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Shdwdrgn 10-02-2019 03:51 PM

Help with tender styles
I've noticed there are a couple distinctive shapes to tenders from the earlier steamers, but I can't seem to find any reference that indicates the usage and time period for them. I'm hoping someone can help me understand why they had these two shapes and what they would be appropriate for? My best guess at the moment is that one is for wood and the other is for coal, but is anything really ever that simple? :)

There is also a difference in the loco's driver size. This one has 52" drivers:

This one has 63" drivers. The difference in driver size appears to correlate with the different types of tenders.

Thanks for any light you can shed on this...

Big Ed 10-02-2019 04:34 PM

Tenders held wood, coal, oil and water, depending on the locomotive.

A wiki might explain some for you,

prrfan 10-02-2019 04:44 PM

Some models of steam locomotives used different tenders, depending on what they were used for.
For example, the PRR Decapod used a small tender if it was in switching or local service, and a much larger ‘long haul ‘ tender for road freights.
If you buy a new locomotive, the tender will probably be appropriate for the model. If you buy used, from eBay for example, it may or may not be correct for the loco. It’s makes for interesting research, which is part of the fun of the hobby.

Shdwdrgn 10-02-2019 04:54 PM


Originally Posted by prrfan (Post 2456788)
If you buy a new locomotive, the tender will probably be appropriate for the model.

Well that's part of the conundrum here... both of the locos shown above are from the same Bachmann line, and as far as I can tell the tender that is shipped with the loco is dependent on whether you request 52" or 63" drivers when you order. I just can't find any related info on what time period each model is appropriate for so I was hoping the difference in tenders would give me a clue.

@Big Ed -- Thanks but I've already scanned through that wikipedia page and didn't see anything helpful. Maybe I missed something?

prrfan 10-02-2019 05:20 PM

Well, it’s a good question. Who knows really if the tenders are that accurate for a given model? The driver size should be a good starting point for looking into it.

DonR 10-02-2019 05:27 PM

Can't help with the tender 'luvin'...

But didn't the driver wheel size have to do with
the intended purpose of the locomotive?

Think gear ratio.

Basically the larger drivers were used on
passenger locos because the RR wanted
faster trains and the larger wheels gave that.

The smaller wheels gave the loco more pulling
power...the smallest used on switchers and the
larger on big freight locos.


prrfan 10-02-2019 05:57 PM

I think the larger driver sizes were for passenger engines and the smaller were for freight. My K4s and Atlantics have large drivers and Mikado, Consolidation and Decapod all have smaller drivers.

As far as the tenders, I seem to remember hitting a dead end on researching them myself a while back. IIRC, many roads built their own, and used what they had available. That may explain the differences in the photos between the NYC and B&O models.

Lee Willis 10-02-2019 06:14 PM

Driver size was how your changed the gear ratio of a steam loco. If it had 42 inch drivers it was designed for low speed but ability to pull hard. Eighty inch or eight-four inch drivers and it was designed for very high speed pulling only a short express pasenger train. In between, such as 63 inch drivers, was and intermediate: a loco retty good at everything but not excellent at anything.

As to the tender, don't assume the model is accurate to the actual. Model manufacturers mix and match. What the loco really had depending on its purpose and the railroads policy and what grade of coal and water and how many stops to refuel there were along the way.

Shdwdrgn 10-02-2019 06:18 PM

@DonR -- yeah that makes a lot of sense, and I know the 4-6-0 was quite popular for both types of use. What stumped me though was when I looked up the D&RGW roster they had one of these Baldwins (#759) with 63" drivers and it looks like it was used for freight. Contradictions everywhere and I'm just getting more confused.

@prrfan -- Don't rely on the road name as an indicator, Bachmann sells the same names in both versions for this line of locos.

I also found a pic from Nevada Northern for one of their 4-6-0s (#40 which was restored) which looks identical to this model, except their loco had 69" drivers but only a top speed of 55mph. I guess I'll probably end up going with the step-sided tender (second picture) as that seems common for the D&RGW area, I just wish I could find more information about them.

CTValleyRR 10-02-2019 07:53 PM

Your conundrum is caused by the fact that your assuming that steam locos are like cars, or appliances, or to an extent diesel locomotives: a certain loco comes in a certain configuration with a certain kind of tender. They didn't. Basic physics could rule out some configurations, but basically the railroads customized locos and tenders based on what they wanted the loco to do. The railroads often built their own, especially tenders. Need more water? Lengthen the tank (and thereby the tender -- most of the storage capacity was water in any case). Want more coal? Raise the sides of the coal hopper. Want to use oil? Replace the coal hopper with a tank.

To give you an example, I have a book called "New Haven Power", which covers everything with an engine ever operated by the New York, New Haven, and Hartford railroad. The section on 2-8-2 Mikados, of which the New Haven had only 24, is 28 pages long. Each loco has at least two different tenders, frequently more. Some were modified to burn oil, some never were, and several are shown with two different sizes of drivers. The entire section of diesel and electric locomotives is only about 20% of the book. Fully 75% of the content is devoted to steam locomotives and their changing configurations. Now granted, the New Haven went belly-up in 1969 and was merged into the Penn Central, so that has something to do with the smaller number of diesels and electrics, but still.

So you can take one of two approaches. Do the research, find out exactly what the wheel arrangement, configuration and tender appearance was at any given time (hopefully, your chosen prototype has something as comprehensive as "New Haven Power" available), and either find an appropriate commercial model, or modify one to suit. Or you can say "close enough" and pick one that looks good to you. Either is fine.

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