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Discussion Starter #1
I have finally started work on the locomotive for my Mexican. You can see the car builds and history in "Mexican train parts 1 through 3. Here is a photo of the train so far with the Bachmann Connie which will be bashed to look like the N de M locomotive #291.


A photo of the #291 taken by my father circa 1946.


A similar loco that shows the side detail better.


To be continued.

Merry Christmas to All!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Greg, The Mexican railroads often added a second sand dome due to many long steep grades. The trains I rode from Mexico City to Oaxaca City, about 300 miles in 24 hours, had to run double and triple headers through the mountains and at times ran so slow that one could jump off, run along side and jump back on!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My friend Wesley and both have Connies and are working together to update the drive and convert them to battery/RC. First we replaced the drive axle and defective plastic gear with an axle and brass gear from Bachmann. Here is the old axle and gear. The crack in the gear is plainly visible
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The 2 locomotives side by side. The one on the right is mine with the brass gear showing.

Sorry about the fuzzy spot, I needed to clean the lens.

Next we tore down the tenders to install the batteries and RC. We removed the coal load and cut out the area underneath to allow easier access to the electronics.


This is the interior of my tender showing the layout of the speaker, MyLocoSound board, RailBoss4 ECS and the RCS receiver. Wesley's is similar but with a Lion battery behind the speaker and an RCS combination receiver and ECS in front along with the sound board.

The battery on mine is mounted on top of the tender and will be covered by an oil tank which replaces the coal load.


The electronics in Wesley's tender.


I will be modifying the tender trucks to look more like the Bettendorf ? trucks used on the Mexican prototype. It has standard gauge trucks using 3 foot narrow gauge wheels on extended axles. My friend Vance gave me a set of Bettendorf side frames and I found that the Bachmann trucks can be adapted to work by cutting off the arch bars and gluing the new sides to the remaining cross beam. That makes the gauge about right. The cast in coil springs were removed and replaced with the leaf springs from the Bachmann trucks.

I will show more of that operation as it progresses. That is it for now.
 

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Remember that you want to be careful if it rains, the opening can divert water right onto your electronics.... just a tip from a friend who is in a very wet climate... you may not have this issue at your location!

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Well I just accidentally erased my entire post. :mad:
My friend Vance helped me find the manufacturer and serial number of the loco 291. It was built by ALCO Schenectady as s/n 68740. The as built photos look quite different from the 291 as converted by the N de M shops. Here is a detail of the tender truck. Vance gave me a set of truck side frames which are a close enough match to satisfy me.


This view of the tender rear shows the standard gauge truck with narrow gauge wheels installed.


I took the Bachmann side frames and removed the arch bars. The new frames were then glued to the stub ends of the original cross beam. I was going to turn new axles with the extended shafts but realized I could get the same effect by just extending the bearings which was a much easier solution. Here are an original truck next to a modified one.


The tender with an original truck and a modified one. The wheel base of the modified one is .1 inch shorter than the original (2 inches at full scale). Since the photos of the prototype were taken at an angle it is hard to determine exact dimensions. Therefore I consider this to be within the margin of error.


Adios, beer time!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The tender is finished. I will do some weathering on it once the loco is completed.


I am not very happy with lettering which I printed on sticky back vinyl. I think it would be better if I use a mask and paint it. Sorry about the fuzzy photo. I realized that my camera had gotten switched to "soft focus" by accident.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Now that the tender is done I am starting on the locomotive. Here is a list of the modifications that will be made.
lengthen the smoke box 1.25 inches
shorten the stack 1/2 inch
move the boiler and cab back .625 inches
add second sand dome
add second air pump
move bell to front of smoke box
raise running boards to the centerline of the boiler
widen the pilot deck
build steps from deck to running boards
change from "D" valves to piston valves
change from Baker valve gear to Walsharts
relocate air tanks and piping
paint, lettering and weathering
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Here is some of the work I have accomplished so far. The locomotive is completely disassembled.


The smoke box is lengthened by cutting at the centerline of the stack and adding a piece of PVC pipe on the inside.
A couple of layers of styrene were added to bring the diameter to the O.D. of the smoke box.


The Stack was shortened and all the crevices filled with Squadron putty.


I am now working on the valves and valve gear. Many of the parts from the Bachmann valve gear are usable with some modification. I will post more on that as I progress.
 

