12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Discuss park gauge trains and large scale miniature railways having track gauges from 8" to 24" gauge and designed at scales of 2" to the foot or greater - whether modeled for personal use, or purpose built for amusement park operation or private railroading.

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12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by 0351 » Fri May 14, 2021 12:43 am

While not new to this forum, and having ghosted over the last several years more than actively participating, I’d like to formally interduce myself and my plan for a 12” gauge RR.
Have to blame it on Ryan for asking why I don’t have a build page started. Mostly because progress is slooow!

This forum and some of the members here have been an informative source of information and inspiration for my build. Thanks

MY name is Curtiss Scott, currently living in North Central Arkansas. Little background on myself, 44yrs old, married with 6 children.”Kids” What more reason is there to build a backyard RR? LOL!
I have loved trains since I was a small child. Grew up on the family farm that happened to have 1.5 miles of Frisco/BN/BNSF tracks running through the farm. Roughly 25yrs in wood working and residential construction. Unfortunately outside of a welding class, I very little metal working experience. Something I’m having to learn quickly as my RR project kicks off.

I’ve been
10yrs back. the late Scott Weatherford of Scott’s Trains induced me to 1/8th scale RRing. His first shop and 7.5” RR was just a few miles down the road. He had a big influence in my decision to get into large scale trains.

However, I really like the idea of a railroad
with trains big enough to ride in, not on.
We all know what that means, lots of $$$!
And I’ve got to do this on a poor mans budget.

Few years ago I began researching scales bigger than 1:8 , 2.5”, 3.75”, 12” gauge even 15”gauge. Wanting something more stable on the rails than the widely used 7.5” gauge.

I really like the idea of building a narrow gauge railroad patterned after the DRGW. Narrow gauge is perfect since I have so much wood working experience. While searching I came across the 9” gauge Mesa Grande Western RR in California. Wow! What a source of inspiration for my RR.

The Mesa Grande became the ideal RR to base mine off of.

With much debate on whether to go with 3”, or 3.75” scale, along with what track gauge 9” or possibly a wider 12” gauge,
I settled on a 12” gauge track with a 3”scale +8% train. Eccenually the loco and rail cars are built slightly wider, and longer to keep the NG look on a wider gauge track.

There are several reasons for this decision.
The thought behind selecting 3”+ 8% scale as a base, is because of the wheels I acquired are all 8.25” in diameter. Also this makes the cars big enough to ride in, plus measurements easier.

Regarding going with a track gauge of 12”,
Cars are slightly wider for comfort, plus there are two 12” gauge RRs near by, the WF&P and Northview & Frisco.

The plan:
Firstly....... makes lots of $$$$
LoL!!!

To incorporate a 12” gauge RR with eventually 1500’ of track on my farm.

Track:
12lb rail will be used on 4x4 treated ties.
(Yes I’ve located several sources of used rail)
Graded road bed with 1” ballast.

Train:
A locomotive with 3 DRGW railcars and DRGW long caboose.

While I dream of owning a 3” scale C-19 live steam loco, I don’t think I’ll ever be in a position to do so.

Considered building a steam outline, but all the needed machining is to involve at this point.

So..... option two, a NG diesel locomotive.
While I’m a huge fan of NG steam, I have never like the NG diesels, except for the
SP#1 GE50tonner.

So the thought is to build a GE 50tonner, paint and letter it for the DRGW. Not to far from reality since SP# has been running DRGW rails lately, at least that’s my justification.
The 50 tonner will be powered by a 12HP Kubota 424cc 2-cyl diesel, along with a HST transmission.

Railcars:
Build the Alamosa Trash Gon, two DRGW high side gons, and a (rider capable) drgw class 5 long caboose #0503.

As of todate;

I have acquired all 40 wheels (8.25” in diameter(
thanks to Todd Swann.

Have acquired the 50tonner sideframe, along with all the freight car sideframes,
Thanks to our own “rkcarguy”.

Recently purchased a Kubota G4200 lawn tractor t for the engine and HST.

Have the major construction is done on the 50tonner cab and longhood. Thanks to Creative Trains.

I’ve yet to get the loco frame and deck together, but I’ve got the loco side frames started and temporarily assembled.

I’m now roughly 2years into the build. I will share some photos of the progress I’ve made previously, and I will post every so often when there is note worthy accomplishment made or questions to be ask.
Attachments
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Colossians 1-14
“ In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Glenn Brooks
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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri May 14, 2021 1:16 am

Hi Curtis, great news. 3” scale is very doable in 12” gauge. You can use some of the existing 2.5” stuff, such as couplers very easily. Iam working on restoring and rebuilding an electric GE 44 toner center cab in 12” ga, that will be a 1/3rd scale replicas when done. Extending and widening the body to 10’ long, 32” wide. If you do your own liberal interpretation of RR design, you can build pretty much any scale or design features you want...

