Equipment of the LT&S

Motive Power

First LT&S 1 - Bilbo Baggins

The first Bilbo Baggins was a much modified Bachmann Big Hauler. This locomotive was 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 were 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 was replaced with a Barry's Big Trains 4-6-0 chassis. The name "Bilbo Baggins" was lettered on both sides of the cab. The engine was very lightly weathered. Kadee couplers have been installed.



The 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 was installed in the engine and  a Throttle Up! K-36 sound system is installed in the tender.

The Barry's Big Trains chassis did not have enough play to operate well in switching operations on the LT&S, and the locomotive was retired. It has been replaced with a second Bilbo Baggins, an early Climas built from an Ozarks Miniature kit.


LT&S 2 - Frodo

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 photo.

LT&S 3 - Thorin

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.

LT&S 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.

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.



































LT&S 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.

LT&S 7 - Pippin

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.

LT&S 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.

LT&S 9- Aragorn

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 LT&S.

Rolling Stock

LT&S 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 Modeling Tips section.

LT&S 150-152 are five Bachmann ore cars detailed and painted to look like something other than green toys. Details on the modifications can be found in the Modeling Tips section.

LT&S 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.





Two 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 rod. See the Modeling Tips section for details. A Northeast Narrow Gauge coach kit waits to be assembled. It will be named Silverlode, another river in Middle Earth.

A 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.

MERR 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.

Mordor 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.









The LT&S has acquired three Bachmann reefers that have been painted and relettered

The LT&S also acquired two Bachmann stock cars that has been relettered.

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