Passenger Cars

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Narrow MInded, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Narrow MInded

    Narrow MInded New Member

    Hello, My name is Mark and I have been interested in trains since I was born. I don't have a set up yet because i have no room, when i move out of my current house I plan to start one. I have a couple of questions that maybe people here can answer?

    1. I have a lot of Bachmann, Tyco, and Life Like model engines, these engines were bought from toy stores back in the 1980's and 90's. They weren't taken care of very well. Should I trade them or probably scrap them. Some of them don't work to well.

    2. My other question is I have been looking around on the web, and i can't find passnger cars that have the clestory (spelling?) roof and that run on a two wheel set truck, kind of like the cars that most tourist railroads use, I can only find the three truck version. Can anyone point my in the right direction?

    Thank You
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Hi and welcome.

    First, let's take care of the passenger car question for you... You want old-time wooden coaches with clerestory roofs, correct? You are in luck, because MDC Roundhouse offers a full line of them:'+Overland&CatID=THRP

    Now to your engines..

    The '80s and '90s were a pretty bad time to buy Tycos, Bachmanns and Lifelikes, because back then those brands sold some pretty horrendous junk. You might want to take the shell off of those engines and see what kind of mechanism it uses. If it uses a pancake motor mechanism (in which the motor is contained entirely in one truck), you want to scrap them and use them to experiment or practice airbrushing on or something. Pancake motor-drive locos are practically useless.

    Good-running engines have a frame-mounted motor, and drives all of the wheels (not just one truck) of the engine through the use of driveshafts, CV joints and worm gears. The really nice ones have flywheels on the motor spindle, which allows the loco to coast past dirty spots in the track.

    So find out what kind of locomotives you got, and report back. Good luck!
  3. Narrow MInded

    Narrow MInded New Member

    Thank you for the quick response Long Island, those cars you mentioned are nice but (and I forgot to put this in my first post) I was looking for steel lightweight cars. As for the engines, I really don't know what a pancake engine is but most of them have an upright battery like thing in th cab, if that helps.
  4. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Yep, steel cars with clerestory roofs are not prevalent, because wood and clerestory went out of fashion at around the same time (early 20th century).

    Anyway, Bachmann does make some steel passenger cars with clerestory and 2-axle trucks, like these:

    As far as your locomotives go, again, as I said before, you need to remove their shells and see if the motor is entirely contained in just one truck. If it is, that is a pancake motor drive and best thing to do with it is to scrap it.

    Hope this helps.
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The old MDC/Roundhouse Harriman cars are shortened versions of the prototype lightweight steel cars and ride on four-wheel trucks. Unfortunately, they all come with arched roofs. Here's the baggage car, although I've changed the trucks to the six-wheel type.

    I think Model Power may have the style of cars that you're looking for.

  6. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    As far as your description of your locomotives, it sounds like you have the old 'pancake' motors. these engines make good fishing weights and little else. It better to look for 1 or two good engines like what was mentioned before than to try to repair what you already have.
    Athearn, Bachman plus (or spectrum) Life-like Proto 1000 engines of today are pretty much the industry standard for reliability as well as the advantage of parts being available for them so they can be repaired if need be.
  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    another passenger car option would be to take the athearn heavyweight cars (blue box) and replace the 6 wheel trucks with 4 wheel trucks. I think there was a model railroader article years ago (early 90s) describig this. IHC makes many varieties of passenger cars, too. You may look there.


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