N scale steam

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smoky_donut

Steam 4 Life
Hello, im a noob to N scale but im starting to get interested because of space issues....(I no longer have a garage for my H.O. setup) Im a steam era fanatic, so i want to start a new project in the gold rush / old west theme. trouble is, i cant find much N scale in this era. ive found some, but not enough to really quench my thirst for detail and variety.... i have no interest in building a diesel or electric model..... can someone give me some good links to purchase from or some pics of a steam era 'N' model..... or should i just stick with H.O.?
'prechiate it,
Ryan H.
 
Ryan,

Now is actually a very good time for N scale steam. There are probably the most steam engines on the market since the 70's.

The Spectrum 2-8-0, 4-8-2, & 2-6-6-2 all have good reputations. I have 2 of the 2-8-0's and they run very well. All 3 of these engines are either USRA prototypes or very common prototypes. The DCC conversion is not that difficult with a TCS M1 decoder.

Atlas has announced a 2nd run of the Shays and also has a 2-6-0.

Model Power has USRA 4-6-2 & 2-8-2. I have a 4-6-2 that runs very well. DCC conversion in the tender is not difficult unless you want to control the headlight. Model Power also is bringing in a 4-4-0 and a 2-6-0.

LifeLike has a NKP 2-8-4. They had also brought in a 2-8-8-2. Both of these engines are in the Proto series and are reported to run well.

ConCor has a 2-10-2 which has a spotty quality record, but I have a friend with 2 of them The first one ran well out of the box, but the 2nd needed a little tinkering to make it a good performer. It is suppose to have a place to plug in a DCC decoder in the tender.

The Kato 2-8-2 is a good runner. I have 3. You might pick one up on Ebay. The DCC conversion is a pain! Maybe the next run will correct that problem.

Athearn has a 2-6-0 & 2-8-0.

The only thing really missing right now is a good switcher. I plan to use the 2-8-0's as yard engines until someone brings in a good USRA 0-8-0 or 0-6-0.

I would also recommend using code 55 track. I am having a lot less derailments with the Atlas code 55 turnouts than I did with the older Atlas or Peco turnouts. The only engine mentioned above that may give problems on the code 55 is the Kato 2-8-2.

Hope this helps. Please remember that this is only one person's opinion. It seems that engine preferences are like automobile preferences. Everyone has there own set of criteria to judge them. In other words, your results may vary! VBG

Glenn

PS I'm not familiar with Dutton, AL. Where is it? I am about 20 miles NE of Birmingham. I have monthly operating sessions on a 32' x 32' layout.
 

smoky_donut

Steam 4 Life
WOW! thanks, youve had a lot more luck than me....lol.... ive been looking for 0-6-0's too. love steam switchers. Dutton is in between Scottsboro and Fort Payne, pretty close to section.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Smoky;

Welcome to the forum. Nice to see a new face. Glenn, you're back! Been in Mexico yet?

Smoky, you may be intersted in checking back through the general discussions for topics on the ARG. Its a small informal group of friends that get together and work/play on each others layouts.
Maybe one day you can make a meeting.
 




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