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Test run of the long awaited production sample from the completed project as per Aster Japan video:
The locomotive is a cylinder compound mountain type (4-8-2) locomotives fired either coal or alcohol

SNCF 241P

Here shown as completed pilot model on an outstanding indoor layout:

SNCF 241P

Coal fired

SNCF 241P
 

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Does this mean that is now orderable? If this has anything like the power of the 232U1, it will be an awesome machine.

I have two beautiful rakes of Wagon Lit coaches (Nord Express and Train Bleu) ready to go with new couplers to replace the rather feeble, if prototypically correct, ones that came with the originals. Significance here that the 232U1 became my most accident prone engine - it would set off pulling a full set, then one of the couplers would break and then the engine woulld accelerate like a scalded cat to fly into the air at the next bend.

Robert
 

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Robert

Hopefully, the U1 has another date for track time...it is an outstanding locomotive along with your rake an impressive train!
 

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Posted By Charles on 07 Oct 2013 08:29 AM
The locomotive is a cylinder compound mountain type ...



Depending on how many parts are left after completing assembly? ;)
 

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Posted By BigRedOne on 07 Oct 2013 04:51 PM
Posted By Charles on 07 Oct 2013 08:29 AM
The locomotive is a cylinder compound mountain type ...



Depending on how many parts are left after completing assembly? ;) Four cylinder compound...
 

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Anyone planning on getting one?
 

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Posted By zephyra on 07 Oct 2013 04:25 PM
Does this mean that is now orderable?

Yes Robert. If you haven't already placed a reservation with your dealer or distributor then you need to do so now! This is a very short production run. Availability for kits is expected around end November. Pricing, you should expect it to be similar to the recent Aster UP Challenger.

AsterUK
 

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Robert,
Sorry about not warning you about that when you received the cars. That happened to me a couple of times. I replaced the trucks (Leech's were a lot better) but didn't get back to the real operating problem. I'm glad you brought that up again here. I have since corrected my error in letting that engine and cars go to you. However, I will likely need to still correct the coupler issue. What did you do there?

As far as the new French beauty, very nice engine but at 2x a U1 current price (of course, harder to find these days), perhaps a bit too pricey for me right now. I've had a lot of Aster engines over the years but the U1 to me is the finest engine Aster has made.

Sam
 

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Posted By boilingwater on 08 Oct 2013 07:29 AM
Robert,
Sorry about not warning you about that when you received the cars. That happened to me a couple of times. I replaced the trucks (Leech's were a lot better) but didn't get back to the real operating problem. I'm glad you brought that up again here. I have since corrected my error in letting that engine and cars go to you. However, I will likely need to still correct the coupler issue. What did you do there?

As far as the new French beauty, very nice engine but at 2x a U1 current price (of course, harder to find these days), perhaps a bit too pricey for me right now. I've had a lot of Aster engines over the years but the U1 to me is the finest engine Aster has made.

Sam I completely agree that the U1 is the finest machine from Aster!

I replaced the hook/chain couplers with 1:32 Kadee knuckle couplers. I'm still nervous and contemplating adding safety chains. The problem is that while the 1:32 couplers are the right scale, most tracks have out of scale bumps and dips and with long cars like these, this can lead to lot of movement for the couplers to absorb.

I had planned that my new track would be completely flat but... well that is another story completely.
 

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Robert,

I think the safety chains make sense. That will likely be the direction for me. Those bleu cars are certainly pricey and very valuable these days. Keeping everything in nice cosmetic shape is a challenge given the U1´s flying ability....

I also have had some challenges with flat track this year so my U1 has been moth-balled along with the rest of the larger pieces in my shed...Hopefully, I can finish fixing the layout this weekend for a fall run.

Yes, I am reminded about the challenger of flat track somewhat regularly here in WI...When yours is back to flat, I would love to see the old engine and cars running on your layout

Sam
 

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Charles,

I will look forward to comparing the two engines if the 241p is at DH. The build for that engine will likely be very challenging. The detail is amazing so it will likely outdo the U1 there but we will see on the operating characteristics..... It certainly would be a nice add to my collection but a lot of Asters to ¨trade-in" for that one!!

Sam
 

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Posted By boilingwater on 08 Oct 2013 05:10 PM
Charles,

I will look forward to comparing the two engines if the 241p is at DH. The build for that engine will likely be very challenging. The detail is amazing so it will likely outdo the U1 there but we will see on the operating characteristics..... It certainly would be a nice add to my collection but a lot of Asters to ¨trade-in" for that one!!

Sam
Sam

Based on the price quote just release "lot of Asters" plus a lot of time, blood and tears with the kit. The videos speak well of the performance and the standard to which it was designed. We have enjoyed the U1 using both alcohol and coal runs just wish we could find enough cars in a rake to ready give it a good test run (maybe this coming weekend at Dr. Rivet). As always great to read a post from you.
 

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Wow, what an Engine !!! Question...........looks to me that the back two cylinders share the same steam chest. How does that work ????
 

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the inside cylinders run opposite of each other, and in sequence with the outside cylinders. So exhaust from the inside left cylinder goes to the left outside cylinder inlet.
 

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Posted By Steve S. on 16 Oct 2013 06:31 AM
Wow, what an Engine !!! Question...........looks to me that the back two cylinders share the same steam chest. How does that work ????

