Doodlebug prototype question...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Iron Goat, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    I know the Walthers DB is advertised as 60' long (HO scale feet), and I think I rememeber the Bachmann Spectrum saying the same thing.... I just received my new DB in the mail, and as it looked longer than "that", I measured it, and it is 70' in length. Is that "prototypical" ? I want to model it after #31 on the Montana Western Railway, that was a feeder line for the GN. The length shown on the MW's Doodlebug's site shows a 60' length... has anyone "cut down" their Spectrum DB to 60 scale feet ? I would appreciate any and all feedback.

    Thanks again.... Bob :confused:
  2. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    Hi Bob,

    Here's a recent thread on Doodlebugs that may be of interest:

    I just ordered the 60' Walthers DB (Couldn't resist the price!.) Apparently the Bachmann is about 10' longer. The Walthers is available at TrainWorld for $21.99 as you may know.

    Seem like there was a topic about cutting down a DB here too. You might search on doodlebug.

    Keep us posted,
  3. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Thanks, Jim.... That was a neat thread you pointed out. Yeah, I see that there is a 10 ft. difference in the Spectrum vs: the Walthers DB, but the Walthers is a bi-directional car while the 70' Spectrum has a cab on one end only ( as does my prototype model, as you can see from the "asme" site in my previous posting. So it looks like I may have to cut it down ten feet to stay prototypical with MW's #31.

    Many thanks for the info.... Bob
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I have two Bachmann Doodlebugs which I bashed into a VR DERM. (well, the livery anyway).

    How did they operate the single cabbed doodlebugs? Turn them at their destination? Did they have "trailers" on the non-driving end?

    I also found this. how to cut down a Doodlebug into a VR DERM (Deisel Electric Rail Motor). click here

    And a VR Derm. Note the similarities, right down to the "arched" window.

    And a history of the Australian (Victorian Raliways) DERM here

    Enjoy. :thumb:
  5. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    That's a good looking DB, Woodie. The results that I have "unearthed" so far does not say how they turned them, but the car only had controls on the lead end, so there would be no other way other than a "wye" or a turntable to set them up for the return run.

    Check out the site on my first post on this thread, and the ASME site will give you a lot more detail (blueprint & photos). Most of the time the Montana Western ran their DB's "solo", but often pulled a baggage car, and second coach, a box car, or a tank car behind it.

    I model the GN, and "their feeder" line, the Montana Western... the MW got most of it's motive power and rolling stock from GN, to equipt their tiny 54 miles of track.

    Thanks again, Bob :thumb:

    Attached Files:

  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Since doodlebugs were operating in the steam era, there were still lots of turning facilities at the ends of branchlines. Probably (at least when they were bought) all the other trains on the line were steam.
    Any sign of an extra bit of cab at the back?
  7. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    No sign of that.... there are no windows, just a door for passing from car to car (when a second coach is in tow. The asme site in my previous reply has photos and line drawing.

    thanks.... Bob
  8. pjb

    pjb Member

    EMC and other "Doodlebugs"

    The VR's DERMs is made in 'HO' scale by STEAM ERA MODELS, in your homeland. So why kitbash Bachmanns
    to make them?

    With repect to the initial question, "Doodlebug" is just a
    slang term for the hundreds of models of self propelled
    non pure electric rail cars. They were made by probably a
    hundred different sources in North America , including
    railroads. Some were just steam or internal combustion
    powered via various forms of mechanical transmissions.
    Some were combination units using the engines to drive
    generators that powered electic traction motors.

    Today, the demand, where it exists at all for internal
    combustion railcars in North America, is largely
    confined to multiple unit equipment - such as
    Siemans is producing for use in San Diego.
    MU equipment, can be operated as single
    units ( in most cases) but they are not regarded as "doodlebugs" in that configuration. For that matter
    Budd's stainless steel, diesel hydraulic RDCs, and
    other streamlined self propelled railcars were not
    referred to commonly , as "doodlebugs".
    Good-Luck, PJB
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The only "doodle bug" that I know of still operating commercially is the "skunk" out of Eureka, Ca. It was converted to diesel from gasoline power, and runs through a clutch and transmission likw a truck I think, but it may be diesel-electric.
  10. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Yep. I know, PJB. I have one, still in the box, yet to be put together. Just waiting for my skills to get a bit better before tackleing it. The SEM DERM kit is pretty pricey.

    The Bachmann Doodlebugs seem to get dumped onto the Australian market. You can pick them up here, new, for about $25 US.
  11. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    I just received my Walthers DB from Trainworld yesterday. It looks pretty nice to me, except for the several dozen grab irons that need to be installed. It runs well on DC so I reckon that I'll try to put a decoder in pretty soon.

    It will provide a little passenger and freight service under the "High Valley" line name (Pretty original, eh?) with minor modification to the paint, I hope.

    Thanks for posting that other interesting info on DBs too. [:)]
  12. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Maybe I'm mistaken, but are the SRS's converted from old gas electrics (DB's)?
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It might be, I'm not sure.

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