2-railing a Lionel E8/9

   Okay, just put in my order for a pair of Lionel Burlington Northern E8's (although the numbers seem more consistent with E9's).  Rather than attempt a full conversion to DC/DCC which would be more trouble than it's worth, I'm set up so I can switch out power supplies to my layout without too much trouble to run any variety of manufacturer's locomotives.  So my question is....does anyone know of someone experienced that  I can send them out to who is really experienced at swapping out 3-rail wheelsets and pick-ups for 2-rail?  I could probably muddle through myself, but I already have so many projects and I haven't attempted a locomotive before. 

Original Post

I stand corrected...these are indeed E8's...not E9's.  after checking photos online, it looks like this pair had the simple white diagonal nose stripes on a narrower field than their brethren, which had the wider field with red and white stripes.  Also looks like these locos had both headlights and Mars lights while the others had a single headlight with some type of red warning beacon directly underneath the headlight housing.  Perhaps this was used to differentiate between units assigned for passenger or freight service...?

Yes, I did consider that....I was weighing the cost of repainting and detailing a set of Sunset 2-rail E-8's at $1340 (retail) a set, vs 2-railing a set of Lionel E-8's at $1,000 (retail) a set.  Of course each set would be less expensive depending on the dealer.   Both 3rd rail units would be powered vs only one power unit from Lionel. Lots of things to consider.

Joe Foehrkolb at Baldwin Forge & Machine did some Lionel Santa Fe E6's for friends of mine which came out great. Then Lionel redesigned the power trucks and IIRC he said the new ones were much too difficult to work with so he wasn't doing anymore. Still might be worth a try. The Lionel pair having only one powered unit might reduce your consist pulling capabilities.

Hello,

How many wheel sets are powered on the Lionel E8/9 unit trucks?  I have converted many Lionel diesels to 2 rail but if these are Lionel locos that only have one powered axle on each truck and depend on rubber traction tires. forget it.  Once converted they will hardly pull their own weight without traction tires.

Joe Foehrkolb

Baldwin Forge & Machine

Mojave Mike posted:

   Okay, just put in my order for a pair of Lionel Burlington Northern E8's (although the numbers seem more consistent with E9's).  Rather than attempt a full conversion to DC/DCC which would be more trouble than it's worth, I'm set up so I can switch out power supplies to my layout without too much trouble to run any variety of manufacturer's locomotives.  So my question is....does anyone know of someone experienced that  I can send them out to who is really experienced at swapping out 3-rail wheelsets and pick-ups for 2-rail?  I could probably muddle through myself, but I already have so many projects and I haven't attempted a locomotive before. 

I have done these myself and had Joe at Baldwin Forge do trucks for me . The key is if the truck has all axles gear driven , most only have 2 of 3 axles powered , early E6, SD40-2 , and U30c Lionel's had all axles powered and make beautiful 2 rail engines . NWSL makes the wheels and insulators, axles to convert these if you have an arbor press , the axles come out of the sandwiched truck block but you still have to make wipers and assemble the 2 rail wheel sets . I would think 2 powered units would be mandatory for an 6-8 car train in 2 rail. Might be easier to buy 3rd rail and repaint to BN .

I had quite a few 2 rail TMCC diesels , SD70(K-Line) , Lionel ,SD40-2 , E6 ATSF  ,Atlas GP60's and Dash8-40b's  worked quite well , never had any issues of electronics like people have today . Lionel TMCC was very easy , I had a Trainamerica signal enhancer which put the TMCC signal down both rails , worked beautifully .

Funny Lionel makes American flyer which is 2 rail and has Legacy , why they don't offer BTO 2 rail O , I think they are missing out , atleast they could do diesels easily . Those diecast ES44's would be super 2 rail models, they have all axles driven .

Looks like Scott did the later version of the CB&Q E8s but he didn't do Great Northern. Being late versions they'll prolly fit into the BN livery fairly well.  I've got a confirmed order from a standby reservation I made last month and I'm getting em you you could prolly still order a set

MTH Authorized Service Tech

President Chief Operations Officer, The Lenny Lines

 

I love my trains!!!

 

http://www.netanimations.net/Moving-picture-steam-locomotive-running-animated-gif.gif

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