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The Locomotives of the Texas State Railroad


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#1 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:09 PM

The Texas State Railroad is a fantastic state park in Texas that features 5 running condition steam locomotives.  They operate four of them* on a regular basis between the cities of Rusk and Palestine, hauling passengers on excusion runs, one train leaving each city at the same time so they pass each other more or less half-way.  It's the only place in the U.S. where you can still see two steam engines pass each other.

But the TSRR is in trouble.  Budget cuts have put the park in jeopardy of becoming a static display.  In a show of support and an attempt to spread the word, I've decided to recreate some, possibly all, of the steam locomotives from the park and taking them to TexLUG displays.

TSRR #500

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Comparing the MOC to the real thing (earlier stage in the building process):
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The TSRR #500 is a 4-6-2, or Pacific Type, locomotive.  It weighs in at a substantial 134 tons and has 74" drive wheels.  I had to use a very nifty technique suggested to me by Ben Fleskes, the maker of the BBB wheels my locomotives use, in order to get this engine to clear its own wheels and run on the tracks like I wanted it to.  My MOC is unfinished, as I've hit a budget crisis of my own, but I hope to finish it soon.  I want to swap out the cab roof with curved slopes, and I want to put some train-roof slopes on the front of the boiler to sink those jumper plates.  Plus there are a lot of color issues that need to be fixed.


TSRR #300

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Here are some pics of the real thing:
http://www.flickr.co...tros/276341860/
http://www.flickr.co...ealy/232333782/

The TSRR #300 is a 2-8-0, or Consoldation Type, locomotive.  It weighs a svelt 83 tons with 56" drivers.  I went ahead and used BBB wheels instead of a brick built design because I like the way BBB wheels perform, even if they are out of proportion on this particular MOC.  The #300 is much more straight forward in wheel design than the #500, but it uses some nifty SNOT to tackle the pistons.   This one isn't finished either, but is much closer to that point.  I want to swap out the roof for curved pieces, there are a few color issues, I need to build the left side piston to match the right side, and I need to order more BBB wheels (the wheels shown on the locomotive were stolen from the #500 for these pictures).

Of course both locomotives still need all their decals, but that will come when they're finished brick-wise.

Thanks for looking!

--Tony

*They own 5 but only operate 4 because the fifth is a gigantic locomotive (2-10-4).  While their tracks can handle the giant, it would be too expensive to run regularly because "it would be like pulling a child's wagon with a semi truck."

#2 Asuka

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 10:51 AM

These are marvelous locomotives, both originals and MOCs....  *y*
It must be wonderful to watch when those steam enginesīre passing each other....  :-$
I wish you good luck with this interesting and honorable project.

#3 Hobbes

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 11:31 AM

I'm not that a big steam engine fan, but what I like about your models is that they're in classic 6wide  *sweet*

I've seen many steam engines on brickshelf, great models no doubt, but mere display models. Yours can actually be used in a layout without looking awkward in the curves.

Good job! *y*


Oh, and welcome to EB! Hope to see more of your work. Why not introduce yourself in the Community Forum ;-)

I'll move this to the T&T forum...

#4 TheBrickster

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:13 AM

Very nice Tony.  And welcome to Eurobricks.  I hope they keep the park open.

#5 Bonaparte

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 10:32 AM

Nice initiative Tony.
I'm not a train expert, but this is very good work.

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#6 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 07:22 AM

View PostAsuka, on Jan 20 2007, 04:51 AM, said:

These are marvelous locomotives, both originals and MOCs....  *y*
It must be wonderful to watch when those steam enginesīre passing each other....  :-$
I wish you good luck with this interesting and honorable project.

Thank you!  I only discovered the Texas State Railroad while looking for a Pacific type locomotive to build, so I have not yet seen them in action.  However, since they were given a short repreive and are running till August of this year (hopefully much longer than that if the Texas legislature does the right thing), I plan on taking my family up there and riding the trains as soon as I am able.  

Thanks for the reply!


