Tram Interest Developing

Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
12,594
2,007
Pennsylvania, USA
#1
In an epiphany, it came to me, after twenty-six years of garden railroading. I love operating rolling stock. Dumping gondolas, merchandise boxcars, etc. But operating a full consist while shunting freight cars around can be challenging for a single operator. I have just purchased four Bachmann trolleys of the Birney type. I already own an LGB New Orleans streetcar and an LGB Birney. I've had a Bachmann trolley or two in the past but gave them up due to poor performance. Still, I like the style of them, so the recent purchases could not be helped.

Anyway, while running a trolley, I can shunt freight cars around the layout much easier. I have two locations with passing sidings and some dead end sidings. It's easy to keep an eye on a single motorized unit while doing the shunting.

Here are two videos I made recently.


 
No72

No72

Registered
21 Dec 2014
221
209
Melobourne Australia
#2
Yes I agree re the poor performance of the Bachmann trams they do look the part and as I have discovered they can be customised to look even better. First thing to do is attack the bumpers with a razor saw and remove them and replace with a strip of metal....
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,510
3,130
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#3
In an epiphany, it came to me, after twenty-six years of garden railroading. I love operating rolling stock. Dumping gondolas, merchandise boxcars, etc. But operating a full consist while shunting freight cars around can be challenging for a single operator. I have just purchased four Bachmann trolleys of the Birney type. I already own an LGB New Orleans streetcar and an LGB Birney. I've had a Bachmann trolley or two in the past but gave them up due to poor performance. Still, I like the style of them, so the recent purchases could not be helped.

Anyway, while running a trolley, I can shunt freight cars around the layout much easier. I have two locations with passing sidings and some dead end sidings. It's easy to keep an eye on a single motorized unit while doing the shunting.

Here are two videos I made recently.


My Bachman cars both got converted to trailers due to the poor quality running. Pity they were never upgraded to Spectrum Type Chassis. But they do make great trailers, my covered one has been mounted on an LGB Short Bogie Caboose Chassis. Oh there is no reason to not have them dragging the odd van or open about, the bumper will couple nicely to LGB Hook and Loop couplings. Some more shunting challenges for you Dan.
 
Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
12,594
2,007
Pennsylvania, USA
#4
I ordered and already received two new motor blocks complete with side frames. These are about $55.00 each. These will be pressed into service when I feel the original blocks have seen better days. I tested the new blocks and they run much smoother than the originals.

In my two videos, shown in my original post, the closed car came with one of the new, upgraded blocks. While the open air car has the original. The closed car runs quiet and smooth. The open air car sounds like a mini meat grinder.

Both have been converted to battery power.
 
No72

No72

Registered
21 Dec 2014
221
209
Melobourne Australia
#5
Bachmann have a couple of different types of setups in their motor blocks. I have 3 versions and you don't know what you have till you pull it apart. There is one with a coarse worm, one with a fine worm and one with a different motor and the worm acts directly on the axle gear. The fine worm version seems to work the best, then the direct drive and lastly the coarse worm.
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
5,796
1,964
65
Hutt Valley, NZ
#6
Mine lasted 12 years, then, as Madman says, bought a replacement block. New one does run better.
 
No72

No72

Registered
21 Dec 2014
221
209
Melobourne Australia
#7
Iv'e spotted some rather clever DIY jobs too. One chap had used 2 6v motors in series each driving an axle via Worm and another with a motor mounted on each axle driving a 10:1 reduction. Im going to have to hunt around because I want to set up my toast rack and saloon so that I can run them as a coupled set so I will need identical motors.
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
20,361
3,175
70
Co. Mayo
#8
I started modelling trams 55 years ago. My first was based on a Triang Big Big Train chassis - model of one of the 1891 Stephenson cars that ran in Leeds - very similar to the J & S car modelled by Bachmann. The only real difference (apart from the trucks) between the two American manufacturers were the clerestory windows - Stepenson's had more smaller windows.

A very poor image taken in 1971 when we lived on the farm. The other car was the last all-new tram (a VAMBAC - British version of the PCC car) .....



The Birney was a different type of car ... on a Bachmann truck (too short) and doors reversed!



Those trams you have were the first things I ever bought of Bachmann manufacture. The open car was made into a trailer and the truck used on a Lilliput version of the same outline but obviously European. I think the're nice.
 
QC Rwy.

QC Rwy.

Registered
21 Mar 2018
64
81
66
Virginia Beach, VA USA
#9
Mik.......does the "United" Birney car have printed card stock sides? Really looks "smart"!.........tom
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
20,361
3,175
70
Co. Mayo
#10
Mik.......does the "United" Birney car have printed card stock sides? Really looks "smart"!.........tom
Hi Tom - it's a wooden box really covered with inkjet printed photo paper! It's stuck in the shed somewhere after getting water damaged (like the ink ran), although I did spray lacquer it! It's another project awating a rebirth or some cash to buy a Hartland one!
 
No72

No72

Registered
21 Dec 2014
221
209
Melobourne Australia
#11
Hi Tom - it's a wooden box really covered with inkjet printed photo paper! It's stuck in the shed somewhere after getting water damaged (like the ink ran), although I did spray lacquer it! It's another project awating a rebirth or some cash to buy a Hartland one!
If I may... A word re the Harland one... Expensive and not such a flash performer, only one axle is driven. Plus of course for us the doors are on the wrong side. A friend bought one and he remotrored it and insalled interior detail but left the doors as he said it was going to take major surgery to cut and shut... I desperatley want a Birney, but Im thinking it may be a scratch build job in the future drawings are to hand but time is my problem.... I may bulid it on an LGB truck....
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
20,361
3,175
70
Co. Mayo
#12
If I may... A word re the Harland one... Expensive and not such a flash performer, only one axle is driven. Plus of course for us the doors are on the wrong side. A friend bought one and he remotrored it and insalled interior detail but left the doors as he said it was going to take major surgery to cut and shut... I desperatley want a Birney, but Im thinking it may be a scratch build job in the future drawings are to hand but time is my problem.... I may bulid it on an LGB truck....
Thanks Trev - I've never seen one in the flesh but it looked nice! I keep saying I'll buy a lazer printer to have a more permanent print. As for time, I know what you mean. Maybe I'll just stick to my Corgi diecast Birney!
 
Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
12,594
2,007
Pennsylvania, USA
#13
Over the years I have often thought about the Hartland trolleys. But they are on the expensive side. Even higher than LGB trolleys. Then they have frosted windows.....:(.....and as No72 pointed out, only one powered axle. So I have never been inspired enough to pull the trigger.
 
Melbournesparks

Melbournesparks

Registered
30 Sep 2015
208
377
City of Eltham
#14
I swapped the doors over on mine. It's certainly possible, but requires a bit of rebuilding. Still not quite finished yet!