Choosing the Train!

The next part of the project is to build the mounts for the walls and ceiling. Before I can build those, I need to know the maximum height of any car that I will have, and that means that I need to get the train.  So, I bought the the tallest cars for the train and the engine.  I got them from  Here is the inventory of what I purchased:

Description Item Cost
G RTR Circus Caboose, Bachmann Brothers (purchased earlier) BAC98385 $25.99
G RTR Circus Flatw /Giraffe&Hippo Wagon, Bachmann BAC98382 $52.64
G RTR Circus Observation, Bachmann Brothers BAC97381 $47.60
G RTR Circus Flat w/Bear&Gorilla Wagon, Bachmann BAC98381 $52.64
1:20.3 Spectrum 2-6-0 Mogul, South Pacific Coast, Bachmann Large Scale
BAC81493 $429.98
Track Power Controller Only ; For Use with
Power Supplies or Transformers under 10amp ; Crest
CRE55401 $47.52
Elite Dual Voltage Power Supply , 13/20 amps , 22/13.8 volts ; Crest CRE55465 $124.99
Heavy Duty Track to Transformer Connector Wire , 75ft Roll ;
CRE55453 $3.29

Total $784.65

I went with the all Bachmann line partially because of price, but more because I wanted something that was whimsical and bright.  I knew from the start that I liked the train cars with the little animals in them and that is why I didn’t build the track with 2 foot radius curves.  The 2.5 foot radius curve will allow the engine to pull these longer cars without the car tending to hop the track…I hope.

I almost bought an engine called the bumble bee that was bright yellow, but it wasn’t a heavy duty engine and was in the lower end.  The engine was the hardest decision and was why it took so long to decide what to purchase.  I wanted something that was strong, would last a long time, was DCC capable, and had a sort of oversized look to the smoke stack.  The 2-6-0 Mogul was my final decision because it seemed to fit all of the criteria. I like the spacing of the wheels and I like it better than a 4-4-0 because it looks beefier in the back.  I don’t like the 4-6-0 models as they look to long.  DCC is important because if I ever figure out how to make an elevation to go over the beam to the house, I will add a second track that will use DCC to allow for independent control of the two trains on the same track.  Here are the features of the engine:

  • Design
    • LED Headlight,
    • Polarity Selector Switch,
    • Smoke Generator with on-off Switch,
    • Load Synchronized LED’s in Firebox and Ashpan for Realistic Fire Glow,
    • Precision 5-Pole Can Motor,
    • Metal Frame,
    • Sprung Axle Bearings,
    • Chemically Blackened,
    • Machined Metal Wheels,
    • Scale Coupler Pockets,
    • DCC Ready,
  • Detailing
    • Complete Backhead Detail
      • Steam Gauge with Piping,
      • Throttle,
      • Sight Glass Fittings and Operating Firebox Door,
      • Fully Operational Stephenson Valve Gear with Operating Piston Valves,
      • Johnson Bar and Linkage,
    • Machined Brass Bell with Metal Clapper Brass Plated Metal Whistle and Machined Brass Pop Valves,
    • Separate Sanding Lines,
    • Metal Handrails and Piping,
    • Woodgrain Detail on Planking,
    • End Beams with Nut,
    • Bolt and Washer Detail,
    • Fully Detailed Tender Trucks with Brake Beams,
    • Hangers and Shoes,

For the power supply, I almost bought a 10 amp transformer and then I started reading about the differences between power transformers and found that an old fashion transformer would produce a hum and it would also put a lot of noise on the track that would interfere with DCC.  So, I went with the more expensive digital power supply that is more like what you have in a computer.  It is smaller and does not produce the hum on the track.  Since I will be running the train at a low speed, I knew that a normal transformer would produce a hum from the rheostat like when you put a rheostat based dimmer on a light and turn the dimmer way down.

Here are pictures of the train cars:







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