View PostHobbes, on Jan 20 2007, 05:31 AM, said:

I'm not that a big steam engine fan, but what I like about your models is that they're in classic 6wide  *sweet*

I've seen many steam engines on brickshelf, great models no doubt, but mere display models. Yours can actually be used in a layout without looking awkward in the curves.

Good job! *y*
Oh, and welcome to EB! Hope to see more of your work. Why not introduce yourself in the Community Forum ;-)

I'll move this to the T&T forum...

Thanks!  I hate to burst your bubble, but my #500 is 7-wide.  I did this because I wanted it to look in-scale with the other locomotives I plan on building and have built from the Texas State Railroad.  The three smaller locomotives, including the #300, will all be 6-wide.  The big 2-10-4 will be 8-wide like my Pere Marquette #1225 MOC (if I go so far as to build it).

I always strive to build toys rather than models; I hate building models.  If it can't run on the tracks, or it can't be played with without falling apart, I consider the MOC a model, and if I built it, I consider it a failure.  

Thanks for the welcome and the reply!


View PostTheBrickster, on Jan 20 2007, 06:13 PM, said:

Very nice Tony.  And welcome to Eurobricks.  I hope they keep the park open.

Thanks much!

View Postbonaparte, on Jan 21 2007, 04:32 AM, said:

Nice initiative Tony.
I'm not a train expert, but this is very good work.

Thanks much!  I'm very proud of what I've been able to do so far, though I just hope I can finish them in time to take them for public display.

--Tony

#7 Hobbes

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 08:51 AM

View PostSavaTheAggie, on Jan 22 2007, 07:22 AM, said:

Thanks!  I hate to burst your bubble, but my #500 is 7-wide.  I did this because I wanted it to look in-scale with the other locomotives I plan on building and have built from the Texas State Railroad.  The three smaller locomotives, including the #300, will all be 6-wide.  The big 2-10-4 will be 8-wide like my Pere Marquette #1225 MOC (if I go so far as to build it).
I don't mind the width (I like 7wide, it's still a miracle to me how to build in odd numbers) as long as they don't look awkward in the curves. Yours don't :-)

#8 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 08:07 PM

Before I started building the #300 I wanted to make sure I was getting the proportions correct comparing it to the #500, so I created this image:

http://www.ikros.net...p/TSRRlocos.jpg

I know the actual sizes of the drive wheels, so I used those as a guide to help me resize the different locomotives so I could have them all the right size relative to each other.  The #300 and #400 have 56" and 54" drivers, respectively, so I resized them so their wheels were 3/4rs the size of the #500's 74" wheels.  The #301 has 63" drivers, so I resized it so its wheels were about half way inbetween.

I didn't include a picture of the fifth locomotive the TSRR owns, the giant 2-10-4 #610, simply because it's so big compared to the others.  Here's a link to some good pictures of her:

http://www.texaspaci...p=5&en=610&c=40

Currently I'm actually quite happy with not building the other three locomotives, but I'm sure I'll change my mind once the newness of these two wears off (and I have money again, a big factor in building locomotives for me).

If I do go through with building them, my plan is this:

#201 - I'd build it 6-wide, and most likely just like my American 4-4-0, just with different colors and an extra driver, possibly shorter boiler.

#400 - I'd build it 6-wide, probably very similarly to the #300, just adding a rear truck and longer boiler.

#610 - I'd build it 8-wide, most likely identically to my Pere Marquette #1225, just with a slightly longer boiler and an extra driver.  My #1225 performs well, but takes up a lot of real estate in turns, so the thought of an even longer locomotive makes me cringe, especially since it would be so similar to a locomotive I've already built.  However, the #610 is a unique locomotive in that holds the distinction as one of the three locomotives that pulled the 'American Freedom Train' in 1976.  At that time, before owned by the TSRR, the #610 was given a new, patriotic paint job with red, white, and blue stripes down the tender and on the cab (the boiler was left black).  Just to make it different, if I did build the #610, I'm tempted to use this livery.

Any suggestons/comments?

--Tony




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