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Old 05-23-2019, 05:49 AM   #1
Bobsbees
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USA Early American mining steam locomotive

I plan to build an N scale model based on an early American mining site in the Rockies. I am unable to locate a suitable steam engine and rolling stock. any assistance with a manufacturer will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:26 PM   #2
ebtnut
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That's going to be tough. Railroads began penetrating the Rockies in the 1870's and '80's. The predominant locomotive types from that period are 4-4-0's, 4-6-0's, 2-6-0's and 2-8-0's. The designs mostly harkened to the mid-19th Century styles - low boilers with fireboxes between the drivers, Russian iron boiler sheathing, some fancy paintwork, diamond stacks, etc. The closest I saw in a quick scan of the Micro-Mark catalog are the 4-4-0 and 2-6-0 from Model Power and the Bachmann 4-6-0. However, all of these models represent locos from the early 20th Century. A local mine might have its own small switcher (0-4-0 or 0-6-0) for work around the mine itself, and I don't see anything that would really represent that type of loco from the period you're looking at.
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:00 PM   #3
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West Mining locos

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Old 05-23-2019, 01:07 PM   #4
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West Mining locos

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsbees View Post
I plan to build an N scale model based on an early American mining site in the Rockies. I am unable to locate a suitable steam engine and rolling stock. any assistance with a manufacturer will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
Bobsbees;

ebtnut's reply pretty well covers what's available.
I assume you are asking about external railroads that hauled ore from the mine to the smelter.
Mines often did have their own very narrow gage (18-24") track, and mine cars inside the mine. The cars were horse drawn, or man pushed, since a steam loco's exhaust would have been dangerous for the miners, and the mine shafts were too small for a steam locomotive anyway. At one point there were N-scale static models of mine track and cars available.

Many of the railroads that served rocky mountain mines were 3' gage. You might consider using Z-scale track, and locomotive mechanisms, with scratch-built N-scale bodies on the locomotives.
Micro-Trains does offer Nn-3 ( N-scale models of narrow (3') gauge) rail cars and truck-wheel assemblies. Bachmann made models of the two 4-4-0 steam locos that are in the famous photo of the golden spike ceremony at the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Both had tender-mounted, 3-pole motors and were marginal runners at slow speed. They did run OK, just too fast for switching. They also could not pull more than a few cars. Bachmann also made civil war vintage passenger, and freight, cars for these locomotives to pull. These models do fit the time period you want.

good luck;

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Old 05-23-2019, 04:28 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, just because you WANT something doesn't mean that someone manufactures a model of it.

It would really help to know whether you're simply looking for a model, and already know what you want, or whether you want someone to help you figure out what you need.

As Traction Fan suggested, if you want something that specialized, you'll probably have to build it yourself, or customize an existing model. Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine, in one of it's early editions, had an article on scratch-building a steam locomotive. I recommend you get a copy and read it. MRH is an on-line only publication. Subscribers have access to all back issues and a bunch of extras, and subscribing is free (some additional content requires a small payment). Check them out here: https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:13 PM   #6
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Just a quick thought: Must it be N scale ? Since it's going to be a small mining ops, and if you have the space, maybe you could go to HO where everything is available...

Last edited by telltale; 05-23-2019 at 08:24 PM.. Reason: couple typos /omissions
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:18 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone.

Thanks for the information.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:17 PM   #8
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The reason I wanted N scale is that I am space limited in an apartment. My main interest though is running the model through my computer and automating everything. A small size train would be good for this.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:58 PM   #9
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I am headed to Durango in June. Riding the Durango to Silverton train again. I can take some pictures of what they ran. It was narrow guage. It would give you a real idea of what the loco's looked like. I have walked a few miles of the line near Lizard head and Corkscrew. I don't think, as has been stated, that any of the loco's went into the mines in the day. Today most have electric engines that pull the cars or visitors thru the mine.
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppetFlatsRR View Post
I am headed to Durango in June. Riding the Durango to Silverton train again. I can take some pictures of what they ran. It was narrow guage. It would give you a real idea of what the loco's looked like. I have walked a few miles of the line near Lizard head and Corkscrew. I don't think, as has been stated, that any of the loco's went into the mines in the day. Today most have electric engines that pull the cars or visitors thru the mine.
Depending on the exact era modeled, mine cars actually inside the mine would have been pulled by mule teams.
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