Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Kadee two-piece trucks

For some time now, Kadee has been re-releasing their various HO scale truck types in a different design they call “two-piece,” meaning a split bolster. They are molded in a “High Gravity Compound,” or HGC, meaning higher density to increase truck weight to almost match metal trucks. Most important, from an appearance standpoint, they have truck springs molded instead of “working” or “real” springs. The news for me, and any other SP modeler for the transition era or earlier, is that they have finally extended this program to three older trucks: Andrews, T-section, and Vulcan. These were all used by SP early in the 20th century and thus are essential for SP modeling as late as the transition era.
     The trucks are available with either the formerly standard wheels, 0.110-inch wheel treads (Code 110) or newer “semi-scale” Code 88 wheels. These just have different Kadee stock numbers. Below is their announcement for the trucks with Code 88 wheels. The 1571, 1572 and 1573 trucks are simply 571, 572 and 573 with Code 110 wheels.

Note that these have ribbed-back wheels.
     As I mentioned at the top, the real advance for me is that these trucks avoid that terribly obvious open sideframe when “real” springs are installed. I mean this kind of thing, using the sprung Kadee Vulcan truck:

As I’ve said in a number of places (most recently in my Model Railroad Hobbyist column in the September 2016 issue, which you can download for free any time at www.mrhmag.com), real truck springs look nothing at all like this, and one simply cannot see through them in this way. And of perhaps greater importance, these springs do not effectively cushion any model freight car that weighs less than half a pound, which is why I put quotes around the term “real” springs. They are mechanically cosmetic and visually incorrect.
     The Kadee Andrews truck is the early-design Andrews, with a long tie bar running under the whole sideframe, which SP used on several car classes. The T-section truck, from Bettendorf or other manufacturers, was very widely used by SP in the 1920s, for several different kinds of freight cars. And the Vulcan truck was also used by SP on several classes, particularly for stock cars and cabooses. That’s why I need and can use all three of these new trucks. Shown below are packs of all three, with Code 110 wheels, which I may well swap out for Code 88 wheels before putting these under freight cars.

     I was really pleased to see these trucks released, and will be using them on future models, as well as to replace some of the older Kadee “sprung” trucks under some of my freight cars. I would advocate their use by anyone with appropriate freight car models which should have these particular trucks.
Tony Thompson

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