F7 Length(s)

I just purchased an atlas F7 off of ebay. My intention was to use the chassis with an existing shell I already had (detailed and weathered but dead running gear). The other shell is of undetermined manufacturer but was made in Hong Kong.

Here was the ad:

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Here is the part I was surprised at. The Atlas unit is a good half inch longer than the Hong Kong shell. The Hong Kong shell is exactly the same length as the bachmann F series locos I have and the same as an old model power. Even an old Tyco was pretty much the same length as the Hong Kong shell. So here are my questions.

Are (were) there more than one length for F series locos? Are F9s and F7s different lengths? Is the atlas or all the others out of scale (too short or long)? Any idea what shells will fit this chassis? And finally, am I dealing with something that is not a F series at all???

Jason

Reply to
Jason
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Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum

Yes, see below.

Regular F9s and F7s were the same length.

It's correct for what it is, see below.

Dunno, but see below.

No.

The Atlas F7 is actually an FP7, which was 4 feet longer than the regular F7 as it had extra room for larger water tanks (and possibly a larger than standard boiler too?) for the steam-heated passenger cars for long distance trains, as the experience with F3s and standard F7s showed they had insufficient capacity for the longer distance trains like the California Zephyr.

I know that the Western Pacific bought FP7s to augment the original F3s on the California Zephyr.

There were also FP9s which were the same length as FP7s.

The other F9 variant, the FL9 was a completely different length being a hybrid diesel and 3rd rail electric with a 6-wheeled rear truck for use in the tunnels leading into Manhattan and the termini there that were underground and subject to strict air control regulations..

A good web site for more details is

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Reply to
Christopher A. Lee

You appear to be dealing with a kitbashed loco, judging by the photo. There is a very obvious seam visible behind the cab, where it appears that two body shells have been spliced together. The fuel tank skirt behind the front truck is too short, also. The mechanism may not be for an FP7 at all, but another loco in the Atlas range.

Reply to
Mark Newton

Hi Jason

What you have it appears is a kit bashed FP7. I say kit bashed as in two F7's cut and joined to make the longer FP7. What makes me say that it is two F7,s joined is by the marks running up the side and just forward of the front porthole and slight miss-alignment of the rivot line that runs above the Rock Island lettering. You can get genuine Atlas FP7 shells as well as standard F7's.

Nigel

Reply to
Nigel Nichols

Jason

I retract my statement that Atlas make F7's. They only made FP7's It appears you have the genuine Atlas FP7 chassis going by the fuel tanks and truck side frames (the detailing of) . I know them well as I have just finished a Western Pacific FP7 kit bash starting with a std Atlas FP7.

Nigel

Western Pacific Model Railways

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Reply to
Nigel Nichols

Thanks for the answers (you do really learn something new everyday, I thought an FP was just an F with a steam gen). I will keep my eye out for a FP7 shell in CP or CN. Too bad I do not model passenger equipment.... I guess my FP will be pulling freight (oh the humanity!!!).

Anyone have a good suggestion for cheap FP shells? I will also double check the running gear to make sure it is in fact an FP before I buy a shell.

once again, many thanks

jl

Reply to
Jason

An interesting effort to be sure. The atlas FP7 was the first F unit model with something approximating a properly shaped carbody. Some modelers shortened the Atlas model to make a regular F7 that was closer to prototype in appearance than any regular F unit available at the time.

THIS model, however, appears to use two inferior shells (Athearn/Globe, or clones thereof) combined to make the longer FP7. The result is inferior to the original Atlas shell. Why would someone go to a lot of work to make something worse than what they started with? Or, was this never an Atlas model at all?

Dan Mitchell ==========

Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell

Jason Ebay would be you best bet for a FP shell. Chances are there may be a few coming up since Central Hobbies

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have released there FP7 body shell kit which I understand is of very high quality similar to the Highliners F unit shells. The Atlas FP7 chassis/frames may become very popular as power for the new shells. By the way. FP7 were used on freight as well. By mid 1970 the Western Pacific had disscontunied their California Zephyr and the FP7 power that was used on it were then used on freight. They may have even regeared them to suit freight work.

