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About ALCO

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    Where ever my pants are...
  • Interests
    Trains, Realistic train MOC's, railroad landscapes

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  1. I was there! How did I miss that!? Boy oh boy, I really hope that is it!
  2. I know what you mean. When I was a kid, my dad and I would set up his Lionel trains under our Christmas tree. Now that I have my own house and a lad of my own, I don't have the Lionel trains, so I have settled with my Lego trains. I think the Lego track sticks together a bit better than O-gauge. While they are roughly the same size... Give or take a few, running the Lionel in your Lego Winter Village, might look fun from the perspective of all different toys playing together because it's Christmas. But if you want everything to look the same, then stick with one brand. I guess the only "right" answer is what works for you and what you like.
  3. ALCO

    Custom Train Wheels Combined Topic

    I'm with @Jeffinslaw on this one. I would also love to see some kind of partnership that would allow @zephyr1934 to offer his rods injection moulded. I can dream, can't I?
  4. ALCO

    train wheel question

    I have a 4-4-0 locomotive powered in this way. As @SavaTheAggie pointed out you will not have as much pulling power for really long trains but it sure will be super-fast! I would recommend putting some extra cars on to slow it down with the added weight or only running full speed through a curve of r88 or greater.
  5. ALCO

    [MOC] Great Northern Baldwin P-2 4-8-2 (modernized)

    Wow! That actually looks really good! I'm quite stuck on the larger wheels but you have definitely helped bring some fresh ideas and a new perspective on my conundrum. I thank you! I love your locomotive and caboose! Can't wait to see these in real brick! I think Great Northern is vastly under-represented in brick, and the colors and equipment are so interesting to look at. Well done!
  6. ALCO

    [MOC] Great Northern Baldwin P-2 4-8-2 (modernized)

    Wow! This looks really good! I have been working on one of these too. Though, am quite stuck on the front pony truck on 2584. Have you attempted this? Also I have been having trouble proportioning the water tank of the tender. I just can't get it to look right with the cat-walks on the sides toward the top. How are you powering this? It looks like you have the power-train hidden pretty well.
  7. Hello RuffDraft, Welcome to the wonderful world of Lego Trains!! I have two copies of the winter holiday train. At first I thought it was chinsey but now think it is really cute, and I just love it! At the back of the instructions is how to motorize it using PowerFunctions. Once these components are installed, it can be difficult to get the driver in the back of the locomotive due to the wires. However, you can make him hang on to the gold hand-rail at the back of the cab. For this set, there is no need to get other traction tires because the wheels that are powered are the four in the front pony-truck, not the two large "driver" wheels in the back of the locomotive. The front four wheels already have traction bands on them. In my experience, if you add too many additional cars, the slipping is because the locomotive is very light, and does not have enough weight to press the wheels to the rails very well. But, if you are only running this train with the cars provided in the set, then you should be fine. For me, it ran great around my Christmas tree all last Christmas with no problems at all. As for why Lego changes the the motors and power systems. I would say they want to keep up with technology. At one point it was very novel to have 12v with center power rails. Then the technology changed and elements began to become more advanced so they changed to the 9v system with metal rails and track looking more like it does today. I think partly this is because the old track would fall apart if the clips got worn-out. There was a lot of frustration from the switch to PowerFunctions (PF) and all plastic track. This is because the old 9v train motors cannot run on the plastic track but the new (at that time) PF trains which are battery operated could run on any track. Also this meant TLG would stop producing 9v track so that track is getting very expensive if you have a large collection of 9v trains. Personally, I think the switch to PF was more about upgrading the technology. With PF you can now run multiple trains at the same time and can run up to 8 trains on one controller. If you are building very small locomotives, this can be a challenge because you now have to figure out what to do with the battery box, the IR receiver and the motor. I think this makes trains especially steam and diesel locomotives more realistic in the sense they have to carry their fuel with them instead of picking it up from the rails. This also give us greater flexibility in what motors we can use to run our trains. We can now use the Technic motors like the XL motor as used in the Emerald Night that came out a several years ago. Using Technic motors we have control over the gearing by using technic axles and gears. As for the switch from PF to PoweredUp (PU), this is also due to keeping up with the technology. The blue-tooth receiver is now incorporated in the battery pack but I think at this point it is still too early to tell how flexible and adaptable this will be. There was what i call a half-step between 9v and PF called RC which was awful, but I think that only lasted for one product cycle and they learned a lot from that and used that information to develop PF. This is all my understanding and opinion some of which may have some basis to it, but I think this should give you some idea. Everyone here is really helpful and friendly. Though sometimes opinionated when it comes to the merits of 9v vs. PF. If you have any questions, just ask!
  8. I love how the PF components are "hidden" in plain sight! Such a cool "load" for that open wagon!
  9. ALCO

    Large Layout Questions

    While I have never done this, some folks have developed hybrid systems where the battery is used for RC track and a 9v motor is modified as a power pick-up for charging the battery when on 9v track. If you use a raspberry Pi or ardunio then you can program a train to return to a section of track to charge while another train takes a trip. This might require some fancy programming for automatic switches.
  10. I have also been thinking about rebuilding by old 4.5v set 77xx as I cannot remember the exact set number... But my plan is to use the newer parts because they are cheaper and I want to use my old magnets for my future BMR rolling stock.
  11. My inspiration comes from the desire to have a diverse stable of motive power in my "roundhouse." I like to build mostly North American steam digitally and have, started to realize those designs in brick form (a 4-4-0 and a Big Boy). But I also really like having the sets. My hope one day is to build a roundhouse for my collection, which by that point should fill a roundhouse the size of PennLUG's. Speaking of whom, I am inspired by their attention to detail and have supported their building and design efforts. I enjoy designing locomotives more than rolling stock so BMR's instructions are a win-win for me.
  12. ALCO

    2018 Lego Trains

    Too bad they will not ship it.
  13. ALCO

    Union Pacific SD60

    This looks awesome!! Seems to be... 6-wide? Based on just looking at the trucks, it looks to be hand and "Brum" powered. Are there any considerations for PF, PU, 9v, or any other power system?
  14. ALCO

    2018 Lego Trains

    FYI I can confirm that the Switch Tracks 60238 is the same price as Switching Tracks 7895. At least for the United States. Both in-store and S@h. Also, 60052 and 60051, while "out of stock" have been discounted to $159.99 and $119.99 respectively.
  15. ALCO

    Lego 75955 Hogwarts Express

    To bring things back on topic, I suppose one can put the tender body on a 12v, 9v, PF, or PU motor for a tender driven train. However, I think the old 4.5v train motor might be too big. Once I get this set, I will experiment with my old 4.5v motor. The great thing is that the gauge of the track has not changed for all you 12v and 9v train heads out there. You can still run it on your existing track. (I know, I know, I'm stating the obvious) but I think its silly how one camp likes to think their old technology is (insert your preferred adjective here) than all the others. We can all agree on one thing: Lego trains, regardless of the technology that drives them along the track (brumming included) are just plain cool. So, I'm looking forward to getting this set, and would like to get at least one additional copy.