I have this 2-8-4 Berkshire that has hydraulic lines under back cab corners, which vastly restrict side-to-side motion of the rear truck, so that it won't even run on 072.  So I want to remove them, but not sure how.  They are made out of metal, and look to be a ball and socket design, so that they swivel as the rear truck moves.  I'm pretty sure they do not just "pop" in or out, and would like to remove them intact if possible.  The locomotive looks like an older model.  Looking for ideas.  Thanks!

Original Post

Even if you remove them (they are booster engine steam lines) you won't get around 072.  You will have to take a Dremel tool and cut the tail beam and cylinder block,  Sell it, and get a good Lionel Berk.

Listen to Bob 2 You will have to grind and butcher the model to get it around 072  circles.  Its not designed for that small of a radius. 

That model is a "brass import" and a very nice sturdy model, but it is not designed for the sharp 3 rail curves.   the parts you talk about are "lost wax" brass castings.    A friend had one and it would go around 48 inch radius (096 in 3-rail talk) if the track was well laid with no kinks etc.    I don't think the driver wheelbase would go around 036 (which is 18 inch radius).   I believe all drivers are flanged.   

You would have to blind the center drivers for that curve and then probably the lead truck would give you a problem too.

As mentioned above, if you want to stick with that curve radius, you might be a lot better off to sell this model and get a 3 rail one from Lionel or MTH.     Weaver also did an NKP Bershire in both 2 and 3 rail that is brass.    It has some mods for 3 rail track but is detailed brass if that is what you want.

My guess is you could sell this one depending on condition pretty easily at an O Scale show in the 6-700 dollar range.   Brass prices have come down with us old times fading away, so it won't command the price it would 10-15 years ago.

Thank you all for your comments!

Really don't want to sell, as it has sentimental value.  All of my stock is postwar 3 rail, and although the scale of this Berkshire is larger, it has awesome detail and it looks weathered, much like my old 3 rail.  I'm going to think about this one a bit.  I've pushed the engine around my 072, and it looks like my only issue in handling the curve is the rear truck.  Going to have to envision what other obstructions there are if these steam lines are removed.  As mentioned above, I don't want to butcher the whole thing.

If I can get this to handle the 072, going to convert my outside loop to run three or two rail.  Eventually going from Lionelville to "Real-ville".

As I mentioned, I have seen on like that go around 48 inch radius which would be O96.     I still think the drivers won't go around 072,

I would listen to BOB2 about this, he's attempted it before.  I believe that last time, he just bolted the mechanism from a Williams 3-rail Mikado under a Lobaugh boiler.

I admit, I don't understand...  Joe Foehrkolb (?sp) converts 3-rail steam locos to 2-rail all day long.  Why is going in the other direction so difficult?  Not only these proposed Berkshire conversions, but IIRC the Atlas 0-6-0 was shunned by the hard core 2-rail crowd for being "a 3-rail loco at heart."  On that loco, all drivers were flanged.  As a switcher, there were no issues of lead- and trailing trucks.

Is it because the driving wheel treads of a native 2-rail loco are prototypically narrower (and presumably its frame is thicker/wider), making it impossible to achieve sufficient lateral motion?  Removing the flanges from the center drivers is an obvious mod (and even some 2-railers do this when they're challenged for space.)  So what makes going from 2-rail to 3-rail so tough??

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Last edited by Ted S

2 rail lead trucks are usually more to scale , 3 rail are a bit longer for one thing. That helps keeping the wheels off the steam chest , many times the pilot is a little longer as well this allows the lead truck some more room, Blind drivers also help.  When Joe 2 rail's a model he is changing the tires on the drivers and insulating them, then he also either changes or trims and insulates the lead and trail trucks and tender wheels.  The longer boiler the longer lead truck are already there from the manufacture. The longer draw bar also helps on a tighter curve.

I am sure there is quite a bit I missed ,but you should get the idea.  Joe is a real craftsmen and he many times can foresee where other problems may lie in converting a 3 rail model.

 But if you want give Joe a call and he can tell you more

Plus 1.

Yes - we stuck a Williams Mike mechanism under a Lobaugh Berk.  We could do the same for you.  It did not cost much - I got to keep the leftover parts.

I did tell the owner that he was converting a $400 Berk and a $300 Mike into a $100 conglomeration, but that's what he wanted.  I can offer the same deal to you - I get all the spare pieces.  I even have a $300 Mike in stock.

But do what Ed says - get a nice display case!

