The 1st Image on this page is an Art Work of the Lionel 4-4-0 General Steam Engine and Passenger Cars, the Christmas Tree Ornament mentioned below is commemorating this Iconic Train Set.
N Gauge/Scale – The 4-4-0 Steam Engine in the Foreground is actually a Christmas Tree Ornament.
Behind that, is a 2-6-0 Engine, but it’s quite small. When viewing Z-Scale engines at the Hobby Shop, I commented that they weren’t much smaller than my N-Gauge. The salesman pointed out that my 2-6-0 is unusually small, the Diesel to the right, above, and at the top below, is more characteristic of the Scale Size.
Above, the Ornament is on the bottom, it’s by Hallmark of a Lionel 4-4-0 Engine, I actually have that Lionel Engine, colored the same as this ornament, in O – Gauge.
My train history was O – Gauge, my father’s, Christmas Tree stuff. As with many children, I became an enthusiast. My father, accommodating me, built a huge train platform in HO, I had a 4-6-2 steam engine/passenger car set by Tyco, the Royal Blue.
I still have a 0-4-0 Switcher from then, it has a history of problems running, though new it saw much use. It’s been professionally repaired, but still doesn’t want to run. Both the steam engines I mentioned above are die-cast bodies.
The unpleasantries of model trains came in two peculair ways. Having married, and moved out of the home, I was in possession of my father’s Lionel O – Gauge Trains, and he in possession of my HO Trains. Ironically, I sold his trains for quick cash, and he gave mine away to a relative train enthusiast. Go figure. He wasn’t happy, and neither was I, but they both happened without the awareness of the other, neither was done in malice. Such is life.
The N – Gauge 2-6-0 is a rascal to keep running, as the Hobby Shop employee said, it’s traction on the rail is light, so dirty wheels or tracks prevent electrical connection to a more significant degree than a heavier engine, like the Diesel.
My grandson also noticed that the engine isn’t sitting parallel to the tracks, the rear driving wheels are supposed to have a tiny rubber band for traction, and consistent with Chinese rubber, apparently made with no stabilizers, they deteriorated and fell off years ago. Since those wheels are cut to receive the rubber band, they allow the rear of the engine to angle down, slightly lifting the front drivers, depriving it of needed electrical connection and traction. If the resolution is sufficient in the following image, you can see the grooved rear driving wheels on the engine.
Remember, the bottom engine in the top two images, and the following two images, is a Hallmark Christmas Tree Ornament and does not run, but it is very well detailed.
In the following Image Gallery, the N – Gauge trains I have use 2 different couplers. Click on the images for a closer view. The Diesel uses traditional Knuckle Couplers, the 2-6-0 uses the older style. I have a transition car, with the newer coupler style on one end of the car, the older style on the other end. This way I can couple to the older cars with the newer ones. The one image, I masked the ties from the rails below the coupler so the shape of the coupler can be seen.
I had a few N – Gauge Cars, a Transformer, and a ton of track from a relative. I got interested in building a small platform in HO, but 36″ is the smallest radius for the curve, the O – Gauge actually is available with a shorter radius, the N – Gauge clearly has smaller radius than 36″. So, I ventured into the world of N – Gauge.
The N – Gauge Trains, speeding around the Track, perhaps not realistically, but I do this briefly before running them as they sit for awhile between uses.
Lastly, for now, some size comparisons. O – Gauge to N – Gauge, both diesels. Oh, remember I said I sold my father’s trains, I’ve been buying identical trains, this diesel is one of them. It has Magna-Traction, the front wheels are magnetized to help hold it on steel track. The General, the O – Gauge 4-4-0 I have, is another one I bought, with its matched passenger cars. And some Box Cars, a Side Dumping Car, and a Caboose, so I’m well on my way to having replaced it, too late for him, sadly, but a connection to my childhood.
The 195 on the following O – Gauge Engine was the price, used.
Dear lord, in the following image, don’t turn on the Track Power. I’m not suggesting the N – Gauge engine will work on the O – Gauge Track.
HO and N Gauge Trains run on Direct Current, O – Gauge Trains run on Alternating Current.
HO and N Gauge Tracks have 2 Rails
O – Gauge has three, and the train picks-up power from the Middle Rail.
Reversing an O – Gauge engine requires a solenoid activated in an idle state between forward and reverse travel. Reversing an HO or N – Gauge Train requires throwing a transformer switch to reverse the D.C. Current.