The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ratio trucks converted to American OO

One type of truck that I had never considered for American OO is made for British OO by Ratio. Phil R. spotted these and through him I obtained one pair built up and another in parts. They are for double truck flats and gondolas as used in the UK in earlier times (not all early British freight cars have only four wheels!). A photo of an example of the type of car that these were shipped out with may be found here.

At right are these trucks on and off a vintage American OO car made on a Picard body. The wheelbase is just slightly long and they are shipped out with wheelsets that are much larger than for American use. One of the trucks I equipped with wheelsets worked up from Athearn HO 36” wheelsets (the axle cut and placed in a brass tube similar to the slit axle design used by Scale-Craft, to get the length just right in relation to the bolster) and the other has modified Ultimate wheelsets (axles shortened by a prior owner). I don’t believe these trucks are sold as separate sale items but it is a good item that can be modified for American use pretty easily.

The original bolster set-up is a bit unusual but actually needs no real modification other than working out a way to screw the car on, as it is the right length. The main modification was adding a hole to the large bolster so that it was possible to use a screw to apply the trucks to a car. I clamped the parts very square and used liquid plastic cement to bond the non-moving parts.

The final photo is of the Ratio truck compared to a Schorr truck. The Ratio truck is a hair over scale but on a vintage car such as this these trucks look great.

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