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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I first saw Falk No. 1 and Bear Harbor No.1 at the Sacramento Railfair in 1999. I could hardly believe such outlandish machines even existed, even though I was privileged to inspect the cabs and watch them operate. Like many who appreciate 'Rube Golberg' levels of complexity for their own sake, I immediately fell in love with them!


These engines have become a favorite challenge of modelers in scales from 7&1/4" to G, at least partly because of the very difficulty of machining their watch-like winch mechanisms. And more than one Falk modeler has said 'never again' once they were done. So I was very interested to see the ads from the Missouri Locomotive Co. appear in the pages of G.R. The first ads were pre-build 'subscription' ads, and I muttered "I'll believe it when I see it." But eventually Mo.Lo.Co. was advertising a real product. And last Friday, for the first time, I got to see it!


Here's one of their production run with a yellow cab -- there's a black cab version behind it.





Another angle -





This gorgeous thing, rust, weathering and all, is their display model (with the roof off)








Here's their prototype of their next offering, Bear Harbor No.1. (This is going to be confusing, because MoLoCo calls it "Gypsy No.2", and I've heard others lately call it "The Bear".)





A family shot -- black cab production model on the left, display model, "Bear Harbor" in the background, and yellow cab falling out of the picture. To the right of the cab roof in the foreground is a resin wood load they're producing.





A company called JTT Miniature Tree specializes in .. can you guess? In the smaller scales they produce flocking & other 'do it yourself' materials as well as completely assembled trees; I didn't see any kits for G-Scale, but the assembled G-Scale trees they were showing were works of art. Attention Indoor Modelers!





MTH was there with a nice 'cross-scale' display, which included this rather hefty line-up of G-Scale motive power.





It always pays to stop by Jonathan Bliese's Electric Model Works at the conventions, because he often has the rare one-off item or custom paint job available. Old-timers in this hobby will remember Richard Finlayson' s "Trail Creek" line, f'rinstance. Here, Jon is showing me a Trail Creek Whitcomb in brand-new condition. This little engine is designed to switch easily from track to battery power.





Here Bliese has AMS's new "RGS" version of their passenger car -- in brown, below the D&RGW version. What surprised me about this car was the difference in clerestory roof-lines - the D&RGW has the typical 'bull-nose' cap, while the RGS version has the earlier (and IMHO, more graceful!) 'duck-bill' roof end.





An end view..





Over at the Kadee booth, Sam Clarke demo'd their prototype radio-controlled coupler for me. (Sam has an interesting business card -- it lists him as "R&D/TECH ADVISOR/ARTIST" !)





It uses a small multi-addressable transmitter about the size of a garage door opener,and a receiver and servo in the boxcar..





and a lever on the bottom pulls a wire which opens the coupler. The rig is very similar to the way ailerons & rudders are controlled in RC aircraft -- but only one channel needed per coupler, obviously. You can also use addresses to trigger rail switches. What a set up for "OPs"!





That's about it for picture news, but I did see two other things I'd like to share -- both in the realm of DCC. The first is Lenz's "USP" technology, which stands for "Uninterruptible Signal Processing." The idea of sticking a battery or capacitor into the circuit to power an engine across dirty, glitchy track has been around for a while; but Lenz has refined this idea with a signal system that will control an engine through a sheet of paper laid across the track!. Drive the engine onto the paper, stop it, but keep the headlamp on; then tell the engine to continue or back up while it's on the paper, and away it goes!!


I was so impressed I forget to ask SWMTP to take pictures! Sorry...


The other is a company called ESU, dba "ECoS" and "Loksound". I haven't figured out yet which of their trademarks applies to which hardware, but I played with a radio controller which they say is DCC compliant, and looks either like a fancy game controller or Doctor McCoy's
medical scanner on Star Trek - pick your generational reference!


The important thing is not the neat LCD screen in the middle of the controller, not just that they're making G-scale bi-drectional equipment with full back-EMF, and switch controller. This system is digital and operates at 2.4(7?) GHz -- the so-called 'glitchless' radio band!


All in all, I'd say that DCC is advancing enough to play with the big boys out in the garden.


(And a P.S. -- I know that somebody was asking if Airwire was showing something new. I only saw their normal "Airwire 900" placard posted, so I didn't notice anything to follow up on. )
 

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Gary, one correction--the RGS coach does not have a "duckbill" roof. It's also a bull-nose end. The difference between it and the D&RGW car above it is the height of the clerestory and the pronouncement of the downturn at the end. A duckbill roof looks like this:


That Kadee system looks interesting. Don't know how practical it would be for the front end of a steamer, but in terms of a proof of concept, it's pretty slick.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kevin, you wrote
the RGS coach does not have a "duckbill" roof. It's also a bull-nose end.

Comparing the RGS to your beautiful example, the difference is obvious, isn't it? That clerestory roof-line doesn't come down to the plane of the roof at all. Apologies if I misled anybody with the error.
However, the curve is so much gentler than the sharp turn of the D&RGW coach! Are you sure there isn't some other term than "bull-nose" to describe it? Just doesn't seem appropriate, somehow.. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/ermm.gif" border=0>


And Raymond, can you tell us anything about the prototype of that triplex engine? With that curving (is that technically a wagon-top?) boiler, the superstructure looks 'older' to me than the running gear! Almost like a Big Hauler on steroids!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif
 

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On the roof outlines,

This may need it's own topic somewhere.

