Pacific Coast 111 – narrow gauge N




17th October 2020

Reading Time

2 minutes

With the encouragement of Tim Watson, I would like to share a just-completed N-scale-narrow-gauge project (1:160 scale on 6.5mm gauge track) from my workbench here in Hawaii. It is a far cry from the scratch-built locomotive mechanisms Tim and other 2FS modelers routinely create from billets of brass, but one must work with one’s skills as best they can. It is what is commonly called a “kitbash” here in the USA, beginning life as a set of white-metal castings intended to convert a Märklin “Mini Club” Z scale locomotive to a model of Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge locomotive No. 9 – an ex-NCO (Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad) ten-wheeler (4-6-0). As it happens, the Pacific Coast Railway which I model also bought a couple of these locos from the NCO, re-numbered 110 and 111. These locos had distinctive “whale back” tenders and, in the case of the PCRY, air tanks mounted on top of the boilers. No. 111 was built in 1911. In 1942, after the PCRy was shut down at the start of WW2, the loco was sold to the Oahu Railway and Land Company in Hawaii.

Instead of using a Märklin donor chassis, I decided to use a Tenshodo Z-scale C21 4-6-4 as the basis for this kitbash. I shortened the Tenshodo chassis, as well as re-shaping the diecast split frame a bit, and transferred portions of the Tenshodo tender (including the motor and bolsters) to the kit’s white metal tender frame. The Tenshodo driver centers are incorrect and I may do an etch overlay if this continues to bother me – or I may just ignore it. The model is equipped with an ESU Lok Pilot DCC decoder and SMLED lights. You can see a video of the loco running on my small test track at: (Ignore the moving shadows and “the man behind the curtain”…)

Tom Knapp

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