One thing you didn’t mention is the geography of the land parcel you will be building on. Curious what size parcel you have and is it sloped or flat, etc...

One source of materials might be your local county public works department. They may have a collection of surplus 4x4 broken off sign posts on their lot. If so, road sign posts make terrific ties. Often for free, as once they get knocked over, and the end clipped off, they generally are not reusable. So end up as a junk pile for most County works departments.

Also, quick note, 5/8” minus. Some call it 3/4” minus. Tamps down and compacts better under the ties.

Look forward to reading your updates as you make progress on your RR!

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

0351
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Re: 12” gauge DRWG Inspired RR

Post by 0351 » Fri May 14, 2021 1:29 am

The SP#1 GE 50tonner is my choice of NG diesel locomotive to build for my RR.

Over the past several years I have collected ever photo, and drawings I could find of SP1, along with its sister loco Sumpter Valley #720.
Fortunately, the now #720 was under going restoration, and I was able to get many photos of the locomotive and trucks for reference.

I reached out to Sumpter Valley RR, and they were kind enough to provide the Folio Sheet on the 50tonner, as well answering questions.

Working with “rkcarguy” he designed me a set of 3” scale 50ton sideframes, as well as some 3” scale freight sideframes.

Creative Trains worked with me on designing a 3” scale cab and longhood.

The locomotive deck measures 29”W x 96”L
Top of rail to top of cab is 38.5”.

Keep in mind that 3”scale is a base. Actually loco loco is 3”+ 8% scale. I had wanted to go with a slightly wider and longer frame because of the wider track gauge.
So to compasate, we increase the dimensions by 8% to keep a proportionate look.

The rear cab wall will be removable, as to allow for a seat to be installed, to allow the engineer to ride in cab.

At the moment I plan to us a 2HP Kubota 424cc 2-cyl diesel, HST and rearend from a Kubota G4200 mower to power the loco.

The individual truck axles will be connected by 1.25” tolomatic right angle gear boxes, the connected via a PTO shaft running back to a sprocket at the center of the loco, hidden behind the locos fuel tank. Sprocket will be connected through the deck to a sprocket topside that will be in turn connected to the HST.
Attachments
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Colossians 1-14
“ In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

0351
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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by 0351 » Fri May 14, 2021 1:38 am

Glenn,
Thanks for tip on the road department for tie material. I have a couple of friends that work for the state and county road department. I’ll have to check.
I have 78acres of pasture with a few trees. Ground varies from flat to slight slopes. Fortunately years ago someone dozed in row crop terraces that gently sweep across the field’s. The terraces are slightly elevated, and consistently level or with slight grades. Perfect for a railroad.
Colossians 1-14
“ In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

0351
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:08 pm
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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by 0351 » Fri May 14, 2021 8:03 am

Since this in fact may be the only loco I ever build,(least till the RR is actually running) along with the fact it is a fictional DRGW loco, I’m incorporating a few changes to the design to give it the look of a standard gauge, heavy road switcher similar to DRGW #72.

Changes from the prototype will be mostly in the cab and under frame fuel tank and some of the hood details.

The rear wall of the cab, and roof radius is modeled more like the standard gauge Santa Fe “Beep”. Fuel tank design will have a standard gauge look as well.

Rear cab wall, and roof will be modified to be removable as to allow seating for the engineer. Yes it will be a squeeze to fit in the cab. Had originally played with the idea of building in 3.75” to allow more seating room, but wheel size was a limited on proportional looks.

The 50tonner will be painted in DRGW black and yellow similar to drgw standard gauge switchers.
Attachments
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Colossians 1-14
“ In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

rkcarguy
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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by rkcarguy » Fri May 14, 2021 3:40 pm

Hey Curtis, good to see you finally started your build thread.
The last pictures above appear to be a Baldwin S-12, like my build. I realize you posted it only to give us an idea of the paint scheme.
The S-12 utilizes a center fuel tank that is basically just a rectangular box, and the cylinder like air tanks on either side. You could use some pipe and square tube scraps to make dummy sides of the NG loco's fuel and air tanks to hide your chain in between?
Your cab and trucks look really good, hope the fit of the modified take-up bearings was good in the pockets for you?
Just for scale, is that an 8' wide garage door behind your locomotive body?
Specs on the Kubota Z430 motor is 12HP, liquid cooled, pretty neat little engine! It's cool it will fit in your build and I bet it will make a lot of torque.
Unfortunately most of them share the same bellhousing which wouldn't fit in my S-12 at 2" scale, and if I tried to cut it down the flywheel would have to go next and then so would the electric starter/ring gear. :(

