Freerails Home 
Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Micro-Layouts Minis Switching & Pizzas > ' 13th Street Yard ' - Tri-ang Railways (TM) Transcontinental Vintage HO Switching

Because of non-railroad abuse of the site, new members MUST use their first names (at least) to join NO EXCEPTIONS!

 Moderated by: W C Greene  
AuthorPost
Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline



What to do with a great Tri-ang 'Transcontinental' vintage HO collection, that just doesn't want to be packed away in boxes ?  L:


Put on your Hi-Vis, and relive late 20th Century switching, down at the ' 13th Street Yard ' !  :cool:


Si.  :P


.

W C Greene
Super Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 7230
Status: 
Offline
Si, I like that "precision clockwork" bit! Yep, she runs like a Swiss watch or maybe today's analogy would be a Chinese watch. Hmmm...

Trouble

pipopak
Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 13th, 2011
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1548
Status: 
Offline
Precision: the ample gap between "NO" and "MAYBE"...

Jose.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
The nimble fingered ladies of Margate in Kent, assemble rolling stock from the Tri-ang Railways (TM) 'Transcontinental' T.C. Series.

Circa late 1950s.




:bg:


Si.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
Tri-ang Railways new 'state of the art' facility in Margate, Kent.

Built in the late 1950s.



Tri-ang Railways new factory appears as a typically FANTASTIC piece of graphic-art, in the 1958 Catalogue.

They should have released it as a kit ! ;)


:thumb:


Si.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
" WHAT THE HELL D' YER MEAN, SHE'S BUCKIN' LIKE A BITCH ? ...

... I DON'T WANNA HEAR ABOUT YER OL' LADY ...

... I WANT THIS PILE O' CRAP OUTTA THE BALL PARK BEFORE THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS GETS HERE ! "



" We gonna have to switch the Budd into 13th Street Yard ...

... the tracks are HELL down there, but what else is there ? "


" YEAH ... WHATEVER ... SPARE ME THE PHILOSOPHY ...

... JUST CLEAR THE DAMN MAIN LINE ! "


.

Kitbash0n30
Registered


Joined: Mon Dec 10th, 2012
Location: Boonville, Missouri USA
Posts: 530
Status: 
Online
Si. wrote: They should have released it as a kit ! ;)Indeed! Even just a slice of it for use along the layout edge.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
" I like that "precision clockwork" bit !
Yep, she runs like a Swiss watch or maybe today's analogy would be a Chinese watch."


Howdy Woodie :cb:

You'd like the Tri-ang clockwork steam-kettles for sure !
No nasty track-power to short-circuit, or require yards & yards of wiring.
Runs like a dream over heavily rusted 'Super-4' track as well.
Could be a good candidate for radio-control, although there isn't much room, as the powerful clock-spring fills up the entire boiler !!

No unreliable and hard to get foreign Swiss or Chinese plastic parts either.
Just good ol' fashioned British steel & brass, made just down the road from where I grew up in Kent !
I'm sorry to say Tri-ang never did a Shay though. :f:

- - - - - - -


" Precision: the ample gap between "NO" and "MAYBE"... "


Hi Jose :cool:

Ample gaps are provided 'as standard'.
Especially in the flange-ways ! :shocked:
Tri-ang eliminated all the 'nos and maybes' & just went straight for the YESES !!  Damn fine design ! :brill:

- - - - - - -


" Indeed ! Even just a slice of it for use along the layout edge."


Hi Kitbash :!:

A slice could be possible !
The '13th Street Yard' tracks are  crammed in pretty tight between the old downtown buildings.
Gonna have to work on that idea a bit. L:

- - - - - - -





The Budd Railcar comes complete with authentic GROWLER WHEELS sound system !


:thumb:


Si.

.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
The dim glow from a bare 40 Watt bulb in 13th Street Yard office flickered as a GROWLING F-Unit hurtled past at the head of the midnight Transcontinental Express.

Another freezing night in hell, thought the dispatcher.
The yard office window got bust again last night & the sports page taped over the splintered glass wasn't holding up that well.

" Are we supposed to wait up all night while Kephart gets back to us on the R254 approval ? " spat the overworked dispatcher.

The 13th Street Yard Super. had wired through to Pennsylvania earlier, concerning the new R254 overhead electric steeple-cab they wanted to use for special switching duties.



The A.L.Co. could handle most of the tortuously tight curves in the cramped downtown yard.

