This is a temporary posting to support a current discussion thread on the Yahoo! group.

The question is “which car has the Grandt Line trucks and which has the Portland Products trucks?”.

Clicking on the pictures will load a larger version.


All discussion to be on the Yahoo! board please.



Bridgton line doors – a temporary post

To illustrate a current thread on the Yahoo! group;-

View shows two scratchbuilt doors. The freight door is Evergreen scribed styrene sheet, and the accommodation door is built from Slater’s Plasticard (or similar) plain styrene sheeting. The white framing on the accommodation door was cut from .010″ sheet in strips.


Seen at the Mickleover Winter meet 2019

The following “new to me” parts were seen at the UK 7mm NGA Trent Valley local groups “winter meet” on the 26th January 2019 at Mickleover, near Derby, and may be of interest to Maine two Foot modelers, particularly those who follow the Bridgton line.

This picture shows the Grandt Line part number 3629 (left), placed against a drawing of the Hetch Hetchy part #8601 from the Portland Products catalogue.

Apart from not having a central mullion dividing the lower panel, it appears to be identical to station doors used on the original stations on the Bridgton line. For the Bridgton modeler it is a relatively simple matter to add this piece compared to scratch-building a complete door and frame.

This picture shows the Grandt Line window part number 3762 (left) described as 30″ x 56″ 6/6 double hung compared to the Tichy Train Group window part number 2006 (group of three) described as double hung window, 38″ wide x 66″ high, with glazing & shades (not shown).

The Grandt Line item is a standard choice for the Bridgton line modeller, but the Tichy part will be a useful addition where larger windows are required.




Top posts for 2018

The editors would like to wish all the contributors a Happy New Year and thank them for their material used in the past year. We also hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the last year.

The most viewed posts (*) for the calendar year 2018 were;-

#1- MaineOn2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#2– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Megantic module.

#3– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module.

#4– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module – Goes West – to New England.

#5- MaineOn2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL.

#6- MaineOn2 layouts – Bill Kerr’s SR&RL.

Click on the blue lettering to visit the topic on another browser page.

This is a rather different listing compared to those of previous calendar years, but it still has a familiar look, with Trevor Marshall’s now dismantled layout topping the list again. This is the first time that all six top places have been filled by layout posts.

Activity this year has been down on previous years, with fewer new topics posted and visitor numbers being slightly down on last year. The overall viewing and specific topic viewing numbers, which are used to produce these end of year rankings, are both significantly lower than those of the last few years.

The nationality of viewers had been pretty stable over the previous years, has seen some ranking changes this year. The USA still leads with some 77% of the 2018 total viewings, but Canada came in second with 4.7% and the United Kingdom slipped to third place with 4.2%, reversing their previous rankings. Next came Australia (2.8%), Switzerland (2.1%) and Germany (1.8%).

The blog has recorded visits from 55 different countries around the globe this year.

We still have more topics and content in-process and may well find errors to correct and additional information to add to existing postings, so keep coming back in the coming year.


on behalf of the editorial team (Trevor, Matt & Terry).

(*) as recorded by WordPress, using direct visits to the topic/posting.

Farewell to Grandt Line

Grandt Line has been a major supplier of injection moulded parts for US Outline Railroad modelers in various scales for nearly sixty years, but has now closed, and they have now sold the tooling, production machinery and rights to make parts to another company.

This post will focus on Grandt Lines activities and parts to support O scale Maine Two Foot modeling.

The company was started some 60 years ago by Cliff Grandt, an exceptional modeler as well as a toolmaker, who had a hankering for narrow gauge prototypes. From a recent search through the early issues of Finelines and Slim Gauge News, it seems  that one of Cliff’s first Maine Two Foot items was the SR&RL Railcar pedestal axlebox introduced in 1968.

In 1972 following the exit of a previous supplier a couple of years earlier, Grandt Line plugged a major gap in vital materials when they introduced their Two Foot wheel sets to ¼AAR standards, shown below.

Note the Boston lettering on the face of the wheel.

Whilst the majority of the items produced by Grandt Line for retail sales were injection moulded plastic, the company also produced some items in brass mainly for trade customers, such as the door and window sets some of which are illustrated below, which were commissioned by Custom Brass for use in the manufacture of their imported  brass passenger car models in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and have subsequently been offered to the retail market in both brass and plastic.


