Paper Railroads?

Work has progressed on the 0-4-0t to the point of fabrication of the saddle tank,sand dome, and water fill hatch. This engine will undoubtably turn out to be either an abandoned junker or shed jewelery, as being my first scratchbuilt engine it contains a number of flaws. Such is the process of experience.

Concerning the “paper railroad” of a layout, I expect it will be a quarry layout, with narrow and standard gauge, based on the concept of granite or limestone extraction in the 1910s-1970s. Its fictional prototype was formed in 1904 under the name of the Central Texas Quarry & Transportation Co., and quarry operations started in 1906 with a secondhand 2 foot gauge engine (the model I am building in real life). Finding this locomotive to be a piece of excrement, it was abandoned within a month on the property, to be replaced with a Porter 4-c-R class 0-6-4t, which proved infinitely more satisfactory. This engine soldiered on, supplanted by other H.K. Porter products, until 1954, where taking place in the CTQ&T semicentinnial it was duly preserved under cover in a prefabricated metal building in Llano, which along with the locomotive was donated to the city. After 1959, no steam locomotives excepting the first, narrow or standard gauge, were on the property, for dieselization had taken place, the narrow gauge with Plymouths, the standard gauge with a GE 44 ton switcher. In this state both railroads continued, until the narrow gauge was supplanted with trucks, and the standard gauge until the quarry was abandoned in the Seventies.

That first engine is still there…

In digression, on the Internet Archive I have discovered a great treasure: A 1908 H.K PORTER LOCOMOTIVE CATALOG!!



A Thirty-Inch Gauge Diesel

I have been building away all through this weekend, with the net result of having finished the cylinder block and driving wheels (it will in fact be an 0-4-0, somewhat like this, but in black and sans the trailing truck).

Now that I am rolling along nicely on the the unpowered steamer, I’m contemplating a powered locomotive model: a little diesel or gasoline powered, mechanically driven critter-type switcher. Concerning the definition of a critter, despite there being no exact definition, it being a “you know it when you see it” sort of affair, it is generally & somewhat vaguely defined in actual usage as any smaller switching locomotive, not having trucks, instead having the wheels fixed to the frame, & usually powered by internal combustion and/or operating in industrial or shortline service. Here is an extensive but still incomplete definition, and here is a picture, this particular one being an EMD Model 40.

But I digress. As for the model, which may still turn out to be standard gauge, I having a nice little power unit, I have chosen a Jordan Products Mack (of the manufacturer of trucks) 15 ton locomotive (15 tons is light in railroad circles). Here is a picture & database entry from website of the reputable distributor & manufacturer of model railroad products Walthers.

A pretty nice unpowered little engine for under $15.00 U.S., huh? As for the powering in HOn30 , I plan on using whatever nicer N gauge chassis comes to hand next time I visit the train show. (Someone’s already powered it in HOn3o, but I don’t have access to his particular chassis. Link here.)