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  • Consolidation Conversion

    This 0-8-0 switcher can look and perform like a freight hauling 2-8-0.

    1. & 2. AHM offers inexpensive ready-to-run models of the famous Indiana Harbor Belt 0-8-0 switcher in either HO or O scale. This O scale version is also available in kit-form. Herman Darr assembled this O scale kit and added only paint and weathering details - the O scale engine is probably the best buy yet in well-detailed kits. Kemtron's #X1081 pilot truck and some scrap plastic could be used to convert the O scale engine to 2-8-0 and Kemtron's #TK472 pilot truck for an HO scale version following much the same steps we show in fitting the Kadee pilot truck kit to convert the Atlas N scale Indiana Harbor Belt switcher into a 2-8-0 "consolidation" freight engine.

    3. The Atlas N scale 0-8-0 steam switcher is sold ready to-run with a choice of road names (the real Santa Fe Railroad never used this particular style 0-8-0, however) at $19.98.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 34 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 35

    The Indiana Harbor Belt-prototype eight, wheeled steam switcher is one of the most popular locomotives in model railroading. Duplicates of this engine are available in ready-to-run form and from Atlas in N, AHM in HO and O scales. P.F.M. and U.S. Hobbies have had imported brass versions in HO and O scale. Model railroaders use the engine for all types of freight hauling, however, the full-size locomotive was designed expressly to switch long cuts of cars around yards and industrial areas. Locomotives that operate, on the main lines of real railroads were nearly always equipped with a lead truck having at least two wheels to help guide the locomotive through switches and around curves at the higher speeds that were attainable in mainline operation. If you're a real railroad buff, the sight of a yard switcher, even one as huge as this 0-8-0, operating at the head of a freight train just isn't the way it should be.

    4. Kadee's #MT-7042 kit provides the necessary parts to mount a two-wheeled pilot truck and Kadee automatic couplers front and rear to the Atlas 0-8-0. We'd recommend the Kadee couplers to any N, HO, or O scale model railroader who wants reliable and realistic automatic coupling and uncoupling operation of his locomotives and rolling stock.

    5. A single screw, through the top of one of the domes, holds the superstructure to the chassis. Be sure to save all the parts you remove.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 36

    6. Remove the two screws that hold the stamped metal plate to the bottom of the frame and lift the plate; leaving the drivers in place.

    7. The cylinders will lift free from the frame if they are pulled gently forward. Lift the end of the pilot and slide it gently away from the cylinders themselves.

    8. Use a pointer or knife to scribe a line indicating the amount the front of the frame that must be cut away per Kadee's instructions.

    9. A Dremel motor tool with a cut-off wheel makes quick work of chopping the frame. If you use this method you can take the drivers in place. If you file the frame end to the shape, the drivers must be removed.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 37


    10. Enlarge the hole in the front of the pilot with a 7/64-inch (about a #35) drill bit. Use a hand drill or slow-speed electric drill here.

    File the notch in the front of the frame to the 5/32-inch length and 3/64" depth and remove with a flat jeweler's file.

    12. Bend the front 1/8-inch of the stamped metal frame cover plate up exactly 1/16-inch at its tip with needlenose pliers.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 38


    13. Remove the masking tape and any metal dust from around the drivers. The Kadee spring fits in the hole you enlarged and the pilot truck fits next to the frame side of the metal cover plate.

    14. Install the Kadee pilot in the Atlas cylinders and slip the entire assembly into the frame BEFORE fitting the pilot truck.

    15. Remove the rear truck from the tender. Note how the silver contract spring first against the wheels before prying the wheels from the truck.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 39

    17. Use the Kadee gauge to check the coupler height at the pilot end as well. We had to bend ours up about 1/16" to bring the coupler up.

    18. & 19. The extra pilot length and the extra front wheels are enough to give the chassis of the locomotive a different appearance. The round feedwater heater at the top edge of the smokebox could be filed away and the headlight mounted in its place to alter the appearance of the locomotive even further.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 40

    Adding a two-wheeled pilot truck to the inexpensive Atlas 0-8-0 is a relatively easy chore. Kadee has a kit (shown in these photos) for the N scale locomotive that provides the lead truck and includes the superb Kadee magnetically-operated automatic coupler as well. Kemtron has parts to add a two-wheeled pilot truck to the AHM-brand HO and O scale versions of the locomotive in much the same manner as the Kadee scale conversion kit. Kadee has couplers that can be mounted on either the HO or O scale versions. The Kadee coupler, although far more realistic than the standard N, HO, or O scale couplers, will not couple with the couplers supplied on any of the Atlas or AHM locomotives. If you're not yet ready to convert all of your rolling stock and either locomotives to the Kadee coupler, you can fit a second pair of couplers to one end of two cars that serve as "buffers" between the Kadee locomotive and the rest of your rolling stock.

    Article Details

    • Source 1001 Model Railroading Ideas
    • Publication Date Summer 1971

    Article Album (6 photos)

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