But the sound of screeching & screaming flanges on the curve to the hopper-dump wasn't just a case of ear ache.

The damn thing was bending the rails off the ties !


" What the hell ! " exclaimed the dispatcher, as the ticker-tape machine on the desk clattered into action.

" This must be Kephart at last ! ... Maybe I can go get some sleep now ! "


  
. . . I LUV IT !! . . .  Rattled the stream of electrons from the Pennsylvanian traction expert onto the grimy paper strip.


" He must be in a good mood for a change, didn't even mention the buffers ! "

" OK that's it for tonight, let's get the hell outta this wreck ! "

" I'll buy you a cold one at The 4 Aces ... That new Siberian barmaid is HOT ! "

" Yeah ... bout the only one who can stand the temperature round here " shivered the Super.


:y:


.

Kitbash0n30
Registered


Joined: Mon Dec 10th, 2012
Location: Boonville, Missouri USA
Posts: 530
Status: 
Online
Interesting looking little thing.
Q: Which, the Siberian or the Steeplecab?
A: Yes.
;)
Great little skirt.
Skit.
Whichever.

Helmut
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Feb 17th, 2013
Location: Friedberg, Germany
Posts: 736
Status: 
Offline
A freelance could-have-been, inspired by this.

Kitbash0n30
Registered


Joined: Mon Dec 10th, 2012
Location: Boonville, Missouri USA
Posts: 530
Status: 
Online
Ahh, freelancers inspired by, that is a concept I get :)

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
Hi Helmut :wave:


OUTSTANDING RESEARCH !


I had heard rumours from some of the rivet-counters I hang out with, that the 'Behala EL4' locomotive was based on the Tri-ang Railways R254 Steeple-Cab.

Personally I was never convinced.

I think you've hit the rivet on the head with the 'LAG' though Helmut !

It does look like it was 'LAG' in fact that used the R254 Steeple-Cab design !!

There's no doubt in this nay-sayers mind anyhow.


For this outstanding research Helmut, I would like to give you the very first Freerails '5 Einsteins Award' for original & unique research, leading to a better understanding of the railroading world around us.


:brill: :brill: :brill: :brill: :brill:




Photo courtesy of Jurgen Heegmann.




Photo courtesy of 13th Street Yard.


'LAG' obviously left off the side-rods, probably too expensive or something.

But other than that I feel the 'LAG' is a fairly good likeness of the Tri-ang Railways R254.

Those rivet-counters who think the 'Behala EL4' was the clone of the Tri-ang are clearly out to lunch !


Well done Helmut !

I hope the '5 Einsteins Award' looks nice with all the others back home. ;)


:moose:


Si.


P.S. Is there any truth in the idea that space-time is curved around the armature of a Tri-ang open-frame motor ?

My HO guys in the hi-vis have looked, but can't see anything conclusive at present.


:f:

.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
Hi Forrest :wave:


SOOOPER NICE steeple-cab ! :bg:

I'm lookin' at the shelf-bracket & thinkin' ... is that 1/2" or 'G' scale ?

I know you are tinkering in HO and are a On30er, but that steeple is BIG ! ? right ?


Nice colour, I know the pix. from my own collection !


:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:


No 'Einstein Award' ;) ... But for practical-power ... She looks like a goer ! ;)



Photo courtesy of Ben Brooksbank.


I have pix. of your proto-photos in my collection as well.

The Brit. steeple-cab above ^^ is one of my favs. :bg:

The L.N.E.R is equipped for 3rd-rail as well, and was used for hauling heavy ore-cars I believe, over up to 1in27 grades, two were made, way back when, retired in '64 I think.


:moose:


Si.


Back to Tri-ang Railways (TM)  s  o  o  n  .  .  .

Hard not to be diverted when there's a NICE steeple-cab about though ! :bg:


Kitbash0n30
Registered


Joined: Mon Dec 10th, 2012
Location: Boonville, Missouri USA
Posts: 530
Status: 
Online
Si. wrote: SOOOPER NICE steeple-cab ! :bg:

I'm lookin' at the shelf-bracket & thinkin' ... is that 1/2" or 'G' scale ?

I know you are tinkering in HO and are a On30er, but that steeple is BIG ! ? right ?
Hey there, thanks!
And add dabbling in Gn15 to the list :cool:

Basic locomotive is some ambiguous flavor of G scale made by Hartland Locomotive Works of Indiana and marketed as "Sparky". There is also a red one with trolley pole.
Pantograph loco is available labeled for the North Shore and trolley pole for Pacific Electric.

