Roco dining car conversion

Anton Dyak wrote on the weekend to let me know about his progress with re-wheeling ready-to-run stock. He writes:

Overall I have this idea to produce ready-to-run models out of the box equipped with P87 compatible wheels. Since making model trains is an expensive investment I start with replacement parts such as compatible-length wise axles with slightly wider center to maintain “in-gauge” position for wheels compatible with mostly European model train brands. As typically European trains use larger wheels I need to make sure wheels get mounted perpendicular to an axle as any angle away from 90 degrees will present a big wobble problem. These are common European rolling stock sizes. 900mm or 35.5″ are for autoracks, while most trains use 950mm or 37.4″ and some high ride comfort cars use 1000mm or 39.4″. Attached are images of conversion of my German dining car. For now only one truck test-converted and shows significant wobbling as wheels I used (NorthWest ShortLine come either convex or concave). I am thinking of jigs to flatten them into true-run wobble free wheels.
Original Roco passenger car uses 950mm or 37.4″ wheels mounted on 24.75mm or 0.974″ axle. This axle tends to be somewhat wobbly.My (Masterist Scale Railroad Models) trial axle is 0.975″ or 24.765mm. Works perfectly, no wobble. Wheels are Northwest Shortline 38″, they match size-wise but like I mentioned are concave and thus instead of 0.064″ caliper reading shows 0.073″…finally I found out what causes problem that drove me nuts for a long time: not faulty tools or axles, wheels aren’t perfectly flat. Now designing jigs to flatten concave wheels into flat ones using arbor press.

4 thoughts on “Roco dining car conversion

  1. Yes, I am from Ukraine but currently live in Canada. With Ukrainian income of $20 per month nothing even close to this could be achieved. Came from Ukraine to Canada in 2006.


  2. What an interesting coincidence is wheel size similarities. And while most prevalent sizes between Europe and North America can be very different there are similar sizes in existence that on 1:87 models just will not be noticeable.
    For example I mentioned 900mm (35.5″) being on autoracks in Europe, also on single-container intermodal light duty flatcars, 36″ are passenger standard and nowadays not uncommon on freight cars.
    950mm (37.4″) are used on passenger cars in Europe. Similar 38″ is not very common size in North American but how wonderfully it works out to exist despite of being limited to articulated intermodals and 100ton hoppers.
    Even 1000mm (39.4″) that are occasionally used on high-comfort passenger cars in Europe, can be replaced with split-apart semi-axles, extracting common 40″ locomotive wheels. Nowadays such passenger cars are limited to slow routes outside of high speed train network which works out perfectly with jointed track and typically higher center of gravity prevents these cars from fast travel which goes in hand with the need of better ride quality over multiple joints on branchlines.
    There are two inconvenient conversions: one is possible though but requires extra care and gradual pressure due to very tiny wheel. German “Rolling landstrasse” intermodal flatcar uses 360mm (14.2″) wheels: And even here for proto replacent I found solution: NorthWest Shortline offers N scale coarse 0.064″ wheelsets for autoracks, 28″. Slightly bigger than 14.2″ according to 1:87 scale but still works as 15.2″, height difference compensated by smaller in diameter 1.5mm axle instead of 2mm as that is the only diameter those N scale 28″ wheels can be mounted on.
    The sticky point comes from common European 1250mm mainline locomotive wheels or 49.2″. NO P:87 version available on the market. However I did find potential solution: S scale 36″ wheel closely works to 48.99″ in 1:87 scale and with some small modification on the lathe maybe this will work out. Notice how huge wheels are


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