Friday, April 16, 2021

Steam tram


A few weeks ago, I mentioned some Atlas Editions trams that we'd bought far too cheaply for the quality of the models. 

All have potential for a diorama, but as I learned to my cost building Hellingly, overhead wiring is a pain in the backside to do properly. That limits the electric trams use as moving models, but there is another in the range - this attractive steam tram. 

Tram number 12 is 70mm long and 25mm wide. The small boiler, only 25mm above rail level, doesn't provide a lot of space to fit a motor, but this is narrow gauge, and I suspect an N gauge Tomytec mechanism could be squeezed in. 

Possibly, the biggest problem is the trailer car. The bogies are moulded integral to the underframe trussing, and obviously they don't rotate. Probably the easiest option would be to scrape the whole lot off and replace with new bogies and scratchbuilt truss-rods. 

My suspicion is that someone has already carried out this conversion already - can anyone point me in the direction if it's been written up?


Alan Feldon said...

For the loco Kato tram chassis is what has normally been used . Either cut out portion of base or scrap this and make new out of sheet lead and attach parts to this .Will require lower portion of boiler removed .
For coaches remove metre gauge bogies supplied and fit 009 or n bogies .

Rob said...

I've seen a couple of people bash the tram engine onto a Kato-103 (Now 109) chassis. Can't recall ever seeing the coach being modified, but as you say Phil, I'm sure someone's tried.

Baz said...

I've motorised several of these trams using the Kato 11-103 N gauge chassis. A new footplate needs to be made & the lower part of the boiler needs to be removed to keep everything at the right height. Not a difficult conversion.

Simon Hargraves said...

Hi Phil,
I've just sent you an email with a pdf containing a conversion of the steam tram and trailer by David Hurst from the 009 NW Group's newsletter...hopefully this will be of use.
The loco seems to have been a standard SLM design used on a number of metre gauge tramways in Switzerland; there's a very good history (in English) of the Birsigthalbahn which had at least two of them, also photos of one in industrial use after being sold off by the BTB when it was electrified.
I have a couple of these sets, the intention being to use one loco to form a more realistic train of loco plus two trailers and possibly build the other loco in grubbier, "industrial" condition.

Phil Parker said...

Wow - I had a feeling I wasn't the first to think about this. Thanks to everyone so far who has helped with information. Even if this is another on my huge pile of potential projects, this post will help someone else I'm sure thanks to your efforts.

Bill L said...

Further to Simon H’s comment, look out for your complimentary copy of the May 009 News where David Hurst has written a two and a half page article about his conversion.

Christopher Payne said...

David Hurst has also described his conversion on his blog.


Christopher Payne said...



May I suggest you look in detail at my contribution ref the scale dimensions (or otherwise) of this model over on the NGRMonLine thread?

I began by feeling that the end on view of the SLM locomotive was too tall and too thin, and as you will see from my calculations that opinion appears to be justified.


Phil Parker said...

You know, I'm going off this project. This tram is just too common... ;-)