Which 2-8-0?

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SVJim

Chief Tree Planter
I was wondering which 2-8-0 would be better for my layout. I have no experience in HO scale. My layout will be set in the 1920's and will probably be DC as I only plan on having two locomotives on the entire layout. I've only seen two choices the Bachmann and the Athearn Roundhouse. Are there others out there?
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
There are a lot of others out there, you will need to search for them. IHC, Bowser, MTH, BLI, and Mantua are just a few.
It all comes down to what you want.
 

Sirfoldalot

Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
For "general ideas" if you are an eBay user - in the search bar type in HO scale 2-8-0 in Model Railroad.
Mine just showed 353 listings of all kinds.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
The mid-2000's Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 was a stunning success. People raved about that one steamer all the time back then. I don't know that their latest issue is any worse because Bachmann discontinued the Spectrum line for some reason. I doubt they went and retooled for that reason...it's the same locomotive.

BLI's 2-8-0, I think, not sure, is meant to be the Belpaire-based Pennsy version. I haven't read a complaint about them, and I'm sure they're all sold by now...six/seven years later.

I don't know much about MTH's version. It was released a few years back. I think I held one and had it run around a hobby store in Calgary three years ago, their CPR version (can someone verify that MTH made such a version, and not BLI?). I was impressed, whichever one it was.
 

GeeTee

Well-Known Member
I was wondering which 2-8-0 would be better for my layout. I have no experience in HO scale. My layout will be set in the 1920's and will probably be DC as I only plan on having two locomotives on the entire layout. I've only seen two choices the Bachmann and the Athearn Roundhouse. Are there others out there?
You need to define the type and history of your railroad , HO , HOn3 , HOn2 1/2 ?, where ? and you have the when . If you going with a fantasy line , You might choose a "hand me down" approach , if its set in Montana you might want Great Northern types, Colorado , D&RG might be more suited .The old MDC Rounhouses are circa 1880 -90 and would have been used though the twenties. There was no USRA 2-8-0 , by the 1910's most roads were opting for 2-8-2 s or bigger for new , and 2-8-0s would out of mainline work and into branchline work . S160s weren't built until the 40's and weren't that common in the US. Of course there is brass and , BLI has or has had H10's. I am not sure what the Bachmann represents , it looks turn of the century to me.

So to decide on motive power and rolling stock , you need to develope a bit of back story for you road first and that will lead you to where you need to go.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Since you're going analog DC, do you plan on running both trains at the same time ? If 'yes', do you know about blocks; their gaps and wiring, in order to keep the two from moving at the same time ? DCC, of course, eliminates that hassle. If you can afford it (NCE PowerCab = $160...And DCC locos/with sound can be as low as $125. And since you haven't (I think) bought anything yet, you really will get alot more fun and satisfaction if you were to go this way instead of old DC..Hooking up a DCC throttle is exactly the same as DC; 2 wires to the rails...And if you expand the layout and add a 3rd loco you'll be glad you went DCC....
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
You need to define the type and history of your railroad , HO , HOn3 , HOn2 1/2 ?, where ? and you have the when . If you going with a fantasy line , You might choose a "hand me down" approach , if its set in Montana you might want Great Northern types, Colorado , D&RG might be more suited .The old MDC Rounhouses are circa 1880 -90 and would have been used though the twenties. There was no USRA 2-8-0 , by the 1910's most roads were opting for 2-8-2 s or bigger for new , and 2-8-0s would out of mainline work and into branchline work . S160s weren't built until the 40's and weren't that common in the US. Of course there is brass and , BLI has or has had H10's. I am not sure what the Bachmann represents , it looks turn of the century to me.

