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Span Bolster trucks on locomotives

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  • Member since
    November 2019
  • 26 posts
Span Bolster trucks on locomotives
Posted by TractionAction1700 on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 10:56 AM

One thing that I have not often seen in Ho scale is span bolster trucks.

from what I know, span bolsters were a way of mounting 2 locomotive trucks under basically a bigger truck to distribute weight better/more power. A few examples would be the early UP gas turbines and the U50s that were built over the late GTEL chassis. Along with the N&W Jawn Henry and The Illinois Traction class C freight motors. I seen 1960s brass engines pull it off, what’s stopping companies from doing it? Athearn for example just put dummy trucks on each end of their U50 otherwise I would have bought one! 

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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 11:14 AM

Well at least some of the 1960s brass -- relying on memory here but I think the Illinois Terminal motors were an example --  "pulled it off" using a form of belt drive, which does not last forever and which is not easy to throttle down to slow speed in the smaller scales such as HO.  

These forums are replete with postings about how new and expensive locomotives have sometimes had problems and issues that the customer has to deal with or suffer with.  Quality control is becoming a real issue.  A fully powered U50 might be a wonderful thing or it might be one more set of complexities to go wrong.  Murphy decides.  

Dave Nelson

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 11:14 AM

 What's wrong with the way Athearn did the loco? It has the span bolsters. There's pretty much no way to get a flexible coupling in the short distance between the two trucks to power both AND still have the loco run on the layout of anyone who doesn't have a barn to build in. It pulls plenty enough with 4 drive axles.

Guarantee if a brass one from the 60's has all 8 axles powered, there are other compromises done to make it work that are probably even less appealing to just having non-powered trucks at the end.

                             --Randy 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 11:51 AM

I've looked at a couple of Athearns U50's, and I agree with Randy, what's wrong with that set up?

You'd need 48" curves at a minumum to run one IF they did figure out how to drive all 8 axles.

Someone in here has used Hobbytown drives for some of his locos,  to drive multiple trucks, but I don't think even that would work successfully in the U50's.

Mike.

  • Member since
    November 2019
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Posted by TractionAction1700 on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 11:54 AM

not trying to bash Athearn, been an off day for me, (took me 5 minutes or so to figure out what quarter past 8 means when I woke up today) just hoping to find some ideas on the various ways it could be done. I have a project with NWSL stanton Drives so I figured I’d see if anyone had good ideas. Pardon my tired articulation (ha, articulation, span bolsters.)

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 12:28 PM

The guy in here that has done things with the Hobbytown drives, I think his screen name is DarthSanta Fe?  

The stanton drives look like a good start.

Mike.

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