Sunday, February 5, 2017

Temiscouata #1 - A Project?

It will be no surprise for people following this blog that TMC #1 is going to be my first 1:64 locomotive. Many factors lie behind this decision, but mainly, it's the easiest one to build with my actual skills and available components.

To be honest, knowing where to start with such a crazy layout project isn't a piece of cake... A module? A piece of track? A freight car? A structure? or a locomotive? Well... I don't know but I'm looking at several possible project to officially start working on something.

At least, I was recently able to get old CDS Lettering dry transfer sets and that's a big problem behind me! In that regard, I'm now hunting old Ridgehill Models Fowler boxcars suitable for Intercolonial and Grand Trunk. I guess they had the original wood roofs and 5' doors back then.

C-5-b diagram, almost virtually similar to a C-3-c (credit:

But a far bigger problem is finding suitable motive power. Old time 4-4-0s are on my list, but it probably won't happen until much later... and certainly, a 4-6-0 would be sweet in the long run. However, I've got to start somewhere, taking into account my skills, resources and what's available.

I've been studying the sole Mogul ever owned by Temiscouata and it seems the little locomotive could be kitbashed in S scale. After looking at CNR locomotive diagrams (C-3-c and C-5-b) and a few pictures including #1 builder picture (which can be seen in Donald R. McQueen's Canadian National Steam! Volume 3, p. C-7). It must be noted I found some discrepancies between McQueen's and others histories about #1. McQueen states it was purchased in 1916 from a NTR contractor (Cavicchi & Pagano Contractors #5) and sold circa 1920 (other sources say 1918) while others indicate it was purchased new from MLW in 1910 and sold in 1911 when found unsastisfactory.

From what I've seen, and this is only my opinion, I find it weird TMC sold the original #1 in 1910, left the number not used for almost 6 years while acquiring many other locomotives and reassigning available numbers. It makes more sense to have scrapped the old #1, replaced it with a local mogul used by a contractor in the area and swapped quickly with Canadian Government Railway #4537 (ten-wheeler) when deemed unfit for its purpose. However, other sources indicate the original #1 left Temiscouata in 1916 for Davie Shipbuilding in Lévis, QC.

But that said, we know NTR opened the line between Moncton & Estcourt in 1913. It was operated on a limited scale by ICR then. Could McQueen be right? Maybe. He got the builder pictures and MLW order story to back up his claim. Given the road was still under construction up to 1913, it's unlikely the contractor sold the engine before that date. He also indicates a lot of misunderstanding did exist about this particular MLW order. One thing is sure, I'm seriously starting to believe the roster published along with Mr. Lemon's article on Old Time Trains musn't be taken at face value. Thus, the second #1, replacing the old Dübs 4-4-0 in 1916 is starting to make a lot of sense...

Well, we could speculate a lot and be completely wrong. At this point, I won't make a ruckus about that, it seems quite trivial to the grand scheme.

But leaving aside the historical inaccuracies, I have enough technical data to start to figure out how to build this particular locomotive. I’ve discussed the project with David Clubine and Simon Dunkley, which have parts that could help to build up a decent drive. We discovered the old Rex 2-6-0 frame has the correct driver wheelbase (approx.. 12’-6”) and that River Raisin Models 0-6-0 51” drivers are compatible. Add to this a NWSL gearbox and good motor and we can say we have a solid base to start.

On the other hand, almost everything else on the Rex model is inadequate and can’t be directly reused. At least, some detail parts and bits can be of use. However, it is a fact virtually everything else will have to be scratchbuilt including the boiler, cab and tender. It shouldn't be that much of a problem at this point using brass, styrene and other materials. Anyway, my HO Grand Trunk 2-8-0 kitbash thought me sometimes it’s better that start from scratch than pour countless hours modifying a part.

The next step will be to measure and draw the drive to scale in CAD then start designing the superstructure to fit it according to dimensional data from old steam locomotive diragrams. Then, I'll bash the model in SketchUp to see how everything fits together before building. I wouldn't be surprised if some parts are 3D printed and maybe some involve lasercut down the road. That aside, it will probably built the good old way.

Meanwhile, the drive will have to be assembled, drivers quartered and motorization fine-tuned. At this point, I’m glad I’m modelling an early 1910s locomotive that didn’t saw too much modifications since its original construction.

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