Possibility of Scale & HiRail

Hi Folks,

Is it possible to make a transition car with scale coupler at one end and traditional (hirail) at the other?

I guess I would have to change the hirail wheels to scale on the front and use a scale truck/wheels/coupler on the back.  Would this work?

If not, how do you do a transition car?

 

 

 

 

Original Post

You are asking two questions??:

"Is it possible to make a transition car with scale coupler at one end and traditional (hirail) at the other?"

Yes. To make a transition car all you need is a scale (Kadee coupler) on one end and an AF (claw) coupler on the other. No wheels need to be changed.

Your second comment is a little confusing:

"I guess I would have to change the hirail wheels to scale on the front and use a scale truck/wheels/coupler on the back."

You would never mix wheel types (scale, small flange on one car end and hi-rail on the other). If you are converting an AF type car where the trucks and couplers are molded together then yes, one of the trucks would have to be changed to allow the addition of a scale coupler.

The easiest method is to use American Models or SHS/MTH trucks on both ends of the car. The couplers are removable with these trucks and allow the addition of scale couplers after removing the hi-rail coupler from one end. The wheelsets on this type of truck are easily changed to either scale or hi-rail as desired.

Mark

Hi Folks,

Is it possible to make a transition car with scale coupler at one end and traditional (hirail) at the other?

 

IT done many a times. Lobster claw at one end and the Kadee Body mount on the other.

I guess I would have to change the hirail wheels to scale on the front and use a scale truck/wheels/coupler on the back.
Would this work?

NOt really. It depends on What track type you are running on. If it's scale code 148 track then yes the wheels need to be scale and insulated. If it;'s tubular track then no. If it's Atlas O, Scaletrax, or Gargraves track then NO again. 

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

prrhorseshoecurve posted:
Hi Folks,

Is it possible to make a transition car with scale coupler at one end and traditional (hirail) at the other?

 

IT done many a times. Lobster claw at one end and the Kadee Body mount on the other.

I guess I would have to change the hirail wheels to scale on the front and use a scale truck/wheels/coupler on the back.
Would this work?

NOt really. It depends on What track type you are running on. If it's scale code 148 track then yes the wheels need to be scale and insulated. If it;'s tubular track then no. If it's Atlas O, Scaletrax, or Gargraves track then NO again. 

Since this is from the S scale forum, I take it we are talking two-rail track and all wheel sets are insulated regardless of whether the wheels themselves have "scale" or hi-rail flanges. 

Choose the wheelsets based on what track you're using.  If your using Flyer, S FasTrack or S-Trax, stick with Hi-rail wheels.

Scale wheels don't like first run SHS turnouts or American Models unmodifed turnouts.  The new Fox Valley turnouts are also specific made for scale OR hi-rail, but not both.

Rusty

Thanks to all, but I guess I should have been clearer.

North Penn S Gaugers run on American Models Track which accommodates both Hi-Rail & Scale.  I am going to use FlyerChief engines with cars modified to scale.  Perhaps just changing the couplers would be enough, but I did like the idea of scale wheels/trucks.

On my home layout (when it gets built), I will be using FastTrack (with the rumored wider radius track and switches).  I have friends who run scale and wanted to use my cars on their layout as well (can't use hi-rail on the scale track). 

Once again, thanks.

Francine posted:

Thanks to all, but I guess I should have been clearer.

North Penn S Gaugers run on American Models Track which accommodates both Hi-Rail & Scale.  I am going to use FlyerChief engines with cars modified to scale.  Perhaps just changing the couplers would be enough, but I did like the idea of scale wheels/trucks.

On my home layout (when it gets built), I will be using FastTrack (with the rumored wider radius track and switches).  I have friends who run scale and wanted to use my cars on their layout as well (can't use hi-rail on the scale track). 

Once again, thanks.

Are you referring to American Models, SHS/MTH or SSA rolling stock?  If so, and you like Kadee couplers, I'd suggest you leave the wheels hi-rail (the trucks are the same in most cases with these 4 brands) and change the couplers (or just one coupler on the conversion car). Reason being, that if they are only ever going to be on AM track or Fastrack then you don't need the scale wheels and you'll reduce the risk of de-rails.  Sounds like you are a bit like me in that you are technically a hi-railer, but you want more realism in your trucks and couplers than what Flyonel offers with their rolling stock.

