Bachmann Old-Timer trucks: wood beam or metal archbar?

SHarrison May 17, 2015

  1. SHarrison

    SHarrison TrainBoard Member

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    I'm retrofitting some Bachmann Old-Timers (circa 1870s?) with more exact trucks and z-scale couplers.

    When it comes to resale, would folks be okay with the transitional wood beam? --or, would most modelers expect the post-Civil War metal arch bar... Which would have broader appeal?

    What would you vote for?
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    When did the full metal Arch Bar first come into use? I know I was in fairly heavy/common application by about 1900. Trucks with wood in them survived on non-common carriers, such as logging, for a fair number of years after 1900.
     
  3. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    I try to be a prototypical modeler. I also have a project Civil War diorama of the Cairo riverfront with the gunboat Carondalet docked and the IC running along the waterfront. I guess I'm saying I would love the old wood beam trucks but there probably isn't a very big demand for them.
     
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The arch bar trucks are currently on a number of earlier era offerings and are commercially available. Wood beam type trucks would be a small niche that would be primarily Civil War modelers and folks modeling very early steam and which there isn't overwhelming numbers. My modeling of cast off much older in equipment in captive logging service is all with arch bar.
     
  5. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    Micro-Trains sells the woodbeam trucks. I would use them, as you have mentioned that you model 1850s and Civil War era. If you do sell them later, if the purchaser wants archbar, he can replace the wood beams with them. B-mann and MT both sell the archbar.

    Most of my nineteenth century equipment has the archbar, as, for years, those were the only nineteenth century type trucks that were widely available in N scale. I have bought a few of the MT wood beam and intend to buy more to convert some of my nineteenth century equipment.
     
  6. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

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    MT isn't the only game in town. Panamint Models sells a wide variety of 19th century trucks (woodbeam, et al) -

    http://www.spookshow.net/trucks/woodbeam.html

    Cheers,
    -Mark
     
  7. SHarrison

    SHarrison TrainBoard Member

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    According to JH White in "The American Railroad Freight Car", most roads use wood beam trucks until around 1870. "Only then did the arch bar truck come to prevail". He goes on to describe several early proto-designs. The oldest dated drawing showing all the parts correctly combined was a Pennsylvania RR drawing dated 1863.
     
  8. SHarrison

    SHarrison TrainBoard Member

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    The wood beams are probably a "curiosity" to most -- but, I agree -- they sure look cool if you like the extra early cars.

    (...And the Cairo Waterfront. -- Wow! Ambitious!)
     
  9. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Well, don't forget the "link-pin" couplers. MT sells the ones from the Civil War cars as separate parts now. They snap into the coupler pockets if you remove the knuckle couplers.
     
  10. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    I apologize but I thought this was an HO thread. My bad. This is the second time I've done that.
     
  11. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Not a problem Jim. Your input is still relevant.
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree. History doesn't know a modeling scale. :)
     
  13. sharriso

    sharriso TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a photo of two of Panamint Models models with wood-beam trucks.

    [​IMG]

    And here are two of the Bachman Old Timers repainted with wood-beam trucks.

    [​IMG]
     

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