We are one!

it was a year ago that we made our first public disclosure of this blog, so we are counting today as the first “official” birthday.

We hope that our regular visitors have enjoyed the first year, as we have grown from the 36 posts available a year ago to the 110+ currently available.

Keep visiting or sign up as a follower, there is still a lot more to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want bigger pictures?

Portland Products First Edition Catalog               Blog Revision Date 10-01-2014

You can view larger images by clicking on the picture in the blog. You can use your browser back arrow to come back to the blog.

Note that both Portland Products and Coastal Engineering are no longer trading, and no longer at the addresses and phone numbers shown in this posting.

“…with a little Yankee Ingenuity…” or Portland Products Parts

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“with a little Yankee Ingenuity” is how Bob Werner introduced his Portland Products Parts in his first edition catalog published some time before 1984 from his Court Street, Plymouth, MA, premises.

Bob was a trained machinist before becoming a hobby shop proprietor, and made available a number of specialised detail parts for modelling the Maine Two Footers in various materials including injection moulded plastic, white metal, brass and nickel silver. Bob sold his parts in bulk to other manufacturers and importers, as well as individual retail sales to modellers.

An idea of the breadth of his range of parts can be gained by the following pages taken from his catalog;-
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Click here to visit the posting showing made-up models of the Bridgton Tank Cars.

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Above; a selection of Portland Products brass and nickel silver parts for the small Hinkley and Portland locomotives.

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Above; a Portland Products photo-milling for WW&FR locomotive #3.

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Above; a selection of Portland Products brass and nickel silver parts for SR&RL locomotive #9.

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Above; some loose parts from Portland Products for the SR&RL locomotive  #9; wheels, profile milled brass frames and investment cast keepers.

Portland Products Coastal Engineering price list              Revision Date 10-01-2014

This price list was originally published in the mid 1990′s, and was a collaborative effort to re-introduce the Portland Products parts to the market legitimately in association with Bob Werner. For unknown reasons, the venture broke down before many/any? parts were produced. It is published here for historical purposes for interested viewers and enthusiasts only.

The section of page 6 dealing with “O scale built-ups and kits” and in particular the assembled locomotives #1450 to #1457, may be of particular interest to MaineOn2 modellers, as it may solve the mystery surrounding which loco’s were made as production items, and which were made as pilot models only.

Click here to visit the posting about the Portland Products made up small Forney locomotive.

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Top posts for 2013

The New Year has always been a time for reflection about the past year and how things went. Here are our top posts for the past year to date;-

#1 – Yahoo! Groups and Neo: a bit disappointing that a posting about un-necessary (and un-announced) “improvements” which severely reduced the actual capabilities used by most of our members should top the polls. Hopefully the information was helpful.

#2 – Custom Brass – SR&RL Locomotive #24: our top MaineOn2 subject posting, and well deserved!

#3 – Custom Brass – SR&RL Locomotive #16: not really surprising and closely followed by;-

#4 – Custom Brass – SR&RL Locomotive #18: again not really surprising

#5 – MaineOn2 layouts – Bill Kerr’s SR&RL: quite a fitting tribute to our founder, and very closely followed by;-

#6 – Custom Brass – SR&RL Locomotive #6: not really surprising – a well liked and versatile model and prototype.

So the mighty SR&RL took all five top places for modelling related posts over the past part year.

We hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the 8 months or so since start-up. We have more topics and content in-process, so keep coming back in the coming year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Couplers: On2 models.

Model On2 couplers added from MaineOn2FAQ-Gen:        updated 04-Jan-2014

Way back in November 2000, Bill Kerr wrote, in response to an enquiry on the Yahoo! group: traditionally, Kadee #5 couplers are the standard choice for Maine On2, but I suspect there will be a move to the Sergent “S” scale coupler.  See Trevor Marshal’s evaluation below for using Sergent couplers.

Coupler height should be set for coupler center to be 16-17″ above rail height.  There is a  coupler height gauge made by AMB’s John Hitzeman.

