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What do you run ? Diesel or steam

9233 Views 26 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Thomas
What do you run
Type of power
Graham Farish1026.32%
Micro Ace25.26%
Micro Trains12.63%
BR Green624.00%
BR Blue14.00%
German Epoch 114.00%
US NS00.00%
US UP14.00%
US C & O14.00%
US SP14.00%
US PRR14.00%
US N & W14.00%
US BNSF14.00%
US CSX14.00%
Bachmann Era 100.00%
Bachmann Era 214.76%
Bachmann Era 314.76%
Bachmann Era 414.76%
Bachmann Era 529.52%
Bachmann Era 600.00%
Bachmann Era 700.00%
Bachmann Era 814.76%
Bachmann Era 929.52%
Continental Epoch 114.76%
Continental Epoch 214.76%
Continental Epoch 300.00%
Continental Epoch 400.00%
Continental Epoch 500.00%
Elsewhere >192000.00%
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
We already have a poll for steam in the OO section and yes i did indeed vote on it and leave my figures for my N gauge stock by mistake but as it was a fun poll the figures wouldnt be taken too seriously as has been said by other N gauge modellers maybe we could outnumber the OO guys

With this in mind this post should serve the N gauge amongst us to share what we all run as i cannot set up a similar poll of course, so tell everyone what you run and why DC/DCC
diesel or steam to start off heres a smattering of my runners

Classes 04, 08 ,37,40,52 55, 66, in diesel several of the 08's to have thier own shunting yard soon, all farish converted to DCC with two class 66 from Kato,

Steam is covered by A4's 45XX, duchess class, 9F's again Farish converted the 9F's from Minitrix.

My American fleet covers several companies mainly U.P. of course Southern Pacific Norfolk & Western and Pennsylvania, SD45'/60'S run with the big E6/8/9 passenger locos,several types of shunters mostly Kato all DCC.

The aim of my hobby is to have two layouts one British the other an American intermodal, i run what i like regardless of era and type whatever brings me pleasure.

Editors note, have used Bachmann system for UK.
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I model the contemporary scene set in North West England. I have Farish 60s and 66s plus a 47 now relegated to the track cleaning train, and for passenger use a 170 and 158 awaiting fitting of lights and re-livery in something appropriate to the region, plus a Dapol Voyager that has never worked properly. I plan to buy some Dapol 156 and Farish 150 when they appear in suitable liveries. I intend to form a couple of charter trains using the new Dapol class 67 or maybe a 57 or new 47 - perhaps even a Black 5 on a steam special. If suitable 25kV EMU stock appears RTR or as kits them I may 'electrify' part of the layout.

I use DCC because I believe it simplifies the wiring and operating when building a new layout, and because it allows authentic on-train lighting. I also intend to install computerised signalling eventually. All my trains have or will have headlights and independent tail lights, including my freight rakes where I have installed decoders with flashing red tail lights. I'd like interior lighting in the passenger trains but the Farish DMUs fill one coach with a solid metal chassis.
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I love these types of discussion, and they appear regularly on many forum.

But to my mind they miss the fundamental question. How prototypical is your fleet of locomotives and rolling stock.

Yes like many others I have quite a large collection of stuff, but over the last 5 years I have narrowed it down to quite a specific period of time and in my instance a specific part of the country.

This does present a number of challenges, specifically on the locomotive side of things (it is acceptable to have several locomotives of the same class, with different road numbers of course). But the research is fun, and building a believable fleet of passenger stock, and appropriate freight stock is enjoyable. The fact that few people actually realise what you have done doesn't worry me. I obtain enjoyment out of the fact that I know.

I recently had a friend from Germany visit my railway, and he was impressed at my passenger fleet construction. In my mind high praise considering I model a German branch line. Talking to him and telling him my plans for the future to round out my fleet of freight wagons, he confirmed that I am on the right track.

Having had DCC for about 15 years now, there is no going back!

I know that not everyone is as narrow minded as myself, but to each his own.

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i run what ever i like from what ever period i like. my only real rule is that the loco has to run with apropriate rolling stock.

my collection includes american, chinese, uk, german, japanese, ukraine and czech. and probably more that i cant think of right now.

