Re-powering a G Class

Written by David Head. Posted in Locomotives

This page is about using a AUSTRAINS "C" mech to re-power a POWERLINE "G".


It was done in three stages:

  1. Initial work
  2. Finishing one loco off
  3. Vic Hobby Centre Method, starting the second loco.


This article is based on my postings to aus.rails.models. My "G" had died, so I took the opportunity to start this conversion. I have not gotten really far, but I have made all the big "cuts" .

G Class Locomotive modelMY guide was the AMRM article found in October 1998 , issue 212 vol 18 no 11.

Here are a few photos of the progress so far.

Since I originally took these initial photos and wrote this page I have finished this project (what, over a year! yes yes, I know)

The results are in Stage 2 & 3 for you to see !


Stage 1 Initial Work

The body of the "G" almost ready for mating to the chassis. The headstock will be glues onto the body. 
The head-stocks, filled in, and the back filled up to allow Kadee couplers to be fitted.
The weight of the "C" class. I have cut some weight off at one end, and the top.
A shot of the Chassis. The fuel tank form the "G" has been cut, altered and glued to the "C" chassis.
A top shot of the chassis, showing the all the cuts etc made to the "C".
The remains of the "G"'s chassis ! The head-stocks have been cut off, and the fuel tank has also gone...

Stage 2

I have finally finished this model.

You will notice I have made brackets that are glued under the bogie and onto the chassis at each end that secure the body to the chassis.

Call me different but I didn't want to remove the coupler in order to remove the body, so I made the bracket so I screw either side. I used brass shapes etc and soldered two nuts onto one piece, then glued them into the top part of the headstock assembly (as the photo in stage 1 shows).

 A close up of one end of the chassis.
(Click to enlarge)

I had to remove even more of the cast weight from the top part in order to get it to fit. That wasn't a worry as I can always put more weight on the sides if needed. There is still plenty of space for a DCC decoder as well.

A close up to see the modification to the body.  (Click to enlarge)

The fuel tank is glued to the chassis. The loco runs very well and has already been used on my EMRC club layout "Murranbilla" at two recent exhibitions. 

Left: A 3/4 view of the completed chassis and modifications.






A side view of the completed chassis and modifications. 



Victorian Hobby Centre Method

With success of the first I wanted to do a second. Then I went to the 2002 Corio Model Railway Exhibition, and noticed a FAR BETTER way of re-powering a "G".

It was shown by the friendly Eric from the Victorian Hobby Centre.

I were so impressed I had to try it - and are amazed at to the simplicity. So, this method belongs to Eric, and thankyou for sharing it with us ! 

The VHC method was to use the existing "G" chassis, and transplant the motor and bogies from Austrain into it. Really quite simple. You make some mounts (mine are brass), and glue them where the original Powerline motors swivelled. Make sure the height places your coupler at the correct height.

You may get away with not removing your coupler at all !

Then time to mount the motor. Eric put metal in the fuel tank before attaching the motor - differed here and used a Sagami motor. I put down Plastic, so my version is not as heavy.

A close up of one end of the chassis.

Then two drive shafts are made - another revelation that I could have used 6 years ago. All you need is brass rod of two thicknesses, one to be the drive-shaft, 'the other the drive pins. I used a motor tool to slot the drive-shaft (cut to the length you wanted). Then I soldered the thinner wire into it. When cool I then trimmed it with wire cutters. Next was to file the area with needle files to ensure it went in and turned in the Austrains bogie housing.



A 3/4 view of the chassis.

I did add extra weight, but placing three steel bars in the insides, with electrical tape insulating them, just in case. There is still plenty of space for a DCC decoder as well.

To attach the body to the chassis, I glued in some styrene into two corners of the cab, then drilled and screwed through just behind the pilots.

The loco runs very well and has already been used on my EMRC club layout "Murranbilla" at two recent exhibitions. Due to using the Sagami motor, it does not run well with my other Austrain "G" or "C". So, shall I re-power it as well ?

I know Eric at the Victorian Hobby Center occasionally sells converted model like what I have shown here, but with extra detail added as well.

I wonder if this would work for an 81 class ???

A 3/4 view of the chassis and body.