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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a loco on the enternet in size HO, I have 3 loco in HO that are 6"lg so I though sizes 6-8"lg. I received the shipment and 1 loco was in this range but the other was about 11-12" lg. how can you know how long the loco will be before seeing it. I'm new to buying model trains and don't know a lot in my 2-3months.I send the loco back to seller
are they some way to know how long the loco will be.
There has to be some way to find out how big it will be when you get it, please let me know the secert please.
THANKS FOR ANY INFRO
AL
 

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Remember that HO is a scale. That means, to an accuracy of between 95 and 99%, the loco's dimensions in scale will match the real world prototype's dimensions. So, if they are selling a 4-8-4 or an SD-70ACe, you can google the locomotive's dimensions and divide everything by 87 to get the real size in HO. A Norfolk & Western Class A 2-6-6-4 is about 120' from pilot to the beam aft of the tender. 120/87 = 16.5", so you can expect the locomotive and tender in HO to be just over 16" long. Similarly, the diesel is 74', so in scale it would be about 11" coupler to coupler.
 

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What kind of locos are you talking about, steam or diesel?
One good way to see how big a loco is would be to Google the
Railroad name and the number on the loco. IE. Santa Fe #26 is an EMD F3 4 axle diesel about 7 inches long.
Southern Pacific #6005 is an Alco PA-1 6 axle loco about 9 inches long.

These are locos from the 1950 and 1960, more modern locos could be even longer.
As a guide, a diesel loco with 4 axles (eight wheels) will be much shorter than one with 6 axles (12 wheels).

Steam locos are much more complicated. As a general rule the more large driving wheels the bigger the loco,
but that isn't always the case.
Steam locos are classed by the wheel arrangement. A loco listed as a 4 8 4 has 4 small wheels on the leading truck 8 larger driving wheels and 4 small wheels on the trailing truck.
A 4 8 4 is a pretty big loco used to pull long fast passenger trains.

An 0 6 0 is much smaller, has only 6 driving wheels and no smaller ones.
Mostly used as a yard switcher or short line low speed freights.

If you Google the railroad name and the cab number most of the time you will see a Wikipedia listing.
It will have everything you would want to know about that loco and much more.

Magic

mesenteria types faster than I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I buy the trains from retailer most of them are from model train stuff or others on the enternet.I can understand what has been said but think the retailer should put it in the discribation on the page. I know how to tell now . Most of my trains
will be in 6-8" lg. and steam in older models, I have a few are desials. I will know how lond they are now.
AL
 

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If it's data provided by the manufacturer, then most retailers will go ahead and post it with the listing. This is especially true with a minimum operating radius, because there really is no way to know what the manufacturer's design spec was.

Dimensions are different. As everyone else has pointed out, these are scale models, with dimensions proportional to the real thing (within a tolerance). I disagree that the onus should be on sellers. You should know what you're buying before you purchase, and especially if you have a size restriction, make sure your planned purchase meets it.
 

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Actually I rather agree but... You can look up the real world example, do a little scale math and come close to the model of interest.
 

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And of course, once one has some experience with trains, they will just know what size it is by the description (GP 40, SD 40, etc, etc.....)
 

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馃寛 If, in HO, your curved trackage is no less than about 22"-24" radius, which all locos can negotiate, what does it matter ? If you stick with small switching type locos you can even have 14"-16" radius in industrial areas.
Also, it would behoove you to read up on railroads and locomotives online/YouTube and get to know what the different locos, steam, diesel, and electric, look like and are/were used for..Another great learning source is "Trains" magazine.. All the issues are packed with photos, stories, of everything (real) trains. Over time these questions will become unnecessary to you...Soon as you hear "Mountain", Consolidation, mac70, SD45, Little Joe, Shay, SW1200, etc.etc. you will see it in your mind's eye...and how it would serve your RR....馃洡馃寗馃尩
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I agree with each of you but, the avg person that is interested in train has to get started and will make the same
mistake that I did so why not help them. I looked up on google has was told to check. It took me a while to find and figure out the size of a 100ft train. when it could be made easy by the manufacture letting me know up front as a new
modeler.
AL
 

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I disagree. Old Hobo has the right answer: the average participant in this hobby already has some idea of how long the real thing is, an how long things are in the chosen scale. Only the inexperienced folks have this issue. I would also argue, as I said above, that overall length isn't generally as much of a concern as minimum curve radius, which generally IS provided by the manufacturers (and a good general rule is that the longer the loco, the wider the minimum radius Now granted, we all were beginners once, but I think confusion / surprise at the length of a model isn't an issue for the vast majority of potential purchases, and that's why manufacturers don't generally bother to provide that info.
 

