Re: Andrews truck with power pickups

Todd Sullivan

The LifeLike P2K USRA 0-6-0 and the later production of the USRA 0-8-0 used the standard LL 33" wheelsets, which had smooth (shiny) wheels and plastic axles, with thin shim brass or phosphor bronze wires on both sides of the truck frame (i.e., all 4 wheels) as a means to collect current from both rails.  I converted an early production 0-8-0 to the same setup.  The amount of friction caused by the pickups rubbing against the backs of the wheels (all the wheels on the tender) was pretty small, since the trucks rolled very freely to begin with, and the wheel backs were very smooth.  Using Kadee wheels would probably increase the friction due to the material and finish, but that is conjecture on my part.  Central Valley wheelsets were insulated on one side and were not shiny smooth.  Beyond that, they were made of brass which would oxidize over time on both the backs and treads, which I think would tend to reduce effective electrical pickup on the wheels.

Todd Sullivan.

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