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Anyone have any luck using or modifying MTH 2 Rail trucks on passenger cars.

I'm not going brass trucks.  I would like to use ready made 2R trucks.

The Atlas 7071 Zephyr trucks are nice but the MTH seem to have a better side frame detail.

I'm not worried about removing the coupler arm. The problem is the MTH have have the goofy high reversed pin mount and it's also off center.

I have enough sets of each to use either kind for my project.  The MTH ones better match the prototype I'm modelling but I can't decide if it's worth modifying them.

Atlas 7071


MTH 20-89007


Suggestions welcome.




Images (2)
  • 7071_800x
  • MTH-20-89007-2_600x600@2x~2
Last edited by WITZ 41
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NWSL may make wheelsets that do not need drilling.    Most passenger cars use 36 inch diameter wheels.

As for the offset kingpin, that is done to allow use on sharper curves.    Walthers did this for decades on their 6 wheel trucks.     Weaver made an injection molded version in Engineering plastic (delrin is a brand).   These roll very very well but the sides are one piece castings.   You might find these at train shows or perhaps from an online vendor.    Walthers made and now Scale City Designs make kits for these type trucks, I don't know the prototype..   Theirs are diecast zamak and the castings are generally quite sharp.   Assembly is simply screwing the bolster to the side frames.  

Great suggestions. Thanks guys.

I think I will try to pull a set apart and add a simple brass bolster.  I really like the MTH detail and can't beat the price for a ready-to-wire 2 rail set.


For the money I think they're the closest match for the CNW 400 lightweight cars.  I just need to center and lower the kingpin point for my Wichman car kits.

I'll see how it works out and post the results.  Thanks again!


Images (1)
  • IMG_20201121_215720414~2

Don't forget - you can use the existing bolster as a drill jig for the first one.  Once you get a brass bolster exactly the way you want it, you can make more as fast as you can cut brass rectangles.

Wheel diameter has nothing to do with journal size.  Scale wheels have larger journals.

If you start with HiRail, consider narrowing the side frames.

I have found no logical difference in journals between scale and 3-rail wheelsets.     All the Atlas ones I have dealt with have the same axles, whether 2 or 3 rail.    I have pulled the 3 rail wheels from some of the axles and replaced them with 2 rail wheels.

On most of the Lionel stuff I have converted, the 3 rail axles have larger journals than the 2 rail ones I used.   On some MTH cars, they have gone both ways.

I generally use needle point axles these days and they roll better.      Older Walthers and scalecraft may have larger diameter axles.

I wonder if there was enough demand here for the Protocraft modern 41 type 2 rail trucks with real ball bearings, if they'd make more?

Best truck I have owned so far. The next run they released was all proto48. I didn't have the cash to buy the standard 2 rail out. I wish I had.

I do like the way the MTH versions roll so well.

I have not gotten my hands on the Wasatch to compare. I hear they are the best.

"O" Scale 41-N Trucks

41-N Trucks
In Stock
Black with Ball Bearing Journals
Last edited by Engineer-Joe

The MTH truck sets I've ordered should be here next week. They are ready made 2 Rail trucks. So I don't believe I'll have any problems with wheel size or journal size.  As mentioned by others above, they're (obviously) just made to match and easily 2 rail existing MTH cars with their proprietary kingpin mount style and off-set for tighter radius.  Ready to roll and prepped for wiring, I couldn't beat the price at $26.95 a pair, even with the need to modify.

I ordered the Atlas truck sets first because Eddy said he uses them and for a reasonable price he knows they work with his kits.  I have half 7071 (black) and half 7070 (silver) because nobody seems to have enough in stock.  I figured I'd re-paint them all a matching black if I decide to use them.  New in box I figured I'll just sell them if I use the MTH.

I ordered the MTH after seeing the detail prototype matches better to a 41-N type. Plus all the same color. 10 for the 401 Models Kits I'm getting and an 11th for a possible future Parlor Observation Car kit Eddy is still developing. He agreed the detail is awesome on the MTH truck, but the design is problematic.

I'll post pictures of what I do and progress with these cars on the O Gauge C&NW photo thread...

Thanks again for the suggestions.


Last edited by WITZ 41

I have found no logical difference in journals between scale and 3-rail wheelsets. All the Atlas ones I have dealt with have the same axles, whether 2 or 3 rail. I have pulled the 3 rail wheels from some of the axles and replaced them with 2 rail wheels.

That is strange. Almost all of the 3-rail wheelsets I have replaced have journals somewhere around .070 in diameter.  NWSL wheelsets are just a shade under .090 (I could look it up, but it is too early).  I have not done any Atlas trucks, so maybe they are closer to NWSL.  If you are using Atlas axles with scale wheels then you do not have to modify the Atlas side frame.  And if you are using pointed scale axles in 3-rail sideframes, you are mis-matching, since most are set up for shouldered journals.  That, and they will probably fall out, since scale wheelsets are narrower by a bunch.

It isn't a logical difference - it is a physical difference.  

Last edited by bob2

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