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I get the impression that the OP doesn't have a local hobby shop to actually go look at the trains before purchase......buying on-line has taken that advantage away......us old-timers in the hobby got into it when there was a good selection of LHS's in a lot of city's and towns, so we got to see very quickly what the various cars and engines looked like.....the color, the scale, the length, the width......all right in our hands......can't beat that when you're first learning about stuff.....
 

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That's a good point, OH, and something the newcomers to this hobby will have as a disadvantage going forward. I think it's easy to lose sight of some of the 'flavour' of typical mistakes as each new set of people joins the hobby and vocalizes/posts about defects they wish to correct, even if just in the way of offered information. If our new friend has found something wanting, it doesn't necessarily mean he is alone, and nor does it mean he isn't.
 

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Most European manufacturers state the length over the buffers of locomotives. Most rolling stock too.

Particularly with rolling stock as not everything produced is to scale length even if it is listed as 1/87 HO scale. If you want to ensure you are buying full scale rolling stock, knowing the length is critical if buying on-line. Modern European coaches are 303mm at full scale. Shorter coaches of 287mm and 293mm are underscale in length only to negotiate tighter radii typically found on M盲rklin AC layouts as well as some DC layouts in Europe.

On tighter radius curves the overhang of a full length coach, even if it can negotiate the curve will strike catenary masts and signals mounted at the correct spacing from the track.

Houses and apartments are not always as spacious as US dwellings and layouts are, many times, smaller than US counterparts.
 

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WHAT THE !! Don't tell me this is yet another one of those vigilante OPs which look like it's asking for assistance but instead is an assumption that others (not OPer) need to be able to read the dimensions of locos and be able to (what !!) figure out the length/size of a 100 ft train ?!! ..
In post #1 OPer asks a question and makes a plaint. Yet In post #6 he seems to say he knows all this already (" I buy trains from......." " I know how long......"); answering his own questions !!! ...
And I totally agree with post #12. Since circa 1956 on never have I or those I've known had these concerns !! You're new. You like something (a Connie, a GG1, Hudson, GP38, Shay,,several types of cars. You buy them and build a layout..You learn..you grow, you rebuild, change scales/RR periods, you stay/you quit..THAT'S IT !馃殾
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I wrote #6 post after I was told how to look it up at Google. I agree that it will take a while before I learn a lot of things
but I have spent $20 sending loco back that I didn't want because they were too long to go with my set.I do buy on the entnet because there is no hobby shops close the closest is 75 miles away. I thank everybody who responds that agree or not thia is the only way I have to learn! Not being smart just trying to learn.
THANKS AL
 

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Don't sweat it Al, I think there are several of us here that get where you're coming from. It's common practice to list specs of any kind of equipment for sale, but many suppliers don't do that for model locomotives. Yes, you can go look up the prototype, sometimes even on Wiki, for example, then do the simple conversion. But the manufacturers don't make it easy on you. The length of a loco often does not matter too much, but, if you have a turntable, for example, you better know it's gonna fit!!! 馃槄 馃槄 I have small steamers and switchers, also, and I just never had the space to really stretch out a Big-Boy type of operation. But that's just my preference. I've mostly always been able to check out locos at a hobby shop, etc. before purchase. OK, I'm getting windy, you're fine, keep on asking if you don't know or can't find the answer!!! :D
 

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I bought a loco on the enternet in size HO, I have 3 loco in HO that are 6"lg so I though sizes 6-8"lg. I received the shipment and 1 loco was in this range but the other was about 11-12" lg. how can you know how long the loco will be before seeing it. I'm new to buying model trains and don't know a lot in my 2-3months.I send the loco back to seller
are they some way to know how long the loco will be.
There has to be some way to find out how big it will be when you get it, please let me know the secert please.
THANKS FOR ANY INFRO
AL

I know I responded to this post early on, I think mine may have been the first response . However, my response has disappeared. It doesn't really matter anymore, since many others have since responded with, essentially the same idea. Models vary in size because their prototypes do. Still it seems weird to have it go away like that. Into moderation maybe?

Traction Fan :oops:
 

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Traction Fan, that happens to me a lot, however its always been due to me forgetting the hit the post button!
 
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