Episode 68: Freightcar Redesign

Is the train too long? Then simply shorten one car:

Of course, it’s not quite that simple 😉

The Problem

The train with the →89 (T3), the conversion cars and another baggage car looks great. By the way, these are all original Maerklin products. However, there is a problem: Because of the →Model Railroad Lift, the train length is limited to 1400mm. But the described train has about 1440mm:

What to do? The locomotive can hardly be shortened; the conversion cars are also too bad for this and would lose their charm. A close coupling system could perhaps save 10-20mm, but that will be too tight. In addition, all trains would have to be retrofitted to remain compatible. All no options. So the problem solution focuses on a shorter freight car….

The Conversion

After a closer look at the car (in the original, a freight car with “Steiff” advertising print was used, which was available cheaply in the bay), a plan was developed to keep the conversion effort within limits: The wagon body is laterally divided into “fields”, which in the original were the vertical steel posts with horizontal boarding. If you can cleanly “operate out” two of these fields, the length problem should be solved.

There is also some planning to be done for the chassis. The appearance of the individual axles with leaf springs and suspension should be retained. At the same time, the buffers and couplers should remain in one piece as far as possible so that everything does not have to be laboriously “pieced together” again from many individual parts at the end. After three cleverly defined cutting edges have been defined, four cleanly defined individual parts (two buffer/coupler parts and two frame parts) can be pushed back together and fixed with sheet metal strips. The changes are hardly visible (on the photos the chassis is already aged):

After the chassis, car body and also the roof have been processed in the manner shown above, the car can be mounted exactly as originally with two screws. Finished!


All in all, a relatively simple conversion with great effect: Finally, the beautiful train fits on the elevator and can start regular service. Have fun with your own rebuild projects,

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