Santa Fe 1480 Class Atlantic
In spring i won an e-bay auction of an old Balboa H0 Scale model of an ATSF 4-4-2.

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This is what came out of the box. A pretty clean and straight model. Although it was made in the early 1960's, i believe Balboa released this model 1964, it has boiler backhead, cab floor and brake shoes.

And this is what i have in my mind with Santa Fe passenger trains:
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The whole train, a consist of only two cars. This in my opinion much more friendly, at least to your wallet, to model Santa Fe passenger operations than a 15-car consist of the Super Chief with ABBA power at the front end. And on every Fremo modular meeting at least somebody has brought along a ABBA combo in ATSF warbonnet livery and a matching 10+ car consist. Wink
Yes of course the Super Chief is much more impressive, but the daily local has a style of it's own.

This Atlantics started life as 4 cylinder balanced compound engines with the main rods linked to the fist pair of drivers:
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This was the first appereance of the Class 1480 Atlantics of the Santa Fe.
Note backward mounted linkage of the valve gear. This created the nickname of "Bull Moose" of this locomotive class. Further outside mounted steam pipes and third dome.
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Some years later Santa Fe's shops simplified the engines to 2 cylinder simple expansion. The engine was shortened, new cylinder blocks, the main rods linked to the second pair of drivers and gone were the ouside pipes and the third dome.
In this form they lasted until the very end of steam on the Santa Fe. The last soldiered on until 1953.

The Balboa model is a reproduction of the modernised Class 1480 Atlantics and fits well im my time frame of 1940's and early 1950's model railroading.
This is what i get and have had paid for. The next steps will be to make a 1960's model run like a 2010's model.

Cheers Lutz
Now its time to start work onto the unit:

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The usual "suspects". A open frame motor, a rubber tube, in this case badly hardened and fixed with some glue too to prevent slipping.
Note very sharp flanges on trailing truck wheels. These were not according NMRA Standards and at least i have had to replace them.
Note soldered fly cranks.

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The rubber tube was so hard and brittle, that it simply broke when i removed the motor.
Note there are traces of corrosion onto the driver axle and onto the worm. The word was heavily oiled before with WD40 to remove as much rust as possible.
May be this loco was stored in a damp environment before.

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All components seemed to me to be in a rather good shape to justify to be used furthermore.

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The demounted gearbox. The Japanese craftmens had the courage to drill a 2.0mm bore into a 2.4mm shaft Thumbsup
But the worm shaft was a little bit bent and not straight.

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So i decided to replace it with a new made shaft out of 2.4mm rounds availabe from NWSL.
Universal joints an washers were also from NWSL. For not becoming a kind of washer grave, i used here an old bearing as spacer.

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A torque lever was made out of a piece of 0.2mm brass sheet and soldered onto the front end of the gearbox. The other end of the torque lever was simply screwed onto the frame trverser.
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The first version of remotoring. In this case i wanted to try out one of the simply Mabuchi can motors.
A tension belt made out of 0.2mm brass hold the motor adjustabe in fixture. The newe configurated drive shaft is pretty straight forward.

Cheers Lutz
When compared with other ATSF Steamers, the Atlantic seemed me riding too high on their wheels. And as usually the springs are too stiff and pressed the axles onto the bottom plate and this causing the loco to rise above the normal height.

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As remedy:
First i soldered these distance pieces onto the bottom plate causing to ride the loco on normal height.
Second was fitting of softer springs. Thus enables real sprung action too.

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Making new current pick ups. The wipers were made out of 0.3mm bronze wire.

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So the new wipers are fitted onto the loco.

Cheers Lutz
Lutz, nice to see your new loco. Let see your progress.
Cheers, Bernd

Please visit also my website
You can read some more about my model projects and interests in my chronicle of facebook.
Very nice work Lutz. I will check for updates as you progress. You are much braver than I am. I would not even dream of tackling that project.
Nice work so far. Thumbsup Big Grin Thumbsup
 My other car is a locomotive, ARHS restoration crew  
Thank you for the laurel!

The next step was to prepare the tender for DCC installations.

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Here the look as factory outfitted. (Note frame and shell are turned 180°)
Original there were 2 centered screws front and aft to mount the shell. In preparation to make a channel for the wiring i drilled 2 new borings at the front end of the tender.
Also 2 new bores were made into the bottom plate of the chassis for the wires leading to the wipers of the tender trucks.

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The new mountings got tapped.

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And the middle section was removed by cutting with a grinder. Also a part of the front wall was cut out, thus creating a channel for the DCC wiring and make further acess to the interior easy without the need of soldering.

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The inner mounting plate was resoldered at some of the seems and 3 nuts were soldered onto the plate too. The nuts have the same measure of height as the the measure mounting plate to the bottom when the shell sits onto the chassis. Thus taking the strength from the soldering points when the screws had a tight fit.

Cheers Lutz
Then i underwent the work of wiring the loco for DCC.

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Here a device for taming all the wires leading from the loco to the tender is just soldered onto.