Just as a side note I have not long finished a major reworking of a Atlas FP7 shell and the loco was just waiting on a decoder install when I picked it up forgetting I hadn't attached the body onto the chassis properly and the chassis fell out onto the concrete floor completely smashing one of the truck/gearboxes. The gearbox split in 4 pieces. I'm awaiting reply from Atlas on when the new parts will arrived.

Nigel

Reply to
Nigel Nichols

Roco (the manufacturer) would probably be able to sell you one of the original body shells, or one of their new ones. It wouldn't be "cheap" though.

The Roco/Atlas mechanisim is reasonably distinctive: A very large diecasting which almost fills the loco body. Center mounted silver can motor. A PC board mounted on top containing all wiring, lights and spring clips to the motor with just 4 individual wires near each corner running down to the wheel contacts. The PC board is held down by (probably) four small slotted blackened self tappers.

Regards, Greg.P.

Reply to
Gregory Procter

Hi Dan

I agree that this shell is likely two Athearn's or Globe's because the Atlas shells had the water filler cover directly under the first louver vent. On this kit bashed model the water filler cover is forward of the first panel rivet line. In the past I think it was fairly common to chop a couple of Athearn F7 to make a FP7.

Thankfully there is a FP7 body kit available now, released earlier this year, that is comparible to the Highliners F kits. The Atlas FP7 was somewhat inaccurate in it's measurements, especially in the height from sill to roof line, which effectively squashed the windscreens.

Nigel

Western Pacific Model Railways

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Reply to
Nigel Nichols

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The drive looks like it's from a GP series. The two air tanks ahead of the fuel tanks would be the givaway. The shell looks like someone tried to kitbash an FP-7 from other shells.

Don

-- snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net

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Reply to
Trainman

That makes sense, assuming the model was made prior to the first release of the Atlas FP7 (which was a long time ago). After that better shell was available, such a conversion made NO sense ... which doesn't mean it didn't happen!

And, yes, the Atlas FP7 shell had it's own problems, but it was generally superior to any other F-unit available at that time. That's why some were shortened to make regular F-units.

At the time the Atlas came out we had only the Varney F3 with a strange too short nose and poor detail, and the Globe/Athearn with good detail, but a too flat roof, an almost equally strange nose, and ridiculous huge squared-off windshield openings. Several other manufacturers (Penn-line, Cox, AHM, Cary, etc.) 'cloned' the Athearn shell, with all it's faults copied to perfection.

Then came the generally much better Stewart F-units. Once the Stewart models were available, then THAT conversion made no sense either.

Now we have the Intermountain F-units, a bit better yet, and the best of all, the Highliner/Atherarn-Genesis models. F-unit modelers have never had it so good!

Dan Mitchell ==========

Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell

The running gear is Atlas for sure (it is cast into it). Is there any part number etc. that will tell me that it is a FP7 chassis for sure? I will take a look at it this weekend and see if it has nay other marks identifying what it is.

Reply to
Jason

Jason

That is definitly a FP7 chassis you have there. Its the tanks that confirm it for me. Identical to mine. Have a look at the top down view of my chassis on the web page below. Follow the "Atlas FP7 rebuild" link. Near bottom is the pic of the chassis. I have painted mine silver to suit the California Zephyr so don't let that put you off.

Nigel

-- Western Pacific Model Railways

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Reply to
Nigel Nichols

Has anyone had a chance to look at the Central-Hobbies FP7 kit? They don't have any pictures on their web site. They are a bit pricey even after converting to US dollars but if they are of Highliners quality and accuracy I'd have to consider getting some. I wonder if anyone else will be coming out with an FP7 -- such as Broadway Limited to go with their CZ cars?

Jim Bright

Reply to
jhbright

Hi Jim

ER-Model Imports have their current FP7 which is from the molds of the older Atlas/Roco model but... they were looking at retooling the molds (or making new ones) for a updated and detailed FP7. However last time I ask them about this they said the project was on hold due to costs. Maybe they heard about the Central Hobbies work and decided not to invest in a set molded shell when the Central Hobbies shell was in a kit form where the builder can choose the details as we do with Highliners.

Nigel

Western Pacific Model Railways

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Reply to
Nigel Nichols

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