Chassis, Cab, roof, and motor block come from their model of Mack Truck's shop built 30-something ton switcher.
A page worth looking at:
https://www.bigmacktrucks.com/topic/33657-mack-rail-%E2%80%93-the-locomotives/

I'm generally measuring details to 1/24 scale, 1/2 inch scale.
At the moment I'm putting more effort in to HO for our club and the G for me.
HLW's Mack/Sparky locomotives are quite affordable being under $100 and sometimes substantially less so a few more have been acquired.
Some getting heavily kitbashed bodies.

Colors will be, eventually, taken from my 1980s and 1990's freelance HO traction line.
Passenger train colors were inspired by the Milwaukee and freight colors by, well, I don't know for sure, maybe the Illinois Terminal's light green?
Green as used by me is a mix of GN glacier green and NYC jade, from the discontinued and much missed PollyScale water soluble line.
Trolley and interurban colors were inspired by Pacific Electric, the red and silver of I think the North Shore, or another line in the region.

Some other G projects in various stages of very slow progress; orange cab one with Italeri 1/24 trucker figure is going to be internal combustion.
That's not a control lever inside boxcab, it is one of the couplers to be used. I figured keeping them inside it was the most likely way to not lose them.

IMG_5163 by Forrest Wood, on Flickr

IMG_4321_30 by Forrest Wood, on Flickr

Someday, eventually, maybe, this On30 box motor will get done.
And almost 10 other electrics of various configurations and axle counts.



And this Gn15 creation will eventually be an electric, with another steeple cab battery loco as a companion, that one with wooden body.



I enjoy tinkering with enough different things that between that and working on club's modular HO layout I'll probably never have a real layout at home, in any scale, just some track on a door.
And I think I'm coming to where that's okay.

Kitbash0n30
Registered


Joined: Mon Dec 10th, 2012
Location: Boonville, Missouri USA
Posts: 530
Status: 
Online
Si. wrote:

The Brit. steeple-cab above ^^ is one of my favs. :bg:

The L.N.E.R is equipped for 3rd-rail as well, and was used for hauling heavy ore-cars I believe, over up to 1in27 grades, two were made, way back when, retired in '64 I think.

Hard not to be diverted when there's a NICE steeple-cab about though ! :bg: 
Looking at hatches on sides I'd wager it had battery power too.
EDIT: went playing in Google and found, nope, probably not.
http://www.lner.info/locos/Electric/es1.php

Round vents are an interesting style, look like something liberated from someone's furnace.

1 in 27, that's a serious grade! 3.7% is getting steep for standard adhesion traction.
But hey, a steeple for your steep hill does make sense.

Yes, steeplecabs are a favorite electric locomotive type. Box motors are right behind them. Then come internal combustion industrial critters.

Last edited on Fri Mar 3rd, 2017 07:51 am by Kitbash0n30

W C Greene
Super Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 7230
Status: 
Offline
Howdy Forrest, it doesn't matter if you don't have space for a layout, just building cool stuff like you have shown is great. Keep it up and don't forget to write! (I know you won't)

Woodie

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
" I'll probably never have a real layout at home, in any scale, just some track on a door."


Hi Forrest :wave:


Well ... When I see things like Francks large-scale 7/8ths exhibition layout, here on Freerails, I gotta say maybe sometimes 'a door' is all one needs !


Personally I think a 'real layout' can be anything you want it to be.


I typically don't quite know as yet, what I am actually looking to do for '13th Street Yard'.


But for sure, John Allens 1/2 a door, is a lot of ops. a bit of scenery if required & a perfect small space for running, testing & displaying trains.


OK forget the Broadway Limited ;) they never ran that one with a steeple-cab anyway ! :f:


:moose:


Si.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
Tri-ang Railways,  1959,  Margate,  Kent.





Possibly the view that inspired the wonderful catalogue illustration on the previous page.


L:


Si.


Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
The 'Transcontinental' 4-6-2 Pacific No.2335 was a MUST HAVE when the 1956 catalogue was published !



Later the Pacific was named 'Hiawatha' & came not only with very American Walschaerts valve gear...

...but with working headlamp & SMOKE ! :P

John (oztrainz) tells me, the even later version 'Hiawatha' even had SOUND ! :shocked:


:pimp:


Si.


