I purchased 12 wagons from a well-known East Coast supplier of G scale wagons some 5 years ago. Made in China to an LGB design I soon found that they were unsuitable for my track with its reverse curves and 1 in 30 inclines.

They did however run reasonably well on a Gauge 1 designed track except for a 4’ radius section where all 12 decided to tip over when the driver lost concentration.

On closer examination it was found that the bogies had been assembled incorrectly with many and varied self-tapping screws. Locking screws had also been fitted indiscriminately. So these were fitted correctly, allowing one side of the bogie to flex in all directions, whilst the other side was fixed. These actions improved the running but I was still restricted to a rake of 3 well loaded on my reverse curves but all 12 ran well on the Gauge 1 track.

Putting some lead weight at the centre within the frames I was able to now run a rake of 4 carefully around my layout.

The tension lock couplings were a pain to work if they derailed and an eyesore so the hooks were removed and a single brass hook fitted to the small centre buffer for three link couplings. I retained the tension lock bar as it enabled me to reverse the rake and prevented buffering up on the downhill curved sections, whilst removed the small centre buffers occasionally interlocked on downhill curves.

The wagons never achieved many outings in this form on my layout and soon after the Gauge 1 layout disappeared with a house move. The logs dried out, losing weight and this summer I was back to a rake of 3. I tried fitting a couple of steel wheelsets to one wagon and there was a marked difference in its stability and rolling resistance.

Meanwhile I was in the process of repainting my colourful LGB stock with muted greys and black to suit a recently acquired W & L brake van. Repainting the red short wheel base stake wagon all black to erase the LGB and German writing, I had that eureka moment. The sides of the bogie wagons were attached through slots in the bedplate which were very similar to the LGB wagon bedplate.

 I carefully prized off the sides of the bogie wagon and fettled some 5mm wood strip to fit in the holes, which of course were all slightly different. I repeated this action on 5 more wagons and the stakes were painted black along with most of the lettering which was also in German with repeated numbering on the sides of the bedplate.

I ordered 16 pairs of Accucraft W & L Z6 steel wheels as I couldn’t face making all those wheels and anyway, I didn’t have enough stock bar. While I was awaiting delivery, I made up some steel weights from scrap to fit within the bogies, these were bonded with Gorilla glue.

The wheelsets were fitted to 9 wagons and tested on the indoor track; the whole loaded 12 wagon rake was successfully towed and reversed around the 3’ radius curves. After tidying up the garden railway 6 wagons were successfully towed around the reverse curves without incident with minor adhesion problems encountered on the damp rails on the uphill sections.

I am pleased with the result but I now have a lot of spare plastic wheels, who knows they may be cut as I originally did to the LGB ones to 32mm, after all its only 4 screws and 5 minutes to convert them to 32mm.

December 2020
































Contact Us | ©2008 Yorkshire Group