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Thread: Best trucks to replace Bachman 60' RBOX Railbox cars? Also, "best" Railbox car?

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    Default Best trucks to replace Bachman 60' RBOX Railbox cars? Also, "best" Railbox car?

    Hey, guys!

    When I first got into the hobby, I was on a mission to build a Railbox consist. The only ones I could find were the Bachmanns (too bad I bought like two dozen of 'em). Now, I realize the Atlas RBOX Railbox cars I think look best, the ones with the more-curved, 'U'-shaped sills. But since I have such a huge investment in the Bachmann cars, I thought I could simply replace the trucks, the ones with pre-assembled couplers, so I wanted to ask which ones are appropriate, and which ones couple the "best." I know body-mounted couplers are preferred, but I just want a quick solution to the 25 or so Bachmann cars I have. Of all my rolling stock, it's the Bachmanns which seem to decouple most often and whose couplers seem most different than the others.

    • Which truck is prototype for the RBOX Railbox cars?
    • Which couplers are "best?"
    • "Best" and "most-compatible" with my current livery are probably two different things.
    • I was thinking of buying the Micro-Trains trucks with pre-assembled couplers, but do those still come with plastic wheels?
    • Or should I get the Atlas trucks since I probably own more Atlas than MT?

    I like the brown MT trucks a lot, but not sure which ones to get. I think my rolling stock consists mostly of Atlas and Micro-Trains. I also have a lot of Athearn, but those are all tank-cars. I also found a neat video on YouTube on how to replace the Bachmann screwed-in trucks with MTs using just a 9/64"-5/32" bit/reamer and a screwdriver.

    [I'm posting a link to my Railbox "Which color?" thread here since it contains some good protoype information.]


    Atlas N-scale 50' RBOX Railbox car.

    Now, onto "best" RBOX Railbox cars:

    Again, I think Atlas' RBOX Railbox cars look best due to the "better-looking" sills (I know Bachmann's trapezoidal sills are also prototypical, but I think they just look more toy-like in a model). You can ignore all my concerns in the "Which color" thread, since I'll be heavily weathering all cars anyway. I have a few of the more modern Railbox/TTX boxcars, most of them Atlas. Since much of my rolling stock for boxcars is Atlas, should I consider sticking to Atlas trucks/couplers? I don't really feel like replacing my entire fleet (it's a lot), so a quick-fix for the Bachmanns is all I'm looking for at the moment. Again, the main reason I'm doing this is because of all the decoupling. Thanks!
    Last edited by Metrolink; 12th Jun 2020 at 01:46 AM.

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    @Metrolink

    When it comes to trucks and wheel sets I am a Micro Train fan so, obviously, they would be my recommendation as replacement trucks. Every MT Truck sets I have bought have come with plastic wheels and have had to buy metal wheels separately. That isn't to say that all MT Trucks come with plastic wheels though.
    Cheers Tony

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    Thanks, man. Yeah, the product description doesn't say either way, so I assume they're plastic. Thanks for the tip!

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    RBOX trucks: I found a reference at PWRS here.

    "NARCorp high performance/low friction 70-ton ASF Ride Control trucks with 33” diameter metal wheels." Of course, BLMA offers those exact same trucks here, but of course, no included pre-assembled coupler.
    Last edited by Metrolink; 12th Jun 2020 at 01:38 AM.

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    Well, a quick check at M.B. Klein shows these MT roller-bearing trucks which look most similar, with a straight top-bar, so I'll probably be going with two bags of these Micro-Trains truck/coupler sets here. Though, the 1974-issue RBOX prototypes have three springs, the later, 1996-issue ABOX has only two. Which is fine since I'm modeling the mid-1990s and also own a lot of ABOX cars.

    Also, the all-brown color really helps sell the illusion of rust (at least from afar), and that's a very welcome added plus. I have a handful Micro-Trains Railbox/TTX cars with these color trucks/couplers and they look great.

    I just noticed that my Bachmann cars no longer use screws to attach the trucks as shown in the YT videos I mentioned—it has a plastic pin. Hopefully, either the original, or one of the two MT-supplied pins will work.