Here is the Berk.  Those are Lionel 700T tender trucks, and I forget what the coupler is, but you can see it is big.Lobaugh Williams 020

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And here is the display case - you need one of these, and hide the Dremel tool.  It is an AC-4 hiding in there, but I wanted you to see he case.image

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Hi, 

The first thing I would do is take the rear truck assembly off and see if the drivers really will negotiate 072. I am skeptical with that piece.

If it does run, then you can consider any next step.

Can you consider getting a wider 2 rail loop on the layout first.

One thing I don't understand is, who are we saving these models for in the future? Within the past year one of the locals mentioned that he couldn't get his expensive Northern to negotiate the curves on his layout and he really wanted to run it. I told him to do whatever he needs to do to get it running. Who are you saving this engine for on the wall? So now he has died, and he didn't even get to enjoy running his engine. What good was that?

Don't be afraid to stategically move and remove stuff from the trains so you can run your treasures before you die.

 

Last edited by christopher N&W
christopher N&W posted:

Don't be afraid to strategically move and remove stuff from the trains so you can run your treasures before you die.

 

Prophetic words, Chris!

Rob M. ARHS # 3846 PRRT&HS # 8141 EPTC "Life Is Like A Mountain Railway, With An Engineer That's Brave..."

Chris  makes a very good point.  Its your model and you should do whatever pleases you.  As much as I feel its to nice to modify, You have a right to do what you like and enjoy it.  

 

Last edited by Franky-Ogee
Ed Kelly posted:

If the Berk has sentimental value, put it in a glass case on the mantel.  Don't butcher it.

Ed

This is the CORRECT answer. The minute you start carving it up it becomes something else.......most likely a pile of junk no one will want. There are a lot of static items that people enjoy, paintings, sculptures, on ad infinitum. This thing is a piece of art in it's own way.

Simon

There are a number of people here who just assume he will butcher the job. Have we no faith in our brothers?

I can tell you that many skilled modelers are making judicious adjustments to their models and happily running them, and nobody would know the difference by watching them run on their railroads.

Last edited by christopher N&W
christopher N&W posted:

There are a number of people here who just assume he will butcher the job. Have we no faith in our brothers?

No! If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn't be asking. Easy for you to say do this or do that when you have NOTHING in it. If the thing ends up junk, no skin off your nose.

Simon

Judicious adjustments are by definition good.  But he wants to go around corners - that will require butchering, not judicious adjustment, and even after half the mechanism has been butchered it still will not work well.

while I agree with the idea that it is his model and he can trash it if he wants, he did ask for our advice, and apparently is happy with our contributions.  He will use our input and do as he wants in the end.

Here is what I think is injudicious about this:  it will require removing significant metal from the cast frame, both fore and aft.  It will require removing about half of the lower portion of the cylinder block - easy, because the cylinder is probably a built-up unit.  It will require flange removal.

And it still won't work well, because scale flanges do not match O72 track.  There is a reason for those huge flanges on tinplate trains.

All opinion.

I am having some trouble getting you a shot of my drop-dead-gorgeous display cases.  Reflections are getting to me . . . This is a 17/64 scale AC-8, obviously in the living room.  Runs like a watch, but sits in the case.image

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Simon Winter posted:

No! If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn't be asking. Easy for you to say do this or do that when you have NOTHING in it. If the thing ends up junk, no skin off your nose.

Simon

Simon,

You don't know the guy's abilities and neither do I. 

NO—I have not said for him to do anything except one constructive thing that I'll repeat.

Take the back truck assembly off and try to run the model on the 072 curves. This seems like a logical first step. This may sort out any further ideas he might have about continuing on.

 

Last edited by christopher N&W
christopher N&W posted:
Simon Winter posted:

No! If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn't be asking. Easy for you to say do this or do that when you have NOTHING in it. If the thing ends up junk, no skin off your nose.

Simon

Simon,

You don't know the guy's abilities and neither do I. 

NO—I have not said for him to do anything except one constructive thing that I'll repeat.

Take the back truck assembly off and try to run the model on the 072 curves. This seems like a logical first step. This may sort out any further ideas he might have about continuing on.

 

I bought a Lobaugh berk with the goal of 3-railing it. The Berk has 60-ish inch drivers. The nekkid chassis will just go around a 36"r curve, with all drivers flanged. An 8-driver, 70"driver chassis ain't gonna make it unless there is a LOT of sideways movement available. Which in itself is  a butcher's delight.
The other thing is, even if you could get the loco to run on 36"r curves (T-rail track...), the track better be laid with near-micrometer precision.

Going from 2 to 3 rail is not tough.   It is very simple.    All you need to do is add center pickups and rewire the loco to pick up off the center and one side instead of off one side on the loco and one side on the tender.    

