How to model a Conrail C40-8W

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by jsoflo, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. jsoflo

    jsoflo Member

    I think Bachman makes a C40-8W, not sure. Can anyone suggest how to model a Conrail C40-8W on an Atlas or Kato frame? Much appreciated.
  2. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Conrail CW

    I bought a Conrail Dash 8CW made by Bachmann Spectrum last year from a LHS but here's the link to one on line. I modified mine with the MT knuckle couplers (which actually worked well btw). My LHS has Spectrum train kits that has the Conrail Dash-8 included, so I'm guessing you could find one from your local hobby store or order it online if you didn't need/want the rest of the track/powerpack/cars.

    Check out www.nscalesupply/BAC/BAC-Dash-8CW.html
  3. jsoflo

    jsoflo Member

    thanks HD, how does the bachman run? I've heard such horror stories about it and my track tends to test unreliables hard. thats why I wondered about modifying an Atlas 39-8 or somthing of that nature. but if the bachman is solid, Ill take a shot, your thoughts?
  4. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Conrail Dash-8CW

    I bought three of the Dash-8CW's all from the same LHS, so I'm guessing they all came in stock at about the same time.

    FWIW...all three are not DCC-equipped but DCC ready (supposedly) and take about the same amount of power to run, which is a power setting higher than any of my Atlas and Kato diesels, and about the same as my older LifeLike's. They run "louder", that is to say more noisy around the tracks than any of my other diesels. Their motors just aren't as guiet as the Kato/Atlas drives. They look pretty good, ok, maybe not as finely detailed as any of the higher priced diesels, and the etching in the plastic is deeper (and therefore maybe not quite as close to scale) than other higher priced diesels. But, they never derail. They pull just about anything without fuss, are easily modified to MicroTrains knuckle couplers (and if I can do it just about anyone can...hey...I fly airplanes - people way smarter than me fix them). Finally, you can find them for less $$$ than Kato/Atlas/Athearn/LifeLike Proto diesels. From what I've seen at my LHS, a whole Bachmann Spectrum set (diesel/cars/track/powerpack) is the same price as a diesel alone purchase and gives you some rolling stock/track/powerpack to mess around trying different detailing projects with. I bought mine from a retailer outside of Greensboro, NC (Covered Wagon hobbies/collectables) for a really great price - and I think they still have several different Conrail numbers. So look around, find a good set you might need with that Conrail included and take the chance.
  5. jsoflo

    jsoflo Member

    Good review Herc, thats more or less what I need to know. Haven't found much in the way of deals around here, sort of missed the boat on this one, there was one unit at the LHS back in December they were selling for $25 in Conrail, but I took a pass. The internet based shops that have them are selling between high 60's and low 90's, which is too much for me to justify on that unit.

    In the meantime, I guess the next question is: what are the differences between the 39-8 and the 40-8? If similar can the 39-8 (which Atlas makes and I can get a decent price on) be modified to a 40-8? Or are they entirely seperate beasts.

    Also, can the Bachman 40-8 shell fit any of the Atlas or Kato frames? Ican easily get an extra Kato AC4400 frame for a steal.

    By the way Herc, you fly C-130's?
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Atlas makes B32-8HWs, B39-8s, B40-8s and B40-8Ws. No 6-axle GEs at all. Nobody that I know of makes an N scale C39-8.

    I've been wondering these same questions, since I plan to model 1996-98 Conrail at some time in the future. C40-8Ws were one of their most common engine types in the 90s, so I'll need some. That detailed review suggests that the Bachmann model might be good enough. But I recall having heard from a user that they have a problem with some part of the electrical conduction from the trucks, something about a metal strip or wire that was prone to disconnecting and nearly impossible to repair.
  7. Catt

    Catt Guest

    To make a really good running dash-8 or -8CW you need a KATO U30C or C30-7 chassis.

    You will need to remove the stock Bachmann light board and add some filler pieces at both ends of the shell to center the chassis in the body lengthwise.You will also need to turn the trucks around and reinstall in the chassis,on the U30C you will have to cut the couplers off of the trucks.
  8. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    Ive never had any problems with my Bach/Spec. Dash 8-40CWs. sure, they are a little loud, but real locos are loud too. They do run slower than the Katos or Atlas locos because of the so called scale speed, but like it was stated, they can pull anything u put behind. The new ones are super detailed, and the Conrail ones look great. I would just go with those and buy sets of the micro trains 1168 coupler conversions.
  9. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Sorry I don't know anything about how to modify other frames to create a Dash-8...check out the store I mentioned - Covered Wagon Hobbies and Collectables in Greensboro, NC. They were selling their Dash-8 for less than $60 if memory serves. They are mostly a Lionel store and are selling out of all their HO and N scales, so their prices are pretty good for almost everything. I'm not sure but I think this is their number...336-697-0255. (I'm currently learning a new aircraft and am away from home where I have one of their business cards).

    But, as I mentioned before, you might find a whole train set that has the engine you want included...might be worth a LHS or ebay search.

    I have not had any problems with the Bachmann diesels losing contact while running around the rails...I have noticed that if the track isn't as clean as it could be they will slip around a bit. I cleaned the wheel sets and that seemed to help things.

    Good luck finding what you need...and yep...I fly the C130, H3 version in the Guard and used to fly the C-5 on active duty.
  10. jsoflo

    jsoflo Member

    Thanks for responses, I actually found the article on how to modify the Kato U30. Last question I guess is, can an AC4400 chassis be modified to accept the Bachman shell and would it be prototype correct? (just figuring its a 6 axle widecab GE and I have an extra).

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