HOn30 0-4-4T Forney


I’ve been watching this engine on eBay for a while.  It is a resin kit produced by a Canadian outfit called Railway Recollections.  Photos are from their web site.




With the kit you get the superstructure.


This engine uses a Bachmann N Scale USRA 0-6-0 switcher as a donor.  As part of the conversion the middle set of drivers are removed.  The tender is not used.  This is not a Spectrum but the drive train is sufficiently detailed for use under the Forney.  While this engine is not DCC ready, there is a pretty good tutorial on how to convert to DCC.

Bachmann 0-6-0

They also suggest using a truck from a Kato passenger engine as the truck has pickups on all 4 wheels.


The bill for these two donors was a bit under $72.

Assuming I can find a place in the cab or attached tender for a decoder, I’ll use a the same DIGITRAX DN136D DCC decoder I am using in my other HOn30 engine projects.

This engine begs for some super detail parts.  I’ll wait until it comes to see what is included but at the minimum it needs.

  • A bell and whistle – ordered
  • A generator for the electric light in the front – ordered
  • A rear light for the tender – ordered front and rear.
  • An air compressor – ordered
  • Hand rails and stanchions – on hand.
  • Microtrains 1130 or 1023 couplers — 1130s ordered.
  • Steps on the front and rear pilots – ordered.
  • Tool boxes for the tender.

This isn’t a criticism of the model.  I super detail everything on the roster.  I’m going to dig for some prototype photos to get ideas for other ‘in use’ detail.

Bachmann 0-6-0 Modifications

I have two sets of modifications to the Bachmann 0-6-0 that need to be made.  The first prepares it for being the bogey for the Forney.  The second converts it to DCC.  I decided to hold off on the second set of modifications for now because:

  • It requires further disassembly.
  • I want to test the drive train on analog DC before converting to DCC.

Following the instructions that came with the Forney kit, I first disconnected the tender from the engine.  Doing so requires rotating the tender 90 degrees horizontally so the draw bar slips over the prongs that attach it to the engine.  In this photo the drawbar has been detached from the prongs.



The front tender truck needs to be detached from the tender by removing the screw that holds the trucks in place.


Once the screw has ben removed the trucks and the drawbar come off.


I tucked all of this into a parts bag.

The boiler and cab come off the locomotive by removing the screw at the top of the sand dome.


When the screw is removed, the boiler and cab slide up and off the drive train.


The screw and cab/boiler also went into the parts bag.  The cover over the gears is removed by removing the two screws at the bottom of the drive train.


Once the screws are removed the gearbox cover can be lifted off exposing the gears.  The middle set of drivers is not connected to the side rods and instead is driven by gears.  It can be lifted out leaving the front and rear drivers in place.  Congratulations.  You have converted a 0-6-0 to a 0-4-0.


Dropping the cover back in place and reinserting the two screws completes the conversion.  The front pilot can be removed by backing out the front screw.  Once the screw is out. the pilot can be pulled out.  Then, reinsert the screw.  Extra drivers and pilot go in the parts bag.


The Forney documentation suggests two additional modifications.

  • Remove a portion of the valve gear.  Because I am not modeling a specific prototype, I decided to leave the valve gear intact.
  • Cut off the top portion of the cylinders.  I’m going to see how the Forney kit components line up before I take this step.
  • The final step is to remove the front truck on the Kato passenger car.  I can’t do that as the car is in transit from Japan.

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