I run 60's,66's for diesels although I do have a few locos in my sidings/scrapline which are 47's,86,and 31's

I've also got a thunderbird class 57 which due to some kind of problem has been emptied of it's running gears and motor to make it into a dummy loco.

I also have Union of South Africa for my 1 and only steamer that runs with a maroon support coach.
Nice idea upnick so here goes.

My chosen modelling theme is firmly set in GWR territory in the early Summer of 1946. Why 1946 ?? Cos that's when I was born. Why GWR ? Because I still have vivid childhood memories of those beautiful little green 0-6-0 s gently chuffing their way through the countryside with a couple of carriages tagging along for company and seeming in no great rush to get anywhere. Maybe my memories are selective but I believe life was a lot simpler then and certainly a lot less hectic. Trains were not just a way of getting rapidly from A to B. Although they were machines they seemed to live and breath and each had a character of its own. I don't think the same can be said for modern locos though someone is bound to feel differently

My layout, which is presently in the early stages of construction, is basically a folded dog-bone which will run around 3 sides of my study/railway room and give a continuous run of over 20 metres. (31/2 minutes at a scale speed of 50 mph.) A twin track spur leads from the main line to a 4 platform terminus plus goods yard, MPD etc. A single track branch line rises from the main line terminus line and again goes round 3 sides of the room, crossing a 1.5 metre long viaduct to a typical GWR branch line terminus which is based on Ashburton. Very predictable I know. There is also a small spur from the main line terminus to a gas works/coke plant. I have built a 1/5th scale model of the layout to help with the design of the topography and pictures of this are in my MRF Album for public viewing.

Loco control is by DCC using an ESU ECoS controller, though all pointwork will be operated from a conventional mimc panel with switches and LED indicators rather than by decoders. The panel was originally just a stud & probe type but is presently being rejigged into an all bells and whistles affair.

My present loco stock comprises the following:-
2 No. Class 14xx 0-4-2 Tanks (One attached to an autocoach fro branch line running)
1 No. Class 57xx 0-6-0 Pannier Tank
1 No. Class 87xx 0-6-0 Pannier Tank
1 No. Class 94xx 0-6-0 Pannier Tank
2 No. Class 45xx 2-6-2 Small Prairie Tanks (One with sloping tank tops and one with straight tank tops)
1 No. Class 61xx 2-6-2 Large Prairie Tank
1 No Collet 0-6-0 + Tender
1 No 4-6-0 King
1 No. 4-6-0 Castle
2 No. GWR Diesel Railcars (1 No. shortly due for conversion to a Parcels Express Railcar)

These are shortly to be joined by 2 of the new Ixion 4-6-0 Manors.

Future plans include the construction of a 2-8-0 kit which will fit onto a Graham Farish chassis and possible a Class 42xx.

Rolling stock is predominantly goods at the moment comprising almost 90 wagons of varying types but all correct for the time and place. Correct passenger stock is a bit thin on the ground at the moment (just 6 No. Collet carriages) as I am waiting for Dapol to do another production run (this is promised for later this year.) I have a few Choc. & Cream MkIs which have been re-liveried with GWR crests though I know no such things ever existed. I just wasn't sure if/when Dapol were going to manufacture another batch of Collets and I had to have something to put behind the King & Castle.

Well I think that just about sums up my layout.

Happy modelling,

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 11 Sep 2008, 10:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>i run what ever i like from what ever period i like. my only real rule is that the loco has to run with apropriate rolling stock.

Same here - & quite right too !
A real mixed bag of locos run and why not,as i said in my opening post run what you like though a prototypical approach is not out of the question of course and has to be admired, i intend to run the American stock along with the British though the bigger locos wont take to some of the curves as well as some of the British ...... as i cant let the Americans lie idle in the box, though the scenery needs looking at to make in generic and fit in with both types .
A mine on the upper level would be nice i have built up here from a walthers kit but it doesnt really fit in with the steamers.