It seems to me that a "Duckbill" roof has a flat area between the clerestory and the coach end, while a bullnose roof has the clerestory run to the very end of the roof.

Given the above, there are variations in the roof lines under the clerestory. Some roofs are flat to the end others dip downward toward the coach ends in varying degrees. In Gary's posting above, the red RGS coach may be called an "Early bullnose roof" with a gentle downward curve while the brown version may be called a "Late bullnose roof".

Any and all discussion is invited, or is there already an authority on this subject?

Thanks
Tim
 

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Gary

The prototype Erie Triplexes ...

There were three of these enormous locomotives built in 1914-15 for the Erie RR. It was an attempt to maximous the Tractive Effort in a single loco by providing three sets of running gear with one huge boiler. The cylinders were all the same size with the middle set running on high pressure and the front and tender cylinders using lower pressure exhaust. The locos were essentially failures and were scrapped in the late 20's.

There were a number of reasons for the failure of the experiment including:
1) the enormous tractive effort could not be put to use as the carframes and couplers were not strong enough for the strain fo such long trains
2) the boiler produced inadequate steam for three cylinders (and probably inadequate for 2 as well) at speeds above 10 mph
3) the locos were reduced to helper service on Gulf Summit or Susquehana Hill ... a role suited to low speed high tractive effort during the drag freight era
4) they were very costly to maintain as they were too large for the Erie's shops and major work had to be contracted to the Lehigh Valley in Sayre NY
5) the super power era which began in the 20s obsoleted drag freight locos in mainline service ... the Erie's famous Berkshires arrived bumping 2-10-2's from mainline assignments and these in turn bumped the Triplexes out of helper service and onto the dead line.

Because of the rapid technical advances about 1920 in steam loco design, the Triplexes were not suited for conversion to articulateds. Accordingly they were scrapped and expensive lessons were learned ...

About the only good thing one can say about the Triplexes is that they do make a great prototype for a fascinating model.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Posted By SlateCreek on 07/24/2008 1:24 AM
I'd like to know some more about the tree company. The only website I can find doesn't list anything as large as the trees in the photo (and I get a lot of "harmful content" warnings ...)
Anyone know?
Matthew (OV)




Mathew,


Wow, you're right! Carla did a Google search and found three pages, I think, that Google thought were suspicious! But here's one that Google thought was clean -


http://www.sceneryproducts.com


It's the same people, JTT Trees. Like you, however, I couldn't find anything in G! Your best bet would be to email them at [email protected]. While you're there, you might let them know about their Google results!


Doug, thank you for the info. The triplex sounds like one of those 'magnificent failures' scattered through the history of engineering.


and Tim, ditto re: the bull-nose clerestory. I'm feeling like a George Carlin routine by now... "BULL NOSES are forceful, and PUNCH through the air. "DUCK BILLS are graceful and whimsical, and slide their way through.."
 

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Doug,

Don't forget the VIRGINIAN had a slightly larger version of the Erie Triplex, although they only had 1 or 2. They suffered the same problems as the Erie locos. I believe I read the VIRGINIAN used them to haul coal cars up out of a giant strip mine, a job in which they were perfect for.

Chris
 

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Chris

Yes the Virginian did have 1 experimental triplex which I had thought was a bit smaller than those built for the ERIE. It was built in 1915 (a demonstrator by Baldwin??) and was a dismal failure, lasting only 3 years before being scrapped (actually rebuilt into more usual locos). The small boiler produced totally inadequate steam for 3 cylinders and in fact was likely capable of powering only one cylinder.

The model brought by MTH is of the locos owned by ERIE ... though representing the Virginian version somewhat accurately could be done by using a different truck on the rear of the tender .. the Virginian triplex had a 4 wheel trailing truck.

Regards .. Doug
 

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Hey Gary,

Sorry didn't see the second part of your note to me. Doug and Chris really covered it well.

You are right, the taper of the boiler is more reminiscent of older engines and that was probably because of the era it was made and ulitmately the size of the boiler. I don't know that the Erie Triplex boiler was anywhere near as big as say a UP Big Boy.

Only thing I can add is the Virginian version (there was only one made for them) had smaller drivers than the Erie and one of the big reasons the Virginian didn't operate long was there was only like 4 inches (or so) of clearance between the top of the stack and one of the tunnels it was supposed to operate through. Also to backup what Doug said, the writeup I read on the Virginian indicated it wasn't but a few revolutions of the drivers before the boiler pressure started to drop.

Another oddity was that some other RRs actually had non-articulateds with smaller second engine sets under the tender. They never caught on as they had similar problems with loss of traction as the tender water and coal/oil was used up. I'll see if I can post a pic of one when I get home.

The Virigin was my favorite but as Doug said the MTH model is really the Erie version which is why I'm going going with the Erie.


Raymond
 
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