So to decide on motive power and rolling stock , you need to develope a bit of back story for you road first and that will lead you to where you need to go.
I believe you are confusing not only the OPer, but me as well.. All your jargon, this, that, the other is kind of loopy.. Why is 'fantasy' (which is referred to as being 'fictitious' ) better as 'hand me down"? If you mean second-hand equipment, any MRR can employ second hand (used) and/or new equipment. What does fictitious (or fantasy ) have to do with the RR era one choses ?
The Consolidation(2-8-0) was perhaps the most successful and widely owned loco across all the RRs all the way thru about the early to mid 1950s and worked main lines, branch, and shortlines. Yes, larger locos were being built. But they ran side by side with Connies for decades. M
 
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SVJim

Chief Tree Planter
You need to define the type and history of your railroad , HO , HOn3 , HOn2 1/2 ?, where ? and you have the when . If you going with a fantasy line , You might choose a "hand me down" approach , if its set in Montana you might want Great Northern types, Colorado , D&RG might be more suited .The old MDC Rounhouses are circa 1880 -90 and would have been used though the twenties. There was no USRA 2-8-0 , by the 1910's most roads were opting for 2-8-2 s or bigger for new , and 2-8-0s would out of mainline work and into branchline work . S160s weren't built until the 40's and weren't that common in the US. Of course there is brass and , BLI has or has had H10's. I am not sure what the Bachmann represents , it looks turn of the century to me.

So to decide on motive power and rolling stock , you need to develope a bit of back story for you road first and that will lead you to where you need to go.
GeeTee Thank you for the information. My layout will be based loosely on the Copper Range Railroad in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The largest steam locomotive was a 2-8-0. This layout will be standard gauge. The layout is planned to have a Copper mine, a smelter and into the town where the copper ingots will be loaded on to steam Ships for shipment across the Great Lakes. I will definitely look at the Roundhouse 2-8-0 as that seems to fit the bill for the time frame the best.
 
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SVJim

Chief Tree Planter
Since you're going analog DC, do you plan on running both trains at the same time ? If 'yes', do you know about blocks; their gaps and wiring, in order to keep the two from moving at the same time ? DCC, of course, eliminates that hassle. If you can afford it (NCE PowerCab = $160...And DCC locos/with sound can be as low as $125. And since you haven't (I think) bought anything yet, you really will get alot more fun and satisfaction if you were to go this way instead of old DC..Hooking up a DCC throttle is exactly the same as DC; 2 wires to the rails...And if you expand the layout and add a 3rd loco you'll be glad you went DCC....

MHinLA. To answer your questions I intend to buy DCC locomotives. But only plan on having two locomotives for the layout. The 2-8-0 and an 0-6-0 to be used in the main yard and town. I plan on only having about 20-25 cars total, 8 of which will be dedicated to the smelter/mine loads-in empties-out operation. I have thought about DCC and that why I will buy DCC equipped locomotives but with only 2 total I think I will stay DC at least initially. I do understand that I’ll need block wiring if I intend to run both trains. At a minimum I would need to separate locomotive pockets to park the engines when the other one is running on the layout.
 

dennis461

Active Member
I was wondering which 2-8-0 would be better for my layout. I have no experience in HO scale. My layout will be set in the 1920's and will probably be DC as I only plan on having two locomotives on the entire layout. I've only seen two choices the Bachmann and the Athearn Roundhouse. Are there others out there?
There are brand new and used. So yes there are more brands out there. Also be aware of models of 'old time' locomotives versus models of newer (1920-1930) locomotives. The 'old time' will be light weight smaller models which will not pull as many cars as 'newer' 2-8-0's.

If you do a google image search of 2-8-0 Consolidation you will see some with small boilers and tall smokestacks, some larger diameter boilers and short smokestacks. In both real pictures of full size locomotives and the models. After you pick a few you like, add to your post and ask who owns one and how does it perform.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
🚦 Then, why in your OP did you say you were likely going DC ? If I knew you were going DCC I could have saved allot of time and energy on it's virtues over DC....
 