What is very difficult is getting a 2 rail loco to go around typical 3 rail curves.    48 inch radius, (096) is considered a minimum for small to medium steam and 54 to 60 inch radius is most often recommended.    

Most mfg make a lot of compromises to get a medium to large steamer to go around 3 rail curves.    As mentioned above, they most often lengthen the pilot truck and the pilot deck so the pilot truck swings around the cylinder ends.    they often have very little if any frame under the cab so the trailing truck can swing really far.     They almost always have blind drivers except the two ends.    These compromises often mean the smokebox and the firebox are longer than scale prototype.     also the drive wheel spacing will often be wider than scale to accomodate the larger flanges.

Now one thing in favor of scale locos is that they almost always are built with articulated side rods.    these are the big rods that connect the drivers to each other.     They are hinged at each driver on the prototype and also on most 2 rail locos done specifically for 2 rail.     This allows the two end drivers to slide slightly sideways in the SAME direction on a curve.    All 3 rail locos I have seen do have this feature.    they don't need it with blind drivers.    They all have solid, one-piece side rods, so when the lead driver goes into a curve, it pushes the rear driver in the opposite direction if all wheels were flanged.     For example I had a 2-rail version of a 2-10-4 built by a major 3 rail mfg to review for a magazine.    It was a nice model.    the 3-rail version would run on 072 or some such according to the mfg.    The two rail version would not go around 60 inch or O120, it had solid siderods and flanges on all drivers.    My layout has 52 inch minimum radius and it would not go around my curves.    I laid some temporary track and found it go around about 72 inch radius (0144).    the drivers had plenty of sideplay, but the siderods would let them adjust to curves.    I also owned an 0-8-0 switcher that had the same problem, it stalled on 48 inch curves but was happy with bigger stuff.   It was the diecast PRR 080 that came out some years ago.

Simon Winter posted:
christopher N&W posted:

There are a number of people here who just assume he will butcher the job. Have we no faith in our brothers?

No! If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn't be asking. Easy for you to say do this or do that when you have NOTHING in it. If the thing ends up junk, no skin off your nose.

Simon

 

I normally don't do this, but I'm going to this time--please read what Christopher wrote before going off on him--the only specific action he recommended was for the other member to remove the trailing truck from the engine...which will hardly be a cataclysmic event. 

Nothing he wrote seemed reckless or inappropriate, and we're all big kids here--and we should all be able to read a variety of replies on a forum and make a personal judgment about whether to proceed before doing anything to modify any model--and if something goes wrong the responsibility is easy to assign, as any advice is free and should be considered carefully before attempting any modifications to anything.

I admire a lot of the people here, but I find it to be a very safe statement to say that Christopher's modeling skills and layout building ability might be tops on the entire forum...bar none.

He's a sharp guy and he knows his stuff, and I've never known him to be anything but helpful to other forum members. 

Jeff C

Dirk, the first thing I want to know is...are the 2 center drivers blind or do they have flanges on them?  I have a 2-8-0 and the 2 center drivers are blind (it IS 2 rail) and it handles smaller radii fine.

What road name is it?

Rick

I removed the pin holding the leading edge of the rear truck to the frame.  This permitted the rear truck to swing out freely going around my 072 3-rail.  Was temporarily very happy!  Looked closer to the drivers, and they will not handle the 072 curve.  All drivers are flanged.  By the way, the road name is C & O.

So, I'm going to sit on this one and think about it a bit.  As I see it, have a couple options to consider: blind flanges on center drivers, slotted vs round hole on connection to leading edge of rear truck, and maybe conversion from 2 rail to 3 rail; put it in a case; find something I like more.

Fun to tinker with the possibilities.  I've been out of the hobby for 35 years and am enjoying getting back into it.  Thanks again for all the input, very helpful.

Regards,

Dirk

I have a Thirdrail, Pennsy Decapod, the drivers are flanged front and second from the back.  All other, (3), drivers are flangeless. 

Top shelf. 

The Weaver M1a/b, bottom shelf, is flanged front, and rear drivers, middle drivers are flangeless. 

Last edited by Mike CT

If you compare the Weaver M1A with a USH or MG model (2-rail) it appears that the pilot deck is too long to me.    But it runs well on 072 curves, so that is very good.

christopher N&W posted:
Simon Winter posted:

No! If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn't be asking. Easy for you to say do this or do that when you have NOTHING in it. If the thing ends up junk, no skin off your nose.

Simon

Simon,

You don't know the guy's abilities and neither do I. 

