SAR F class tank loco HO RTR - Orient Express

  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
Orient Express have announced the SAR F class 4-6-2T tank loco in HO RTR is due in 2018. No pricing yet.

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  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.

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  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
Order forms available.
bonus 1/2 price carriage offer for pre-orders noted on order form.
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.
G'day all,

Have commenced negotiations with the family treasurer re purchase. 40th marriage anniversary coming up this October and I have obtained what she wanted, so am hopeful re 'F' purchase.

We can live in hope.  

  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I have just done my tax and got a $1200 return, I have an idea of what to do with it...
  Z VAN Junior Train Controller

I would like to comment on excellent customer relations and service by Orient Express.
Over one year ago I shared a M van from box OR 310 that contains buffers for those wishing to fit them.
I explained to Orient the buffers are somewhere and would like to purchase a new set.
They have replied by email and will send me two sets free of charge including postage.
That is pretty good when you consider it is my fault I do have the buffers and they will fix the problem.
Thank you Orient Express and posting here more people will see how you look after your customers.
I realize I have posted on the F class page as I did not wish to start a new thread.
Regards Z Van
  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

I have my money stashed away to hopefully get two of the F class steam locomotives. Just looking forward to the first test shot's etc showing up.

And Z van I have always found the Orient Express and the whole staff helpful on lot's of things like this and others as well. Nothing is too much trouble for them, and helpful advice is dispensed over the counter from staff or sometimes from a fellow modeler in the shop to buy something! Either way you leave knowing more than when you entered. No connection with them except as a customer.
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
Sample of the F class can be seen in a short movie posted to
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
I just noticed the F class will be "DCC ready with Next18 socket". The Next18 is typically found in N scale locos, plenty of decoders are available with this plug type.
  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

The sample is on view at Orient Express in the new show case by the door as you go in on the right.  Along with a lot of other goodies as well. Looks excellent so far, hopefully a fully painted factory decorated one will turn up soon.
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.

More painted samples of other versions and production status updates at
  pafcmachine Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide SA
What a beautiful model!

Is the connecting rod meant to have that bulge in it?

It's nitpicking a bit, but I think there have been some queries about the size of the side marker lamps too.

Small stuff, but I'm just interested if they are meant to be like that, and if the production models will be the same?

Still a lovely model - good to see the SAR stuff being made!
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.

via the facebook page:
"The F Class will come with 2 different versions of marker lights!!
The preinstalled ones will be slightly larger to accommodate the LED light inside. The LED marker lights will be Individually Switchable and one of them is blue. We will also include a Second Marker Light which will be To Scale but won’t include a LED as it is simply too small (otherwise we would only use the smaller version).
In the picture the marker light on the left is the scale version while the one on the right is the LED version."
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
They were on display & running at the recent Adelaide Model Rail Show June long weekend & it looked very well indeed.
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
The F class has now arrived and is for sale at Orient Express.
  Rocko's Modern Life Station Staff

Hi everyone,

It's great news that the F Class is now available from Orient Express Reproductions. I am not new to model railroading, but am new to collecting SAR subjects, so need some help choosing the right model, pls. I would like to collect period orientated, my target period being from 1959 to 1969 (roughly). First Diesels in, last steamers not yet out, many branchlines still open, that sort of business. So I am looking for a coal burning F Class befitting of the time. Which of the OER F Class models would fit that period in regards to livery and details? I've kinda set my sights on the F170, but would like to be sure I get it right.

TIA for your help,


  allan Chief Commissioner

The oil-burners barely survived into the 1960s. F255 is modelled "as preserved" at NRM. Each of the others was active in the early 1960s.
  Rocko's Modern Life Station Staff

The oil-burners barely survived into the 1960s. F255 is modelled "as preserved" at NRM. Each of the others was active in the early 1960s.
Cheers, Allan! What about the liveries? Is there anything that should or shouldn't be there? White wheel rims, red lines, that sort of business?


  allan Chief Commissioner

I'll guess that white rims were applied for special and tour trains, and were left to wear off when the locos went back to work: I think that it didn't take long.
  Rocko's Modern Life Station Staff

Alrighty, F170 it is! Wink Thx again for your advice, Allan.

  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
I’ve now received mine (170 and 250 with the sound decoder fitted), and while cleaning their drive wheels made a world of difference, I’m finding they’re still tender footed.  To the point that it took a couple of goes to even program the actual cab number into the decoder; the movement of the motor that’s the usual part of ACKing on the programming track bumped both to an orientation where they weren’t making good electrical contract with the track more than once.  Yes, my programming track is very clean.

