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This seems to be an inherent issue with the Weaver Allied style trucks.  I have 5 of these cars and in three of them the side frames have broken off.  It appears that Atlas has modified the cars to remove the Weaver style bolster in favor of the truck mounted bolster common to modern Atlas freight cars. 

I see prototype photos online where in some cases the trucks were replaced with AAR style express trucks and even standard Bettendorf freight trucks. 

So two questions:

  1. Can the Atlas truck side frames be used to repair the original Weaver design or even replace the Weaver trucks with modifications?
  2. Are Atlas Allied trucks even available as a repair part?  I know getting Weaver parts is "unobtanium".
  3. When the Allied trucks were replaced with more conventional style trucks were these cars still used in express service?


That was three questions.  As they say, "NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

I think the Weaver cars are great, just wish the trucks were a wee (a lot) more robust!  I appreciate the input from all the troop car experts out there. 

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I placed an order with Atlas just last week. Was in need of a few parts one being a sideframe. All the items were shipped except the sideframe. I no longer see it listed on the parts site. I’m guessing it was a direct replacement and that’s why it was offered as they were an issue on the Weaver cars. They do show a replacement 2 rail truck.

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If the mounting portion of the truck is different. You might be able to swap the sideframes over to what you have. The original Weaver cars had the widest wheel tread I have ever seen in 3 rail and I always wondered why they were made like that.

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Johnathan, I purchased some 2 rail brass milk cars. Was always dealing with derailments on my 3 rail layout. Decided to put Atlas Commonwealth trucks on them. I only used the sideframes of the Atlas trucks. I made up a truck mount out of brass. Lately I’ve been using aluminum strips from Home Depot. This enabled the car to sit at the right height and have a correct mounting hole.

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I’ve used the same procedure with the newer Lionel milk car trucks and Bettendorf.

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Jonathon,

I have read that the original prototype Allied trucks were troublesome - I can't remember if it was derailments at speed or other tracking problems.     I think most RRs speed restricted them even though they were "passenger trucks"

It seems most likely that the RRs replaced the trucks when they inherited the cars and put them in express service.   If they were typical express cars that ran in passenger trains, they should have a passenger truck to handle the typical higher speeds and track better.     If they are to used as MOW or in LCL work in freight trains, then bettendorf type freight trucks would be appropriate.

Ron Sebastian at Des Plaines hobbies was making new underframes with an NC cutting machine, out of acrylic plastic.   

A buddy of mine has 5-6 of these cars and the underframes on his were expanding and splitting the bodies.    He got one or two underframes from Ron but could not get any more.    Of course Ron is gone now.

@CAPPilot posted:

Jonathan,

The car’s frame has zinc rot.  I have been looking for one of these REA cars that do not have this issue for years, and I have come to the conclusion that they all have it.  Do you have a replacement frame?

I have three additional Weaver troop cars.  Two are hospital cars in different paint schemes and one sleeper.  I already managed to break the side frame off of the trucks of one of those a few years back.  I knew they were fragile.  However, the frames are good.  I might take the one that has the broken truck and use the frame as a donor. 

@Dave_C posted:

Johnathan, I purchased some 2 rail brass milk cars. Was always dealing with derailments on my 3 rail layout. Decided to put Atlas Commonwealth trucks on them. I only used the sideframes of the Atlas trucks. I made up a truck mount out of brass. Lately I’ve been using aluminum strips from Home Depot. This enabled the car to sit at the right height and have a correct mounting hole.

8FBA453B-4CB6-4E13-94C8-C0E27F0558BE

I’ve used the same procedure with the newer Lionel milk car trucks and Bettendorf.

Nice fix.  There is a set of PSC trucks of this style on that auction site now for a decent price, but I was going to keep these as three rail cars.  However, they are era appropriate for my 2 rail collection too.  Interesting thought. 

@ThatGuy posted:

Would a good one replicated in plastic work? If so 3D it?

That is probably the ultimate answer.  I would love to get into 3D printing, but space restrictions are an issue now.  However, 3D printing an entire truck assembly would be a great solution.  I like the look of the Allied Cushion trucks as they are just different.  Something to definitely consider. 

@prrjim posted:

Ron Sebastian at Des Plaines hobbies was making new underframes with an NC cutting machine, out of acrylic plastic.  

A buddy of mine has 5-6 of these cars and the underframes on his were expanding and splitting the bodies.    He got one or two underframes from Ron but could not get any more.    Of course Ron is gone now.

From what I see on the auction sites, one could make a pretty decent side business creating frames and trucks for these cars. 

Jonathon,

I checked in with my buddy about the cars because I sort of remembered that the underbody details were separate from the floor.    He just confirmed that on his.    A solution he came up with for the floors was to make a new one out of a piece of think plywood.   I think styrene would work too.    Here is his reply"

" Yes, I took all of mine apart.    If you don't, you risk having the body deform as the slab swells and buckles.

The floor, or platform, is one big slab.    The "under-frame" is a separate casting screwed on.    The brakes &c are separate pieces.
My initial plan was to cut thin plywood to replace the rotting platforms.   I figured I could screw on the metal under-frames and add the details.
Des Plains Ron was going to make the platforms in laser cut acrylic plastic, and also make a detailing kit, but never got around to it, before he passed."
This does not address the truck problem, but any 2 axle express/passenger truck would work for express service I think.

Jonathan,

Yes, you are correct in thinking that somebody could make a fortune selling replacement parts for these cars.  I also have several and I do recommend that you take your shells off before the frame swells/deforms and destroys the shell.

I have tried for several years to get Atlas to do another run of 3 rail Allied trucks and the response has been disheartening to say the least.  Last time it was “we’ll make those the next time we make a run of troop cars, and I don’t know when that will be…”

As somebody above mentioned, prototype Allied trucks were not long lived as apparently it was very difficult to detect faults in them prior to (catastrophic) failure.

I have wrestled with the idea of putting Atlas Commonwealth trucks under these cars and I probably will eventually go that route, but I keep foolishly holding off for Atlas Allied trucks to appear…

Good hunting,

Price

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