Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Locomotive

The C.A. Coscia stands at the Oakdale depot awaiting an assignment. The striping is based on the prototype C.P.Huntington at the California Railroad Museum.
I've been wanting to get this little engine running for some time now. One reason is that I just happen to like single-driver locomotives and another was to see if I could get sound into it. For those of you who might not recognize the engine, it is a model of the Southern Pacific's No. 1 (formerly Central Pacific No. 3), the C. P. Huntington which still exists in the California Railroad Museum. The model was imported in brass by Key in the 1980s.
The woodpile in the tank area almost entirely hides the speaker glued to the underside of the roof. The decoder is located in the cab. The prototype Huntington once sported a rear headlight such as this one.
To get it running, I had to modify the rear end beam. The original was just a brass casting with a simulated link-and-pin drawhead. I drilled that out and substituted a Kadee 711 coupler. A number plate was added to the smokebox cover as well as a light for backing moves. The rest of the engine was left stock.
The Zimo 8x11 mm speaker with sound chamber puts out a great amount of
sound despite its tiny size.
A Loksound Select Mini decoder was used for the sound along with a Zimo 8x11 mm "sugar cube" speaker. The decoder barely fit into the cab with the speaker glued under the roof.
   These little engines won't run reliably unless extra electrical pickups are added. A wiper made from .010" phosphor bronze was attached to run on the insulated driver and track sliders were attached to both the left and right side pickups. I would like to have added more but the size of the engine made that difficult.
  All in all, the loco runs pretty well and can pull two or three freight cars. Since that's all the prototype could do, I am happy. My intention is to use this engine to pull the pay car once I get one built. More about that operation later.

About one passenger car is the limit for this locomotive but this is all that would be required to pull the pay car.
The worst part about the single-driver models is that any little defect in the trackwork can affect the engine. Most engines have at least one other pair of drivers to push them over rough trackage but the singles do not. The drivers spin and nothing happens, sort of like getting one of your rear car wheels in a mud puddle. It spins fast but the car goes nowhere. The good side of this is that you now have an engine to inspect the track so you can repair it.
   The engine that pulled the pay car was kept in excellent condition as it represented the fiscal solvency of the railroad and upper management. I've tried to get that feeling into this one. It's named the C. A. Coscia after a good friend and supporter of the S&C.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful paint work on that. Excellent work sir!

  2. I had the distinct pleasure of running the Pay Train as Extra 4 West during an operation on June 21, 2014. Due to Don's meticulous track work and his efforts at improving the pickup of the locomotive, I experienced few hiccups on the trip. The sound was very good especially considering the tiny size of the locomotive. It is as good - looking in person as in the pictures. Great work, Don!