I looked at your gallery and the idea of a model of the model is excellent and will show any faults and issues before laying track, think its going to be make up of a scale intermodal terminal before i start my winter project of it.
I run diesel, steam and leccy. I have a GG1, a Swiss Krok, a BR01, a Skoda or two, a couple of Nohabs and various others. It's sort of based on the kind of full sized railway Bill Gates would have if he collected trains. :)
QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 11 Sep 2008, 19:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>i run what ever i like from what ever period i like. my only real rule is that the loco has to run with apropriate rolling stock.

my collection includes american, chinese, uk, german, japanese, ukraine and czech. and probably more that i cant think of right now.

Same here too.
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Q) What do you run ? Diesel or steam

A) Neither really. I run mostly electrics. And all, even the kettles and diesels, are electric powered.

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Decided today to sell off my class 66 locos along with a class 20 and 55 in DCC with lights as they dont fit in with my plans now though the EWS wagons will go with class 37's just as happily

Some of the older American locos need to move as well as they are not worth chipping better options being available.
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Hi guys

I only run diesels - no steam or electrics for me. Most of my gear is 60's to 70's era, but I do have a few more modern models. I am trying to convert all my stock to DCC but not fully confident with the quality of N decoders. I seem to spend more time trying to solve problems than running the trains. If things don't improve I'm going to change to OO. That way I can at least have sound as well. I reckon sound is a great improvement (providing you can get the right sounds of course)

Billy R
QUOTE (Billy Rivers @ 22 Sep 2008, 11:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi guys

1. I am trying to convert all my stock to DCC but not fully confident with the quality of N decoders.

2. I seem to spend more time trying to solve problems than running the trains.

Billy R

Hi Billy,

1. N gauge decoders are reliable but in a smaller form of course if its installed correctly no matter if its N/OO it will give you satifactory performance.

2. What problems are you having as i know we will all help you no matter how small or large the fix, but for the help of members here i wouldnt
have had the confidence to install decoders.

Tell us your concerns and issues .
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QUOTE (upnick @ 22 Sep 2008, 21:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Billy,

1. N gauge decoders are reliable but in a smaller form of course if its installed correctly no matter if its N/OO it will give you satifactory performance.

2. What problems are you having as i know we will all help you no matter how small or large the fix, but for the help of members here i wouldnt
have had the confidence to install decoders.

Tell us your concerns and issues .

Thanks upnick

Yes I am trying to update 5 split chassis farish models (2 years old). I'm on my 4th at present. I basically 'butcher' the chassis and solder a wire to each motor contact. I have used Digitrax DN125 because of their small size and cut off the yellow,blue and white wires to leave the red, black, grey and orange. (No lights). They work perfectly but after about 2 weeks I have had to return 2 of the decoders because they have developed faults (i.e. cannot read CV ). They have been replaced by the dealer.

Also have had similar problems with the 'plug in' decoders DZ 125IN and also returned them for replacement. These were installed in the latest Dapol Hymec and Farish Class 37/0. Both these loco's run perfectly on DC so I'm not sure if the locomotives could have caused the decoders to fail?

So out of a total of 6 decoders purchased I've had to return 3. Anyway I received the replacements last friday so I'm hoping the problems have been solved.
I'll let you know they go.

Billy R
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Hi Billy R,
I have used the 125 decoder but find TCS M1 decoders ideal for N gauge minimally larger in width and height they are a flatter decoder the components on the digitrax sticking up a little compared.
What reading do you get for the manufacturer on your programme track i had the same problem and got 255 as a reading for the manufacturer this is a bad reading and can mean there is a contact problem somewhere/ track or wheels need cleaning or the contacts from the bogies arent touching the chassis, after a clean of the wheels on mine it righted itself and now runs fine.

