Convert HO Tichy Archbars to Sn2

Several Sn2 modelers have converted HO Tichy Archbar trucks to get a Maine 2-Foot like truck.  It all started with Jeff Saxton.  The text and images below are interpretted from postings to the Sn2Trains yahoogroup.

Jeff Saxton image and thought process:

Jeff's converted Tichy Truck

Jeff’s converted Tichy Truck

Tichy #3002 HO standard gauge archbars (ex-Gould) are very closely sized for the so-called “common bolster” trucks used by the SR & RL in Sn2 (the common 66″ wheelbase truck in HO is a perfect 48″ wheelbase in S).

A quick trip to the hobby shop obtained several sets of HOn3 wheelsets (either MDC cobbled out of their HOn3 trucks, or PSC #3240 — HOn3 26″ wheels are 19″ in S, which is acceptable). I hand cut the HO truck bolsters narrower to fit the HOn3 wheelsets. And the result — Ta-Daaa! — cheap Sn2 trucks.

As a further bonus, these trucks have nylon cone inserts to accept the axle ends, individual journal lids (positionable), and inside hung brake shoes. For about $5 to $8 per pair (1994 prices, depends on wheelsets), you get some nice trucks.

Chris Abbott conversion

Chris Abbot posted a sequence of images showing how he narrowed the trucks.  Chris used MDC wheel sets from their passenger car tracks.  (David Keith notes take caution with MDC wheelsets, they are not always in gauge.  He also thinks the freight and passenger truck wheel sets are the same)

Chris measured the bolster and scribed a line

Chris measured the bolster and scribed a line


Chris is double checking his first cut


Chris is measuring final length


One more doulble check measurement

Other Notes

  • Some modelers have made jigs for making dimensions and filing – Dean Odiorne made his from styrene
  • Some have made jigs for assembly (gluing), but hardly required.
  • Dean Odiorne used KD 718 wheelsets in the few pairs of trucks he made
  • The Tichy trucks are styrene, so it is easy enough to custom make bolster replacements if one get’s cut wrongly.
  • The Tichy trucks show two springs on the sides, but the prototype Maine 2-Foot trucks were single spring or solid bolster.  The dedicated modeler could change the detail.
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