Equipment of the
1 - Bilbo Baggins
Baggins is a much modified Bachmann Big Hauler. This locomotive has
been detailed by adding piping for the air system, marker lights, a
new whistle, boiler steps under the sand dome, sand lines (replacing
the lines molded on the boiler,) and backhead detail. The boiler, frame,
and running gear have been painted black; the firebox and smoke box
graphite; and the cab Southern green with reefer yellow window frames.
This color combination has been adopted as the standard for the LT&S.
The running gear has been replaced with a
Barry's Big Trains 4-6-0 kit. The name "Bilbo Baggins"
is lettered on both sides of the cab. The engine is very lightly weathered.
Kadee couplers have been installed.
back of the boiler was shortened about 1 inch to make more room in the
cab. The firebox door was cut from the backhead and a new one constructed
from styrene and brass rod. An Ozark Miniatures throttle was installed
and other cab details were fashioned from brass rod, clear styrene, and
small clothing snaps for valve handles. A
Digitrax DCC decoder is installed in the engine and a
Throttle Up! K-36 sound system is installed in the tender.
2 - Frodo
is a Bachmann Climax relettered for the LT&S. We have installed a
Digitrax DG580L DCC decoder in the tender. We plan to install a Sierra
Climax sound system in a yet-to-be-scratch-built four-wheel water car
with a rectangular wooden tank. This engine was originally Moria Mining
and Mirkwood Lumber Company #2. Its primary job will continue to be to
move mithril ore between the Mines of Moria and and the stamp mill in
Rivendell. The Bachmann couplers were removed and link and pin couplers
are normally used to pull the ore cars pictured below. However, a set
of Kadee couplers can be installed in the coupler pockets as seen in the
3 - Thorin
is a Bachmann Shay with both a Digitrax DG580L DCC decoder and a Throttle-Up!
Shay DTX sound-only decoder installed in the tender. A set of Hillside
Railway's replacement contacts have also been installed. As the photo
shows, it has been lettered for the LT&S. The front pilot step was
broken and the engine has been equipped with a new brass support and a
real wood pilot. Named in honor of the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield, this
engine was originally Moria Mining and Mirkwood Lumber Company #1. MM&MLC
used it to move logs to a temporary sawmill near Hobbiton. The old mill
burned, and "Frodo" will now carry logs from Mirkwood Forest
to the new sawmill on the outskirts of Lake Town.
4 - Gandalf
Gandalf is an unlettered Bachmann 4-4-0 with a Digitrax DG580L DCC decoder
installed in the engine and a Throttle-Up! C-16 DTX sound-only decoder
installed in the tender. The Bachmann 4-4-0 is a handsome engine that
runs very smoothly, and the paint job is so nice that we only lettered
this engine. But they mean it when Bachmann says this engine needs 8'
diameter curves as a minimum. We ran it around some Bachmann track with
4' diameter curves under the Christmas tree. The engine leaned and the
wheels on the leading truck rose above the rail on the inside of the curves.
I tried running the engine through a short Aristocraft turnout. When I
backed the engine onto the side track, the rear driver rode up over the
frog and came down on the main track, causing a short every time I did
it. When I ran the engine forward from the siding onto the main track,
the front truck derailed about half the time. So you won't want to try
to navigate any turnouts tighter than Aristocraft's X-tra Wide (10' diameter)
turnouts. It looks to me like the best role for this engine is as a mainline
passenger puller, and that's how it is used on the LT&S.
5 - Gollum
Gollum is an LGB Forney that has been repainted in the LT&S standard
colors. Those familiar with The Hobbit will understand why
I feel the name may be unlucky. But this engine was an anniversary gift
for my wife Jane (she wanted it, honest!) and she named it. We installed
a Digitrax DG380L decoder to work with the digital sound system that came
in the engine. We also installed Kadee couplers and made a modification
to the rear truck to solve a problem with derailments. Finally, we added
an air pump, an air tank attached to the water tank, and backhead detail.
All the modifications are described in the Forney
modeling tips section.