In response to a Yahoo! group enquiry asking for clarification about coupler heights in 2009, Terry Smith wrote:

On2;- I build my own On2 cars to the prototype derived dimension of  18″ from the underside of the underframe to the rail head………and then I bung an HO Kadee coupler on each end……it works for me and  seems to match the brass loco’s that I have. I don’t refer to the  NMRA Standard for this, no need to.

Maine style On30;- based on my past experience as a small scale  manufacturer,  then all those On30 customers who had real votes (ie dollar bills) chose to build their On30 cars at a scale 21″ underside of the underframe to the rail head dimension and floor mount their couplings which then
matched with the rest of their On30 stock.

Definitions; I find it far simpler to define an underfloor height as a coupler mounting surface and then mount the coupler than work to a rather nebulous and complicated centre of knuckle height.

In 2013 Terry noted that the NMRA correct coupler height will result from using the proper car floor to rail dimension of 18″ (prototype) or .375″ (model) and normal Kadee HO couplers (#5 and similar) in their normal draft gear/boxes mounted with their topsides against the floor.

Mark Hall wrote a good article of representing prototypical coupler boxes when using Kadee couplers in M2FM 1989 Vol 21.

In May 2013 Terry Smith posted to the MaineOn2 board; - In the many discussions over the years about what couplers were used on the Maine Two Footers and their sizes and what coupler to use with On2 models, the one thing that mildly concerned me was that I had never thought that the Kadee HO couplers I use actually look out of place on my own stock in comparison with the full size Maine Two Foot cars that I had seen at Edaville, Portland and other places, or with various published historical photo’s in standard texts.

I have now finally managed to print out an end-on photograph of one of my own boxcar models with approximately the same perspective as some pictures of the full size car taken at Edaville and the earlier historical photographs from the B&SR. The ratios of boxcar width to coupler knuckle heights in the photographs are;-

Edaville 11.2

Model 11.2

Bridgton 10.7

It seems to me that the standard HO Kadee coupler is a pretty good match sizewise for those fitted to the B&SR Boxcars,

For what it’s worth,

Terry

Shown below are Terry’s photos of (L) one of his models with a Kadee coupler and (R) prototype car at Edaville.

coupler11  coupler12

The Kadee #5 knuckle measures 0.146″ top to bottom, this is equivalent to 7″ full size in US O scale. The knuckle may be oversize for HO scale, but seems to be the right size for On2. Update 02-01-2014: note that a recent search through the past messages of the Yahoo! group has shown that the height of the knuckle of the 3/4 MCB coupler most likely to have been used on the prototype is 6 3/4″ or 0.141″ in US O scale, so the Kadee #5 is pretty darn close!

Trevor Marshall’s evaluation of Sergent Couplers.

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This picture shows Trevor’s model (based on a SR&RL prototype) fitted with the scale  HO Sergent coupler.

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This picture (same model as above) shows how neatly the scale HO Sergent coupler fits between the wheels of the Grandt Line freight truck.

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This picture shows one of Trevor’s caboose’s fitted with “S” scale Sergent couplers.

Trevor wrote (back in 2004 0r 2005);- “I’m very pleased with the appearance. The coupler head scales out to about 10″ square, which looks about right. I even add a small piece of chain between the coupler and the cut lever – there’s space near the back of the top of the coupler head to drill a small hole and anchor the chain with an HO scale eyebolt. In doing tests with these, I did note that using Sergents seriously affects layout design – it will force you to keep everything within easy reach because you need to be able to reach equipment for coupling as well as uncoupling. There are benefits to this, however:

1 – If everything’s within coupling reach, it’s also within reach for building and maintaining track, cleaning track, etc. 2 – The need to open a knuckle before coupling increases the amount of work the crew does, which takes time and therefore makes the run seem longer (something from which all layouts can benefit). 3 – The Sergents are just more realistic. They’d be incredibly frustrating on a large, operations oriented layout (like an HO club layout with several hundred cars to move in a session)…. but who in On2 is doing that?