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The plug on the tender front.

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And the nearly complete DCC installation. Here i choose a TCS decoder for testing purposes.

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Test runs followed.
The results:
- the TCS decoder works fine
- the motor has too low rpm's, the developed speed (CV 5 was set on maximum) is fine for a switcher, but not enough for a racehorse as Atlantics used to be.
- there is a slight bind in the mechanism
- springs are too stiff (as usual)
- the loco is heavy enough to handle up to 6 heavyweights without slipping, i presume the prototype did'nt pull more, no additional weight is necessary

Cheers Lutz
As i wrote in my last posting, the speed was too low and there wa a bind in the mecanism.
That was the reason to demount the loco again:

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As you can see, the crankpin and the valve gear crank were soldered together.
The last pair of drivers had not the correct quartering angle of 90° and was the cause for the bind. One of the wheels was removed from the axle and remounted with the correct quartering angle.

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A closer look to the new motor. A plastic U-channel will give an adequate cradle for the motor, this was a quick and dirty improvement of an motor change.
In reality it is an salvaged motor out of an old video tape recorder. The defunct video tape recorder has long ago gone away, but not before i salvaged anyting usable for model RR purposes. There is a lot of interesting mecanical stuff in such an old device, salvage the part of it which may be useful for your own recycling programm Wink

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Drilling the valve gear crank.

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At least the running gear was freely running without any binds or hesitations. The cranks got the correct angle Because they were now adjustable.
And as it is the usual way of improvements, they will stay...

Cheers Lutz
Worley's "Iron Horses of the Santa F Trail" discusses the Baldwin built 4-4-0 1480 class (1480-1502) on pages 248-249. They went thru a few changes in their history on the Santa Fe. Worley calls this type of loco an "Atlantic" (no "s" except when talking about more than one). There were 7 other Atlantic types in Santa Fe's fleet (pages 233-249). Since all the 1480 class were scrapped by 1943, you're going to have to use "modeler's license" to use them into 1950s. Alot of Santa Fe fans & modelers consider Worley's book the "bible" on Santa Fe steam & diesel locos (thru 1964).

A very good info source on steam & diesel model repairs & upgrades is the Yahoo Group. "REPOWER and REGEAR" forum by Kenneth Clark:
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Went to his clinics at the 2014 PSR NRA convention in San Diego last week & learned alot. And you can ask any & all kinds of questions on the forum AND get good answers!
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
ATSF/LAJ Ry Fan & Modeler
Hello Andy!

Thank you for your remarks to the ATSF Class 1480 Atlantics. I was lucky to purchase just this book secondhand on the Fremo meeting in Unna earlier this year.
It is the second printing from 1976.
Looking to the page 248 the history of Santa Fe's Class 1480 engines was the following:
23 were built by Baldwin in 1910 as 4-cylinder balanced compounds.
8 were scrapped in the late 1920's in thier original form.
15 were extensive rebuilt into simple 2-cylinder engines, shortened about 6 feet und this rebuilt form is wat the Balboa model represents.
8 of the rebuilt ones were scrapped before outbreak of WW2.
7 survived the wartime aera.

The surviving ones (that are the scrapping dates and i think at this date they were removed from the roster):
#1491 lasted until 1948
#1498 lasted until 1950
#1483 lasted until 1950
#1492 lasted until 1951
#1496 lasted until 1952
#1487 lasted until 1953
#1488 lasted until 1953

And yes, i will use my "modeler's license" that they will last a bit longer well to the very end of steam on Santa Fe's rails. And perhaps, maybee there will be a lot of fantrips of Santa Fe enthusiasts Wink

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Dieses Fotos wurde auf sittlichkeits- und moralgefährdende Inhalte überprüft und diese ggf. entfernt.
Here the loco was test running on the layout of the Fremo meeting in Mutschelbach. The five heavyweight cars (Walther's and Spectrum) were no problems for the tractive force of the relative small loco, there is even a spare capacity for two more cars. So no need for adding more weight into the loco.

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Dieses Fotos wurde auf sittlichkeits- und moralgefährdende Inhalte überprüft und diese ggf. entfernt.

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Dieses Fotos wurde auf sittlichkeits- und moralgefährdende Inhalte überprüft und diese ggf. entfernt.

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Dieses Fotos wurde auf sittlichkeits- und moralgefährdende Inhalte überprüft und diese ggf. entfernt.

Cheers Lutz

about 3 years later this project was picked up again.

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One of the bugbears was the trailing axle. There were simply 2 brass castings which are representing a rather complex structure of the prototype.

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With the 1/87 model these 2 brass castings were simply fitted onto the trailing truck. But in real life the 2 horseshoe like castings and the leaf springs were fitted onto the main frame: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->
As none of the 1480 Class Atlantics have survived the very similar trailing truck of an 1800 Class Prairie may be an substitute.
The axle bearings are suspended on 4 short levers which allow them to swivel sidewards. And the real trailing truck is only this fabric made out of flat iron profiles. The swivelling is very limited too, adequate for the prototype, but far too less for the model.
So my compromise is to let the castings were they are and completening the flat iron profiles were they are visible on the model. This was done here with stripes of brass and bronze. Also the castings were reworked to get them nearer prototypical lookalike.