NO—I have not said for him to do anything except one constructive thing that I'll repeat.

Take the back truck assembly off and try to run the model on the 072 curves. This seems like a logical first step. This may sort out any further ideas he might have about continuing on.

 

I agree with Chris that this is a simple, reversible test. No harm done.

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

prrjim posted:

If you compare the Weaver M1A with a USH or MG model (2-rail) it appears that the pilot deck is too long to me.    But it runs well on 072 curves, so that is very good.

Three rail, it will operate on my O54 curves.  There is one back to back switch that requires reduced speed.   Agree the pilot and nose need shortened a bit.  Lengthened to allow the pilot wheels clearance from the steam chest. IMO.  One of Weaver's first brass offerings.   

Interesting to note that the Third Rail Decapod tender with the quad-wheel assemblies can also be track limiting feature. 

Last edited by Mike CT

Also we should note:  drivers designed for 072 are much thicker than the 2-rail standard drivers, and normally not sprung.  A blind sprung driver can easily miss the rail on a sharp curve with no way to get back up to rail height, possibly resulting in a spectacular derailment.

Which reminds me - it is easier to go from 3-rail to 2-rail for just that reason.  A couple cuts on a lathe brings a driver down to the correct width for 2-rail.  Much more difficult to add material to get to Hi Rail width.

Last edited by bob2

Bob,

Your are correct about making the drivers wider for 3 rail track.  If a 1/4" scale steam loco was manufactured correctly as a 2 rail model. there will be no room to fit wider 3 rail tires on the drivers.  Their will be interference between the side rods and the crossheads.  Making things smaller when converting 3 rail to 2 rail is not a problem.  Not so in reverse.  I would not even attempt it.  And if the loco is converted simply by installing three rail rollers I do not think the scale drivers will work to well on hi rail switches.  No one will be happy in the end.

in my experience with 2 rail conversions of Lionel and MTH steam models, I find that the hi rail drivers are usually about 0.230" wide front to rear of flange.  I machine my 2 rail drivers to 0.160" width, that is 0.070" machined off of the driver casting width, some from the front edge and most from the rear of the driver center.  This is done with the new rough tire blank pressed onto the driver center and held in a turning mandrel held in a precision collet checking axle run out with a Last Word dial indicator.  I can normally hold about 0.001" concentricity on my drivers.

I am currently finishing up the conversion of a MTH N&W Y-3 and Y-6b.  There is considerable difference in the mechanisms of these locos.  Y-3 is finished and operational and I hope to finish the Y-6b today.

Joe Foehrkolb

Latest Williams Mike went for $250 including very high shipping..  I will measure the drivers - they look bigger than 73".

Dirk, I'd have been surprised if the drivers negotiated 072 but wtih your earlier response about pushing it around there was hope. Sometimes by the time we get these older engines they've been worked over and messed with pretty well already and can do things far outside the norm.  

Jeff, thanks for the kind words and for backing my simple test idea and thanks to Engineer Joe for the same.

leikec posted:
He's a sharp guy and he knows his stuff, and I've never known him to be anything but helpful to other forum members. 

Jeff C

Sometimes advice given with the BEST intentions is NOT the BEST advice.

Audios,

Simon

Simon,

That is true and for that reason I won't hold your advice against you. 

I can tell you that If I'd have followed the advice of many of the "experts,"  including some here on this thread, I would not have gotten into 0 scale at all, would not have built a pretty nice operating layout, would not have had the many open houses and met with new and old friends, and would not have improved my skills by doing things similar too, but maybe not quite as extreme as Dirk is suggesting.

I don't know Dirk, and what he is suggesting is something I would not do myself, but who is anybody here to say that Dirk couldn't pull this off. Can't people just inform him on how to possibly acheive what he wants to do instead of shaming him into thinking what he is doing is a sin?

Recently, one of the people who is a good friend but also who would have been a complete wet blanket to what I've done in 0 scale, visited for an open house and came up to me and said, "Thank goodness you did not take any of my advice over the years."

The individual has to weigh the advice and their OWN confidence in their OWN skills.

He didn't ask for the best advice.  He asked for opinions, and I think he got a bunch of reasonably good opinions.  

I have a problem right now, and I am going to ask on a forum.  I am likely to get some really good advice, and then, after being educated, I will no doubt be better armed when I start in with screwdrivers and wrenches.  I will know better what to look for, before I spend hours looking.  If somebody says "well, dummy, what you need is a more experienced mechanic" I might secretly agree with him, but I shall ignore the dig. (It's a fuel leak).

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