Hello / Bachmann's New GE 44 Tonner

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by papa smurf37, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. papa smurf37

    papa smurf37 New Member

    Still working on my old farmhouse, in kitchen now, with 3 rooms to go. Wife and I have put over 4,000 miles on our new-used Honda 1500 Goldwing sidecar rig since she went on the road on 7/2. Sort of makes up for not being able to drive last year because of that $#&@ shoulder injury.
    Has anyone out there tried new Bachmann model of GE 44 tonner? Tony's Train Exchange will probably have to install an N scale decoder in the one I am about to buy from them, as I understand that there not enough room for anything larger. The only catch to this is to limit drawbar pull to maybe 3 cars max and not pull on a grade. This is OK with me, as it was going to be used for yard chores in a flat area. Just wanted to get any feedback on loco. TTFN...papa smurf :) :)
  2. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Welcome aboard The Gauge Papa,
    My Bachman 44 tonner is about eight years old now and was equipped with two motors mounted within the geartrains. I've heard that the newer product only has one motor.
    Well, as the two motors in mine ran at different speeds I removed one of them. I'm just up from the train room having done a hauling test on my 44 tonner. It pulls 4 cars on the straight and level through Atlas #4 switches. Note that my cars are all of different manufacturers and are not fitted with metal wheels. If you're rolling stock has metal wheels expect to haul 6 cars max.
    My switcher has the power but not the weight to haul more than 4 cars without wheelslip. The max current draw on my single motor is 0.4 Amp with the motor stalled and a full 12 Volts applied.
    So an N gauge decoder should be OK.
    The only real way to check pulling power is if you get to a model shop and ask them to run one for you.

    Hope this is a help to you.

  3. billk

    billk Active Member

    This tells me that need to add some weight. Sounds like there's not much room under the hood, especially if material would have to be removed for a decoder, so it might not be a simple task. You might consider putting in tungsten weights - even if you have to drill holes for them they would be heavier than what you take out.
  4. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

    Hi Tom,
    I thought you bought a B&M 44 tonner when the series 2 mechs came out. I remember us talking about a Lenz LE077 that I fitted to my 44 tonner.
    My 44 tonner handles 4 cars on a 2% (approximate) grade in the yard without getting in much trouble.
    Good to hear from you again.
  5. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    I have 2 Tom, I like Russ can haul 4 cars on a 2% grade. I did put a N scale decoder in mine without much problem. I am still not real happy with them, they are better than the old ones but they could do better. One of mine sometimes just quites running for a few seconds and then takes off again.

    Nice to hear from you my Friend!! :cool:
  6. papa smurf37

    papa smurf37 New Member

    HI RUSS! And hello to everyone!
    Yes Russ, I WAS going to purchase an MEC 44 tonner when everything model rr went on hold for room redec. My pal Gary and I are going halves on the new one-motor unit with correct cab/ hood dimensions from TTX in November, with decoder installed.
    Since sidecar rig riding season is almost gone here and mama wants to wind down remodeling projects for the holidays [so house won't be so cluttered] we [Gary and I] are about to replunge into building that HO sectional layout we started.
    THANKS KETTLESTACK for the info on your 44 tonner. Maybe we'll be better than expected with an N scale decoder and I am sure Tony's will clue us in on what to do/ not do when running unit.
    TTFN....Tom :)
  7. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    WAIT! One (or two) more questions...
    I have also been considering getting a couple of these for the mine. How do they run at slow speeds? I would expect them to not exceed 20 mph (prototypical). I really want the 44 toners, but if they are not "up to snuff" on the speed and smoothness, I'll get something else. The area they would be running on is flat with a couple of tighter than normal curves. They would be hauling 4 or 5 short hoppers. I have an old Athearn SW7 (SW1200-SW1500? ...:rolleyes: ) doing the job now... I have re-geared the thing so it runs nice and slow. Any chance of re-gearing the 44 toners? I haven't looked too closely at them because none of the local hobby shops have them.

    Tom F
  8. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

    If it's an old loco it'll be an SW-7. Athearn originally brought them out as SW1500s until they did the real SW1500 model. They then labeled it correctly as an SW-7. The major spotting difference between the SW7 (produced 1949-1951) and the SW-9 (1951-1954) and the SW1200 (1954-1966) is the louvres on the hood-side doors. The Sw-7 has a gap in the louvres for lettering/road name. The SW-9 & SW1200 do not have the upper set of louvres.
    I have a pair of SW-7s with Ernst gears coming and from what Phil and some others tell me, this will beat any other diesel hands down on low speed switching.
  9. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    This is exactly what I am using now--the old Athearn SW7 with Ernst gears. I want something smaller though, so was considering the 44 ton unit.
    I like to poke fun at the old SW7 as it WAS called an SW1500, although you still see it advertised on Ebay as anything from an SW7 to an SW900 to an SW1200 to an SW1500...;)

