C cab (hand held unit).
1 5 Amp power unit to power same.
1 Fast acting circuit breaker for the system.
2 Additional R/C cabs (hand held units).

Total has come to nearly $1100, a fair chunk of change. However, this will allow me to replace my 12+ year old NCE DCC R/C unit currently being used on my Ozark layout that's in the out building as well as give me the ability for 3 operators.

The older system will be brought in here to the house to become the power/control for my future KC Lines shelf switching layout here in this computer room. Waste not, want not.

I did host a regional get-together a couple weeks ago. There were 6 of us, total. I handed the throttle to one of them and a switch list to the other, and they ran a train and worked the Gravel Turn.

They enjoyed it a bunch, but the grade bit them on the hiney. They tried to switch the rock plant and bit off more than the single unit could handle, so they had to regroup and come up with another plan. Welcome to mountain railroading!

Anyway, once the new system arrives and I have it installed and proofed, I will be inviting those two back down for a shake down run with three operators. I figure they'll each run a train on the layout, and I'll take the third throttle and work the stages/through trains.

Probably gonna' be one of those "cluster****" deals... but it ought to be fun and we've gotta's start somewhere in learning how to operate this new layout!

All fer now!


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