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Author Topic: What's the best steam loco?  (Read 5784 times)

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Offline PostModN66

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What's the best steam loco?
« on: November 30, 2013, 04:59:31 PM »
Hi all,

I am contemplating a project involving a steam loco (!) - it should be a big one, not tender drive,  the type and era don't matter.  Being a diesel guy, I don't follow which ones are good and not so good!

What would be your recommendations for the "best" N gauge steam loco?  Smoothest running, reliable, nice proportions, good finish?

Cheers   Jon   :)
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Offline Alex

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 05:04:50 PM »
Well in my humble opinion it has to be a US 2-8-0 Consolidation. The ones I have are by Bachmann Spectrum and are geared for slow running. Excellent engines and can pull a useful load.

Alex  :wave:

Offline NeMo

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 05:36:24 PM »
What would be your recommendations for the "best" N gauge steam loco?  Smoothest running, reliable, nice proportions, good finish?

The one thing I've learned about steam engine models compared to diesels is that they're more likely to be damaged and much more likely to derail. All that external valve gear is easily knocked if you're as ham-fisted as me, and while a diesel will usually survive a fall to the floor, a steamer won't! Likewise the sturdy arrangement of bogies on most diesels will generally tolerate all but the worst track laying, but the light pony trucks on steam engines need very little to jump off the tracks onto the ballast.

With that said, any steam engine without pony trucks (typically, an 0-6-0 tank or tender engine) is about as reliable as any diesel, and most lack external valve gear too, so they're also pretty robust. You might want to have a flutter with one of the Dapol 'Pannier' tanks for example. Just as good as any 0-6-0 diesel shunter. Since you don't care about region or era, you could opt for the splendid London Transport one that's hard to fit "properly" into a model railway without some sort of made-up excuse for its use on British Railways.

Cheers, NeMo
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Offline Dorsetmike

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 05:45:15 PM »
The man said BIG, I'd hardly call an 0-6-0T big by any stretch of the imagination, to me big means 4-6-0 or larger. If it wasn't for the no Tender dive specified I'd suggest the Union Mills 0-8-0 or 4-6-0, otherwise Minitrix 9F, or any Farish pacific the Spam can has less valve gear to be damaged if that's a consideration.
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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 05:58:50 PM »
I don't know about 'best' but the Farish WD 2-8-0 has got to be a contender.  Coreless motor in the loco and nice to look at if you think locos should be rugged and utilitarian.  Mine runs well with 60 minerals behind it.

Offline NeMo

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 06:09:25 PM »
The man said BIG, I'd hardly call an 0-6-0T big by any stretch of the imagination...
Ah, missed that bit!  :-[

NeMo
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Offline Irish Padre

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 06:21:25 PM »
Union Mills every time. For instance, the ex-LNWR 'Super D' is hard to beat; here's one on my old layout:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47719678@N06/4475028987/#in/photolist-7PrGdc

They are tender drive but don't let that put you off.

Offline NeMo

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 06:29:04 PM »
Union Mills every time. For instance, the ex-LNWR 'Super D' is hard to beat; here's one on my old layout:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47719678@N06/4475028987/#in/photolist-7PrGdc

They are tender drive but don't let that put you off.


Agreed. Very robust, very powerful. They do have some "big" tender engines in the range. The new LNWR Prince of Wales is very pretty, especially in LMS red.

Cheers, NeMo
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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2013, 07:07:49 PM »
Would go with the Dapol 0-6-0 Pannier.
Lovely runner, very reliable and looks the part.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline Newportnobby

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2013, 09:38:51 PM »
Would go with the Dapol 0-6-0 Pannier.
Lovely runner, very reliable and looks the part.

The man said BIG, I'd hardly call an 0-6-0T big by any stretch of the imagination...
Ah, missed that bit!  :-[

NeMo

I think you missed that bit as well, P-D.
I would agree with the WD from Farish, narrowly edging my Farish B1 in running and haulage.
Any reason why not tender drive?

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2013, 12:04:09 AM »
I used to have most of the Minitrix steam locos. Taking BIG as a requirement then a Gresley A4 Pacific like Mallard and it's sisters gets my vote with 9F like Evening Star coming a close second. There are plenty of modern models around.

They both run with much the same grace as model diesels which I too tend to favour after owning some very difficult to rail and choppy motioned other steamers.

Offline OwL

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2013, 12:50:14 AM »
Owning both Farish and Dapol steamers and being a Diesel fan like yourself, I would recommend the Graham Farish A1 Pacific 'Tornado' as this is an excellent model and can be used on Modern era layouts.


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Offline stevieboy

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2013, 08:28:26 AM »
In my experience, the WD hands down. Nothing comes close in terms of smoothness. It's also the only Farish steam loco I haven't had to return for any reason, and has been perfect from new.

It's a good hauler too, mine manages 40 odd 7 plank wagons without slip on 11" curves. I've seen them do 50 odd at a recent show with imitation loads.

Everything else for me has been hit and miss, quartering or poor wheelset's are frequently mentioned on here and I've had first hand experience of this with the 2MT, 3MT tank and 5MT.




ParkeNd

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2013, 09:26:05 AM »
In my experience, the WD hands down. Nothing comes close in terms of smoothness. It's also the only Farish steam loco I haven't had to return for any reason, and has been perfect from new.

It's a good hauler too, mine manages 40 odd 7 plank wagons without slip on 11" curves. I've seen them do 50 odd at a recent show with imitation loads.

Everything else for me has been hit and miss, quartering or poor wheelset's are frequently mentioned on here and I've had first hand experience of this with the 2MT, 3MT tank and 5MT.

Just had a look at the WD on Hattons website. If you mean the 2-8-0 it looks pretty good.

What's it like on curves?

Offline stevieboy

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Re: What's the best steam loco?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2013, 09:29:01 AM »
In my experience, the WD hands down. Nothing comes close in terms of smoothness. It's also the only Farish steam loco I haven't had to return for any reason, and has been perfect from new.

It's a good hauler too, mine manages 40 odd 7 plank wagons without slip on 11" curves. I've seen them do 50 odd at a recent show with imitation loads.

Everything else for me has been hit and miss, quartering or poor wheelset's are frequently mentioned on here and I've had first hand experience of this with the 2MT, 3MT tank and 5MT.

That's had a look at the WD on Hattons website. If you mean the 2-8-0 it looks pretty good.

What's it like on curves?

That's the one. It goes round 10.5" ok on my layout  :thumbsup:

 

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