• Repowering an HO Bachmann Metroliner

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by FL9
 
I have managed to aquire 3 dummy units and one powered. Rather than convert them all to cabcars and gut the power car like some would, I would like to run the set in its entirety. However as most of you know the Bachmann motor is very faulty and of inferior quality so I am looking for an alternative source for power. I remember from somewhere of people using a power truck from The Coach Yard but I dont think that solution is ideal for me. I tried google searching for alternative ideas but I was unsuccessful on finding anything. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike

  by LongIslandRRTom
 
Hi,

You can try one of two things:

- Repower each individual truck with NorthWest Short Line's SPUD power trucks (I don't know if the wheelbase for the SPUDs are right for the Metroliners though).

- Swap out the chasses for the Proto1000 RDC1/2 chasses. The prototype RDC1/2 have exactly the same bolster-to-bolster distance as the Metroliners, and if the P1K are true to prototype, you should be able to use those.

Hope this helps!

  by astrosa
 
A little confusion there, Tom. The SPUD is the power truck made by Tenshodo and formerly sold by Pacific Fast Mail in the '80s. NWSL's power truck is called the PDT. Part #37062-4 has the 8'-6" wheelbase and 36" wheel diameter that should be correct for the Metroliner, but they're not cheap at $85 each, and you'd probably want both trucks powered to be able to haul the 4-car train.

The Proto 1000 RDC mechanism should indeed be the correct size, so you'd just want to replace the truck sideframes and underbody details with those from the Metroliner. However, be forewarned that this mechanism is reportedly rather slow, so you probably wouldn't be able to hit a scale 125mph this way. Also, I believe only the front truck is powered, and I'm not sure what kind of pulling power it has.

Good luck with whatever route you choose.
  by haberbeckbrandao
 
Hi,
I'm a new member here, and this article was very interesting for me because I also have a complete Metroliner set (8 cars) and since the beginning (I got the first powered unit in 1976) I noted the poor power transmission of the engine. In this week I made a modification in the motor and transmission system, using
an original double flywheel Atlas motor and remaining parts of the Bachmann axle couplings and local manufactured transmission shaft.
In fact, the Tenshodo trucks are the best resource to solve the problem, but here in Brazil they're hard to find in my local hobby dealer. Perhaps I can get a Proto
RDC chassis, but it's difficult to appear regularly here.
So, I attempted to improve the mechanical characteristics of the original 8 wheel drive Bachmann drive. The only problem is the noise: the pinion/rock gear
isn't the proper assembly to use in HO trains. Anyway, here is my own solution as a curiosity for you.
Best regards
Carlos
Sao Paulo - Brazil
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  by Otto Vondrak
 
Has anyone seen this? The Stanton Drive as replacement for the PDT from Northwest Short Line:

http://www.nwsl.com/motors-power-drives/stanton-drive

-otto-
  by jetfan
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:Has anyone seen this? The Stanton Drive as replacement for the PDT from Northwest Short Line:

http://www.nwsl.com/motors-power-drives/stanton-drive

-otto-

Hello Otto,
These are nice little drives, I told Dave, the owner of NWSL, that he doesn't have one of the more popular sizes listed on his charts, namely the 8'-6" wheelbase with 33" wheels, the size that almost every American MU car uses. They do exist though as I have the second one ever produced with that size, I received it as a sample back in April and will be using it to power some future models. Our upcoming Arrow III and Silverliner IV's are designed to use this mechanism.
Take care,
Joe
  by haberbeckbrandao
 
Hi,
Here my complete set of 8 cars, in our railroad model society in Sao Paulo (August 2010)
It would be very nice more pictures of Metroliner's repowering from other friends.
Regards
Carlos

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  by Cadet57
 
Oh that is GORGEOUS. Wicked cool.
  by andre
 
very nice!!! rare to see the metroliners working and in good condition
  by ApproachMedium
 
Its rare to see the metroliners that have the actuall center motor gear drive!!!!
  by green_elite_cab
 
I have an even larger fleet (10 working units, and a few busted units for spare parts), and my plan is to power them all with Powered trucks, either these "stanton" drives or black beetles. I also plan to repaint them in Penn Central/Amtrak patches, as i think only a few metroliners ever got that bachmann style paint. I've never seen more than two in a train. If i'm patient, i'll make more Stemman Pantographs, as i've just made a break through on their construction that I'll share eventually.


The main problem with the bachmann drive, is that while it WILL pull the train, you will never silence it. Ever. that drum and disc gear sucks. I have also re-powered mine, but with a PPW motor and some Airplane fuel line.

I cut into the motor supports to fit in the new PPW motor, and then I carefully screwed in a screw to wrap a wire around in the metal contact below the motor (if you go to far, you'll hit the die cast under body and it will short)

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You can see basically how i reworked the drive. Using fuel line actually works, for those of you who need a flexible drive shaft. when it turns, it tightens (and unless the wheels jam), it will stick to the shaft. A DCC decoder replaces the need for flywheels.

