About the Dolittle, Seemore, and Nap Railroad

The DS&N is a 1/8th scale model railroad located in northern Pennsylvania.  1/8th scale has a track gauge of 7 and 1/2 inches.  This puts the DS&N in the "outdoor riding" category of large scale models.  This scale is also referred to as "Inch and a half" or "1.5" scale, because the 1/8th ratio makes 1 and a half inches equal to 1 foot on the prototype.  The track is conventionally assembled including ties, tie plates, four bolt track joints, and ballast.  The rail is made of aluminum to save weight and ease installation, and has the same profile as prototype rail.. The DS&N is currently under construction, with about 860 feet of track in operation.  The base of operations is a 3 stall locomotive shed, which houses four gasoline powered locomotives and several freight cars.  There are 4 operating switches on the line currently, and several grades.  In practice, when completed, this line and the equipment on hand can host 4 separate trains, each pulling several cars with personnel on board.  1/8th scale models are VERY similar to the prototype, and scale in appearance, with knuckle couplers, and sprung trucks.  Cars are made from metal and wood, and in some cases fiberglass.  Locomotive car bodies are highly detailed, and include such desirable scale features as windshield wipers, hand rails, grabs, horns, and air hoses.  An example of a locomotive, would be our F-7A of which there are two.  This locomotive weighs over 800 pounds, and is Click for bigger picture approximately 6 feet long.  It is powered by an electric start 8 hp Kohler engine, with a complete hydrostatic drive.  Each truck is powered by individual hydraulic motors.  The hydraulics are industrial in every respect, and a radiator with cooling fan dissipates heat.  People do not sit on locomotives however, they sit on freight cars, and the locomotives are operated by hand held control stands tethered to the rear of the last locomotive in a consist.  Up to three of our locomotives can be MU'd together allowing for a massive train with incredible pulling power, totaling 24 actual horsepower.  Top speed is approximately 60 scale mph, which feels quite fast, and is about the same speed as a man jogging. Operations are carried out in a very prototypical manner, by the very nature of the scale.  In the event of a derailment, unloaded cars are light enough than an axle can be put back on the track, however locomotives must be re-railed using the same methods of full size equipment.  Stones, wood, or whatever can be located nearby must be used to ramp the errant wheels back to the rail.  The weight of the equipment helps to balance the high center of gravity that results from a rider on board, and to some extent it is necessary to lean to correct excessive sway.  Care and attention to the roadbed and track help ensure a smooth comfortable ride.

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