In 1982 Grandt Line produced a generic Maine Two Foot freight car truck, moulded in Delrin, and which is still available – one of the staples for many Maine On2 modellers over the years.


Other parts produced specifically for the Maine Two Foot rolling stock modeler were the 4 rung ladders for the B&SR boxcars, stake pockets suitable for two foot flat cars and the large nut and square washers used on the ends of truss rods by the SR&RL and WW&FR with scale reproductions of the company lettering.


In addition, the company acquired the tooling of the Hetch Hetchy Scale Models concern and re-introduced a number of Maine Two Foot specific doors, windows and other architectural details.

The company employed a number of family members and they decided that on their  retirement that they would prefer to close the business as Grandt Line and offer the tooling and production rights for sale to another supplier.

It is only recently (Fall/Autumn of 2018) that the Grandt family announced that the production rights and tooling were acquired by The San Juan Company in Colorado.

The San Juan Company have made a general announcement of intending to continue to supply parts in the future. In a message posted to the Maine On2 group on the 14th November, Doug Junda (one of the owners of The San Juan Company) stated that they were currently building inventory in California prior to moving equipment to Colorado.

In a general message last week, Doug Junda stated that they had finished building inventory and were now moving the stocks of O scale parts and some related production machinery to Colorado.

We have retained our side bar link to the Grandt Line web site for the time being as it still contains much useful information for the modeller.

Updated 17 Jan 2019 


Hetch Hetchy Scale Models – a work in progress


Hetch Hetchy Scale Models were based in Hamden, Connecticut and run by expert modeler Andy Miller. The company actively promoted their kits for water tanks and logging equipment in magazines such as The Narrow  Gauge and Shortline Gazette from the mid to late 1970’s.

It is believed that Bob Werner of The Hobby Barn arranged for Hetch Hetchy Scale Models to produce injection moulded styrene detail parts for Maine Two Foot and other New England prototypes that were retailed exclusively by The Hobby Barn, and included in a number of Peter Barney’s Sandy River Car Shops kits.

An idea of what Hetch Hetchy offered is given by the listings from the Hobby Barn catalog of the late 1970’s;-

Note that doors 8605 & 8606 are shown upside down in their frames.

Hetch Hetchy Scale Models were a major supplier of parts to SRCS for their Strong Station and similar kits. A selection of the Hetch Hetchy parts from the SRCS O scale Strong Station kit is shown below.

Most Hetch Hetchy parts are noted for their fine detail and the sharpness of their moulding, but the Strong Chimney part is unique for representing an old weathered stack with uneven surfaces as seen in close up below.


In the early 2000’s, after a fairly long period of parts not being available, the moulds were acquired by the Grandt Line company and many parts were re-introduced, a few of which are shown below.


Here is a partial listing of the Maine Two Foot parts originally produced by Hetch Hetchy which were listed by Grandt Line.

O scale Maine Windows


Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8401 6 pane 30” x 28” 3761 Kingfield Station
8402 12 pane 30” x 56” 3762 Kingfield Station
8403 12 pane 38” x 86” 3763 Kingfield Station? 
8404 2 pane 28” x 26” 3764
8405 3 pane 28” x 48” 3765
8406 3 pane 28” x 64” 3766
8407 2 pane 18” x 78” 3767 Strong Station
8408 4 pane 38” x 78” 3768 Strong Station
8409 Double 4 pane 78” x 78” 3769 Strong Station
8410 Pool Hall Window 56” x 82” 5 pane 3779

O scale Maine Doors

Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8601 4 panel 34” x 7’ 6” 3629 Bridgton style?
8602 4 panel w/window 34” x 6’ 10” ? Kingfield?
8605 7 panel 39” x 7’ 3” 3630 Strong Station
8606 7 panel 49” x 7’ 3” 3631 Strong Station

O scale Maine Details

Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8801 Chimney ???? Strong Station
8802 Eaves Braces 3558 Strong Station
8803 Cupola Louvres 3570 Strong Station


Rev 4; 27 January 2019

Locomotive drawbar pulls and truck friction measurements

We will start this topic with an interesting and possibly controversial quote from Dan Mitchell about model railroad locomotive “pulling power” and rolling stock friction, originally published on an Australian site which is apparently no longer available.