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Mexican Train Part 4 Locomotive

Hi Wynn

That is great progress you are making on the Mexicanisation of your Connie. Needless to say progress on mine is much slower with a lot of thought but little modification!!

One comment, and I only mention this as you mentioned that you were not happy with the tender decals, but from all the photos I have seen of these 2-8-0s the ‘DE’ in ‘N DE M’ has always been in upper case.

I have been doing some work on the decals myself and felt that Rockwell seemed a passable font using 118 pt for the ‘N.’ and ‘M.’ and 78 pt for the ‘DE’. I attach a pdf of what I have done so far.

Keep up the good work.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Guys. Tim. that is a great side view! I did not have one that is that close to perpendicular. Thanks for pointing out that I had the lettering wrong. I knew it didn't look right but hadn't inspected it closely enough to realize why. Also thanks for the attached file. I'm thinking when the train is complete that I will get a whole set of lettering from Del. I have bought several electronic items from him. He is great to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I am going to regress a little. Here are some photos of where I am starting and where I am headed. First right and left of the loco as it came from the factory.




The stock Bachmann valve gear.


The ALCO valve gear.




I am using the 2 cross beams from the B'mann, the back one in the original position and the front one moved to the space between the second and third drivers. I cut off part of each end and made new brackets for the crosshead guides and expansion link mounting.






Here are some of the modified pieces mounted on the chassis.




I don't know what material the original parts are made of. It is quite hard and brittle and breaks if bent much. I am working on the parts for the left side and the expansion links. More to come.
 

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Yeah, brittle, much to the consternation of those who have snapped them easily. Must be some form of "pot metal" with zinc in it, since if left in moisture, you see that white "bloom".

Very interested to follow your build.

Greg
 

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Winn

This is inspirational stuff. I can't wait for the next update.

A couple of questions:

1. Will you have to shorten the connecting rod to give enough space for the combination lever and union link? I am thinking I will have to shorten mine by about 12 mm.

2. What will you use to replace the rivets in the valve gear that you have removed? New rivets or screws?

I am thinking I might try to retain the Baker valve gear but moving it back, like you have done, as in the N de M 2-8-0s nos. 282 to 289. What do you think?

Keep up the good work.

Tim
 

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Hmmm... Looks great. But I think I would have gone out and bought some Walschaerts valve gear parts from the Bachmann 4-6-0, or similar, as that's what the Alco gear looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Greg, Tim and Pete, Thanks for your comments.
Greg, The parts do seem to be some kind of pot metal which appears to be finished with a copper plating. I can solder the parts but have to be very careful not to melt them. I flux the parts and clamp them together with small pieces of solder and then heat them with a small butane torch just enough to make the solder flow.
Pete, I considered using the Annie valve gear. I have an Annie which I thought I might change to simulated Stevenson gear. Decided I would rather sell the Annie as I now don't plan to use it.
Tim, I shortened the main rod about 1/4 inch which centers the crosshead travel in the guides. I shortened the eccentric link and the combination lever and used rod from a different part of the original valve gear which just happened to be the right length. I think I can use some of the existing rivets by drilling the ends and peening them in place. I need to look at a diagram of the valve gear as I am not sure I am calling parts by the correct names.
Here are some more photos of what I have done so far. I made the expansion links from brass and modified the little forked piece to form the pivot.




These are the parts of the valve body. The bass parts are made from 1/2 and 17/32 inch tube telescoped together and soldered. The ends are turned from steel just because I had some. They are mounted on modified original "D" valve boxes which are moved outboard about 1/16 inch. I am using styrene tube to get the final outside profile.


This the left side with most of the parts in place. Some of the unmodified parts are in the foreground. Unfortunately I messed up the eccentric rod and had to splice on a new piece which still needs some work to make it look right.


A close up of the valve showing the guides at the back end.


When I need to take a break from the fiddly stuff I am working on the domes. The steam dome was shortened about 1/8 inch and the whistle moved to the top. The sand domes were also shortened 1/8 and I am changing the contour of the base to look more that of the steam dome using Squadron putty.


That is all for now.
 

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Hi Winn

Now making some progress on my Connie. First job is to modify the Baker valve gear by hanging it one driver towards the rear. This will mean changing the lengths of some of the rods and I noticed that you had extended some of yours with brass.

Question, did you use solder to join on the brass? If you did use solder was it low melt?

Interested to know.

How is your Connie going?

Best.

Tim
 
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