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Tunnel Access ? ... I'm At The Planning Stage
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 Posted: Sun Jan 16th, 2022 02:21 pm
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Almostretired
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Hadn't thought about the leaving a switch open scenario...

I know there are electrical light indicators for that,
and probably even track power wiring safeguards,
but that's a level of complexity I am looking to avoid.

I am starting with A Bachmann heritage set, but several couplers were damaged.
In looking at replacing them I read bad things about the Bachmann E-Z Mate couplers,
so I switched to Kadee #148s since I need couplers for scratchbuilt cars anyways.

As for trucks, I have gone thru multiple scenarios.
Other than their bright red color, I liked the Bachmann archbar freight trucks,
that came under the tender to my 2-6-0 McBurger steamer. 
That was until I priced them starting at $18 the pair.
How and what I settled on I guess I should discuss in the other thread,
I started asking about vendor experience with San Juan Car company.

Basically, I settled on Tichy HO archbar trucks, but using Kadee On30 24" wheel sets,
a very reasonably priced solution for my needs, at least. buying in multiples, of course,
I can assemble reasonable looking archbar freight trucks for less than $8 a pair.

I have some different gauges of sheet copper (denser than steel) to fashion weights
to hide under my cars, also looking at hollow center sills for stashing birdshot.
If I let shot run back and forth loose, I could get some realistic jumping
when the train takes up slack, or slows.... just kidding about that last part.




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Mark from Illinois
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 Posted: Sun Jan 16th, 2022 04:52 pm
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Steven B
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Hahahahaha. 

Nothing like slack running out on freight cars. 
Fortunately for your Conductor, they are "small trains" ! 
There is nothing like the uncushioned bang, bang, bang, bang...
bang, uh ! Dang ! in a caboose.
Hold tight.

It's not just an open switch, if it doesn't throw all the way,
or something hangs up the points...  yikes ! 
Switches require maintenance.  If you're going to have one in a tunnel,
make it accessible to see it.  Just my experience here.

To me it sounds like the Tichy option is a good one if you like the look. 
I am trying to go with the McCloud (I don't think that is how they spell it) trucks. 
They make a "Carter" style that suits my rivet counting recovery. 

Wheels for them ?  Well I am having a problem with that though. 
They are spendy, but I saw a fix that I have not tried yet, building new axles. 
It comes down to a matter of time.
 
So just be cautious with the long inaccessible tunnels. 
They will be your achilles heel.
 
Fewer moving parts are the key.




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Steven B.
Humboldt & Toiyabe Rwy
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 Posted: Sun Jan 16th, 2022 06:29 pm
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Almostretired
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I've ruled out a switch in the tunnel,
not that stuck on that particular plan anyways.

Steven, I don't know if this next info will help with your truck building,
but it's a result of my own axle/frame research.

The San Juan truck kits I like are fitted for #37131-4 NSWL WHEELSETS.
Those NWSL axles are cylindrical, not pin-pointed,
which means the SJ frames are drilled for a cylindrical bearing, not a point,
not a problem, but it seems to eliminate pointy axle substitutions into SJ frames.

A bigger problem for me is that those NWSL wheelsets are, grab your socks:
$25 for a set of 4 axles.  Could these be the "spendy" wheelsets you speak of ?
There are rivet counters and there are bean counters, and I am definitely the latter.
No way can I invest $25 per car into just NWSL wheelsets.

My possible solution, is that Tichy sells their Nylon cone bearings separately if you want.
Tichy's frames are in a different plastic so you get little white nylon cone bearings
to pop into a cylindrical hole in the frame casting.
My plan if San Juan ever tells me what's up with my questions,
is to insert the Tichy nylon bearings into the SJ truck, and run Kadee 24" pointy axles.


48 bearings for $3.50 :

https://www.tichytraingroup.com/Shop/tabid/91/c/trucks/p/3059-bearings/Default.aspx

If interested, I can measure a bearing from my kits.


Some may ask why don't I just order a kit from San Juan, and see ?

Well, I really don't want to reward poor communication, actually it's not poor, it's zero,
and I also don't want my credit card to disappear into a unresponsive company either.




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Mark from Illinois
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 Posted: Sun Jan 16th, 2022 08:14 pm
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Steven B
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Yup those be the spendy ones. 

I might have bought some years ago, when I was rich and famous,
maybe, now I am poor and notorious, can't do it.  

I like the Kadee sets, axle length is the only problem that I can see. 
They are made on HO length axles.
I use On3 Trucks, they are just a tad wider and don't fit. 
All my trucks need 24" wheels to be "correct".

I like the bearings. 
I wonder if they take out the distance ?

The McCloud trucks need bearings because they are styrene,
and the axles grind out the styrene "bearing" and the truck fails.  
I had gotten some before but do not recall where. 

Soon I'll have to just bite the bullet and figure this stuff out. 
I am just having too much fun with the 1/4 doll houses right now. 
And a layout is going to take some real construction.  

San Juan bought the Grandt Line products.
Those are not "old", they're the new ones. 

Makes me wonder, why they don't answer ?




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Steven B.
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 Posted: Sun Jan 16th, 2022 11:01 pm
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Nice Guy Eddie
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I think sometimes what can happen is,

IF other manufactures products, are mentioned in an inquiry,

another company, may well not feel able to advise on use etc.


So perhaps they just don't answer some complex inquiries,

involving different frames, wheels, & bearings etc.


They could be better at answering, just on their stuff ?

L:

Eddie.




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 Posted: Mon Jan 17th, 2022 12:21 am
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Almostretired
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That makes complete sense, Eddie.

Even though I wouldn't agree with it,
I could understand their protective stance.


However, I didn't let San Juan in on my scheme,
I just asked about their dimensions,
and other questions specific to their own products,
and I specified their product numbers in my inquiry.

I did ask through their website "contact us" portal,
rather than direct email, but if they don't monitor that,
how should I feel about my eventual purchase being monitored ?


Still a little leery about the 2 different websites,
both have trucks, some overlap, but some are unique to the website.

I have read about the people who bought these small companies,
and are trying to keep them going, but for the life of me,
cant find current reviews of the vendor, even Google reviews came up empty.
So with the silent treatment, I just have to assume they are still struggling.

Plenty of San Juan stuff on eBay and other online sellers, but in typical
bait/switch style, are offering reasonable prices but charge crazy shipping.
One vendor asks $18 to ship a pair of model RR trucks !


A related aside: when I traveled a bit to visit a brick and mortar hobby store.
I happened to mention I was re-entering the hobby,
and looking through old Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazettes,
and was frustrated to find so many of those advertisers had gone silent.

He told me that everything changes in very quick cycles nowadays,
my magazines are outdated, as far as advertisers,
often in less than 2 years.




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