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16  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: 3 truck shay on: June 10, 2016, 04:54:46 PM
I don't see the information on the website at this time, but I believe Bachmann recommended 7' diameter (3.5' radius) as the minimum to operate the three truck Shay. As Chuck N suggested, the limit is in the slip joints and other 3rd truck driveline components.

While you might force it around a 2' radius, you have a significant possibility of damaging the drive line on such sharp curves. When the driveline binds, the truck will be forced off the track. This can cause serious damage to the truck and driveline components.

Once again, there is no way that having the bunker 'swivel' on the third truck will affect this problem. The bunker is not the limiting factor: The driveline is where the binding occurs.

The OP has reported that his Shay initially would not go around his 2' radius curves, but now does. I would suggest a careful examination of the driveline, as it is possibly damaged by operating on the too small radius curves.

Happy RRing,


17  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: 3 truck shay on: June 09, 2016, 09:08:54 PM
I would really like to see that. I am pretty experienced on Shays, both two and three truck, and both prototype and model, and can not imagine how the water bunker could have a swiveling truck under it.

Even more perplexing is why you think it needs to swivel. If the third truck can swivel independent of the truck, it would mean the tender could and will turn sideways as compared to the rails and direction of travel. This would mean the water pipe and coupling would probably be torn off.

Why would you think this is necessary? And more importantly, how do you think that it could possibly work?

How about a link to the video you are referencing? I would sincerely like to see what you are posting about!

Happy RRing,


18  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: 3 truck shay on: June 08, 2016, 10:27:43 PM
The prototype Shay's 3rd truck does not rotate independent of the tender water bunker. It is firmly attached to the water tank. The water tank, including the  truck assembly is free to 'rotate,' as well as moving up and down and from side to side with respect to the mainframe assembly due to the drawbar and the driveline slip joint and universal joints.

Same is true of the model. It properly duplicates the prototype.

I really don't understand why you want the truck to rotate, but I guess you could take the truck off the fuel bunker and devise some kind of pin arrangement. I am pretty certain that doing that would make the model unable to properly track, thus rendering the model (at least the third truck) non operational.

19  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Starting An Outdoor Railroad on: May 05, 2016, 03:14:46 PM
IMO, good decisions.

A pretty good match for turnouts is the LGB 16000, what LGB terms R3. Very close to 4' radius and available in manual and (electric) remote control. I use the manual ones with Bachmann's large scale switch stand. I also have some with pneumatic switch machines where I can't easily reach them. I have completely avoided electrical systems, except for building lighting. I use a commercial low voltage timer controlled system for that.

The 16000 LGB manual turnouts seem to be out of stock at the places I looked, but several say new stock due in 2nd quarter 2016. Hopefully that will meet your needs, or someone will give you some other ideas.

Good luck & Happy RRing,

20  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Starting An Outdoor Railroad on: May 04, 2016, 02:46:22 PM
Like Bill advised, going with 1' sections sets you up for a great deal of frustration and unhappiness. Doubly so when you are planning to use track power.

Even the longer sections are subject to loss of electrical contact in the great outdoors. That is the disadvantage of slip joiners. You will eventually find that you need to equip your track with some type of rail clamps to solve the contact problems. Whether you use rail clamps now, or add them as contact problems occur, you only need 1/3 the number of clamps for the longer sections.

I use quite a bit of 4' radius (NOT diameter) curves and turnouts, but my RR is based on logging, mining and construction, with short passenger cars. I use short wheelbase or geared locomotives (Shays, Heisler and small diesels). If you plan to run long wheelbase locomotives and equipment as in mainline steam and long passenger cars, you should definitely use the largest radius curves you can fit in.

Happy RRing,

21  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Bachmann turntable power help on: May 03, 2016, 09:47:03 PM
No. It is an "AC transformer," NOT a "DC power supply."

The Lionel CW80 Transformer definitely puts out only AC. See

You will damage the TT if you try to power it with that unit.
22  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: lubricating wheels on n scale on: March 16, 2016, 01:35:43 PM

Where did you find instructions directing you to put oil on the wheels?

As you have found and Ken wrote, that will result in not being able to pull much of anything.

I would suggest you carefully clean any trace of oil off the wheels and the track. Since most oils are designed to stay on the surfaces they are applied to, you will probably need to use a solvent (lighter fluid or similar) and to clean the oiled parts more than once. Use something like a soft wiping cloth and Q-tips dampened with the solvent. You need to remove all traces of oil from both the wheels and the track.

Be careful to not get the solvent on the cars as some solvents will damage the paint and lettering.