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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by 0351 » Fri May 14, 2021 6:00 pm

Hi Ryan,
Thanks!
Together the hood and cab measure 83” in length, and 25”1/16” in height from the deck to the center of the cab roof.
The take fit the pockets hood. Only issue I ran into was the company I order from sent 4 take up bearings of one brand, and 4 of a different brand.
One set of 4 fit perfect, the other set I had to remove some material out of the slots in the bearing housing.
Your close on your guess, the DRGW #72 is actually a Baldwin VO-660.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_VO-660
Yes plan to use the fuel tank to hide the chain and sprocket. If possible would like to design the fuel tank like 2 saddle tanks, or with a cross over on the bottom and use it for fuel. Was recently measuring toto see what is feasible. Will wait to I get the trucks mounted to the chassis before committing either way.
The Kubota Z430 motor will just barely fit.
I I was hoping to leave the motor and HST mounted to the original chassis, cut the chassis into 2 sections and mount straight to the deck of the loco frame. I will have to rearrange the factory radiator and fan setup as it’s overall height is tall than my hood. Thinking I’ll reposition the radiator and install an electric fan.
I will cover more of this when I get closer to the install.
Right now my kids are disappointed with the thought of disassembling the tractor.
LOL! They love driving it around as is!
Colossians 1-14
“ In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

rkcarguy
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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by rkcarguy » Fri May 14, 2021 6:44 pm

If you have room, you can mount the radiator horizontally up top, and install an electric fan under it on a temperature switch to blow heat out the grille just like the real ones. It will actually free up some output from the engine and quiet it up as well. If you want help wiring this when the time comes, let me know. Most temp switches aren't designed to handle the amperage drawn by a electric fan, so they ground a relay when the desired temperature is reached and "drop out" when the temp lowers enough.
The only issue with this radiator location is a filler cap must be added to a high point of the system. You can buy some that are like a "tee" than can be hose clamped into the radiator hose.
Tell the kids it will be a train soon and it will help ease the pain lol!

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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by 0351 » Fri May 14, 2021 9:26 pm

Speaking of grills. I think I’ll cut out the longhood door screens and go with louveres in the doors. Looks a lot better.
Just so happens that I have an old HVAC unit which has the louver side panels the correct width. I’ll cut them into strips a weld them back into the door opening from the backside.
Attachments
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Colossians 1-14
“ In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Glenn Brooks
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri May 14, 2021 10:39 pm

Couple of days ago I ran across a U.K. 12” ga you tube video where the owner built a similar 3” scale road switcher loco, but instead of riding on an auxiliary rail car, he sculpted the rear half of the cab to sit in - with his head and shoulders just above the roof line. The rear of the engine enclosed his back, and made a completely enclosed engineers space. Very nicely done.

If I can find the site again, I’ll follow up with a post. The design principle might work quite well with your proposed build.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

0351
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:08 pm
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Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by 0351 » Sat May 15, 2021 2:06 pm

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 10:39 pm
Couple of days ago I ran across a U.K. 12” ga you tube video where the owner built a similar 3” scale road switcher loco, but instead of riding on an auxiliary rail car, he sculpted the rear half of the cab to sit in - with his head and shoulders just above the roof line. The rear of the engine enclosed his back, and made a completely enclosed engineers space. Very nicely done.

If I can find the site again, I’ll follow up with a post. The design principle might work quite well with your proposed build.

Glenn
It would be great if you can find that video!
At 3” scale, the cab will allow for an rider.
However it’s very cramped. The Mesa Grande #1
allows for the rear cab wall to slide out several inches for seating.
Plan to make the roof, and rear cab wall removable, then a seat can slippef into a deck mount. Lot simpler than the slide option, plus you don’t need to climb over the rear wall. For photo ops, the seat is removed, wall and roof replaced.
I will post a few photos Mike Massee took of the Mesa Grande #1 to give you an idea of what can be accomplished.
Attachments
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Colossians 1-14
“ In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Glenn Brooks
Posts: 2451
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Woodinville, Washington

Re: 12” gauge DRGW Inspired RR

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat May 15, 2021 3:25 pm

Your middle photo is exactly what I saw, except the rear of the Loco was extended a foot or so to balance the Loco, and the engineer compartment was lightly oval shape shape, with a bit of a flared, low profile windscreen. The human was more integrated into the body of the Loco.
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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