Why Live Steam?

Discussion of Live Steam locomotives should be located here

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ge_rik
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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:15 pm

invicta280 wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:57 am
If there was no live steam option for garden rail, I would probably try an electric railway/tramway in G1 or similar using 3rd rail or catenary.
For some reason the larger the scale the less I like the idea of something pretending to be what it's not. In 2mm/3mm/4mm scales I'm quite happy to suspend belief and accept a 'steam' locomotive powered by electric. I would expect everything on an N scale layout to be electric; different art form.
I've been mulling this idea over. One of my other interests is visiting narrow gauge and miniature railways and I must confess that if a miniature railway is running a i/c powered steam outline loco I am not as impressed as if it is live steam. So clearly I have a cut-off point as to the scale at which I will accept a model steam loco as having to be steam powered. Thinking about it though, for me, if the driver actually sits in or behind the steam loco and drives it (and fires it), then it would have to be live steam. When it is smaller and the 'driver' is remote from the loco - then I can tolerate a model steam loco being powered by other means. Clearly for others such as yourself, this level of toleration is much lower.

I'm pleased to see that Slomo has been developed for 16mm steam locos as it means they now have the means of running more realistically. I do accept that some 16 millers are extremely adept at operating their non-Slomo locos at scale speeds but from my experience and from various videos I've seen on Youtube, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. For me, shunting (switching) and slow running are essential components of my railway operating experience.

Interesting that Dwayne says that electric power is the accepted norm for garden railways across the pond. I believe this is also the case in Oz and NZ though Graeme and Grant my argue otherwise. Not sure what the situation is in Continental Europe, but I suspect electric power predominates. I wonder why UK garden railway modellers are less tolerant of electric power than in other parts of the world. Curious........

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by Busted Bricks » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:21 pm

I think some people just get at kick out of seeing a train at full speed. Personally, I like mine to move really slow.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by markoteal » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:11 pm

I agree 'each to their own' -as someone who now dabbles (well I'm just building my first two battery powered steam locos) in all 3 areas under discussion, I like having the options that all 3 routes offer - depends on my mood what I run and how I run it

At the end of the day, we all run on the same tracks (well give or take 13mm) and want to enjoy doing so as a hobby, whether we are operators, builders or dabblers!
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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by DLRdan » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:32 pm

Perhaps those that run in circles in the garden are getting the operational side from elsewhere, an indoor smaller scale layout perhaps.
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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by GTB » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:36 pm

ge_rik wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:15 pm
Interesting that Dwayne says that electric power is the accepted norm for garden railways across the pond. I believe this is also the case in Oz and NZ though Graeme and Grant my argue otherwise.
I help a friend with his sales stand at exhibitions and from what I see the most common garden railway in Aust. is probably track powered LGB. Live steam would be a minority if the relative size of the sales stands is any indication.

It's hard to know for sure. Most Aust modellers fly under the radar, especially if they have a garden railway. Too many dropkicks around.........

Regards,
Graeme

ge_rik wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:15 pm
I wonder why UK garden railway modellers are less tolerant of electric power than in other parts of the world. Curious........
From this distance, steam seems to be something of a religion to some people in the UK. If any adherents are true believers, that's what happens............

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by CVLR » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:44 pm

For what it's worth my son and I run both live steam locos, electric shunters and a railbus. We love the initial faffing, just like the real thing, with the steamers. While they are boiling up we will make up a train or two with a shunter and send the railbus off with the first service of the day. The made up trains will then be collected by the steamers. As for rolling stock, that's just as important to us otherwise there would be nothing to shunt and you might just as well run light engine everywhere and what would be the point of that?

We shall enjoy it even more when we get the layout finished too. 😉
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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by Busted Bricks » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:55 pm

One thing I just though of: Are there any RTR R/C battery electric steam outline locos available? I don't know of any, only diesels.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:24 pm

Busted Bricks wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:55 pm
One thing I just though of: Are there any RTR R/C battery electric steam outline locos available? I don't know of any, only diesels.
Accucraft provide some electric versions of their live steamers but they are quite pricey

https://www.track-shack.com/acatalog/16 ... tives.html

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by Busted Bricks » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:30 pm

Are they battery R/C though?

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by LNR » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:55 pm

Rik, I hope you're not going through a midlife crisis!! :shock: :lol: ;) or in railway terms, facing a double slip that leads to a multi track turntable!
Grant.
PS but thanks for initiating this great insight into the thinking of garden railway modellers.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by dewintondave » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:44 am

Oh lol, even the forums don't like electric :D
It's down in lowly 3rd place...

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:01 am

Busted Bricks wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:30 pm
Are they battery R/C though?
No, I think, unlike some of their diesel outline locos which are available as battery or track powered, the steam outline locos are track power only, which does seem like a strange omission. Mind you, they charge an extra £300 for the battery r/c version which seems to me to be somewhat excessive.

I reckon each of my steam outline locos cost me around £120 to construct, which includes the batteries and the r/c (around 1/10 of the cost of one of the Accucraft electric locos) and a basic transmitter would be £20 - £30 more. Mind you, my electric mice are plastic rather than metal - basically because I don't have the skills or tools to work in metal.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:11 am

LNR wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:55 pm
Rik, I hope you're not going through a midlife crisis!! :shock: :lol: ;) or in railway terms, facing a double slip that leads to a multi track turntable!
Grant.
PS but thanks for initiating this great insight into the thinking of garden railway modellers.
No, Grant, just curious, I suppose. When I planned my garden railway, I devised a tick list of what I wanted it to do (eg a complete light railway system, end to end but with a continuous loop, shunting and slow running, etc) and it had to be affordable. I've found that battery electric has been the only way for me to tick all those boxes. I appreciate that we all have our own priorities (and loves) for our railways but for me, live steam doesn't seem to tick many boxes.

Maybe the question is bigger than just "Why Live Steam" as Graeme implies in one of his posts. Perhaps I should start another thread "What do you want from your garden railway?" or something similar.

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by ge_rik » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:23 am

BTW - I don't like the expression 'electric mice' - mine are bigger, more like electric ferrets; no they are more ponderous, electric tortoises maybe rather than electric hares.........

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Re: Why Live Steam?

Post by Southern188 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:45 am

Hello everyone, an interesting thread for my first post.

I have an Electric Accucraft Lew and converted it to battery remote control, the battery is in the boiler and electronics underneath the cab. Yes, it is expensive but I'm really pleased with it. I have an electronics background and zero mechanical skills so I'm happy to buy ready to run locos and add the remote control.

For me, it is my layout that has influenced my preference for electric over steam. Despite the addition of 2 tons of topsoil and a 40cm high wall at one end, my layout is mostly on an incline and very challenging for my Accucraft Steam Lyn even with remote control. I get a maximum of 15 minutes running and it needs constant watching.

I therefore mostly use my electric Lew. The sight of it, with coaches, slowly climbing up an incline is realistic enough for me. If I had a completely flat layout it might be different.

Michael

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