As for height, I use a little laser cut coupler height gauge made by AMB’s John Hitzeman. I’ve attached a Sergent coupler to the top of it (without the ball bearing), and use this to set the height on my equipment. Usually, this requires a spacer between the locomotive frame and the coupler box. I’ve been building my own coupler boxes, as I’ve yet to find one that these couplers fit into. The hole in the coupler shaft is smaller than that in a Kadee #5, so the plastic tube in a #5 coupler box is too big to fit through the Sergent coupler. Some good coupler boxes (laser cut acrylic, perhaps, John?) would be a great benefit for these.  Trevor in Toronto.

(Update: Feb 2005) “Having tried my own coupler boxes for several months now, I decided to try some Kadee coupler boxes. The boxes for Kadee’s S std gauge/On3 couplers (same box) fit the Sergent’s perfectly. By cutting them to discard everything behind the two mounting holes, they’ll fit between the wheels of an On2 car and not interfere with the outboard axle. The Kadee S boxes provide better coupler swing and are easier to install. I was able to bulk order 100 boxes directly from Kadee. (www.kadee.com)  Trevor in Toronto

More thoughts on Couplers from Trevor Marshall, including a comparison between Kadees and Sergents, originally posted the MaineOn2 group 25th April 2006

Hi Michael:

Those interested in a scale size coupler as operating on the Maine lines during their heyday should probably engage in further research before jumping on the Sergent S scale bandwagon (as attractive as that seems).

One thing that I haven’t seen mentioned in this coupler debate is the giant spring on the side of every Kadee coupler, that controls the knuckle. I find it amusing that people are getting twisted up about a scale inch here or there, but are apparently quite happy to ignore the big spring. And that brings me to a larger issue that I haven’t seen addressed, and that’s this: Before picking a coupler, decide what it is you want to do with the model when it’s done. Each style of coupler has pros and cons… I’ll list a few, based on my experience with both.

Assembly/Installation: - Kadee wins here, hands down. They’re easy and quick to assemble and install. This may be important to those planning to build a lot of rolling stock. Sergents take about 45 minutes per pair to build – and most people should plan on rebuilding their first half-dozen pairs because you’ll get better at doing them, and the first ones won’t operate as reliably as the rest.

Appearance: – Sergent wins, hands down. As I noted above, knuckle couplers – whether 1/2 MCB, 3/4 MCB, Type D, Type E, or what have you – don’t have large springs on their sides. Even if the Sergents are a little too large, or a little too small, not having a spring on the side more than makes up for it, appearance-wise.

Operation of the coupler itself: – Kadee gets a slight nod here, as they are pretty damn reliable right out of the box. But if you take your time and work carefully on building the Sergents, they can operate very, very well. Your success depends on your own skill.

Operation on the layout: – This depends on what your design goals are…

KADEE LAYOUTS – If you are building an operations-intensive layout – let’s say you’re doing Farmington to Phillips, with staging north of Phillips and staging northeast of Strong – you will be better off with Kadees. You’ll be shuffling a lot of cars, and the need to open knuckles on the Sergents can become tiring pretty quickly.

– If you are building a layout that has car-spotting locations that are more than 18″ from the aisle, or that are inside buildings, you’ll want to use Kadees. Obviously, this depends on a number of factors, including layout height, the length of your arm, and how good your eyes are. But in general, with Sergents you need to be able to get your head directly above the couplers you want to couple or uncouple, every time. Sergents have a smaller gathering range than Kadees, so you must open the knuckle(s) then carefully check the alignment of the couplers before trying to couple. If you can’t reach and can’t see to do this, you’ll experience no end of frustration. Kadees have a better gathering range, couple automatically, and can be uncoupled using under-track magnets so one doesn’t have to reach into the layout to make them work.

SERGENT LAYOUTS – If you are building a smaller, more relaxed layout – for instance, the KCRR – then the extra work that Sergents require (opening the knuckles, aligning the couplers) actually becomes more play value. Prototype railroads have to open knuckles, manually align couplers, etc., so it’s more realistic, too. Sergents slow down your operations. It’s impossible to bang the cars about with Sergents, whereas with Kadees one can do jackrabbit-like changes in direction over a magnet and kick cars all afternoon. Sergents, manually writing switch lists, train orders and other paperwork, and installing and learning to properly use sound systems (DCC or analog) help stretch out an operating session and turn it from a puzzle to a re-enactment of real life. For a small layout, the extra work involved with all of this will make a 15 minute operating session take an hour. Some people may like that, others will not. Decide which type of person you are before picking couplers.