The F-Unit type A & B diesels or the 4-6-4ST 'Baltic' based on a New Zealand prototype were pretty HOT tickets too ! :bg:


Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
A very well known

You could even say FAMOUS !

Or perhaps some would say INFAMOUS !! :f:

Wooden board

With a few bucks worth of track nailed to it. :shocked:




Photo courtesy of J. Dunn


It currently resides at the 'San Diego Model Railroad Museum' in California.

The display case looks becoming of precious ancient Egyptian treasure !

I wouldn't mind betting they've had a few $$$ cash offers for it as well !!


How much does an original Jackson Pollack go for these days.

Mmm...

There is only ONE ! original John Allen 'Timesaver' though !

Or maybe 2 absolute tops. ;)


Go pay it a visit, I'm sure it would love to see you ! :P


L:


Si.


Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline



L:


Bob R
Registered


Joined: Thu Nov 20th, 2014
Location: Papillion, Nebraska USA
Posts: 216
Status: 
Offline
Si,
Your right the John Allen Timesaver is a treasure.  When it comes to operation it is not only a challenge but also can provide endless entertainment.  Over the years I have used the basic design of timesaver as the basis for switching layouts.  Of course I expanded the plan for greater car capacity for switching layouts.  My current Geneseo Railway has three seperate switching areas.  Each area is inspired by Timesaver.  The amount of operation (and fun) is tremendous. 
In my opinion, anyone looking to model in a small space should study Timesaver carefully.  And - everyone should have Timesaver for practice and learning of operating their toy trains.  
Bob

Lee B
Registered


Joined: Tue Dec 9th, 2014
Location: The Pacific NW, By Way Of The Deep South, USA
Posts: 578
Status: 
Offline
Darn it, I was in that museum in January and I never noticed that. That’s the original John Allen timesaver, huh? Man, I wish I’d known that was there!
The guy who did the DCC wiring for my layout (and we out for an op session this past weekend) used to go by Allen’s house when he was much younger. I’ve also met a couple of people who used to regularly run op sessions on the layout (one admitted that it was hardly a reliable layout for electric contact, but I suspect that wasn’t an uncommon thing way back then). One guy has what he claims is one of the locomotives from the layout. I took a good look and let’s just say it was a sure representation of the state of the hobby back then. Pretty much anything you buy out of the box these days is infinitely better for quality and accuracy.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
" Everyone should have Timesaver for practice and learning of operating their toy trains "


Hi Bob :wave:


You know what Bob ... That is a bit of a EUREKA moment ! :shocked:


I think you're right.

Bachmann should market an On30 'Timesaver Set' !

Sure beats seeing a R.T.R locomotive going round & round in circles ... or ovals normally.

I wonder if the On30 'Timesaver Set' would be a marketing coup ! ?


- - - - - - -


" My current Geneseo Railway has three seperate switching areas. Each area is inspired by Timesaver. "


I had noticed actually that your switching areas were very Timesaverish. :bg:

Whether it is an exact copy or not is kinda neither here nor there.

I guess the basic concept of spurs emerging from or near a runaround-loop is a pretty universal topology.


I had to laugh the other day.

In Googling a few switching trackplans, I came to a well known online model railroading magazine site.


A guy Posted his trackplan, basically a Timesaver, and the Editor said...
...no don't make that, having a runaround-loop is a very un-prototypical layout.

Then a couple of Google searches later...

...I got back to the same site again.

Another guy Posted his trackplan, basically an Inglenook, and the Editor said...
...no don't make that, it is very operationally uninteresting, you need a runaround-loop.

I honestly couldn't stop laughing to myself ! :bg:


- - - - - - -


" The John Allen Timesaver is a treasure."


I couldn't agree with you more Bob !!



:moose:



Si.

Ken C
Registered
 

Joined: Tue Jun 16th, 2015
Location:  Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 102
Status: 
Offline
I always have a chuckle when the timesaver discussion comes up, as there was a prototype timesaver? railway yard built in 1895, 18 years before John Allen was born in 1913. The yard was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway and located in Sandon BC.

Along with a switchback at the start of grade, the line was 4.85% to get into Sandon. The line was built to serve the town, mines and mills located there.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
" it was hardly a reliable layout for electric contact, but I suspect that wasn’t an uncommon thing way back then "


" Pretty much anything you buy out of the box these days is infinitely better for quality and accuracy "


Hi Lee :wave:


As far as I'm concerned electrical contact is simply a matter of 'good housekeeping'.

