Question for South African Railways/Spoornet modeler

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Jorge, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. Jorge

    Jorge Member


    I have a 1' ft by 12' ft HO switching layout. Whats neat about the layout that draws comments from my friends, is that I use models of export ALCO's General Electric's and EMD's to power the trains on my railway. I recently got a Lima SAR EMD GT26MC and in your website you stated that "Half axle wheelsets intended as high-quality replacements for Athearn locos were used". What are these half axle wheelsets? I want to replace the wheels so I can get better running characteristics. Also if you need models of the SAR General Electric U20C's these are made by a Brazilian model company called Frateschi, I got a couple of undec's for my railway.


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  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    J B and Northwest Shortline both make half axle wheel sets of nickel silver as replacements for Athearn diesels. I've heard that the J B sets are better.
  3. Jorge

    Jorge Member

    Hello Russ.

    Thank you for your help, but I'm still confused as to what they mean by half axle?

  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Athearn wheelsets are joined in the center by a plastic sleeve with gear cast on. It is because they use all-wheel pickup, and have to insulate the wheels from each other. To replace the wheels, just pull them out of the sleeve, and push in the new ones, and insure they are properly gauged.
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Member

    O.K. I see. Thanks
  6. SARModel

    SARModel New Member

    Hi Jorge

    I used the NWSL 40" wheelsets, on the power truck side I used the existing Lima gears to hold the axle halves, on the front trcuk I used plastic tubing.

    I've got one of the Frateschi locos, but I'm not too impressed with it - for a start, it's more like 1/76th scale, instead of 1/87, plus it's a U20C, which in South Africa was a class 33, and looked completely different (here's one - the GE version of the class 34 was a U26C.

    There are a few of our class 35s (EMD GT18MC) out your way now - I can't remember which operator they went to, but they look like a shorter version of the EMD 34.

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