I obtained this locomotive some years ago direct from the USA, it arrived with damaged valve gear and Bachmann refused to supply a spare part because of the Transatlantic purchase. Anyway, after some discussion on the internet a UK based dealer very kindly repaired the model and returned it to me in working order.

That was not the last of the problems with this beastie though. Being a Forney there was an incredibly long overhang from the fixed wheelbase of the driving wheels to the rear coupler on the bunker which gave no end of trouble when running on the modular layout where some of the inter-baseboard links are slightly uneven. I’d read that it was possible to convert these models into 2-4-0 tender locos by cutting them in half. An easy enough job, even for a bodger like me, because the cab and the bunker are separate fittings anyway and once removed gave clear access to the chassis for sawing. Unfortunately the electronics were in the bunker and the motor in the firebox so the DCC chip was unceremoniously snipped free of the wiring under the cab and the wires from the wheels have been reattached directly to the wires from the motor (red to orange and black to yellow). I do not use witchcraft so there is no need to keep the digital circuitry,  direct current fed straight from the track to the motor works perfectly well thank you!

So, that gets us to the present state of the loco. The wires are still loose under the cab while I figure out an effective way of attaching the two wheeled pony truck under the rear of the loco making it into a 2-4-2, it looks odd with the cab riding over thin air! Once I’ve done this I can re-assemble the ashpan around the pony’s pivot and the remaining wiring. The tender is from a Tri-ang B12, widened to match the On30 loading gauge, riding on a OO wagon chassis.


I’ve retained the tension lock coupler on the rear of the tender because I want to use this loco with the two Ferrocarril San Pedro Costero* coaches seen in the photo. These coaches were an Ebay purchase during the early years of the Ferrocarril Internacional, they’re quite basic models but what they lack in finesse they make up for by conveying the character of run down third world narrow gauge railway equipment. They look like old wooden coaches because they are old, and made of wood!


* Note the cross keys emblems on the coach sides which are hand painted, as is the lining on the saloon coach. Works of art and a credit to the original builder. The dealer I bought them from says they came from a clergyman in the south of England but there are far too many churches dedicated to St Peter to make further research a realistic option, so I’ve settled for naming the FSPC in his honour.

About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
This entry was posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat. Bookmark the permalink.