The DZ 125 IN was fitted to all 4 of my class 37 locos initially i couldnt get them to work but after reversing the way the chip is inserted they work fine, as to 'butchering' the chassis of split frame Farish locos the easiest and quickest way is to use a nibbling tool usually associated with cutting out holes for car radio's.
Four snips and you have removed the thinner metal where the brushes sit in DC , very quick and easy tip saving clean up after filing.
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I don't have to model N Gauge. It's what I choose to model, given the means and the space that I have. Being on dialysis, means that I have a lot of spare time (on and off the machine) on my hands, to turn to my favourite hobby. Finances however, do not always permit this however (isn't that usually the case though)? I have modelled OO Gauge before and even tried American N Gauge but whatever scale/gauge I have modelled, somehow I always seem to return back to the GWR? Don't ask my why as I live in Kent and apart from a few GWR Class 57xx that were employed at Folkestone Harbour many moons ago, for banking the VSOE up the incline and a few other GWR 0-6-0T loco's used for shunting at Gillingham (where I was born and just about remember them before moving to Oz), I have very little in common with the GWR? Although I model mainly GWR, that does not mean that it is predominately all GWR (some small amount of SR as well), as I run the main part of my layout as a preserved steam location (somewhere in Oxfordshire). Then any steamer or diesel can visit) and I can also run some modern stuff on the main line now and then as well. I have the usual RTR loco, carriage and goods rolling stock (my old eyes don't allow for building kits anymore I'm afraid), which is OK but all a bit 'long-in-the-tooth' now, especially the GF & GFbyG stuff. Dapol is excellent quality, detail and price, if you can ever actually get their loco's to run properly (and that's a very big if by the way)? I run what I want, with what I want and how I want. As one of the other posters said, so long as the correct line up is behind the correct loco, then thats fine with me! The way I look at it is that I pay for the goods, so I run what I want, when I want and I am certainly no 'rivet-counting anorak' neither! It's a brilliant hobby we have here, albeit for the odd few archaic 'anoraks' who think they know it all and think we all should as well! Thats fine, then when they pay a fortune for my rolling stock, then they can tell me how to run my layouts!

PS: Does anyone want to buy loads of N Gauge GWR rolling stock? I think I shall change to 'O' Gauge or Gauge 1 (in my tiny one bedroom flat), so I can count the rivets and try and prove the buggers wrong! Hehehe!

Happy New Year everyone and I hope we all have a great one! Even the 'anoraks' and 'rivet-counters'!
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I have trains of the Japanese National Railways (JNR) steam era:
My locos all from Micro Ace:

2 class C62 4-6-4 locos for express passenger train

1 class C51 4-6-2 loco for passenger train

1 class C63 2-6-2 loco for mixed train

1 class D60 2-8-4 loco for goods train

2 class D51 2-8-2 locos for goods train

1 class DF91 CoCo diesel for mixed train

I have 2 express trains of 9 , one from Micro Ace and one from Kato
I have 1 passenger train of 6 coaches from Kato
More passenger trains will be covered by DMUs that have to be purchased as and when funds allow, so will take a while to come as I cant resist buying steam engines.
There are lots of freight wagons from Kawai.
And I have a working rotary to fight the snow.

Continued exposure to British railway models because of excessive consumation of internet forums and the high quality of photography in the Hornby magazin took its toll and the disease I fell victim to forced my into the purchase of a green Hymek from KMRC.
Kernow Model Rail Centre Limited Edition Hymek
Amazing model. To make matters worse Dapol showed an awe inspiring model of the B17 (I like the prototype) and I had to order one, too. It has not arrived but I already have the coaches to go with the locos, Dapol Collet for the Hymek and Dapol Gresley for the B17.
So future plans more ER and WR stuff:
Dapol Britannia, B1, Class 26
Dapol 38xx
Ixion Manor and Mogul
The Grafar class 42 looks tempting, too.
But of course it will depend on the quality of the B17. If this model arrives and is of similar quality to the Hymek and the coaches I really will start in British N scale.

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Those Japanese models look absolutely excellent!!!!
I had toyed with the idea of changing over to Japanese railways a year or so ago, now there are so many beautiful new models on the market, compared to a few years ago but alas, the price has always put me off, although as I can see from your pictures, you obviously get exactly what you pay for! However, I know nothing at all about Japanese railways (although I could always read books and the Internet I suppose) but again, the price factor knocks that out for me again I'm afraid but these are really stunning looking locomotives and with plenty of really good details. I have never seen such quality like this before, mainly because I have never seen Japanese locos in such highly detailed photographs! Thanks for sharing them, I might just change my mind, pending on what mood my bank manager is in next week? LOL!
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