    Tom F
  10. Tankertoad70

    Tankertoad70 Member

    At ye ol' RR club, we have the Athearn/Earnst geared SW-7 chassis with the Bowser pot metal SW1500 shell on it. That puppy is a real tiger and will pull the sheet rock off the wall.:eek: :D ;)
  11. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member


    I've got a couple of the new Bachmann 44 tonners here in the store. They are now built a lot like an Athearn. But, they still, in my opinion, run to fast and not slow enough. I have a few of the older ones of my own that I have "De-Turbo'ed". If you have or can get a copy of the September 1993 issue of the "Model Railroading" magazine there is an article on how to rewire the 70 tonner so that it runs smoother and slower. What you are doing is to reroute the wiring so that the motors are wired in series vice in parallel. I've done this to all of my Bachmann's and you'd be amazed at the improvement. :eek: :)

    Dan Raitz
    Escondido, CA
    Reed's Hobby Shop
  12. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Dan, That's a great tip! Thanks.
    I'll refit the removed motor on mine and rewire it. I'm now looking forward to having a real gem of a 44 tonner (not that it was all that bad running on one motor).

    Thanks again.

  13. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Dan, thanks for the info. Any room in there for a flywheel? How about re-gearing the trucks? I have been all over Phoenix looking for one of these and they are nowhere to be found...:mad:
    I didn't realize they had two motors. I guess I should have figured this out from some of the posts here...:rolleyes:
    The idea of wiring the two motors in series would certainly help out in the speed area, as the motors would run half the speed under the same load. I have done this with BIG resistors in brass engines...
    So, with two motors in such a small space, I assume the motors are geared directly to the trucks without shafts. Correct? If so, I may be able to refit a different motor with a different gear ratio as these units would always be run by themselves on the layout and not on the DCC sections. I don't suppose there is a "cutaway" drawing with these things, is there? I would like to see something like Athearn includes in its kits.

    Tom F
  14. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member


    The motor in the older 44 tonner is a part of the truck. While in the newer 44 tonner there is a single motor with drive shafts to the each of the trucks. I can't recall at this time if there are flywheels or not. I'll check at the store tomorrow.

    Dan Raitz
  15. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Thanks Dan, I appreciate it. With the separate motor assembly, I am more inclined to get a couple. Let me know what road names you have in stock.

    Tom F
  16. mozartiii

    mozartiii New Member

    How I solved the 44 tonner problem.

    By not buying one..Period. I never liked the shape of this Engine.
    Maybe if it were over 60 feet-Then your talking my language..
    I'd rather build my own Box Cab by slicing 2 Gas-Electrics with Cabs at both ends. Also I would prefer an Oil-Electric.
    No worry here, regards adding weights either.

    This by-- who else!!..."The Gas-Electric freak":p :cool:
  17. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    I guess it is really a question of sentimentality... The only boxcabs I have ever seen were moldering in museums, whereas there are a number of 44 toners out there still doing the daily grind...:D
    Now, I do have to say that I am also a boxcab freak--I have 4 kitbashed boxcabs now. The great thing about modeling boxcabs is that there is lots of room inside for modifications. One that I have has a flat motor mounted sideways and a set of "step down" gears that allow it to run at a prototypical speed of 20 mph with the throttle full open. It is great to watch the thing crawl at walking speed moving hoppers through the unloading bay...;)

    Tom F
  18. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    My 44 has both motor burned up. Not worth $20 to return it when you can get a new old one for $25ish. But tonight I ripped apart a gandy dancer to use as a power truck in my *new* Mack 15 tonner :D ;) :p :) :cool: and I noticed thew motor/worm looks like it might be the same. Anyone know if it is?

    On a sad note, as I butchered the gandy, two plastic people have been, erm, um what's the modern term, displaced?:eek:
  19. mozartiii

    mozartiii New Member


    Interested in your Boxcabs.
    If I can't see them- Can you explain further??
    How/What you did to make them etc.. What do they look like.!!??

    Power trucks have always been my problem. Got stuck with some old Spring belt drives. ( from old days.)

    No one puts out Power trucks these days.

    But the Bachmanns are so cheap from Train World- They are cheaper than any Power trucks that would come out.
    Scrap or cut up the bodies.:cool:
  20. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Been looking for good power trucks myself. Off the shelf power trucks seem to be elusive. Three sources I've found for power trucks robbed from cheap models for HO: Bachman, Bachman, or Bachman, depending what you're after. GE 44 ton old style (~$25 @ trainworld), cheap F7's (~$15 @ trainworld) and the gandydancer (~$12 @ you guessed... trainworld). I don't think any of these run real great as models, so I don't expect miracles, but I don't plan to run critters around a lot. Just built a 15 ton Mack using a gandy dancer as power, but haven't run it yet.

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