Late 1800's, early 1900's

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by Joe L, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Joe L

    Joe L TrainBoard Member

    I'm looking for a source or maybe some mind corrections.

    I am having a tough time finding or figuring out rolling stock, Ore cars, caboose, etc from that period. I am assuming most are wood created cars or maybe I am looking right at them when I search the hobby sites and the cars I see not knowing they were also from this period.

    I have searched the Internet today for hrs and am not finding much of anything. Can anyone point me in a direction? It would be appreciated. I just ordered my 2-6-0 mogul and now I need to start mining... Thanks, Joe
  2. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    If you are interested in mining, I don't know many RTR cars but randgust has kits for making 7 ton ore cars based on V&T prototypes. I built two three-car sets of these and they went rather quickly.

    A lot of your boxcars would be wooden from that period. There are not a lot of these available in current N scale offerings. It seems the focus on releases is mostly WWII to present.
  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Something else that might help here. Look at the builders dates in the fine data on a train car you are interested in. I realize that's hard to do in N or Z scale but in HO it's a relatively easy find.

    If the car looks older that's a good hint. Ie., 40' tank, box, flats and the likes with early railroad markings is another clue. In the early 1900's, 50 footers started showing up along with full length 85 or 86 foot passenger cars. Many of the early woodsided or outside braced box cars or reefers were shopped and metal siding added to the exterior.

    The library can be a good source for finding older videos of early trains as well as the obvious supply of books.

    I hope that helps.
  4. Tudor

    Tudor TrainBoard Member

    Im not so sure there are allot for that period either. Not sure if you could do anything with the old Bachmann "Old Timer" series cars, maybe to kit bash something. They have a gondola, box car, water car from that period, but they are the old, not well detailed cars. Other than that, just scratch building something from prototype pictures, or taking some early wood sheathed cars adding truss rods and kit bashing some of those to suit your era..

    Cool era, and not sure why they don't offer as much. But I assume because it is a minority of modelers that did any more with it other than express coolness of it.
  5. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    The American Railroad Freight Car by J.H. White, Jr. is indispensible to nineteenth century modelling. You will learn many interesting facts from this book. I never knew that the tank car took its modern form in the 1850s. I also learned that what Bachmann sells as a 'tank car' actually bears a closer resemblance to something that the Baltimore and Ohio used to haul coal in the 1840s to the 1870s. These are just two things that I learned.

    What is out there:


    Athearn sells 1880s 2-6-0s and 2-8-0s. These are copies of the old MDC design, so if you find MDC/Roundhouse moguls and consolidateds out there, they are allright to buy. Athearn made a few improvements, notably MicroTrains couplers fore and aft.

    Atlas sells an 1870s 2-6-0. These are rather finicky due to their small size and few wheels that actually pick up electric. When they run, they run well. Do not use on pikes with plastic frog switches.

    Bachpersonn sells an 1860s/1870s 4-4-0. Many pan these, but, considering what they are, they are not all that bad. They do require hour-upon-hour of break in time and should not operate on pikes with plastic frog switches.

    Model Power sells a 4-4-0 and a 2-6-0. These are actually very late 1890s to early 1900s designs. These are based on very late 1890s/early 1900s designs. The 4-4-0 does not pull much. The 2-6-0 is a very good puller, but the presence of the traction tyres compromises the electrical contact to the point that it will stall, even on straight and level, at speeds less than thirty five SMPH. Their 1970s construction methods hurt the performance of these locomotives. Swapping out the stock MP tender for an all wheels live tender, such as any of the B-mann SPECTRUMs or the Kato USRA Standard will provide a major help to the performance of these locomotives.

    The only one of these in current production is the B-personn 4-4-0. Still, all of the above are still out there at shows and at dealers as NOS.

    Passenger cars-

    B-mann sells a coach and a combine. They do require lowering the ride height to improve the appearance.

    Athearn sells, and MDC sold fifty foot cars in the following body styles: combine, coach, sleeper and 'business'.

    Athearn sells, and MDC sold thirty four foot cars in the following body styles: baggage, combine, coach, 'business'.

    Freight cars-

    Bachmann sells a boxcar, a flat car, a 'gondola' and a 'tank car'. See my above comment on the 'tank' car. The gondola is really their flat car with sides, which is what many gondolas really were, even up to the early 1890s.

    Athearn sells, and MDC sold refrigerators, stock and box cars.

    The B-mann four wheel caboose is based on a Reading Company prototype.