    Micro-Trains N 00325031 (1030-10-B) brown roller-bearing trucks with short-extension RDA couplers.

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    My opinion on couplers, Micro Trains couple a little easier, but have that "slinky effect." MT makes a wide variety of options and is probably the more popular choice. Atlas couplers (they call them Accumate couplers) don't have that slinky effect, and I have a slight preference for them because of that. They work just fine together. Unless you are focusing on operations and want cars that couple as easily as possible (in which case you'll probably standardize on MT), I wouldn't worry at all about having a mix of MT and Atlas couplers. I have not tried to install either brand of truck on a Bachmann car though.

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    I'm real partial to the Fox Valley Models version, https://www.nscaledivision.com/image...0_Box_RBOX.jpg

    I really like the etched metal end platforms, in particular. Everything else about the car is pretty top-notch too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTFan View Post
    My opinion on couplers, Micro Trains couple a little easier, but have that "slinky effect." MT makes a wide variety of options and is probably the more popular choice. Atlas couplers (they call them Accumate couplers) don't have that slinky effect, and I have a slight preference for them because of that. They work just fine together. Unless you are focusing on operations and want cars that couple as easily as possible (in which case you'll probably standardize on MT), I wouldn't worry at all about having a mix of MT and Atlas couplers. I have not tried to install either brand of truck on a Bachmann car though.

    OMG! You're right! I have a fair amount of MT cars, and the slinky effect is really bothersome! I may just opt for the Atlas trucks instead just for that reason. Thanks for reminding me of that! Thanks for all the advice!

    Checking M.B. Klein again, I found these Atlas 70-ton trucks here which look pretty good. They're Atlas N 22056 70-ton roller-trucks with Accumate knuckle-couplers for $4.19 a pair. Though they come with brown-colored wheels (trucks are black), apparently the wheels are plastic, just as the MT trucks still likely are (why does every product have something wrong with it?). At least the Bachmann trucks have metal wheels.


    Atlas N 22056 70-ton roller-trucks with Accumate knuckle-couplers.

    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    I'm real partial to the Fox Valley Models version . . .

    Yes, very nice! Thanks!

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    So, I've been struggling with my cars' continuing coupling issues and looking at replacing trucks, couplers, etc. The heart of the problem is likely my uneven trackwork, but that's a huge work-in-progress. But to just get them running while I work on other parts of the layout, I've been considering some quick-fixes:

    1. I saw a YouTube video where the modeler showed that 1/4-oz. tire weights appear to fit perfectly inside an N-scale boxcar. Only one vendor specified the dimensions of the weights and I measured my Railbox car with calipers and it just fits. Seller states measurements are: 0.622" x 0.744" which equals approximately 15.8mm x 18.9mm. Here's the weights I bought on eBay:



    2. I've resorted to using Pacer Formula 560 canopy glue to hold my Bachmann RBOX cars' couplers together, which I've been contemplating for a while now. Easy to apply, and flexible when dry—seems perfect. This "solution" is fine since I have certain combinations of cars I never cut. Good news! Works great!

    Update: So I decided to remove a high-cube boxcar out of the glued-cut since I think its extra length (without proper NMRA-weighting) keeps forcing it to derail (should get my weights in a couple days). I sprayed the couplers with several shots of isopropyl alcohol and an hour later, the canopy glue had dissolved enough that I could separate them without damage.

    Last edited by Metrolink; 12th Jun 2020 at 07:51 PM.

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    The secret to the wheel weights is to search for "motorcycle wheel weights". For instance https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QWW7KZC/ are about 19mm x 12mm, and the 12mm makes them easy to fit into narrower spaces.
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    Damn! Good one! Oh well, now I have a lifetime supply of weights if I ever switch to H0! How soft is zinc? Maybe I can hammer them sideways if I need them a bit narrower? Edit: These are zinc-coated iron, so not very malleable at all.
    Last edited by Metrolink; 14th Jun 2020 at 04:18 AM.

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