The reason why we model the 1870's is big stacks and elegant American 4-4-0's, with glitter and polish.
This is the Bachmann 4-4-0. Excuse it's appearance it is under construction as is the website. We have tore it down, broke every bone in it's body and rebuilt it to run like a charm. The pale men are waiting for a paint job.
This is an 1870's 4-4-0. The Bachmann 4-4-0 is similar with the same driver diameter and general dimensions. Note how small an 1870's locomotive and cars are in relation to people.
There is a myth that the 1870's is an era of podunk backwoods shortline railroading. It was the beginning of big time railroading. Fast freights, express trains, sleepers and big industry were keynote in the 1870's.
Aren't the 1870's backwoods, podunk railroading?
The D,L&W Scranton yard during the 1877 strike is a big time operation. Most large model railroad trackplans depict a physical plant more of the 1870's than the more modern era they depict.
The link and pin coupler was the trademark of the 1870's. We are developing an operational system that works.
The search for the 1870's
I have been trying to model the 1870's since seeing the Great Locomotive Chase by Walt Disney in 1956. This has been attempted by me several times. My last HO attempt was in 2006. I abandoned the HO attempt because of lack of sound in the locomotives.
At the end of July 2013 there was a post on the "CWrailman Blog" about remotoring the HO Bachmann Old Time 4-4-0. The motor he found changed the Bachmann 4-4-0 completely. Here was a motor that was low speed and high torque and was small enough permit the addition of SOUND.
E-bay has opened up and there are Bachmann 4-4-0's and Mantua Generals available something 2006 didn't have. It is like a virtual train show.
This is 6 foot gauge. Notice the short squatty appearance ot the cars. This is the hallmark of the 1870's car.
The out-of-the-box Mantua car on the right and our easily made 1870's conversion on the left. The stock Mantua car is too high due to marketing consideration in the 1950's when it was originally built.
The Mantua 1860's passenger cars are also available with clerestory roofs and are perfect examples of the 1870's.
The key to successful locomotive modeling is the availability of detail parts. Bowser offers the Cal-Scale, Cary and Selly line of parts.
Who would have thunk it!!
Sound in an HO old time 4-4-0