Penn Line GG1 Kadee conversion?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by DaveRS, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. DaveRS

    DaveRS New Member

    Has anyone here ever installed Kadees on a Penn Line GG1? If so, which Kadee type did you use, and how did you go about it?

    Many thanx!

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

  3. DaveRS

    DaveRS New Member

    Thanks, Andrew, but I've already checked Kadee's conversion table. There are a few Penn Line models listed, but not the GG1. I'm not in HO, so this is just for display purposes. Maybe I'll get a pair of dummy couplers and Goo them into the old Penn Line horn-hook pockets. On the other hand, I might want to take the unit to an HO club some time, and for that I would need Kadees, unless the club's Kadees would mate with dummy couplers???

    Dave R
  4. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I installed a set of KD clones on my Penn Line GG1 that have the plastic centering springs. Because the coupler pocket has an open top and the way that the coupler pocket slides in the pilot, the only other way I saw to do it was to use a KD #5 and glue the centering spring in the pocket as a top cover.
  5. DaveRS

    DaveRS New Member

    That's a clever idea, to use the Kadee #5 spring as a cover. What kind of glue did you use to bond the two types of metal? Another problem I see is that the Penn Line center pin is extremely thin. A Kadee 5 would slop around on it pretty badly, I imagine. A custom washer could be made, though, out of sheet styrene of the right thickness. Did that Kadee "clone" work well for you? If so, exactly what kind was it? Thanks.

    Dave R
  6. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I used super glue to attach the spring. It's a tricky job to do without gluing the whole assembly together. That's why I tried a pair of Bachmann EZ mate couplers. I used a pin sleeve from a KD #27 kit in both cases. I have made these sleeves from ballpoint pen cartridges when the KD sleeves weren't available.
    The #51 McHenry coupler may be a better alternative with the metal coil knuckle spring instead of the plastic whisker knuckle return spring types.
    Either way you do it be certain the coupler pocket slides freely in the pilot.
  7. DaveRS

    DaveRS New Member

    Thanks for the excellent info, Ray. Next trip to the hobby shop, I'll pick up these items. The Penn Line GG1, though a "shortie," was a fine loco for its time, and all metal, which you rarely see these days. It was nicely geared and out-pulled my buddy's 12-wheel drive Hobbytown E7. It was a Christmas present and I got the red one because the stores ran out of green ones. I was disappointed, but over the years have been glad that my dad got me a red GG1. I lived near the Trenton cut-off where we saw only green GG1s, but I saw red ones when we rode the train to New York. I'm in S scale now and recently purchased the American Models GG1 in green. It's a beautiful model, and scale length, but is missing some details, like ladders and handrails.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Dave,

    Sorry - I assumed that "Penn Line" was shorthand for PRR, not the manufacturer... :oops:

  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Andrew: Penn Line was a well known manufacturer of cast metal steam locos and trolleys and the GG1. They concentrated on locos of Pennsylvania, sepecially the PRR.
    They were bought by Bowser, and most of Bowser's PRR locos and 3 of their trolleys are Penn Line.
    Dave: does Kadee list a Bowser GG1? (does Bowser still make it?)
  10. DaveRS

    DaveRS New Member

    No, Kadee doesn't list a Bowser GG1. Actually, I didn't know they had made it when they took over the line. Bowser sold kits, and the RTR Penn Line GG1 had a very nice paint job that would have been hard to duplicate by home craftsmen. My GG1 has been handled quite a lot and still looks virtually new. Can't say the same for the pantographs, though. They didn't stand up very well to rough handling by kids. Mine have been straightened and repaired so many times it's a miracle they still work!

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