If there is less than good wiring and a ton of dust & oil etc. in the mix...

...then the result today or way back when is going to be the same.

Decent layout wiring is easily as important as all the modeling input.


As for what I've bought "out of the box these days"...

...my Bachmann Mogul has a split plastic gear after 5 mins running.

The recently manufactured slotcars I have aren't much better either. :f:

The '50s/'60s machined-brass & diecast-metal drive-trains in the Tri-ang Railways locos I have...

...look & operate like Swiss-watches, despite some being over 60 years old.


As for accuracy, the general build & fit of parts on the Tri-ang products is second to none.

The then 'cutting edge' plastic body moulding pioneered by companies like Tri-ang...

...has really not actually changed THAT MUCH, since the mid '60s.

There is a tendency for companies like Bachmann to stick on a few more wire bits here & there these days...

...but whether a few extra odd grab-irons makes much difference to a model is debatable.


However, like any 50 year old machinery, some maintenance is of course required occasionally.

I won't be needing to spend big-money on replacing busted plastic gears & expensive motors though.

But cleaning out 1/2 a centuries worth of dust & old oil, is obviously a MUST.


The other thing for potential buyers of 'vintage' locos to be aware of, is sometimes the motors old magnet.

They can be the single & simple to fix cause of poor performance, as they 'go weak' over time.

In the case of the awesome Tri-ang motors, the whole assembly can be easily striped & maintained.

New neodymium magnets are available at £3 each, and are a simple job to change.

Spare parts like armatures & brushes are also all available at 'sensible' prices no problem.


The vintage Tri-ang products if taken care of, will still be running when I'm 6ft under.

I doubt I could honestly say the same regarding what I have bought " out of the box these days ".

They can be nice toys to play with while they last...

...but generally like many modern things, they aint built TO LAST ! ;)


:!:


Si.


Tri-ang Transcontinental, cutaway diagram from the 1960 catalogue.







 

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
This photo from a while back, is of a typical Tri-ang Railways power bogie.

Not all the parts are shown.

The bronze end bearings, oil pads & thrust bearings have been removed.

So have the electrical parts, pickups & carbon brushes.


I tested these 10mm cube magnets, before I found a 3/8" cube magnet was available.

Later still, I found an EXACT SIZE with hole, neodymium replacement for the old magnet, bottom left.





For anyone looking to replace a 'weak' magnet in a vintage loco...

...if you can't find the correct size needed...

...there are LOADS of different sizes available, which could be 'stacked' to form the correct sized magnet.


All the components were de-oiled.

Using meths for the bearings, armature, electrical parts & wheels.

Hot water & detergent for the diecast chassis.


:!: Don't despair ... REPAIR ! ... as Pops used to say. :bg:


Si.


pipopak
Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 13th, 2011
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1548
Status: 
Offline
I read somewhere and long ago that taking apart a motor would permanently weaken the magnet. Proper way to disassembly one would be to bridge first the magnets and remove the rotor after. True or just another "internet science" BS?
Jose.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
" True or just another "internet science" BS ? "



We ran some tests in the ' 13th Street Yard ' lab. ...

... & can confirm that IT'S TOTAL B.S !


- - - - - - -








:Crazy:


Dr. Beaker  -  B.Sc. 

.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
- - - - - - -


" What happened ? "

" He jumped !! "

" Another Wall Street guy ? "

" PROBABLY ... They seem to like this spot ! "





" O.K. LADIES ... BACK TO WORK ! ... THE W.I. MEETING'S OVER !! ...

... GET THE ROAD SWITCHER DOWN TO 13TH STREET ...

... THIS PLACE IS GONNA BE SWARMING WITH COPS EATIN' DONUTS ANY MINUTE !! "



 

oztrainz
Super Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location: Unanderra, Australia
Posts: 691
Status: 
Offline
Hi Si,

Your 7005 is in far better nick than my 50+ year old version that has had the traction grooves worn off the wheels..:bg:

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline






:w:


Si.

Si.
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 2958
Status: 
Offline
The Midnight-Express is held at 13th Street Yard ...

... while the cops on the R78 bridge finish their carb. break.





The Supers. ol' pickup comes in handy around 13th Street.






UltraBB 1.172 Copyright © 2007-2016 Data 1 Systems