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Can someone take a picture of the underside of an Atlas troop sleeper car with the trucks rotated to the side? I want to modify one to add steps at the end corners but they might foul the turning of the trucks, and the model I own only has the 2R trucks which might not have the same clearances as 3R trucks.


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Well, what I mean is that the radius of the curves you use will determine how much swing the trucks require -- they will need more room to swing on a small radius curve than on a large curve.

I am not a 3-rail modeler, but I believe (based on converting some Atlas boxcars) that the Atlas 3-rail trucks are the same as the Atlas 2-rail tucks, just with different axles/wheels. So you should be able to run your 2-rail troop sleeper through one of your curves and see if there is enough room for steps. If there is, then change the axles/wheels to 3-rail and add the steps.

Here is the issue... Atlas specifies 0-45 radius curves on their website (I assume that they mean 0-45 diameter) but that is with only tiny little corner stirrup steps on the cars that won't interfere with the truck swing. But some railroads like the Bangor and Aroostook added swing-down corner steps which are MUCH LARGER than the tiny corner stirrups (see picture here:, and if I want to model the cars with those larger steps I need to figure out how much swign the trucks will have on 0-45 curves.

I only have a pair of 2-rail trucks for these cars and the swing might not be the same as with 3-rail trucks.

As I said before, in my limited experience the Atlas  3-rail trucks are the same as the 2-rail trucks (just different wheels) -- so they have the same pivot point and the same swing. Therefore, you can test your clearances just by using the 3-rail trucks you already have. If I'm wrong about that, I'm sure someone with more knowledge of 3-rail equipment will correct me.

To put it another way -- Atlas does not make different trucks for 3-rail versus 2-rail operation. That would not make sense economically. The difference between them is the design of the wheels (2-rail versus 3-rail), presence or absence of a pick-up roller, and presence or absence of an attached (3-rail style) coupler. Again, this is based on my experience with Atlas 3-rail cars I have purchased and converted to 2-rail: you can simply remove the claw coupler and put 2-rail replacement Atlas wheel sets into the trucks. The truck swing is unchanged.

I don't have the Atlas version, so my photos are of an original Weaver troop sleeper.

Here is the max truck swing.

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I have an O44 curve in my staging yard (made with Gargraves flex track), and here is one of the cars on that curve.

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Like jstraw124 said, the limiting factor is coupler swing.  On a tighter curve, the truck would be able to swivel a little more, but the couplers between cars would bind and derail the cars.

The first thing the coupler hits is the wire grab on the car end.

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Images (5)
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