Actually, physics does *NOT* dictate any such thing. Both real and prototype railway locos have roughly the SAME potential pulling power. Pulling power (“Tractive effort”) is the loco’s weight on drivers times the coefficient of friction (roughly the “factor of adhesion”). This is true for both prototype and model. All else being equal, the DENSITY of a model is the same as its prototype. Thus it inherently has ‘scale weight’, and scale tractive effort.

The differences arise in that our models do NOT have “all else being equal” … they are not made of thin hollow shells of steel, but rather blocks of solid diecast metal (frames, weights, power trucks), relatively HUGE and nearly solid motors, and some thin plastic parts.
Overall, they are usually far closer to ‘solid’ than a prototype loco. Thus, they are actually MORE dense than scale, and hence often heavier than scale … this SHOULD give them MORE than scale tractive effort. That is compensated for by the ‘coefficient of friction’ issue. Real railroads are almost always ‘steel wheel on steel rail. .. this gives a friction coefficient of about 25%. Model wheels are usually brass or nickel silver wheels on brass or nickel silver track. This gives more like 18%-20% friction, so the model gets less ‘traction’ for a given weight.
often remarkably close to ‘scale’. This does **NOT** take into account any ‘traction tires’ that greatly increase the friction and increase tractive effort WAY beyond scale values.

Even that is compensated for to varying degrees by the fact that our model cars have a LOT more rolling friction than real train cars. THAT (together with our often excessively steep grades) is why we often can’t pull nearly a scale length train.

And that’s why I stated in a recent earlier post that “If you want to pull long trains, you should spend a **LOT** more time reducing your rolling stock’s friction (metal wheels, better trucks, etc.) than worrying about increasing your locomotive’s pulling power.”


Now we will present the Maine On2 specific information collected by Terry Smith, note that clicking on each table produces a larger view. Use your browser back arrow to return to the topic.

When Terry first published this information, in his introduction he wrote “One conclusion, just to state the obvious, is that friction and drawbar pull experiments/measurements suffer from a lack of repeatability. I already knew that would be the case having spent 24 years as a practising engineer in the friction reducing field, but it came back to bite me with today’s tests!”

Notwithstanding Dan Mitchell’s comments above, then we may plead that On2 is a special case, where the iconic locomotives, such as the small Forney’s, have very much smaller boilers compared to typical engines used on most model railroads and the limited commercial availability of alternative designs of trucks means that our options for reducing truck friction are also limited. Enjoy the data and make your own decisions, not forgetting to look inside the boilers to see what weights the manufacturer has installed.

Measured draw bar pulls and other information for Forney style On2 Brass Locomotives. 

The forces presented in these tables were measured using 0-1 N forcemeter (essentially a 100 gram spring balance). In the static loco cases, the forcemeter was attached to the rear coupler by a loop of cotton thread and the free end of the forcemeter was pulled, and the steady reading taken.

In the case of the drawbar pull measurements, the forcemeter was attached to the rear coupler by a loop of cotton thread and the loco was driven away slowly until the drivers slipped.

The On3 Shay values were determined with a 0-10 N forcemeter (essentially a 1000 gram spring balance).

On2 Track used was Precision Scale with code 70 nickel silver rail.

On3 Track used was Precision Scale with code 83 nickel silver rail.

The modified Custom Brass SR&RL #6 has additional weight fitted inside the boiler.

The two On3 locomotives are included for the sake of comparison as they demonstrate what can be achieved by having all the locomotive weight available on the drivers (by being equalised) for the two commonest driver tyre materials.

Measured draw bar pulls and other information for some SR&RL 2-6-2 On2 Brass Locomotives 

On2 Track used was Precision Scale with code 70 nickel silver rail.

Measured coefficients of friction for some SR&RL 2-6-2 On2 Brass Locomotive tenders (only)

Coefficients of friction measured by inclined slope method.

Static refers to the maximum slope which can be resisted before motion takes place.

Dynamic refers to the slope down which the item continues to move at constant speed once started.