    Arnold sold a four wheel caboose based on a Baltimore and Ohio prototype.

    The Athearn/MDC appears to be based on a NYCs prototype, except that the cupola is far too large.

    These are the RTR and shake of the box items out there. There are some craftsman kits out there, as well.

    Micro-Trains sells archbar trucks, which was a standard truck of that era. They also sell Andrews trucks, which appeared in the early twentieth century.

    If you want structures, check out some of the sites of the manufacturers of narrow gauge items, such as Republic Locomotive Works.

    Take a peek at my photo album on Railimages. It is all nineteenth century stuff.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  6. spyder62

    spyder62 TrainBoard Member

  7. Joe L

    Joe L TrainBoard Member

    Thanks guys. Good info and I am now thinking its time to do a bit of research and start building my own. Joe
  8. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    Thank you, spyder62, you were one of the kit manufacturers of whom I was thinking but could not remember the name. Do hobby stores stock your kits? Do any show vendors stock your kits? Or must I order them from your site?

    Thank you for speaking up.
  9. Joe L

    Joe L TrainBoard Member

  10. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Somebody was selling sets of the old time bachmann gons and flats in runs of ten each a while back so i got some and customized them a bit. Here are some pix.


  11. Joe L

    Joe L TrainBoard Member

    Looks GREAT. I can see now at least there are a few avenue's available. I have changed my search to things I can customize myself. Along with the above links to laser, I am on the move. Thanks
  12. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Someone suggested that you check the build dates on cars. If you are purchasing from a hobby shop, make sure that you bring a magnifying glass to check the build date YOURSELF. I have had the unfortunate experience of being misled by a LHS when I asked them for the build date.
  13. Joe L

    Joe L TrainBoard Member

    Will do. Thanks
  14. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

  15. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter


    I also model the 1890s in N scale. Can't find your photo album on Railimages. Would love to see your photos. Can you post the link please to your photo album on Railimages?

    John Bartolotto
  16. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    http:brokemoto Gallery -

    At least I think that will get you there. You can also go to the main page on Rail Images, go to member galleries, then to the Bs, then my name, then point and click to the photograph.

    My nineteenth century pike is more a generic nineteenth century pike. It will be my only pike until I have finished rebuilding my 1950s pike. Once the 1950s pike is finished, I will still operate the nineteenth century pike and continue to build kits for it.

    EDITORIAL NOTE: I tried the link, it works. Not all of the photographs are the best, as I am rather klutzy with a digicam. GF is pretty good with it, though.
  17. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks! I've seen some of your photos as you have posted them and enjoy seeing your layouts progress. Its going well. Here is a few photos of my NYC&HRRR 1890 Western Branch, Rochester, NY Division layout. That is the turntable laying on its side its not in place yet. Bridges cross over the Erie Canal. That is one of my NSM N scale Erie Canal boats placed in the Big Ditch.




  18. Joe L

    Joe L TrainBoard Member

    Man, I love seeing pictures..

    Vent here.

    I received my Model Power 2-6-0 Mogul today and it was broken. I tried a quick fix but, saw it wasn't going to work and called that off quick. Called the store I bought it from and got a bit of attitude, (note: on their side, they did not say they would not exchange it, just seemed bothered by it). I guess I'm a just a kind guy and feel for other peoples problems and would never give attitude to anyone,,,,, other than my wife. (kidding). Any-who, it goes out Monday to be exchanged, hope it goes well.

  19. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    My 13-ton Climax A dates to about 1885.
    The 18-ton Climax (steel frame) is a 1920's model. Climax went out in 1928.

    The little V&T ore cars are based on the four-wheelers used between Virginia City and Carson City between about 1867 to 1915. I was looking for something appropriately small for using with the little Climaxes for mining; the log cars were already there.

    See my website - Randgust Home Terminal - but here's the 18-ton with ore cars:


    The Atlas 2-6-0 painted up for V&T is 'the' correct locomotive for these cars.
  20. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    Nice looking pike, there John. I saw the MOW car, too. What are you running for equipment? Is that Bown Bros. Evaporated Fruit Company scratched, kit or bashed? What did you use for shingles?

    Has anyone here managed to get a pilot coupler onto the Atlas/MicroAce 2-6-0?

    The MP mogul needs an all wheels live tender. I have used the B-mann SPECTRUM and the Kato USRA Standard tender. The B-personn SPECTRUM USRA switcher tender is more to the size, but the Standard is allright, as well.

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