CP Jupiter - 4-4-0 American

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I love trains!
So, I love this loco. I have one in HO, but its the cheapy Bachmann model with the motor in the tender that drives the boiler with a drive shaft. It does have a light but it gets its power from the front truck and it flickers... must be a bad connection up there somewhere. Its noisy and its DC only.

But its quite cool looking even though the detail is lacking a little and the wood in the tender is far from realistic.

So I'm thinking about dressing it up a bit - Put some realistic wood and such. This would be my first time working on a locomotive.

I'd like to put a decoder in it but there looks to be almost no room in this small loco.

Even after all that it will still be a noisy shaft drive...

I'm wondering if it is worth the hassle trying to turn this cheapy loco in to something nice. Whatcha think?

The Bachmann Jupiter:

The "prototype" (at least, the rebuilt replica from the Golden Spike park):

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Go make something!
It could be fun but for a first project I would consider one I wasn't so attached to. Steam engines can be a pain but this one looks pretty simple. You could consider remotoring it with one of Northwest Shortline's offerings and it should run better. NWSL motors have low current draw so an N or Z scale decoder should be sufficient.


I love trains!
The good news is that I actually have 2 of these locos, but one with a damaged internal gear. It started grinding and slipping a couple days of getting it for my son. I called Bachmann and they sent me a replacement and did not request the old one returned. Cosmetically both are identical so I have some room for mistakes so to speak.

I tore the broken one down this morning and discovered I really do have very little room to work with. I'm thinking that if I replace the crappy looking wood with something nicer I may be able to hollow it out and put a decoder in it. I'm thinking that sound is going to be impossible though... so I might not even bother. I'm so addicted to sound in the locos now that I just can't see myself going back to "silent" operation.

In the boiler there is a little bit of room and a small decoder might fit. If that's the case then maybe I can put a speaker in the "wood" for the sound.

The good thing is that if it doesn't work out I can always reuse the decoder and sound in another loco project...

I think I'll go to the LHS today and see the different decoder sizes and whatnot.

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