New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

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kenrinc
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by kenrinc » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:06 pm

I think it looks wonderful! I would have bought one had I seen it 5 years ago! If you can keep it at that price you've got something for sure. The chassis looks similiar to my little project loco. I based it off the GE 23-ton but as was mentioned in a previous post, once I started looking at the drawings, you find that these things were really small! I mean a semi-modern 50ft reefer just totally dwarfs the prototype. Mine is 24volt, dual marine batteries with chain drive. Front battery had to be "sunk" down to just above the 1st axle in order to clear the front hood and the hood is still over scale dimensions. The body is obviously just plate but my intention was to do like Mike said and make a fiberglass composite body. The engine was built just to have fun until my steam engine is finished. I may pull it behind me as a SRV... :lol:

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Steamingdanny
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by Steamingdanny » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:21 pm

http://www.calvertcentral.com/CC_42.html

I think this looks neat, even though the wheels are small

Miserlou57
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by Miserlou57 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:38 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am glad that some of you like the design; that's exactly why I put this out there, to get an idea what people thought before I pursued the project further.

Many of the Whitcomb, Davenport, and other industrial switchers were actually much smaller than we realize, and I'm certain the Cannonball Lil' Gasser and the Railroad Supply 25-ton were considerably scaled up from their prototype dimensions to not look so tiny.

Here's a GE 25-ton next to a modern box car:

http://www.trainweb.org/westernrails/wa ... -94_jb.jpg

I definitely wanted something equally portable, without sacrificing power or just looking so "tiny."

I would realistically expect to have these available in 2-3 months. That may sound like a long time, but that's really a blink of an eye. I don't want to commit to anything just yet.

I also hadn't really considered selling components, but I will keep an open mind to it. There may be money to be made in selling components, and perhaps I'm being a little too Silicon-valley here, but by selling components (i.e. a body design), you expose yourself to situations where people may end up mistaking a someone's home-built project using our body with that of our finished product, potentially giving false (and possibly negative) impressions of our build quality, performance, etc.

I may be getting ahead of myself here. I realize this is a hobby and builder market, so again, I'll definitely consider it.

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Bulbous
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by Bulbous » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:22 pm

What kind of minimum radius would you think this loco could manage? I am building a (very) small backyard railway, and have a minimum radius around 14 feet (7.25 inch gauge), and this looks like a very suitable loco for the track and the likely hauling requirements.

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Harlock
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by Harlock » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:13 am

At 14 feet radius you'll have major problems with anything that has normal sized wheels to stay on the track as the flanges will bind and want to roll over the rail.

Usually dead minimum would be 25ft for trucked locomotives, or a small wheelbase 4-wheel product. If you had small wheels and a very small wheelbase or articulated item, you could make it work. Something like the Generic Electric might work there. But you'd want to test it.
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Bulbous
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by Bulbous » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:53 am

Thanks for that Harlock - I have been working on nothing more than an 8" wheelbase for bogies (trucks) thus far, and will probably make a small bogied boxcab for the loco for now. According to the wheelbase calculator on the
http://www.smex.net.au
website (Australian) I should have few issues, but someone did mention to me that making changes to the flange radius may be in order? I will also be using 1/8" gauge widening throughout the track, as there is not much tangent track so far.

Miserlou57
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by Miserlou57 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:52 pm

I actually haven't calculated what the precise minimum radius would be, but it should be pretty small. I roughly estimated with the calculator and got an approximation around 24' radius. However, building a smaller wheelbase loco would be very easy to do, and until I encounter any substantial obstacles I would count on it being a solid possibility.

Despite harshly limiting what equipment you could use, I actually have always thought it would be neat to have a track/layout with sharp curves and steep grades so it could wind through relatively dense flora and narrow tunnels/corridors of hedges and trees.

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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by srrl5 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:21 am

Bulbous wrote:What kind of minimum radius would you think this loco could manage? I am building a (very) small backyard railway, and have a minimum radius around 14 feet (7.25 inch gauge), and this looks like a very suitable loco for the track and the likely hauling requirements.
RMI does Steam outline 2-4-2 for operation in shopping malls. The driver wheel base is 18" and the drivers are 9 1/2" in dia. The radius they run on is 12 1/2'. The only change is to use a .125" fillet radius from the tread to the flange, a 20 degree angle on the rail side of the flange and no angle on the backside. Flanges only .187" deep. There are eight of these running and the first was built 2001, all still run every Christmas season.

So with a short wheel base truck that pivots you should not have any trouble with a 14' radius. I would do the .125" fillet radius then just increase the flange angle to keep the tip of the flange from touching the railhead.

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Fender
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by Fender » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:45 pm

The eight-ton Davenport diesel my loco is modelled on was listed in the Davenport catalog as having a minimum radius of 25 feet! That would scale ot to about 5.2 feet min radius in 2.5" scale! But I don't think this would be very practical. The sharpest curve it has actually gone around was about 30' radius.
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WJH
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by WJH » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:08 pm

Build a few prototypes, and you will know if that price point is practical. I think your time per locomotive is going to be much greater than you realize. Even if there's no manual machining, your still going to invest many more man hours then you would like. If you hire some one, your price point will be closer to 4000$.

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Benjamin Maggi
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by Benjamin Maggi » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:02 am

Any more news on this?
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Re: New Entry-Level Locomotive for less than $2000

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:35 pm

That's quite the old thread!
I've studied this to some extent wondering if we could offer a "Hustler" kit, being I work in a fabrication shop that has a laser and many machine tools and equipment. It seems like a roller would be possible in the sub $2000 price range, but getting all the motors and controls and everything else installed is just too much money in "buyouts" , and then it would be ~$400 to have it shipped. Drivetrain needs would vary too much, someone towing one child around a loop in their backyard may be fine with 250 watts while someone towing a their whole family up a 3% grade may melt down a 1000 watt motor. Liability also becomes an issue, with anything that is sold "ready to run" vs. a kit form where the builder assembles the kit and gets it running with their own add ons, and therefore assumes the risk.

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