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Nine years after I started building the railway I am gradually shifting from G Scale to 1:20.3 or Fn3 for American locos and stock.


The modified Bachmann Connie 2-8-0 & Big Haulier 4-6-0 look reasonably close with the scale stock, but a used Bachmann Rio Grande K27 or Mudhen looked too good an opportunity to miss.


These locos were produced about 7-8 years ago by Bachmann and are now discontinued.


Track power was out so I quickly converted the loco to battery control to test clearances and see what she could pull


IMG_4547 (2).jpg

K27 #464 backs onto the turntable before working an Eastbound freight


IMG_4548 (2).jpg

Just about fits on the turntable don't need to build a wye or turning triangle yet.



The snow plough needs adjustment tending to stick in point frogs and check rails and lineside structures.


#464 preformed faultlessly with a heavy train for about an hour before refusing to run forward thanks to a tooth breaking off a brass gear in the gear box. Sent an e-mail to Bachmann to see if replacement gears are available, but more likely will need to commission a new gear set from Ultrascale or a local machine shop with the capability

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That's a shame, John. Admire your ability to find a fix to the problem. Hope she works out!


It looks like the problem is solvable parts are available from Bachmann & Ultrascale have offered to manufacture replacement gears if necessary.


A replacement gearbox and parts to re-condition the existing gear box are on order, so a spare is available the next time a gear train wears out.

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Like the Donegal the Rio Grande Southern turned to internal combustion railcars for passenger and mail traffic in the 1930s including a nice little maintenance of way & switching railtruck Motor #6


IMG_4596 (2).jpg

Jackson County Crew check out Motor # 6


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RGS Motors #1 & #6 outside the Jackson City Roundhouse


The photo kind of dispels a rumour that RGS Motor #1 was scrapped in the early 1930s and parts used to build #6.


# 6 was a brass RTR model produced by Berlyn Locomotive Works in 1999 & seems to have been bought for an investment and never run. #1 is a 10 year old Bachmann Spectrum model converted to DCC with a Lenz keep alive decoder, unfortunately the bevel gear in the back axle split about 12 months ago and spares are out of stock.

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Replacement motor and drive train arrived for the Mudhen last week, now on running in duty hopefully the engine should be good for another 8-10 years! Besides the broken tooth there was also considerable wear in the bore of the gear, its amazing she ran so well before the gera dropped a tooth.


Not so lazy Sunny Afternoon I thought the black and white effects added to the atmosphere


C27 Switch Stand.jpg

#464 waiting at the switch stand for orders to depart!

I will have to add sound to this lokie!


DSCF4767 (3).jpg

Passing the flats not much sign of business


Weed growth seems to be slowing down in this area after our 1st week of dry weather after 39 days of rain.


on grade.jpg

#464 climbing the 2% grade out of the flats


I will probably have to replace the radio receiver/speed controller with a high amp unit, the thermal cut out with the present 3amp RSC tends to cut in when the K27 is running upgrade with a heavy train.

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IMG_4713 (2).jpg

Accucraft C16 posing as C19 348


Probably my last new large scale loco for a while, I picked up 348 as a non-runner with some minor damage from the United States, at a bargain y Accucraft prices.


It turned out the decoder was wired in correctly, loco tested & damaged parts repaired within 8 hours of arrival and running without a hitch for most of this afternoon.


Loco is brass with stainless steel tyres and motion, which should last a lifetime. It will need weight in the boiler as she tends to slip with more than 4 cars on my grades.

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  • 2 months later...

I usually run the railway when I am gardening/mowing the lawn, only problem was yesterday was a soft day, but the forecast for next week is for more wet weather.



The K27 will haul a heavy train all day long with its new speed controller (decoder) but will still slip on greasy rail, got to fit sound :)



Send for a Helper Loco



Climbing the Divide!


Usually the caboose was cut in behind the helper, though these sort cabooses were designed for pusher service


The main reason for using the helper was to put the train to bed before it got too wet/too dark!

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