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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Details of the forthcoming Aster AD60 seem to be creeping onto the web http://www.southernsteamtrains.com/garratt-ad60-2009.htm. I understand that this is a re-issue of a previous model - has anyone ever seen one in action. It looks awesome and I'd be really interested to hear how it might perform in practice. The fact that I've never seen one makes me worry that it might be a shelf queen....
 

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Its quite the handfull to run with two water sources of uneven size. But it is also really neat. You will have to work a bit more than on most other locomotives to run it, but it didn't look hard to me. There is one run at DH every year. I always look forward to seeing it go.
 

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The AD60 is certainly an interesting engine to run and control. Like John said, the two unequal water tanks can be a bit of a challenge to balance, but with practice, the water levels can be anticipated over a given amount of run time. The boiler steams quite furiously and the engine has plenty of pulling power. I always thought of it as being two GS-4 frames under one long boiler, with smaller drivers. The design and layout of the systems make it a very forigving engine, but it can be a workout too.

They are far and few between in the US, in fact I know of less than half a dozen that actually have been out and run. I believe the majority of the production went overseas, but the production numbers are also very low to begin with. They are a rare sight indeed, always a treat to see one running and pulling long hauls like ti was designed to do.

Also, the re-release is stating that previous minor issues will be fixed. Not having owned one, I have no idea what they were, but I do think the engine will become more user friendly.
 

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When I was a kid here in Australia we lived for a time at Coolah about 70 miles west of Mudgee and every week the Water Train would arrive with a train load of filled water tank cars. When we have a drought here in Australia we have a drought! Anyway back to the story.
We lived on a farm out of town and from the front step I could see the rai line about 1/2 mile away, when the Water Train arrived it always had an AD60 on the front and my question to my step-father was "There's nothing to support the middle of the loco , why doesn't it break in the middle?"
To me it was an ugly loco, but then the G Class on Puffing Billy line is beautiful, you can't account for taste.
At Garden Rail In The Hunter last year we had a double-header of AD60's so we still have approx two Aster AD60's here in Australia, I think I have some pix if you would like one contact me off list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Continuing the nostagia theme - I spent much of my childhood in South Africa and attribute my current interest in live steam to that time - in the 1960s I used to go from Bloemfontain to school in Cape Town by train - pulled thought the Karoo by 15Fs before switching to diesel at Worcester.

I also remember seeing the huge Beyer-Garratts when we spent holidays in Northern Natal.
 

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Robert,

If you have fond memories of the Beyer Garratts then please do not miss out on an AD60. It really is a top-notch piece of kit that will bring all those schooldays memories flooding back.
I would say that wouldn’t I? As an Aster distributor I am hardly going to give the AD60 anything other than a glowing report. But it really is handsome brute!

One thing which may hopefully occur with the AD60 re-issue is that we will get to trial an AD60 against a Big Boy and/or Allegheny. I have seen (and run) the AD60 in the past but never put it to the heavy haulage endurance test. Spring 2009 could be the time!
Andrew
 

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Let me post a public thanks to Mr Pullen and his un-named advisor for helping out a pal of mine with a bit of a problem with his loco. I sent the pics yesterday morning, and by this afternoon I was being regaled by a slightly happier camper and his rather less-seized-up loco.

Mr Pullen - you make the trials and tribulations of owning any Aster model a worthwhile experience.

My cover is removed to you, Sir.

tac
www.ovgrs.org
 
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