GeeTee

Well-Known Member
I believe you are confusing not only the OPer, but me as well.. All your jargon, this, that, the other is kind of loopy.. Why is 'fantasy' (which is referred to as being 'fictitious' ) better as 'hand me down"? If you mean second-hand equipment, any MRR can employ second hand (used) and/or new equipment. What does fictitious (or fantasy ) have to do with the RR era one choses ?
The Consolidation(2-8-0) was perhaps the most successful and widely owned loco across all the RRs all the way thru about the early to mid 1950s and worked main lines, branch, and shortlines. Yes, larger locos were being built. But they ran side by side with Connies for decades. M
A "hand me down" is usually a locomotive that has served on a Class 1 . When the locomotive no longer able to meet the needs of the Class 1 , but still have serviceable life ,They are "handed down " to branch or short line that is owned by the Class 1. They might be "sold" or given outright depending on the relationship between the two roads.

Consolidateds were kept because of their low axle load compared to newer heavier locomotives . So Consolidateds were used on branch and short lines that had lighter rail. They tended not to be used in primary service because to do the same work you had to double heading . The whole reason for building bigger more powerful was to reduce cost and double heading is expensive , two locomotives ,two crews.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
We don't know your priorities here, so we're all dancing in the dark. Is money a show-stopper now, or will it be at some point after, say $300 worth of expenses, or maybe $800? Is a realistic scenario the important matter, and does the era and weight/power of the locomotive matter? One responder asked about gauge. You can have O Gauge locomotives run on HO rails and it would, and often is in the hobby, considered to be narrow gauge. This would be on an isolated mountain railway, or a short line, something like the Cumbres & Toltec or the White Pass & Yukon.

Early 2-8-0 locomotives had slide valve and no superheater. Later, with superheaters, they had to have spindle/cylinder valves because the slide valves couldn't be lubricated adequately. If you want earlier locomotives, look for models that have the small box on top of the more massive cylinder chest, and not those steamers with the smaller cylinders atop the larger piston cylinder.

What we hope to do, and what we with experience hope to have you avoid, is regret. Costs add up in this hobby, but so do regrets. The latter come with learning, and unfortunately, there's a ton to learn. Best to get it over with before you plunk down your plastic.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
GT Sorry, your nomenclature was confusing or lacking...It reads as if you meant hand me down/used models...
But the same story applies to 'bigger more powerful' locos, double headed w/two crews..They consumed way more fuel and water per engine if they were Pacifics/FEFs/Berks/Y6bs pulling longer trains and which also might have demanded a 3rd crew, the two in the pusher...
 
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GeeTee

Well-Known Member
GeeTee Thank you for the information. My layout will be based loosely on the Copper Range Railroad in the Upper Peninsula of Michiga. The largest steam locomotive was a 2-8-0. This layout will be standard gauge. The layout is planned to have a Copper mine, a smelter and into the town where the copper ingots will be loaded on to steams for shipment across the Great Lakes. I will definitely look at the Roundhouse 2-8-0 as that seems to fit the bill for the time frame the best.
Just looking at pictures of a CR 2-8-0 on Wiki neither the Bachmann or Roundhouse is a perfect match aesthetically but if had to choose the Roundhouse with the straight boiler probably looks closest to me . Of course there are other things to consider .
 

SVJim

Chief Tree Planter
Just looking at pictures of a CR 2-8-0 on Wiki neither the Bachmann or Roundhouse is a perfect match aesthetically but if had to choose the Roundhouse with the straight boiler probably looks closest to me . Of course there are other things to consider .

GeeTee,

Thank you for looking at the CR and your input on the closer match. I was thinking for the time period I will be modeling it would look closer too.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I have several of the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0s. They have served me well. No major problems, and besides I have found Bachmann to be good on their guarantee if there is something wrong with one.

Contrast that to a Roundhouse 2-8-0 kit I built. I have had to work like mad to get it to run well. Many hours many extra parts, filing, sanding, trimming, electrically isolating some things, adding electric contacts in other places. Not worth the effort I say.

I do not have one of the Broadway Limited consolidateds (hmmm I wonder why?). Anyway all my other Broadway equipment has also served me well so I would expect the 2-8-0 to be the same.
 




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