Wednesday, November 12, 2014

44 Class Gears - Part 2


Today I had some spare time so I drove up to Moss Vale and met up with my mate to cut some gears. He very kindly had been working on some mandrels along with a indexing plate for both ten and eleven toothed gears.

As an improvement on the original gear we made the gear 3mm wide. This may help the meshing problems a little. Another improvement, for myself was to bore the axle hole out to 2.35mm rather than 2.4mm. I have been wanting to change the wheels on my 44 class models to 88 thou wide sets. NWSL wheels (P/N 37241-4) are not a bad replacement however the axles are slightly smaller in diameter than the Chinese originals, resulting in a looser fit when mated with original muff. Drilling the muff to 2.35mm creates a nice fit with the narrower wheels.

Gear made today.

Top - Austrains Gear (C CLass)
Middle - Traino 44 Gear
Bottom - Home made, 88 thou NWSL wheels.

After a bit of trialling, we produced one gear. which we fitted to my 44 class model. The gear fits well and runs nicely. The actual cutting of the gear is quite quick however machining the blanks is a little time consuming, mainly due to not being 100% set up properly yet.


A slightly longer, non threaded section mandrel is required for placing the gear on when cutting teeth. This will provide a little more support.

A modified collet will have to be used for blank turning.

If the blanks were cut by a CNC lathe and the teeth simply cut by hand in the mill, the process would be quite fast. Next time up in Moss Vegas we will start a production line and try to knock a few out.

The 88 thou wide wheels look better, however some may need a little trueing on their axles. Not half as bad as the standard wheels though!

A good little experiment and I have learnt a lot.

So long,



  1. Hi Linton,

    That's cool. I'd be interested in those gears in order to run NWSL RP-88 wheels in a pair of 44s. I can certainly vouch for the wheels, I have a set under a Lloyds 43 running in Athearn bogies that sees regular exhibition work. They definitely look better than standard RP-110 width wheels, I never have to clean the treads, and the 43 has never derailed.



    1. Hi Martin,

      Sorry for missing one of your comments earlier on regarding sound files. As for the sound projects on my blog, all the steam version are my own. While nothing too special, I decided to make my own as there was nothing else around. I too need a 36 class sound project so that is on the to do list. I have to go and record a few things from 3642 (hopefully it's still going) before I can complete it. You're most welcome to it once done.

      As for the gears, we have a little way to go yet. The RP 88 wheels do look better. Interesting about them staying cleaner. It's funny but all the gears in my 44 class locos are split. I need to cut 24 just for myself.



    2. Hi Linton,

      Thanks for the offer for the 36 class sounds once they are done, I'll take you up on that! I'm hoping to fit a Loksound V4 and a keepalive in the boiler/smokebox of my DJH 36. I'd be happy to use a standard Loksound sound file for now but have no idea what would be suitable.

      Only one of my 44s has a clicking noise, I only hear it start to click when pulling a load going round a curve. It sounds as though it is only coming from the lead bogie as well. I've run it that way at exhibitions for a couple of years now with no detrimental effect.

      As for the NWSL wheels, they are made from nickel silver, I think that is why they need little to no cleaning.



  2. G'day Linton,

    Can I ask what back-to-back measurement you are setting the new wheelsets to? I picked up a few packets of the NWSL half axles and am part way through converting a Trainorama 49 class, but I'm a bit stuck on what to set them to.


  3. Hi, I really appreciate you for all the valuable information that you are providing us through your blog.


  4. Hi Linton, having noted your progress in producing gears for your 44's it is very interesting given the Trainorama SAR 930 class has the same gear splitting problems as the 44 class. We have concluded that a wider tooth gear cog machined rather than moulded is the way to go. Our operating group has 28 locos between us and only two without at least one gear split. I assume with time constraints you would not be in a position to produce gears for others?
    We are considering producing our own gears and I wonder if you might have a moment to explain what specialist skill, equipment and materials would be needed. A little on methodology would be helpful. It is expected that a small quantity might not be economic, and the NWSL gear at US$14.95 each certainly isn't cheap at A$21 or A$128/loco. Any comments/suggestions
    would be much appreciated, thanks Bob Gormly