 

Actually I am using the American Flyer (Lionel) and American Models cars.  I was going to use the old Flyer, but gauging the wheels is a real problem.   Anyway the detail is so much better on the new stuff.

So I am looking for relevant SHS, MTH, Flyer (new) and American Models stuff.

My layout allows operation of equipment with either scale or highrail wheels. I do it routinely. The track is MTH .138 rail flextrack. The turnouts were custom built on FasTrack jigs using the .138 rail, the jigs required modification to accommodate the .138 rail. Some design features of the layout are minimum #5 turnout, minimum #6 mainline turnout, all mainline through routes use the straight leg of the turnouts and the minimum radius is 30" with easements. If anyone wants to see videos of similar turnouts with both scale and highrail equipment Tom Stoltz still has them posted on his website.

There are some unforgiving items when doing this. For example all highrail cars need the wheels perfectly gauged or they will jump at the turnout guide and wing rails. I had to regauge about 80% of my Gilbert cars and 100% of the Lionel production cars.  All the MTH and American Models cars worked right out of the box.

Just because scale wheel sets work on the layout does not mean S scale trains can be operated on the layout. With a 30" radius only scale diesels and small steam engines will track through the curves. Most S scale steam engines seem to need at least a 36" minimum radius. Also at a 30" radius cars with body mounted couplers need to be coupled to similar sized cars, an 80' passenger car will not work coupled to a 40' reefer. The main challenge with visitors scale equipment is all the S scale operators I know use either DC or DCC. My layout uses Legacy and conventional AC, so the visitors scale engines cannot be used.

As others have said, no problem making transition cars for the couplers.

Tom

Mikeaa posted:

The South Jersey S Gaugers, one of the groups that had a modular layout on display at the 2017 NASG Convention, uses closed frog turnouts to run scale and hi-rail equipment.

WP_20170812_002Mike A.

It never fails to amaze me as to why any of the current S track manufactures didn't choose to make this type of turnout.  (Although, I can pretty much guess why...)  It would seem the best way to satisfy both ends of the market.

Rusty

North Penn S Gaugers (pictured on the front of the article on the Baltimore convention, but not mentioned) uses hand laid switches that accommodate both Scale and HiRail.

There are usually very few problems, although some hi-rail engines and passenger cars have to speed up alittle going through switches.

 

AmFlyer posted:
Most S scale steam engines seem to need at least a 36" minimum radius.

Well,  not quite. 

The River Raisin brass NKP Berkshire will negotiate my 33" radius curves,  although admittedly the RR SP MT5 4-8-2 won't.  AM's scale wheel Northerns will handle at least 30" radius curves.  My old Sunset Models Challenger (when it ran) could also handle 30" radius curves.

Rusty

Rusty, thanks for the information on the scale engines. Both of my AM Northerns have high rail wheels, I am kind of surprised the AM scale wheel version will handle a 30" curve with flanged drivers, these are big engines.

Closed frog turnouts are a good idea, the rail needs to be at least .138 for high rail equipment. I tried  code 125 rail because it would have saved me a lot of money (commercially available rather than custom made turnouts.) The Code 125 was just not quite tall enough for high rail equipment. Even the .138 rail is marginal, we had to remove every spec of ballast above tie level close to the inside of the rail.

Tom

Francine,

Do you have or can you get a picture of one of their turnouts?  I did see the layout, but I did not look at the turnouts.  At the time I was too distracted by the massive amount of smoke they were chugging out with Flyerhief Northern and PE Berkshire running at the same time! LOL

Tom,

Trout Creek Engineering/BK Enterprises did sell closed frog "TRU-SCALE HI-SPEED S SCALE TURNOUTS FOR HI-RAIL" in codes 125 and 148 that were advertised as capable of running both Scale and Hi-Rail.  The website is still up  (scroll down for the Hi-Speed Turnouts), but I don't know much about Trout Creek and I'm not sure if they are still available. 

The Tru-Scale patent for the turnout goes back to the 1960's.

Thanks, Mike A.

P.S.  If anyone is so inclined there were two articles in Model Railroader (9/81 and 6/11) on building closed frog turnouts.  They were for HO, but I imagine you could use them as a basis for S.

 

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