Cheers!

– Trevor (using Sergent S scale couplers on his On2 equipment) in Toronto

Editors note dated 04 January 2014: Trevor Marshall is currently modelling a CN branch line is S scale, standard gauge, and using Kadee couplers for reliability. This may well change if Sergents produce a more “robust” S scale coupler for home assembly or factory assembled couplers. Please note that “robust” is used here in its manufacturing engineering (Statistical Process Control) context, rather than the more common physical meaning of hefty or over-large.

Update December 2013:  there is now a Sergent couplers Yahoo! group;-

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SergentEng/info

and Sergent now have a more accurately moulded S scale coupler on the market.

(Trevor Marshall had reported having difficulties with reliably assembling the earlier version of this coupling, so much so that he opted for the pre-assembled scale HO version (visibly undersized) for his MaineOn2 layout). See http://themodelrailwayshow.com/cn1950s/?p=4122 for pictures, or http://www.sergentengineering.com/ for more information.

Passenger car models; painting and lettering

Color & Lettering – Passenger Equipment

Several different shades of green were used by the different roads.

The SR&RL used Brunswick Green, see below.

The KC used Nelson Pullman Green — whatever that was.

A note on the roof coverings.

Gary Kohler in a response to the HOn30 group wrote;- All the documentation on equipment I have, or have seen, mentions tin roofs. This includes, loco, passenger and freight cars, etc., etc. The exception is the rail autos/buses. However, Red Lead roofs were typical of all.  At least one passenger car was rebuilt using canvas — note rebuilt. Although the MEC RPO 6 may have been built with a canvas roof. It would still be red. 

While many used Gold Leaf lettering, several WW&F cars used Aluminum Leaf lettering, but I am sure this changed. Towards the end, none of the cars were lettered!  excerpt from Brian Carter’s page information provided by Gary Kohler, take link for more details.

WW&F #6  Baggage/Mail/Smoker painting

Question: Anyone have the best color to paint this car circa 1915? The best I can find is coach green (any idea on that color) to freight car red. Also what color is chrome yellow? Thanks, Paul Buhrke

Wolf-Jobst Siedler provided this response;-This is an interesting question and I’ve thought about the answer for some time, too… But seriously: Unfortunately, I haven’t yet seen a photo of this car from that era. Apparently the noted 2-ft.-authorities also don’t have one either. The following notes come right out of memory as my 2-ft.-stuff is already packed for an upcoming move.  

What I have is a contact print from the original glass plate taken at the J&S plant. On this one, the car seems to be very dark. I believe this color was called pullman green. I think somebody (Gary K.?) once described it as a mix between dark green and black. Of course the fancy original lettering was there.

After Carson Peck bought the WW&F in 1906 it has been written that the passenger cars received a fresh coat of green paint. Once again, I haven’t seen any photos of the combine from that time, but there is one of matching coach “Vassalboro” (originally #5), showing it lettered as “WW&F _RY_” and numbered as “12″, thus dating the photo post-1906/7.

On this photo, the coach body is painted in a lighter color. This can’t be a negative or print deterioration, as the image also shows an engine tank, and this one is clearly painted in a very dark (probably black) color. The roof color can’t be determined easily, but is very light.   Contrary to the original appearance (where the clerestory window area was painted dark), roof and clerestory window area are painted the same color (!). It seems to be much lighter than the roof red found on the coach at the WW&F Museum (although I don’t know how close this is towards the original color). Therefore, I seriously believe the roof area might have been painted silver or aluminum…   I think the photos showing the Peck inspection train (taken around 1907?) support this.

The described photo (I think it has at least been published in Peter Barney’s WW&F volume) may also fit in your timeframe because the eastern (riverside) stall of the Wiscasset engine house had already received its rear doors (they weren’t in place when the building was built around 1906).

