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2/3 rail dilemma

Discussion in 'Model Railways' started by CH 19, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. CH 19

    CH 19 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Just a quick question for the learned here, how easy or difficult would it be to mount a hornby diecast duchess 3 rail body onto a similar 2 rail chassis and wheelset. Would like to recreate my childhood 'trainset' to something more advanced.
    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  2. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Not a railway modeller here, but as far as I know you can convert 3-rail to 2- rail, which would mean you keep your childhood model (Duchess of Athol?) in more or less its original form.
     
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  3. CH 19

    CH 19 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Cheers for that John, will look into that option then as it is more like preservation than modernisation haha. No flies on your model spotting mate :) yep tis her in BRmaroon, also have a Standard 4 tank and a plastic type 20 to sort. That'll be winter sorted then:p:p.
    Chris
     
  4. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    My best friend at primary school had a Hornby Duchess 3 rail set, whilst I was a poor boy with a Tri-ang Princess and Stanier coaches. I always felt second best in that regard!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
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  5. 46223

    46223 Part of the furniture Friend

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    I have a Hornby 3 rail Duchess. 'City of Liverpool', bought with my very first weeks wage in 1962!
     
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  6. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I was only 10 y/o then :D
     
  7. 46223

    46223 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Lucky you!
     
  8. Herald

    Herald Member

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    In many instances Hornby Dublo 2 rail was updated 3 rail by changes to wheels and pick-ups but still incorporating the same body castings. Depending on personal skill changing wheels and creating pick-ups is relatively easy or using well known auction sites to procure appropriate parts.

    There are also many thriving collectors groups and small suppliers who specialise in repair of these old models. You might start by trying:
    http://www.dublo-spares.co.uk/index.html or by seeking contacts through https://www.hrca.net/ or by searching for a local vintage trains collectors group https://traincollectors.co.uk/. Most such groups are very friendly and helpful and can advise on ways forward.
     
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  9. CH 19

    CH 19 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thank you Herald, very much appreciated seems like I have a project on my hands.
    Chris
     
  10. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Resident of Nat Pres Account Suspended

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    When I inherited my brother's Dublo set back in the mid-70s, my local model shop converted the stock to 2-rail for me. For locomotives, the modification consisted of insulating one wheel of each axle via an insulator on the axle itself and fitting a phosphor bronze pickup strip in place of the centre-rail pickups to contact the now-insulated driving wheels. On rolling stock, plastic wheels were fitted in place of the metal ones - some stock was already plastic as Meccano moved to 2-rail operation.

    45 years on, I want to return it all to original 3-rail condition.
     
  11. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    I too have a Duchess of Athol (in LMS livery), which started out a 3 rail, but by the time I got hold of it (50 years ago) it had been converted. Just in case you haven't tried, do check that the mechanism works under load. The magnet will undoubtedly be weaker, and the insulation on the windings might be breaking down. There might be enough strength to turn the wheels over, but not enough to move it and a load any distance. And you can be sure that it will draw more power than many modern controller units can provide.

    That does not mean you shouldn't try, but better to be forewarned that insulating the wheels may be the easy and cheap bit!

    Steve B
     
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  12. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I was obviously second best too, mine was the original Rovex princess with plunger pickups
     
  13. CH 19

    CH 19 Well-Known Member Friend

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    I had a very blessed childhood as not only did we have the 3 rail Duchess set on a boarded layout but we also had the plastic tri-ang princess and a smart die cast 8F with the ringfield? motor on a separate temporary layout. Not sure where all the 2 rail stock went, but was reunited with the dublo set back from my ex wife after 30 years storage in her loft!!
    We also had a humungous (well to a nipper it was) diecast American loco, I do not remember the wheel arrangement. Also not sure if that was 2 or 3 rail but it attempted to waft smoke and if memory serves was 16 volt so did not go that well and only came out occasionally.
     

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