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Walthers vintage O gauge steam engine 060 switcher with Polydrive , 1940-1. Polydrive system developed by Walthers ...utilized standard components to create multiple steam engines ..from a 060 up to a 484.
Design was good but final product had many mechanical short comings ....resulting very few Polydrive engines are running today. Walthers planned to fix all the "issues" postwar ...but production never began.

See link for video

https://youtu.be/TU_tHQxf7ng



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In the 1946 & 47 Walthers catalog they have a laundry list of what will be "improvements" ..pointing out all the shortcomings .....alas post war production never seems to have happened ..

the Tenite ( plastic)  driver hub& spokes crack at the axle ..screws strip out

motor only mounts on front ..... too much bounce

aluminum frame filled with many holes for all the bits ..are flexible ( twist)

Walthers did supply engines for the 1939 World's Fair claiming they were Poly-drive .... I have one of the engines ...no Poly drive .. 

Post war   GMC / All Nation did a great job reworking all the bits from the Varney 460 into many steamers big and small ....and the quality worked .... and found a market for several decades .......  Walthers polydrive ... not so fortunate ...  with luck I'll be posting some photos and video of there Northern    ..the biggest offered .. also have a Mike and Mogul  both run  ok + -  ( all with the  polydrive ) ...darn few seem to be out there these days .

Cheers Carey

I think (and I may be wrong) that there is currently a Pacific up for grabs on eBay that might be a "Polydrive" model. I put in a rather low bid (just for kicks), so one of you will no doubt end up with it.

Here's a picture taken from the site of the underside:

s-l1600 [1)

Type in "Vintage Brass Toy Train Engine Tender Locomotive NY Central 5314"...and let us know what you think.

Mark (still) in Oregon

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Last edited by Strummer

So you also think it's a Walther's engine (?) What I found interesting is the "solid" trailing truck: kinda reminds me of the HO scale type from a John English kit. I checked my 1941 Walther's catalog to see if I could find a picture: sure enough, on page 11 there is a photo of their 4-4-2. It shows a similar truck. Fun stuff.

Mark in Oregon

I don't think real accurate quartering would be needed with the poly drive.    You need very accurate quartering when the side rods carry the power from the geared drivers to the others to maintain smooth power and avoid lockups etc.

With poly drive, the drivers are all driven from the internal shaft  and rods just ride along like the old Lionel and what not from 50s and such.    The rods on those old toy trains, even the nice were just along for the ride.    The better ones had most of the stuff needed but it carried no load.   So if there is no load the rods can be bored out sloppy if the quartering is a little off and the worst that will happen is a little noise.

Another thought, poly drive is not a whole different it appears than what we get on most O scale diesels with gearboxes on each axle connect to a single gear tower.    My newest SD9 has all axle powered with gearboxes all connected to a single shaft and gear tower is a good recent example from Sunset.

@prrjim posted:

With poly drive, the drivers are all driven from the internal shaft  and rods just ride along like the old Lionel and what not from 50s and such.    The rods on those old toy trains, even the nice were just along for the ride.    The better ones had most of the stuff needed but it carried no load.   So if there is no load the rods can be bored out sloppy if the quartering is a little off and the worst that will happen is a little noise.

American Flyer engines actually had just one driven axle with functional connecting rods, so there's an exception to this.

Polydrive is pretty interesting... it probably was an attempt to make quartering easier, but it seems to have just ended up introducing more problems.

Hello all ...yes the poly drive Pacific arrived ..Walthers poly drive chassis ..scratch built balance ...and tender ..

Poly drive seems to be missing the motor attachment ..as the motor is missing also Needs some love

If you still love the idea of owning the Pacific ...it can  be yours for what I'm in it

Pretty happy with the Poly drives in the collection already...060, 260, 282, and the 484.

Cheers Carey 1006212242~21006212231a~21006212233~21006212232~21006212235a_HDR~2

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Unless you are interested in PolyDrive in some historical sense (as Carey may be) it would be far easier to start from scratch, with decent drivers.

Let me recommend that you look for a Lobaugh Pacific to get started in major restoration.  You will have quality parts, and still a lot of soldering and fabrication to do.  A Scale Craft or Hines could also serve as a springboard, but test the drivers for insulation on those.

This one may not need a boiler barrel, but it sure needs new everything else.  Carey usually does ok, so he will survive this debacle.

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