Steve,
The valve chest is really just a 'holding area' of steam, and as soon as a valve opens, the steam will go that way, and when the other opens, that way, and in fact if both are open at the same time, both ways.
You could have a shared valve chest for as many cylinders as you like if they were in a row.
Likewise, the HP exhaust will be split and 'shared' with the LP cylinders.
It is the timing of the valves that will determine which cylinders get the steam at the correct time.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Posted By David Leech on 16 Oct 2013 08:57 AM
Posted By Steve S. on 16 Oct 2013 06:31 AM
Wow, what an Engine !!! Question...........looks to me that the back two cylinders share the same steam chest. How does that work ????

Steve,
The valve chest is really just a 'holding area' of steam, and as soon as a valve opens, the steam will go that way, and when the other opens, that way, and in fact if both are open at the same time, both ways.
You could have a shared valve chest for as many cylinders as you like if they were in a row.
Likewise, the HP exhaust will be split and 'shared' with the LP cylinders.
It is the timing of the valves that will determine which cylinders get the steam at the correct time.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada





Makes sense. As long as the ports are opening at the correct time, the steam is constant,.........and the Steam God's smile down upon the engine, all should work.

Thanks for the info John and Dave.
 

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Hi there folks: For once I won't bore everybody with the Pennsy, here we are more on my turf, the SNCF. The 2-4-1 P is a SNCF copy of a design made by the PLM (Paris Lyon Mediteranee ) railway in 1930 to replace its Pacifics and its very unsuccseful 2-4-1 A series a mixed driver mountain made for hauling heavy trains on the many portions of the PLM mountains with 0,8 per cent grades. These engines had many features unique to the PLM that differ quite radically from the usual 4 cylinder layout (known as the Du-Bousquet De Glehn layout) namely that the inside HP cylinders were not placed in front of the LP cylinders but inside the frame between the first and second driver! a most unilkely place to lodge cylinders. The very large LP cylinders were placed outside between the bogie wheels. Also the PLM was an early proponent of conjugating HP and LP valve gear on the Von Bories principle. (with limited LP cuttof) which made for a fascinating reversing screw mechanism.
All these diversions from established practices must have been an extra complication for the people at Aster. I have seen the early prottype and the more recent version (They ran it on our track with 12 to 14 Wilags in tow at Rail Expo last year, we will be running on theirs next months) They also impemented a lot of very neat gadgets into the design like a tender emptying valve and so on for flushing the water out after a run. The resulm is a very expensive raise in price, which is unfortunate as these were very popular French locomotives. I admit not being able to purchase one because of this unfortunatly.

However there is a tale to know about these engines: Chapelon was born on PLM territory and naturally entered the PLM as a young engeneer, where he was told that he had too many high flown ideas for a young man. he resigned and found empoyment in the Paris Orléans railway which had more advanced ideas than the PLM. It is there that he acheived most of his transformations that blew sky high many established ideas about the possibilities and limitations of the steam locomotive in engeneering departments all over the world. When the SNCF was created mlany of it's top management were from the PLM. Although Chapelon was cheif engineer of research and developments, there were other executives that did not want his locomotives to dominate the SNCF (among them was Louis Armand who pronned 50 cycle AC electrification) instead of ordering more 2-4-0 P that were a more modern and superior design to the 2-4-1 C which was a design fiteen years old by then, they ordered 35 2-4-1 P instead that were copies of the 2-4-1 C. these were beefed up and improved by Chapelon but were still a very plain design. And they had the 2-4-0 P retired prematuredly and scrapped; as well as all other of his locomotives except two Chapelon pacifics.
About J&M couplers: the problem is the plastic hook. What I do to stop the automatic uncoupling of these is to replace one hook at one end with a hand filed steel one I file them out of bar 2mm wide X6mm high it takes about 20 minutes to make a new hook reinstall the chain and scewwing system back on the new hook, and reinstalling on the J&M WL cars. That way there is still a plastic hook on one end were I use the chain, and hook it on the other end to the steel hook. this preseves the insulation in case of electric operation.
 

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I should add a few notes on the service the 2-4-1 P did on their long career on the SNCF They first started to work the Paris Dijon (Lyon) main line of the PLM for a very short period as that line was being electrified by the time they came out. after 1952 when the electrification reached Lyon they handled the heavy passenger trains from Lyon to Marseilles. A group of seven were also stationned on the Nord region where they handled the same kind of trains on the Paris Lille line and on the line to Belgium and Cologne (as far as Jeumont); some were also assigned on the EST mainline untill its electrifications in the late fifties.
At this point the line to Marseille had been electified the Nord and Est main lines to Strasbourg also, a redeployment was in order: the Nord engines were sent to Le Mans shed on the Ouestern region Britanny lines were they handled trains to Brest and Quimper, the Est engines were used on the Paris Basle line which is still not electrified (and it explains why the Swiss love that engine). the Sud Est (ex PLM) engines were used on the Paris- Nevers - Clermont Ferand line from Moret or from Vierzon which means that they could be seen if only for a short stretch on the ex PO sout west region. Basically and because of this, it is a very popular engine because they ran on all the systems except the ex PO and MIDI lines electrified before the war. and because they were the last "big" engine on the system lasting untill 1969 in Le Mans (I remember seeing one on a summer extra in Le Mans in 1970 during a night time cab ride to Rennes). But as a steam locomotive scholar I certainly would have prefered a Chapelon 2-4-0 P or a 2-4-2 A1.
 
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