East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Module Mogul - 4

After all the electrical and electronic revisions were made to my Bachmann 2-6-0, I reassembled the locomotive and tender for a test run.

The JRD On30 Module Group participated in a Greenberg Train Show in the Richmond area, and there the Mogul ran fine.

When reassembled, the Tsunami sound decoder rides very high in the tender. I installed boards around the coal bunker in order to more easily hide the decoder under a coal load. I used card stock to determine how high the boards would have to be.

Coal bunker boards in front and around the perimeter of the coal pile were integrated with a pair of tool boxes.

I decided to only attempt very basic detail revisions to the locomotive. I removed the pilot, the airtank that sat on top of the boiler, and the marker lights from near the headlight. I also cut the handrail back to the first supports on the smokebox.

The generator from a Bachmann On30 Shay was installed directly behind the headlight. Then I spraypainted the locomotive and tender with dark gray auto primer after masking the whistle, windows, and headlight. After the primer dried, I sprayed them with a coat of clear acrylic gloss.

Custom decals were printed for the JRD On30 Modular Group by Jeff Damerst at Shawmut Car Shops. The decals were easy to apply on the gloss clear coat.

Gold decal sheets were set up for locomotives and passenger cars, white decals for freight cars and cabooses.

Module Mogul - 3

Harold’s tutorial on installing DCC and sound in a Bachmann 2-6-0 explains how to modify the locomotive’s circuit board, and where to solder new electrical connections.

The issue then becomes feeding the new wires from the connections in the boiler out to the tender. The boiler is an extremely tight fit on the drive mechanism. Harold drilled a hole down through the weight in the firebox to provide a route for the wires. I decided to use files and Dremel grinding discs to cut grooves along the top and down the back of the firebox weight for the wires. The six wires include two each for track power, motor leads, and headlight leads. The wires were grouped into the “black” set and the “red” set and fed out of the back of the locomotive below the cab.

Corresponding wires were fed forward in the tender, exiting through the floor on either side of the drawbar. The electrical connections between the locomotive and tender were made using connector sockets I ordered from Digi-Key Corporation.

Fred Miller wrote an excellent article about using these connectors that appeared in the NMRA Mid-East Region newsletter. They are inexpensive, easy to work with, and the perfect plug set for this application.