The bar reinforces the truck structure and is the coupler mount for 3-rail. It allows the truck to spring, but not equalize. It's not really necessary unless the car is going to get bumped around a lot in transportation. On my 2-rail Atlas cars, I remove the bar (but put the screws back in) to allow the trucks to equalize a bit for smoother operation on the club layout.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

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prrjim posted:

Basically I agree. it makes teh trucks rigid.   Unfortunately some I have taken it off on have been pretty unstable.     I think most will work with the bar removed.

That's why I put the screws back in. It stabilizes the side frames but still allows them to equalize.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

In my experience with Atlas trucks with rotating bearing caps, that bar is best left in place, as any movement of the truck frames can trap the axles and prevent the wheels turning. Also the springs are so strong that without that bar they can force the frames inwards towards each other, with the same result.

 

Modelling the Soo Line in 2-Rail, from 5,000 miles away & 27 years too late.

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