Custom Brass SR&RL #16 Locomotive and Tender

 This locomotive and tender are essentially as built by Custom Brass. The poor drawbar pull figures with slipping drivers are partly explained by a slipping shaft coupling.

Custom Brass SR&RL #18 Locomotive and Tender

This locomotive has been extensively modified and features in the Custom Brass SR&RL #18 post on this site. Click here to view on another page.

Moving the drive to the rear axle has allowed more of the boiler space to be used for lead weights, which accounts for the extra weight of this locomotive and it’s higher drawbar pull.

The tender has a special version of the PFM Sound system installed (with an off switch) and has also been extensively modified. Work done includes rebuilding the trucks to be equalised and installing extra power pickups for both sides of the track. The wipers contact the backs of the wheels and are most probably the reason why this tender appears to have poor frictional characteristics.

Custom Brass SR&RL #24 Locomotive and Tender

This locomotive and tender have had PFM Sound installed, and most probably some attention to the drive train, otherwise it appears to be stock Custom Brass.


The information for these locomotives is presented in this form because whilst the locomotive is essentially the power source, it is not normally operated without the tender, which functions like a very heavy and badly running freight car, ie reduces the  drawbar pull available to pull trains.


Measured coefficients of friction for On2 and On30 trucks and rolling stock   

On2 unless otherwise stated.

Freight cars have Grandt Line trucks with NWSL wheelsets unless otherwise stated.

Coefficients of friction measured by inclined slope method.

Static refers to the maximum slope which can be resisted before motion takes place.

Dynamic refers to the slope down which the item continues to move at constant speed once started.

Note that some trucks did not show a higher coefficient of static friction on these tests.

Nickel silver rail code 70 used.


Friction definitions, data and online calculator websites

The following external links are shown in lieu of any explanations written by the blog editors, as they are probably better than we could write.

A couple of sites showing the forces involved and explanations of friction and lifting bodies up inclined planes, with online calculators;-




A set of sites giving basic data and simple explanations about friction;-






Advanced considerations; position of centre of gravity and additional weights 

In this section we present some advanced considerations where Terry has measured the effect of moving the position of the centre of gravity with respect to the driving wheels at constant all up weight for several On2 loco’s, and in some cases adds additional weight to simulate the effects of either increasing the size of the OEM boiler weight or changing it to tungsten.

In this series, the basic loco has been fitted with a Faulhaber 1624 coreless motor, and it originally weighed 406 grams. Terry calculated that the maximum lead weight size that would fit within the boiler would take this weight up to 506 grams. So far, Terry has managed to get the locomotive weight up to 472 grams.

In this series of tests, Terry used the Portland Products F&M #1 chassis to carry a series of laboratory weights in different positions to investigate how the measured drawbar pull varied with total weight and centre of gravity position. The suggestion is that there is an optimum position for the centre of gravity, in this case 3mm behind the rear driver axle centreline.

In this series of tests, Terry used his modified Custom Brass SR&RL #18, without the pilot and trailing trucks to investigate how the measured drawbar pull changed with centre of gravity position and total locomotive weight.

Terry calculated that the OEM weight could be increased by 100 grams and still fit within the boiler space, and that if the lead was substituted by tungsten then the weight would increase by 210 grams.

In this series, Terry shows the locomotive in original condition, with a measly brass boiler weight of just 43 grams, and what the loco could pull if the boiler weight was maximum size in lead, taking the weight to 700 grams.


Drawbar pulls and other information for selected Maine Two Foot prototype locomotives.

The following table is presented for the sake of information only. It is not intended to suggest any practical guidelines for model locomotives.


Entries left blank are deliberate because accurate information could not be found or determined.

The prototype Forney C of G’s have been calculated from published weight information and plans, and all are behind the rear driver axle.

The 37 Ton 3 foot Shay model has been found to be not be consistent with one prototype locomotive, but rather a mix of two sizes according to prototype Shay catalogues. These are the 32 ton version with code words Baler or Middle and the 36 ton version with code words Ballad or Midget.


The topics of drawbar pull and truck friction are related to the maximum grade capability which on these FAQ’s is a separate topic. Click here to view on another page.