The statements of this car being painted (some sort of) yellow or freight car red belong IMO to later eras: When a group of railfans visited Albion around 1930 (photos are in the Sirman collection), #6 was painted in a noticeable lighter color than following passenger/RPO-combine 7. It seems to be a bit too light for being freight car red. This leads me to the conclusion that at that time #6 was just primed and put back into service. Compared to primer colors here in Germany, this could explain the yellow.

Towards the end of operations, #6 seems to have received a fresh coat of freight car red paint. There is a color slide of the overturned car bodies in Wiscasset’s upper yard showing this clearly.   Of course, I’m always interested in discussing other opinions.

SR&RL 17 & 18 ex SRRR 5 & 6

Chris McChesney provided this information from a Sandy River Railroad Museum article;- They found an area of the coach that had ORIGINAL green paint on it.  The area is the wood underneath the brass bell cord sleeves found at the end of the cars above the doors.  This color was the color applied at the Laconia car works.  The brass bell cord sleeve was applied later.  The article states that the original color is indeed best matched to Floquil’s “Brunswick Green.”

Passenger car models availability by prototype roadnames;- SR&RL

SR&RL Passenger cars and Models with selected Predecessor roads                                         Rev 2                          20-12-2013

SR&RL #

Type

Build  Date

Builder

Previous RR & #

Dates

Previous RR & #

Dates

Models

4

Baggage

1876

Ranlet Car Company

B&B A

1876-78

SRRR 2

1879-1908

DRL-102

6

Baggage

1876

Portland Terminal

F&M 4

1903-08

F&M 2

1887-1903

6

RPO

1912

7

Baggage

1889

P&R 5

1889-1908

DRL (*/#)

8

RPO

1891

Billmeyer & Small

SRRR 7

1891-1908

NJ/CB, Grandt Line, DRL (**/#)

9

Parlor

1901

Jackson & Sharp

SRRR Rangeley

1901-08

Car Works, DRL (*/**/#)

11

Combine

1885

Laconia

F&M  Carrabassett

1885-1908

Grandt Line, DRL (*/**/#)

12

Combine

1876

Ranlet Car Company

B&B Fawn

1876-78

SRRR 4

1879-1908

DRL (*/#)

13/15

Combine

1890

Billmeyer & Small

P&R 1

1890-1908

13/15

Combine renum 15

1922

NJ/CB

14

Combine

1903

AC&F

F&M 3

1901-08

Car Works

14

Combine rebuilt

1929

Car Works

16

Coach

1876

Ranlet Car Company

B&B Sylvan

1876-78

SRRR 3

1879-1908

DRL (*/#)

17

Coach

1884

Laconia

SRRR 5

1884-1908

Car Works, DRL (*/**/#)

18

Coach

1884

Laconia

SRRR 6

1884-1908

Car Works, DRL (*/**/#)

19

Coach

1890

Billmeyer & Small

P&R 2

1890-1908

NJ/CB, Grandt Line

20

Coach

1891

Billmeyer & Small

P&R 4

1891-1908

NJ/CB, Grandt Line

21

Coach

1903

AC&F

F&M 2

1903-08

Car Works

22

Coach

1903

AC&F

SRRR 8

1903-08

Car Works

26

Excursion

1899

P&R

1889-1908

27

Excursion

1899

P&R

1889-1908

28

Excursion

1899

P&R

1889-1908

29

Excursion

1907

SRRR

30

Excursion

1907

SRRR

31

Excursion

1908

SRRR

Note: only those cars which are known to have been transferred to the SR&RL roster in 1908 are shown in this table.

Deerfield River Laser has full kits for former B&B stock; see http://www.deerfieldriverlaser.com/NGCarsPage.html and also the FAQ posts for B&B and SRRR. Full kits are coded as DRL-102 etc. in the above table.

Deerfield River Laser make 36 foot Quik-Kits (coded * in this table), 46 foot kits (coded ** in this table) and 6 foot 6 inches wide ends (coded # in this table) which are replacement side (and ends) conversion kits for passenger cars using Bachmann Passenger cars as donor vehicles at http://www.deerfieldriverlaser.com/CarsSidesList.html

Grandt Line does door and window sets for SR&RL stock at http://www.grandtline.com/products/mrr/mrr%20car%20and%20loco%20detail%20parts/o%20details/o_passenger_details.html