Sylvanau ... Trains 2

Here are some more photos of the trains running on the layout. These are the tank locomotives.

T2

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Prussian T2 "Glaskasten" locomotive.

The Bavarian railway was the biggest customer for the "Glaskasten". But the Prussian railway also bought a small number of this unusual locomotive. This small machine had an automatic coal feeder, which allowed the locomotive to be operated by just one person.

T3

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Prussian T3 locomotives, Trix (left) and Fleischmann.

For years, I wanted to add a Prussian T3 to my collection. Finally, in 2006, Trix released a limited edition model of the T3, which I gladly snapped up. The following year, Fleischmann announced a special limited edition set to commemorate the company's 120th anniversary. The big surprise was that the train was headed by a T3. I had no choice - I had to have that one too!

The Trix model of the ubiquitous T3 is very nice, but it can be a bit finicky while running. Since all axles are fixed, and there's no flywheel, any bit of dirt on the track can cause a break in electrical power to the model.

What about the Fleischmann model? There's nothing bad to say about it. It's a superb model. The two models have slight differences, but both have a definite place on my layout.

T9

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Prussian T9 locomotive.

The T93 locomotive was a common sight on German branch lines, suitable for both passenger and freight traffic. Over 2000 locomotives were built and saw service on the Prussian, Mecklenburg, and Württemberg railways.

When I first started buying H0 models, I had to choose between a Fleischmann T9 and a Roco T14. I chose the Roco model, but I still always wanted a smaller tank locomotive. Besides, although still technically an Era I model, the T14 always seemed out of place on my layout. In 2005, Fleischmann once again featured a T9 at the head of a mixed passenger and freight train as a limited edition set, and this time, I knew I had to have it on my layout.

Early impressions are very positive. It's a nice model with a very smooth performance, and fits right in on my layout. I'll be running this locomotive a lot.

T14

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T14 locomotive sitting on a siding with a local passenger train.

The Roco model of the T141 is very nice but has a somewhat bad reputation because of a faulty cardan shaft in some models. When I first ran this locomotive on my layout, it started exhibiting symptoms of that problem. But after disassembly, the problem stopped and hasn't recurred!

The T141 (a 1'D'1, 2-8-2 tank) was introduced in 1918, and so the Roco model sports P.St.E.V markings. The Württemberg baggage van is a Märklin model. The rest of the train consists of P.St.E.V. three-axle passenger coaches.

Sodor Railways #1

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Locomotive #1 of the Sodor Island Railway.

Not much is known about the railways of the island of Sodor. Most of what we do know is based on the excellent books by the Rev. W. Audrey, which inspired a series of documentary shorts frequently shown on TV. Although a later acquisition, this 0-6-0 tank nicknamed "Thomas" was given the number 1.

This budget priced model by Bachmann naturally has budget priced operating characteristics. To improve matters out of the box, I had to clean off the insides of the wheels to improve the electrical conductivity. But still, it operates best at higher speeds.

Although Audrey's books don't list the dimensions of this locomotive, it seems better suited to an OO layout, rather than H0. Also, although the locomotive comes with a British style coupler at its rear, it couples easily to wagons with Roco Universal couplers.

Loco