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I bought a Weaver FA-2 Diesel loco a while back. It runs on my 3-rail layout and, of course, has the rollers for the middle rail. But, I just looked at the box and it says on the side "Either scale or 3-rail operation". I'm not sure what this means. Is this loco designed to be converted to 2-rail operation? Or, does it just mean that you can purchase either a 2-rail or 3-rail version?

As I'm planning a 2-rail shelf layout this winter, it would be cool to run this loco in 2-rail.

Many thanks for your insights.

Ralph

Last edited by HudsonORailRoader
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A lot of Weaver locos were available in both 2- and 3-rail.  If you've got the 3rd rail pickups, then you know what version you have.  The guts were tailored to the number of rails it was designed for, i.e. it's not a simple switch like Protosound 3/2.  Depends on the age too.  One I have my eye on has no digital control system in either the 2 rail or the 3 rail version.

As far as I know, Weaver made every one of their locomotives available in 2-rail and 3-rail versions.

3-rail locomotives had wheels with wide treads and large flanges, large 3-rail couplers and roller pickups for the center rail.  They had electronic reversing units (later TMCC and sound) and were made to run on AC current.  The wheels were not insulated from the axles and if these locomotives were placed on a 2-rail layout, they would create a dead short.

2-rail locomotives had wheels with narrow treads and small flanges, Weaver scale couplers (plastic Kadee knockoffs) and metal wipers against the wheels to pick up power from the rails.  They ran on DC current, not sure if they did any with DCC decoders or sound.  The wheels are insulated from the axles.

You cannot run your 3-rail Weaver Diesel on a 2-rail layout.

If you have an early weaver with the single motor drive, it is very easy to convert to 2 rail.  

The single motor drive 3 rail units had the same wheel pickups as the 2 rail units.    Conversion requires replacing the wheelsets, and rewiring the unit.     For 2 rail DC the wiring is very simple,   The wire from one side pickups goes to one side of the motor, and the wire from the other side pickups from  go to the other side of the motor.   You do not need any electronics for straight DC operation.

P&D Hobbies has stocked replacement wheelsets.    I don't know if they have any in stock right now.

@prrjim posted:

If you have an early weaver with the single motor drive, it is very easy to convert to 2 rail. 

The single motor drive 3 rail units had the same wheel pickups as the 2 rail units.    Conversion requires replacing the wheelsets, and rewiring the unit.     For 2 rail DC the wiring is very simple,   The wire from one side pickups goes to one side of the motor, and the wire from the other side pickups from  go to the other side of the motor.   You do not need any electronics for straight DC operation.

P&D Hobbies has stocked replacement wheelsets.    I don't know if they have any in stock right now.

Wow, that's great. I'll look into it. Thanks!

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

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