6 - Arwen
Arwen is a Bachmann 0-4-0T Porter that has been converted to DCC,
repainted, and equipped with Kadee couplers. I
plan to give this engine a larger cab and rename it Merry or Meriadoc.
Then the two Porters will be named for Frodo's two hobbit cousins. I will
reserve the name Arwen for a more "elegant" locomotive.
7 - Pippin
is an LGB 0-4-0T Porter that has been converted to DCC, repainted, and
provided with modified front and rear pilots. Like LT&S 6, this engine
runs well except that it tends to stall in switches. I built a simple
tender based on a prototype at Agrirama in Tifton, Georgia. The tender
contains a SoundTraxx DSX sound-only decoder and a 2" speaker. The
tender also has LGB ball-bearing wheels to improve power pick-up. There
are instructions for building this
tender in my modeling tips section.
8 - Sam Gamgee
Sam Gamgee is a Bachmann
Heisler (Pardee & Curtin model) that has been coverted
to DCC. This locomotive was a retirement gift from the Philosophy
Department and will always remind me of my colleagues there when I run
it. Relettering and any other modifications will be done latter and photos
will be posted.
Aragorn is a Bachmann D&RGW 4-6-0 in process of conversion to a Consolidation
using a 2-8-0 chassis
and running gear from Barry's Big Trains. A Digitrax DCC decoder has
been installed. We plan to completely rebuild this locomotive with a new
boiler, complete plumbing and backhead detail, and a SoundTraxx Throttle-Up!
sound system. This engine will be used mostly for local freights on the
130-135 are Bachmann 20' flat cars repainted, relettered, and equipped with
Kadee couplers. These will be used to haul lumber on the LT&S. There
are notes on improving the rolling characteristics of these cars in the
150-154 will be five Bachmann ore cars detailed and painted to look like
something other than green toys. So far we have completed numbers 150-152.
Details on the modifications can be found in the
Modeling Tips section.
1001-1004 were constructed from Hartford 4-wheel box car kits. I ran into
a few problems with the instructions for this kit. As a result, the doors
on the first car built are on the left as you face the car rather than on
the right where they were supposed to be. The others were assembled according
to the original plans, except that Kadee couplers were installed. LT&S
1002 is the odd-ball. In the photo, it's the third car behind the engine
(LT&S #5, the Gollum, before it was repainted.) The official story is
that the LT&S built the first two box cars with the doors on opposite
ends to try out the two configurations. They then standardized on the right-door
arrangement. This is an excellent craftsman kit despite the few gaps in
the instructions. See the Modeling
Tips section for details.
Bachmann coaches and a combine were painted in the Southern green and reefer
yellow colors of the LT&S and renamed for rivers in Middle Earth: Brandywine,
Hoarwell, and Loudwater. The custom decals are from Shawmut
Car Shops and the white metal platforms rails are from Ozark
Miniatures. The had rails beside the doors are scratch-built from brass
Tips section for details. A
Northeast Narrow Gauge coach kit waits to be assembled. It will be named
Silverlode, another river in Middle Earth.
Bachmann bobber caboose and a Northeast Narrow Gauge logging caboose have
been built, detailed, painted, and lettered. New end rails, ladder, and
cut levers were scratch-built for the Bachmann caboose. A long Bachmann
caboose was recently acquired and will be painted and lettered soon.
2145, 2169, and 6980 are three Bachmann box cars that have been repainted
and lettered for the Middle Earth Railroad. They represent exchange traffic
with the Middle Earth Railroad.
Coal Company owns two Bachmann gondolas that are sometimes seen hauling
coal on the LT&S.
Mirkwood Lumber Company
acquired a Barnhard log-loader from Hartford Products as a kit at Christmas,
2002. It only took two years, working off and on, to assemble this fantastic
model. With the top off, you can see all of the detail.
Chemical Company owns a Bachmann tank car that is used to transport chemicals
to the fireworks plant at Gridley.
LT&S recently acquired three Bachmann reefers that are awaiting paint
LT&S also recently acquired two Bachmann stock cars that will soon be
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