Robert Dollar 2-6-2T No. 3
Robert Dollar 2-6-2T No. 3 is a locomotive that I’ve grown to like quite a lot. I’ve photographed the real thing running on the Niles Canyon Railway many times. I’ve even been able to take video while riding on the locomotive.
I was really surprised when I discovered that Oriental Limited had at one time produced an HO scale model of this locomotive. It is a bit obscure. Apparently they only made 200 of them. I was lucky enough to be able to buy one of these a few years ago.
The model is of the locomotive when it was a wood burner working for the Woodward Lumber Company. The real locomotive was converted to burn oil at some point. Robert Dollar No. 3 is still in that configuration today.
I want to model the locomotive as it is now. That means that I will need to rework the fuel bunker area aft of the cab. The fuel bunker needs to be slightly longer. The rear headlight needs to be removed from the top of the cab and located on top of the new oil fuel bunker. Fortunately the rest of the engine looks mostly correct.
My model is currently not running. It came to me with a bad motor and a gearbox with cracked gears. The good thing is that the mechanism itself is very smooth. The drivers turn without binding. When I replace the gearbox I will likely have to re-quarter the drivers. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that without too much difficulty.
I’m still not decided on how to go about reworking the fuel bunker. I have two choices. I can modify the existing part or I can make a new one. Right now I’m leaning toward fabricating a new part. I will most likely use styrene because I have no idea how to work on brass. I don’t really care if my model of Robert Dollar No. 3 remains all brass. I am more interested in accuracy and styrene is the only way I will be able to do it.
I also want to put a working coupler on the front. I want to actually run this model but I’ll probably never have a layout.
One good thing is that I have plenty of reference photos of this locomotive. When I get around to finishing it, I will equip it with LED lights and a DCC sound system.