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Project Builds, Detailing, Painting, Weathering

Bachmann GE 44 tonner 'Contract' switcher

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I finished this in about September, having plodded through with it for about twelve months prior to that.  I bought a spare chassis earlier this year, and since then I've noticed that they seem to appear on eBay on an almost constant basis?


Bought some 25 years ago(?) in Southern black colours and original twin motor form.  It laid in the drawer for years, particularly after converting to digital, but it was always going to look out of place with the more modern NS stuff I'm running anyway.


I didn’t want to get rid of it, and I found a scruffy Greater Winnipeg Water District 100 which matched the Bachmann model and appealed to me.


The drive gears had cracked.  I tried the baking soda super glue repair first but this wasn’t successful, so I sleeved the gears with Evergreen 1/8” tubing filed out to give a force fit over the axle stub.


Chipped initially with a basic Hornby decoder but didn’t get the twin motor connections correct the first time and fryed the chip (which was partly why I used it).  TCS M1 replacement and replaced the bulbs with much improved LEDs.  This is one of the last locos to be chipped in my collection (I wonder why………), but it hasn’t been used and I wasn’t that bothered about replacing it with a can motor chassis, as it is only going to potter about occasionally (and it was a gift as well, so that was another reason for keeping it).




Lot of wiring but not as restrictive as it looks (though it won't be used on tight radii)


Kadee couplings were hard work in the end.  Despite using #37 as recommended, I found that the box was bearing down on the bogies so it took a bit of messing about to get the box high enough, and the coupler still at the correct level.


Flush glazed.  Small front windows cut down from Bachmann glazing unit.  Big front windows filed down from AMB lasercut for Athearn SD/GP units.  Side windows utilise the number board glazing from the same kit (which are virtually perfect fit!).




Halfords rack grey, and Vauxhall mustard yellow, although subsequent photos suggest the grey should be silver?  Nevertheless, I’m quite happy with the grey, and whilst the intention was to weather it, I actually prefer the clean finish.  The black stripes are aircraft specific decals from a hunt on eBay.


(The yard area is new and needs toning down)


It will be utilised as a ‘contract’ switcher so won’t be worked hard, and I have acquired a later (twin motor) version spare chassis for swapping out motors if necessary.


Couple of useful articles

1.       Model Railroader January 2001 – Installing DCC in a 44 tonner (Tony Capato) (although I can't have read it properly).

2.       Model Railroader October 2000 – Union Freight (John Pryke) – this references motor problems and the softer carbon brushes in first run models clogging commutator gaps.







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