Thursday, May 24, 2012


My 28" wheels arrived at Sattler's Trains in Westmont, NJ fairly quick.  I took some basic Athearn trucks and switched out the sets.  I realize that the truck style might not be correct but close enough for my liking right now.   You can see the difference using the smaller wheels -
28" wheels on left
I had to do some cutting and filing to get the trucks situated on their bolsters with just barely enough clearance between the wheels and the underside of the end frames.  I then mounted the four trucks, and drilled and mounted the truck bolster frame to the bottle car trunion end.  Everything swiveled well.  I then attached a coupler and took the car out for a spin.  I quickly realized how touchy these dual trucks can be.  In the prototype the tremendous weight of the bottle section kept the truck bolster assembly balanced and pressed on the rails.  In the model version the bottle is not heavy enough to keep the wheels on the rails as well.  I tweaked things a little and improved the operating characteristics of the car quite a bit, but still not bullet proof.  I need to hollow out the bottle more and get some lead down low.  I also need to use some washers and maybe a little filing to balance out the ends better.
Test driving the car - in front of the Raritan Steel Pig Caster
One final note - I built this car so the bottle can be rotated - This I think will cause running problems as when the car takes a tight curve the bottle tends to rotate a little, but friction holds it in place when things straighten up and this lifts one side of the wheels off the rails.  I don't really want to glue it after all that work to keep it operational, however, maybe a locking pin on each end.

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