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Saturday, May 31, 2008

A drive for the E-7

As this is the third post in a row on locomotives, it should be noted that one thing I don’t have enough of are locomotives that actually run well.

One eBay purchase a few years back was a pair of the M. P. Davis/Cusawego Valley Railroad OO Scale Models E units, the E-7A and B. Produced in the post-war period, a previous owner had tried to finish these but had left them incomplete with no drive. In looking at potential drive units, the overall wheelbase of a HO PA-1 truck is about right for an OO E-7 so I started looking and found a deal on a set of three Athearn PA-1 locomotives at a train show, two powered and one dummy. Looking at all the parts again this week I realized the easiest way to do this was to split the drives so that one motor powered the front truck and one powered the rear truck of the A unit, as illustrated in the photo. The unused drive shafts also have to be shortened slightly so they don’t interfere.

This thing really pulls! I normally don’t run freight trains of over ten car trains on my layout and this can pull that number with ease. I love the gearing, the dual motors, the flywheels, and the twelve wheel electrical pickup. I have a long ways to go on the bodies and I am not certain what I will do about sideframes (I have the original Davis sideframes but they are overscale and very heavy looking—I may use the PA sideframes until I find something better) but passenger trains will start rolling soon.

UPDATE: This will pull as many passenger cars as I can run on my layout plus the B-unit as a dummy. The bodies of these two locomotives will be a big job but I will start working in it over the coming weeks, but maybe after I do some steam locomotive work as well.

UPDATE II: The finished models may be seen here.

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