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It helps to shim the bearings as well to ensure the gears mesh properly (if they aren't shimmed, they might slip). Anyway, i think this mechanism is just too noisy, unless anyone has any other suggestions. besides, powered trucks would allow for interiors.

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Some of my Metroliner fleet, lined up. Thats an IHP Arrow III married pair end on top. I still need to build that thing, but I'm waiting until Monday, I'm set to receive three more married pair kits.

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  by Mirai Zikasu
 
I really want to hear how you've gone about making the Stemman pantograph. I have a set of four Metroliner MUs back home that I've been wanting to refurbish and turn into a decent looking train as they all came to me in various states of imperfection and damage. I'd want to paint mine all back up in the Phase I Pointless Arrow as I like the style, and fortunately, I've found at least a cafe, a club, and a number of coaches which all got Amtrak Phase I paint, so the train could at least be made up of prototypes if not "too well coordinated" for early Amtrak. It's not a short term project though as I want to rebuild the cars from the shell up with new paint, new underbodies if IHP ever rereleases theirs, window inserts (which come up in conversation about once a year for old Bachmann Amfleets and Metroliners but somehow never get made), better interiors, and all that jazz, but it is something on my [long] list of things to do. At the very least, I have a lot of Phase I/II striping lying around from two decal sheets I had to buy for numbers for my twin E60MAs.
  by green_elite_cab
 
Mirai Zikasu wrote:I really want to hear how you've gone about making the Stemman pantograph.
I found that if you trade in most of your mental health, you can produce nearly anything. If being on the verge of insanity is a fair trade, i say go for it! :P

I'll have to check the sizes, but i think i have some 1/32 brass wire, and brass tube just small enough that the wire can slide into it. I used this to make my arms. I based the lengths off the Metro liner's pantograph arms. Right now, i'm using old GG1 pantographs i bought spare for the pantograph shoes, though that could be made with flat bar stock or brass sheet.

I'll have to take an updated picture. I have a REALLY old photo posted on here somewhere of when i first put the arms together, but now i've got most of a base built. As Mike Bartel of IHP told me one October train show "good luck with the equalizer bars". He is right, and that is the only major challenge for me to build these things. The parts are getting so small that its difficult to solder, and you need everything to link up just right. I've yet to get precise enough.

Also, springs are becoming a problem. I'm unwilling to "sacrafice" springs from existing pantographs, because they're just fine to. I've been stealing springs from worn out pump and blow seals before i throw them out at work. I've been harvesting some smaller ones, but they still aren't perfect.

I have a set of four Metroliner MUs back home that I've been wanting to refurbish and turn into a decent looking train as they all came to me in various states of imperfection and damage. I'd want to paint mine all back up in the Phase I Pointless Arrow as I like the style, and fortunately, I've found at least a cafe, a club, and a number of coaches which all got Amtrak Phase I paint, so the train could at least be made up of prototypes if not "too well coordinated" for early Amtrak.
I have a book, "Amtrak Annual 1978-1979" that lists which cars had the striping. Unfortunately, other than a supplement, the books were not continued.

anyways, these are the units that got the phase I striping:

76-seat metro-coach

806
807
822-830

60 Seat Snack Bar coach

861

34 seat Parlor/Gallery "Metroclub"

884

I concede that this book could be wrong, but from what i've seen, the Phase I metroliners were uncommon, and until they were rebuilt, there was almost never a 4 or 6 car train with more than two phase Is if any.
It's not a short term project though as I want to rebuild the cars from the shell up with new paint, new underbodies if IHP ever rereleases theirs, window inserts (which come up in conversation about once a year for old Bachmann Amfleets and Metroliners but somehow never get made), better interiors, and all that jazz, but it is something on my [long] list of things to do. At the very least, I have a lot of Phase I/II striping lying around from two decal sheets I had to buy for numbers for my twin E60MAs.
I'd like to see your E60MA builds. In any event, I wish IHP would release that stuff, but i don't think the interest was ever high. I remember WAY WAY back in 2006, he had some rebuilt metroliner shells on the table, but they haven't been released yet. The last metoreliner related part i saw he had for sale (maybe he still does?) are those weird antennas on some of the coaches. He had them last Transit show a year ago, maybe he'll bring them again.
  by cnj1524
 
I dont think IHP is going to the oct. show and I remember seeing the metros he had as samples,I will be going to the
show so I will have the amtrak pantograph book which goes into detail for the following,ringsdorff,faiveley DS-11,
faiveley 17MCP1A10,Stemmann JA-3 pantos and looking forward to talking to Island model works about future projects
at the show,What did you use for the drive shafts(tubing?)on the liners