Alco Models "Jawn Henry" on eBay

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Tue Sep 13 20:40:51 EDT 2016

I had started a project with two Athearn DD40's and two Athearn Train Masters to make a more modern version of a Jawn.  I ran into many problems that were just not worth the effort to overcome, all relating to the pivoting of the trucks.  I did learn some engineering tricks for other projects, so it was not a total waste and my cost was under $20 thanks to the junk tables at shows.

Kurt Kramke
On Tue, 9/13/16, NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at> wrote:

 Subject: RE: Alco Models "Jawn Henry" on eBay
 To: "NW Modeling List" <nw-modeling-list at>
 Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 9:36 AM

 Excellent point. 
 The reason Lynn’s and Kurt’s
 approaches interested me so much is that the Alco Models
 approach of using a plastic sleeve to transmit power between
  shafts just above the axles was causing poor
 tracking—even fresh plastic seems to have too much
 stiffness in bending, and it also tends to creep off the
 shaft of one truck and onto the shaft of the other over
 time—eventually causing massive friction losses
  between the end of the plastic and the surface of the truck
 gearbox it creeps toward.  Sort of a modeler’s analog to
 a miserably inadequate feedwater pump. 
 The approach I had tried to take
 was to get 4 sets of Atlas Trainmaster trucks, and
 substitute them for the Alco Models trucks.  I had heard
 that N&W specified
  “the same trucks as used under the Trainmasters”
 because they wanted parts and maintenance commonality with
 diesels in their fleet, and wanted the lugging capability of
 the Westinghouse traction motors rather than their GE or EMD
 counterparts.  My intent was
  to use the Atlas truck towers, gears, bearings, bushings,
 and universal parts, and cut shaft stock to suitable
 length.  The Atlas gear towers are shorter fore-and-aft
 than Alco Models’ truck gearbox, allowing for a short
 intermediate shaft and universals between
  the captive shafts in each tower.  I would also have had
 to fabricate a bolster and bolster pivot that would be
 housed (unobtrusive, I hoped) up in the body of the

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