Mark's Trains Ltd, Workspace House, 28-29 Maxwell Road, Peterborough, PE2 7JE    01733 609 414

Well it’s been another busy week in the workshop, after spending a week away on holiday with my wife and son. My first day back in the workshop started with a couple repair jobs and two western’s in for conversion. One of my customers sent in two OO gauge Lima class 52’s (Western’s) last week, for dcc conversion with servicing, cab detailing, directional lights requiring fitting and some minor repairs. It’s great to see the older generation of models still being used and considered worthy for conversion to dcc. On initial inspection the two western’s still ran, although rather sluggish and quite noisily, but this was down to the wheels being so heavily tarnished that they’d turned black and the gears being caked in accumulated grease/oil and dirt.

My first task was to service the two locomotives, stripping the motors down and giving them a good clean. Inspecting them for defects as per normal, and checking for split gears and remnant casting lugs which causes running noises within the gear train. Apart from a few remnant lugs on the gears requiring some attention, a new set of brushes as one of the original sets were heavily contaminated in oil, and all the traction tyres being heavily perished, all was well. Both motors were successfully rebuilt with the replacement parts, and with a very light lubrication it was testing time to bed in those new brushes. A vast improvement in operation, the motors had much more torque because of the cleaned electrical connections and gears.

Zimo decoders were installed and tested on the rolling road without the bodies in place, slow speed operation was good but adjustments were made to the speed tables to prevent gear backlash thus improving slow speed operation further.

Lights were installed to the cab ends where the original plastic markers were located, and cab lights installed inside the cabs at both ends for both locomotives. The lights were then wired in to the decoder function outputs and tested for operation before setting the heat shrink in place. Once the bodies had been refitted all worked very well, and the final result is quite stunning as you will see in the video below. One of the western’s has a slight sideways wobble on the rolling road, but that’s due to the extra torque the new brushes are producing at the motor, when I open the throttle up to full thrash. I hope you enjoy the video and have a great weekend!


Mark Johns