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A 3mm flathead golden white LED replaced the burnt out incandescent bulb. And in this case i used a plastic coupler on the front end to avoid some nasty milling as the the coupler box is cast on with the front beam and cowcatcher.

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A bridge was made to close the gap between loco and tender. This loco has a simple boiler backhead made out of a coined brass sheet. But it is mounted far too much rearwards, a tribute to the gone old open frame motor. The cab floor is far too high. As a compromise and avoiding to rebuilt the cab new, the bridge was placed there were the cab floor should have be.

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As with older brass there are made prearrangements for Kadee standard coupler boxes, the classic ones with the ears can simply be bolted on.
Cheers Lutz
Looking good sir.. That looks like a fun rebuild. Thumbsup
 My other car is a locomotive, ARHS restoration crew  

yes e-paw it is looking good, but i will try to make loking her still a little bit better Wink

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That are in summary my attempts to do so.

In detail:
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There were pipes and plumbing missed with the air compressor, especially air lines (no planes there). Steam intake was correct, but steam exaust outlet was leading direct into the cooling coil :? Prototypically the steam from the compressor exaust have a piping which leads direct into the smoke box. I corrected this by cutting the connection to the steam outlet. At once i made a new connection from the pressured air outlet, nothing was attached here, to the cooling coil.
The compressor missed his intake strainer also. As i had no brass castings in my inventory, i made made the parts myself. The strainer was made out of a piece of round brass rod and a brass washer became the upper flange. The intake was bent out of brass wire and soldered onto the brass casting of the compressor. As i did'nt like only for drilling to demount the compressor and solder it later on again, the ends were simply fitted butt.
The parts were heavy soldered to withstand awkward hands. This is definitely not the highest level of detailing, but a compromise to make as much detailing as possible in conclusion with robustness; remember this loco is built for running on Fremo metings.
And this is not a "Do Not Touch" or otherwise "wear white yarn gloves" loco.

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Next the long steps between cylinder blocks and laders were retrofitted. Here too oversized brass profile was taken to prevent inward bending of the lower ends of the ladders.

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The other side. Inward bent ladders can collide with the crossheads, thus causing valve gear jamming.

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Here the steam piping to the power reverse and the control linkage were complemented.
Also the whistle lever was missed. The whistle was a turned piece, so i drilled a 0,5mm bore were the lever should be and bend one out of 0,5mm brass wire. The rope was made out of 0,3mm soft brass wire. Heavy soldering here too.

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On the fireman's side the exaust pipe from the compresser into the smokebox was running above the running board in this case. This is according to photos.
The moveable bell was fixed by soldering. Bores were made into steam and sand dome to take rope guides. The rope guides were bent out of 0.3mm brass wire and press fit into the bores. The rope here was made also out of 0.3mm soft brass wire from the floristics supply. One end was soldered onto the bell lever and the other end was threaded into a new bore in the cab front. So you can simulate the sagging of the rope. A the end of the rope in the cab is not solderd onto, a certain safety against accidental grabbing is given.
Cheers Lutz
It is time to tell the rest of the story.

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Here the Atlantic (lower box) was partly dismantled and main frame, running gear, drivers and the tender underframe was painted dull black by brush.
Together with an other rebuilt (AT&SF Class #1800) it was sent to the painters shop.

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Several weeks later she was back again with an freshly painted coat of black colour. Decalling was done also and painted over with clear laquer.

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I soldered additional axle wipers onto the tender trucks. Also i began installing a speaker into the tender shell. It is one of those big Zimos as described in the DCC chapter.

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Think big Wink

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The speaker is fired up by a Soundtraxx Econami.

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The cab windows were glassed with thin clear styrene sheet. Those clear plastic sheets can be find in the packages of new shirts were they were used to stiffen the collars. Little pieces were cut out which will fit app. the seize of the window to be glassed, a generous oversized rim does'nt matter. Especially the front windows of the cab need adapting in form of try-and-error until they will fit. The round contoures of cab roof and boiler make this necessary.
When the right seize and form is found, only one little drop of CA applied by an toothpick onto one spot of the rim will fix the window glass. The thin CA will spread between styrene sheet and wall quickly and bountiful.

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Searching for engineer and fireman.
Meanwhile the rods were partially painted white, this according to prototype. Not all Santa Fe locos had this white painting: But the sight of the movements of the white painted and therefor very good visible rods is simply incredible.

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O.K. it fits. The canvas sunshades were painted somewhat khaki.

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Engineers side.

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Tender (It is actually Tuesday when i write this!) Smile

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From this point of view, sloping from above. the model will be often to be seen.

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Ready for duty. Passenger trains needn't to be long, two heavyweights, a RPO/baggage combine and a coach, could be enough.
Cheers Lutz

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