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  • Topic: What is a good first live steamer?

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    • March 7, 2018 7:16 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Oh yea, we aren't 16 anymore.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 8, 2018 11:31 PM EST
      • Streamwood, IL
         
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      I went through this last year. I bought a Roundhouse Sammie. I love it. It's 1/20 scale, but fits in well with my LGB, Bachmann, and HLW stock.

       

      Gas fired and idiot proof, perfect for me. Because it's from the Easy Line, it has to be moved 1 revolution of the wheels forward or backward for the direction you want it to move, so only the throttle can be RC'd. I paid $800, but I purchased a few accessories with it.

    • March 9, 2018 2:27 PM EST
      • Kokomo, Indiana
         
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      Mike did get probably the best current production entry level engine on the market today.  The best I still think is a LGB/Aster Frank S, with its huge water sight glass, deep LGB style flanges that will traverse all brands and radius of common large scale turnouts without bouncing or picking the frog(which some Roundhouse and other brands will do).   But Frank S's are getting harder to find, Jay does/did have one for sale.  But if you want USA profile, the Roundhouse Sammie or Accucraft Ruby are your choices for entry level engine that is brand new.  

    • March 10, 2018 2:45 AM EST
      • Visalia, California
         
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      Agree with Mike, the Frank S was the first engine I ever ran and it was very easy for me and I had no experience at the time. I had the chance a few years ago to buy that very engine but not the funds at the time. My first steamer was the Ruby kit as I wanted the experience and understanding of how it worked. Mine has the original smaller cylinders. I reversed the eccentrics during the build and did a fair bit of run in on the bench both on air and then steam. It runs pretty good now and even has a little throttle variation now. As for new or used engines to purchase I would say used (if you know the engines history) as they run better after some run in and sometimes you can get a used engine that has had some upgrades for less than the price of a new base model.

      Steve

    • March 11, 2018 9:13 AM EDT
      • Kokomo, Indiana
         
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      Probably the most important aspect to a future live steamer is not so much the locomotive choice these days, but building his/her railway to suit live steam operation.   Level track with no grades unless you just want geared engines.  Broad curves if you desire any type of engine beyond a small switcher, and even those run better on big curves.  And by big an broad I am talking 12' or bigger diameter curves. 3m or 10' radius is the min for many of the larger live steamers and at that min, many struggle.  My Aster Schools has its lead pilot wheel against the cylinder head in a 10' radius curve and that wheel slides till back on the straight track.  There really isnt a fix for this without major changes to a classic model and that isnt something I am going to do.  My new layout will have bigger curves here at home and the owner of the portable layout our group uses is planning to build a new set of bigger curved modules to suit larger engines better.     Mike the Aspie

    • March 11, 2018 12:45 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Uh oh .... I bought the Ruby it to add to my Empire, not to define my modeling interests...

       

      I'm already aware of the tightness of my big 10' curves and my toy like sectional track, but at the time it was available Right Now and I had the cash to burn. Besides there was the house and driveway taking up Live Steamer's Necessities...

      The sad fact is they did a hydro static test of my right cylinder and only 2/3s holds water ... so Miss Ruby had better like the pike or else!

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • March 11, 2018 8:06 PM EDT
      • Kokomo, Indiana
         
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      Lol, good one John!  

       

    • March 12, 2018 12:25 AM EDT
      • Scottsdale, Arizona
         
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      Our club module was at the Bluegrass Festival today.  The module set up we used today had 5ft and 6ft curves on it.  I ran my Ruby on it with no problem.  I had at least 6 two axle cars behind it and the module had some grade to it at one end.  I ran it many time with no problems.  We also ran track powered and battery powered trains on the module, but many of the attendees were amazed with the Live Steam Locomotives that we were running.

    • March 12, 2018 4:10 AM EDT
      • Visalia, California
         
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      The Ruby will do just fine on small diameter curves. Mike was speaking of the larger steamers. Even the 2 cylinder shay needs something like 8 ft curves to be happy. I would think most of the small 0-4-0 steamers would run on smaller curves but if you want something with a bigger wheel arrangement then you will need to plan trackwork accordingly.

      Steve

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