I’m also finding that the pickup from the front pony truck doesn’t appear to be very reliable.  There doesn’t appear to be a spring applying any pressure on the pony truck, although I assume the pickups from within the loco body that are pressing on the contact horns is applying some (off center) pressure.  I haven’t spent the time to see whether the issue is in the axle pickups or in the contact between the pony truck and main body (I’m guessing the latter), so a direct wire might fix the issue, although that’s going to take some planning.

The locos look very nice, and I’m not having any problems with them traversing trackwork, just with stalling.

What have been other people’s experience with them and has anyone made any obvious mods (like adding weight *somewhere*)?
  allan Chief Commissioner

My suspicion is that, at some stage, the wheels have been "treated", perhaps even lacquered. Some examples are better than others in this respect. So, clean the wheels again, and, if that doesn't work, clean the wheels with a little MEK, and that should work.

The loco should not need additional weight to lift prototypical loads - three or four carriages upgrade, or 200 tons of goods. On the level, like the prototype, it will lift rather more.
  Captainchoochoo61 Locomotive Fireman

The F and several other small tank locos released recently all seem to have various amounts of "running issues".
Some seem to be fine straight out of the box. Others give various results.

The idea to clean the wheels of coating/ lacquer etc seems to give good results much of the time. ( 2)
Running in seems to work for others ( 1)
Checking for a dry solder joint has worked for others. ( 3)
Checking springs in the front. ( 4)
Adding weight at front or rear has been succesful for others. ( 5)

Working through these issues would be my suggested sequence of events as numbered.

I will not add this into the discussion
Avoid 18" curves.
Avoid 20" curves
Avoid 22" curves

Another type of tank loco was returned to retailer for replacemment.
It took the 4th loco to get a good working model.

I have seen metho, and acetone mentioned amongst cleaning agents.

Good luck
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Thanks Alan and Cap'.

I spent a fair bit of time with them today and think that a good bunch of running in has helped their performance a lot.  I'm still confident that the front pony trucks aren't really picking up track power, and the locos still throw themselves off out of contact with the programming track once in a while as they jerk around, but for pulling passenger consists from A to B with only a little shunting, it works quite well.  I'd like to pop one open to see if there's space for a capacitor, but that'll have to wait.

So just to confirm - no one that has pulled their pony truck off has a spring on the boss applying some downward pressure on the trucks?  They seem to track pretty well, so I'm guessing the contacts are providing enough pressure; just not apparently getting a lot of electrical contact.

With this, they work extremely well as unpowered frog detectors Smile.

Oh, when cleaning the wheels again (this time with 91% isopropyl alcohol) I found that the white tyres are painted with something that the alcohol acts as a thinner for, so be warned Sad.

Once I was happy enough with their running, I quickly found the default function assignments a little annoying.  I'm unsure why F2 (which is non-latching function on every Digitrax, NCE and phone based throttle I've used, being intended for the horn/whistle) was used for the left hand marker light, given that this results in the whistle being located in inconvenient F11 and my only being able to wink the left marker light with F2.   F3 would have appeared to be the better choice.

So I read the entire function page in Decoder Pro.  The defaults for the rows I was interested in are as follows

7:   Forward, F1 -> Aux1[1]
8:   Reverse, F1 -> Aux4
9:   Forward  F2 -> Aux2[1]
10: Reverse  F2 ->  Aux3
11: F3 -> Sound Slot 2 (long whistle)
19: F11 -> Sound Slot 4 (short whistle)

Since I model the Main South line, I always have both marker lights on, so I changed the above as follows

7: Forward, F1 -> Aux1[1], Aux2[1]  // Both front marker lights
8: Reverse, F1 -> Aux3, Aux4           // Both rear marker lights
9: F2 -> Sound Slot 4                      // Short whistle on F2, not direction sensitive
10: F2 (no action)                           // Override the previous Aux3 rule

I'm providing these in case anyone wants to make the same change without having to read the entire sheet in Decoder Pro (which takes a long time for something like a Loksound V4 Smile).  I made the changes directly to a blank sheet for my second loco without reading first and just wrote the changes on the sheet, which worked fine.

If you wanted to be able to independently control both markers, I'd change rows 9 & 10 to Fwd & Rev F3 (same action) and row 11 to F2 (play sound slot 4, short whistle) and move the long one either to F11 or some other desired function.
  allan Chief Commissioner

Back to the running issues... It does seem that the wheels were not polished after plating, leaving a finish that is best described as "egg-shell". I suspect that running will reduce this, but in the meantime the wheels will be prone to picking up any crud that is on the track. So, make certain that the track is polished, and take time to clean the loco wheels before or after every run if you would like your loco to run at its best.

Strangely enough, I'd regard this as best practice, in any case... And do check your wagon/ carriage wheels for cleanliness from time to time, too, especially those that have electrical pick-up.

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