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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a small G scale layout (11'x24') with fairly tight radiuses, but my battery operated Aristocraft 2-8-0 does fine as it has the two inner axles with no flange on the wheels. I have been around steamers at club days and meets, and would like to add a steamer to my layout. I model the Denver Rio Grande in say, 1932. I prefer a loco to look American rather than English.
I believe that the two greatest requirements for a steamer for me is first, the ability to take the tighter curves and second, one that the speed can be controlled and kept on the slow side. I know that the first requirement keeps lots of loco out of my range, but I am fine with that. As to my second requirement, I don't know what it takes to have a live steam locomotive run at a slower steady pace. I have seen people do it and they seemed proud of that fact so I imagine skill is involved, but I wonder if certain locomotives are incapable of running slow, and if so, would like to know how to determine which is which.
Thanks for any help on this, Jim
 

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Jim,
I would imagine that you would be best with a geared locomotive - Shay, Climax or Heisler.
Easy to control the speed and will normally go around tight radiuses.
Or did you want a rod loco?
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was immediately interested in Shays especially since my layout that takes place in Colorado has a number of logging features, but when I asked about Shays at a local gathering of steamers, I was told that they don't like tight turns at all.
 

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First thing is, how tight are your curves ? Are they say 6 foot radius, that is 12 foot diameter to go right around 180 degrees? If you have tighter curves that does restrict your choices quite a bit and as to shay loco's, on very tight curves the sliding drive shafts to the gears on the wheels 'pop out' so while the bogies are capable of going around the drive system can't.
Another thing to note is gradients, a rising grade on a tight curve may be a problem for a live steam loco. Yes, some practice and skill is involved in getting loco's to run slow even with R/C control but that's the 'fun' of live steam.
Let us know your tightest curves and I'm sure someone will suggest loco's for you.
Russell
 

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Regner makes the Lumberjack geared logging type loco, the smaller Accucraft 2 cylinder Shays might go around 6 foot diameter curves, but 10 is much better. You cannot go wrong with anything from Roundhouse Engineering, their Davenport has a USA look to it, great for mining or industrial railway.
 

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Any of Accucraft's large-scale live steam geared locos -- to include the recently announced 13T Shay in 1:20.3 -- will need at an absolute minimum 4' radius curves (per their web site). Forcing the loco through a curve tighter than that will cause at best premature wear and at worst damage to the line shaft and universal joints.

I'd definitely second Mr Toney's suggestion of a Roundhouse Davenport. That loco will manage a 2' radius curve. Roundhouse make excellent, reliable models, have great after-sales service, spare parts, the whole thing. R/C is an option. The Train Department is the US Roundhouse dealer (all disclaimers apply, just a TTD customer and previous owner of a couple of Roundhouse locos).
 

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Yes I agree, the Roundhouse Davenport loco is your best choice for the curves you have and I had one running here on my layout and we could run it very slowly with a small load. If you want other than American outline there are more in the Roundhouse live steam range and there is the new Accucracft Peckett saddle tank 0-4-0 that also is a very controllable and slow runner, but of a tiny English prototype.
Russell
 

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yellow_cad
I've got a Regner 0-4-0 Chaloner rated down to 2 foot radius for sale.
It's a geared loco so it's not too fast, and it won't run away on a downhill, goes the same speed up or downhill.
It's got a Butane fired vertical boiler that can be cranky to light off, but it has an oscillator type engine with no valve gear to mess with. No cab on it, easy access to controls, open air like the Tom Thumb. Could have been a logging engine of the 1880's.
On your layout you could just set it off running and sit back and watch it run.
It gets about 45 minutes burn of Butane, but you've got to add water twice, so you've got to watch the water glass, because it runs out of water before the fire goes out.
In other words, it's a Steam Locomotive and you've got to run it!
It's in the Live Steam Classifieds under Regner Chaloner priced lower.
Check out the pictures
 

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Accucraft Ruby? I don’t own one but I’ve seen some kit-bashed to look like the little 3-foot gauge porters. It’s a little 0-4-0 with side rods. I don’t know how controllable they are, but they are very cheap at around $600 new I think?
 

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You can also order direct from Roundhouse and many times they have extra models on the shelf for purchase right away. Otherwise you wait for the next batch to be made, which could be 12 to 16 months away. Roundhouse also does Sammie, a USA style saddle tank model in the basic range, which are made to order, about a 4-6 week wait from point of purchase. I got my Roundhouse Billy direct from RH with factory RC and a few other minor cosmetic upgrades they offer. It fits in well with my LGB European meter gauge stuff and runs flawlessly. Most small side rod steamers can be a bit "skittish" with little or no load to pull. Having RC control helps temper this and for me, is well worth the extra cost.
 

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Yes it is and will have the earlier smaller cylinder bores unless its been upgraded. The Mimi came early on in the evolution of the "Ruby" series of engines that use that power chassis. Not a bad entry level engine, a RH Sammie is better IMHO. But in the end its the buyers money and taste in engines. Accucraft also did the Disney Fort Wilderness 2-4-2T model with that same chassis. That one is a bit collectable, expensive and hard to come by. But a really nice model none the less. To "tame" a Ruby, a nice heavy train or RC control is really required
 

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Yes it is and will have the earlier smaller cylinder bores unless its been upgraded. The Mimi came early on in the evolution of the "Ruby" series of engines that use that power chassis. Not a bad entry level engine, a RH Sammie is better IMHO. But in the end its the buyers money and taste in engines. Accucraft also did the Disney Fort Wilderness 2-4-2T model with that same chassis. That one is a bit collectable, expensive and hard to come by. But a really nice model none the less. To "tame" a Ruby, a nice heavy train or RC control is really required
That’s cool they made a model of the fort wilderness locomotive. I’ve watched some videos about it.
 

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Yes it is, they made the cars as well, all very expensive when they pop up for sale. With some custom painting, one can transform some of the other Accucraft steamer into other Disney locomotives since they have offered 4-4-0 ad 4-6-0 narrow gauge live steamers, but those need 10 foot curves or larger to run well. Pretty much any of the Colorado narrow gauge engines can be had in live steam between Accucraft and Aster brands. Beautiful models, the C25 can even be had with coal fired boiler right from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Does anyone know of this locomotive: LGB/Aster 2901 Frank S. 0-6-0 Live Steam Engine G-Gauge? It is an 0-6-0, but if need be I could machine off the center axle wheel flanges. It is definitely British, but looks like a healthy unit.
 

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I can't really think of any 3' gauge D&RGW locos that are available in live steam that will handle 3' radius. Most of the models are 2-8-0 or 2-8-2, as the D&RGW needed big engines, so our models are big too!

The Mimi and other Ruby derivatives are nice, but run like scalded cats. Not easy to slow them down. Regner's locos are nice, and I really like my Heisler, which is a model of Heisler #1 and will take 2' radius LGB track. The Lumberjack is a really nice runner too.

I'd really suggest getting a starter loco, even if it isn't pure 1932 D&RGW, so you can experience the joys of live steam. There's a strong resale market, so buy a Lumberjack and see how you like it. Or a RH Davenport, or Accucraft Dora.

As you have a layout width of 11', can't you push the corners out to at least 4' radius? And 5' would be even better and will handle most D&RGW live steamers.
 
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