BTW, what is the "G scale and 2 n scale" you wrote in your post?

Good Luck!

Happy RRing,

23  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Re-Gluing windows in Passenger Cars on: February 08, 2016, 04:28:13 PM
I've used this stuff for years. Expensive, but does what it says, and since it comes in two separate tubes, it has a very long shelf life. See:,7468.html

Hope this helps,

24  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: On30 Davenport Gas Mechanical 'critter', why no longer being made? on: January 25, 2016, 09:49:51 PM
Consider that modern off-shore manufacturing of specialized items (like model RR stuff) runs large batches of a specific product. They do not operate a continuous production line like car manufacturing. There is a minimum batch size required to have any possibility of recovering the costs and (hopefully) making a profit. Those same batches are mass shipped in containers, with a lot of items required to keep the shipping and handling costs low.

In order to have a price point that's low enough that we will be able to afford to purchase the item, the manufacturer, distributor and dealer must all purchase and handle lots of one product in a reasonably short time frame. Otherwise the product deteriorates while the interest cost on the money invested continue.

All this takes large investments up front with no guarantee as to how many will be sold over any given time period. Bachmann, along with numerous manufacturers are to be applauded for taking that risk. The total numbers of a single product in stock at the beginning of a product's life are really large in what is very limited niche market.

In this case, Bachmann did not "stop production." It is just that the batch (or batches) they manufactured have sold out. Whether and when they might make more is really a marketing decision. I can guarantee that they will not make a new run until and unless they are convinced they can again sell the entire run.

You claim that lots of people are wanting a specific product (the 0n30 Davenport), and perhaps that is true. Conversely, I have recently read several on-line posts, along with talking to a couple of acquaintances who tried 0n30, but are not happy and are moving on. The prevailing direction is probably somewhere in between. BTW, I am currently looking at starting an 0n30 layout, and my first purchase was a Bachmann Davenport. I really do agree that it is a great looking little locomotive!

If someone wants to take the risk on any single model railroad product or product line, contact Bachmann's marketing department, arrange a bulk purchase, and sell them yourself, thus taking the ensuing business risk. If correct, that will make lots of modelers happy and make lots of money.

If wrong, there will be several garage-fulls of slowly deteriorating models!!

Happy RRing,

25  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: E-Z Command Smart Interface !!! on: January 21, 2016, 11:47:07 PM
I'm waiting for wireless controlled battery powered locomotives.

No need to wait. Lots of options here:

Happy RRing,

26  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Transformers on: January 18, 2016, 06:36:59 PM
First, the need for more power is generally not directly related to the size of the layout, but rather the number of locomotives and other powered equipment running simultaneously.

Second, since your 4x12 layout is not changing in size (still 4x12 per your post), this question doesn't seem to make any sense.

What am I missing?

Happy RRing,

27  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: new product on: January 13, 2016, 06:37:46 PM

Could you please provide a link to Bachmann's "H0n3 mechanism?"

Thanks, Jerry
28  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Newbie Troubleshooting on: November 26, 2015, 04:57:00 PM
You don't say what engine you have but the 4-6-0 is prone to having the front truck turned 180 degrees. Since that truck has power pickups, it causes a short.

Try turning the front truck around, being careful to not break or stress the wires going to it. That should 'fix' your problem.

Happy RRing,

29  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Issues with new train set on: November 12, 2015, 04:46:34 PM
Bachmann's customer service is very good. Try calling them to see if your issue is just a missing part that can be provided through the mail.

However, I would strongly suggest that you contact the retailer first. Most sales outlets have a no-questions return policy where a new in box set is either  missing parts, damaged, or just doesn't work. Same with most credit cards. Resolving this with the dealer should avoid lengthy delays and shipping charges.

Happy RRing,

30  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My upcoming layout! the Ayr, Dundas, and St Catherines Railway Company on: September 27, 2015, 05:05:19 PM
Welcome to the model RRing hobby!

As to your proposed layout, I believe you would be creating a nightmare. I count at least 14 turnouts in your proposed 2'x8' space!

Prototype railroads serving a group of industries will usually have a single runaround that is long enough to accommodate the longest cut of cars going to a single industry. The crew (actually the conductor) works out which end of a cut the engine needs to be on, and arranges switching on the runaround track so the cars to be dropped at the appropriate place without needing a runaround at each industry. That planning and operation is a great deal of the fun in switching layouts and switching puzzles.

If each industry had to have 3 or 4 turnouts as you have sketched, the costs in land, trackage and operations would be huge.

Take a look at some plan books and on-line resources. 101 Railroads You Can Build is one of my favorites.

Hope this helps,

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