Hello all, I am looking to have an Weaver Pennsy 4-6-0 converted from 3 rail to 2 rail. Joe at Baldwin Forge and Machine isn't currently taking on new work.  Does anyone out there have a source for this type of work.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike

Original Post

There is a guy in the Indy area that does p48 conversions.  He might also be wiling to do 3-rail to 2-rail.  If he can do p48, he can do 3-rail to plain old 2-rail.  I think his business name is Hanson Rail Service or something to that effect.  He had a table at the Indy show this year, and he's the guy that runs the p48 meeting at the Chicago and Indy shows.

Matt Forsyth is definitely a good option as well. 

EDIT: well, I got part of that wrong.  Wrong Hanson.  I think Paul Hanson does the p48 meetings, and Jim Hanson does the conversions.  I still don't have any contact info for him though.

Jim

You are exactly right Dave, Weaver definitely made these in 2 rail BUT I have only seen 3 of them offered in the past 5 years and they were all priced at over $500, much higher than a conversion.  Because Weaver produced 10x more 3 rail versions than 2 rail, they seem to be pretty scarce?  I actually ordered a 2 rail version when they were new but was put on a waiting list because of the demand at the time. I purchased the 3 rail version with the idea of converting it down the road.  Here I am 25 years later, ready to pull the trigger. 

68" drivers?  You might keep an eye open for USH drivers and just do a swap.  I have been buying those 68" drivers for $25/axle since the days of LocoWorks.  They work out to 63" in 17/64, a very common size.  They must have imported hundreds separately from the Alleghenies.

Cadillac Mike posted:

You are exactly right Dave, Weaver definitely made these in 2 rail BUT I have only seen 3 of them offered in the past 5 years and they were all priced at over $500, much higher than a conversion...............

The estimated $500 cost of a 2 rail engine will be offset with the sale of the existing 3 rail model.  The last engines we had converted came in at $55.00 per axle. 

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

Tom Tee posted:
Cadillac Mike posted:

You are exactly right Dave, Weaver definitely made these in 2 rail BUT I have only seen 3 of them offered in the past 5 years and they were all priced at over $500, much higher than a conversion...............

The estimated $500 cost of a 2 rail engine will be offset with the sale of the existing 3 rail model.  The last engines we had converted came in at $55.00 per axle. 

Was that Joe's price?  Have to expect that anybody else picking up this sort of work is going to charge more. Joe was very generous with his pricing.


There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

Joe charges $60/ axle when he is able to take on the work. I have been quoted anywhere from $60-75/axle.  Since I have already done the pony trucks and tender wheels, I am looking at $180-200 for the conversion which is still a far cry from buying a two rail model at $500+ plus I can use my existing engine which has sentimental value.  I found a set of 2 rail drivers in my scrap bin that may fit the bill if the bearings are the right size. I have all of the needed linkage, etc. so I may not have to send out the model.  Going to work in this after the new year. 

That's the easiest way.  Often, though, you will need a new main frame.  My MTH Hudson and Lionel FEF have different drivers (Lobaugh and USH) and new main frames.  I got a hundred bucks each on eBay for the old stripped frames.

I wouldn't touch a Lionel driver for less than $120.  Maybe if I had an automatic screw machine for the tires . . .

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