Ride on Railways Trojan Y6 tram battery loco

After a year in operation, I decided to add a more powerful battery powered loco to allow several coach trains to be hauled up the gradients. I purchased a Trojan chassis and Y6 tram body from Ride on Railways. Comprehensive instructions are on the Ride on Railways web site. Further useful construction tips are on John Oxlade's Salfords Light Railway web site. The very solid chassis is made of welded plate steel. The wheels, coupling rods, motor mounts and suspension are also steel, and so the first job was to clean these all down and apply a couple of coats of zinc primer to protect them.
The loco has four Fasco 150W 12V motors, two to each axle. The gears are keyed onto the motor shaft by drilling a 1.5mm hole between gear and shaft. A pillar drill is pretty much essential to ensure an accurate hole. The end of a 1.5mm bit is then inserted as the key and snapped off to fit. This works very well.
The two driving gears are secured to the wheels with four 5mm bolts. Four 4.3mm holes are drilled through gear and wheel. The wheels are then tapped with a 5mm tap, and the gear holes widened to 5mm. A small jig is provided to align the gear and wheel through the centre. I drilled and tapped one hole first. It was then easy to ensure there was no slip for the other holes since I put the bolt in the tapped hole to secure gear and wheel.
I used Araldite Rapid to fix the bronze axle bushes to the steel motor mounts. The instructions recommend soldering them together, but Araldite is easier and works fine. The wheels were initially not keyed onto the axles, but secured with Loctite. However I soon found slip occuring between wheels and axles, and keyed them on as per the instructions.
One of the motor support plates on the underside of the chassis had been welded in at a slight angle. This had to be attacked with a heavy club hammer (!) to realign it and allow the motor assembly to move freely on its springs. The chassis was assembled with the motor gears on opposite sides. The red and black leads for one set were swapped over at the connector block so that the connecting leads at the controller were always red for positive. This does prevent mistakes at the controller when removing and replacing leads.
The 4QD Pro-120 24V controller was mounted under its cover in an aluminium box (newer Trojan kits now have a welded metal plate for mounting). A on/off ignition switch was inserted into the yellow positive wire at the bulgin socket, and a 5 LED battery condition meter fitted.
The chassis and skirts were painted with Ford Polar Grey, the wheels, motor mounts and controller box with Halfords satin black, and the buffer beam with Audi Laser Red. The Halfords HB085 heavy duty batteries are held securely on a support made of 20mm angle iron bolted to the deck. I have not fitted the coupling rods and cranks.
The body is made of a welded steel frame into which MDF panels are fitted. Here the body frame has been sprayed with zinc primer, and positioned on the chassis. It fitted perfectly, with the control box and the screw heads used for attaching the skirts keeping it in place.
The frame was sprayed with Peugeot Cafe Noir and the panels with Rover Russet Brown. There is not exactly a huge selection of brown car spray paint (or grey for that matter either)! These were fixed together one panel at a time with "No more nails" adhesive, and held securely in place with clamps until the adhesive had thoroughly set.
The roof was sprayed with Rover Arum White and the window frames fixed in place to complete the tram. In initial trials, the top speed downhill on my straight has been clocked using a GPS satellite receiver at 10.3 mph (16.5 km/h) with a bogie wagon and driver. Given that the tram is around 1:11 scale, this is a equivalent to a full size (extremely unrealistic but who cares!) 113 mph (182 km/h).
The tram acquired a clip on face printed with an inkjet printer onto glossy paper. This is particularly popular with smaller visitors!
Finally the tram gained a name - "George" - after my father and son. The namplates were supplied by Maxitrak. There is a review of my Trojan tram in the December 2003 Garden Rail magazine.
I built an electronic steam and whistle sound generator to add a little more atmosphere to the tram. This was made from a very inexpensive Maplin Electronics kit, order code RR49D. The generator was designed to run from a 9V PP3 type battery, though it seems quite happy on 12V too. The supplied speaker was rather small and tinny, and a larger speaker produced a much more convincing sound. At present the sound system is carried in a wagon behind the tram. In due course I may mount it in the tram body, and link the speed potentiometer to that of the tram's controller to keep these synchronised.
After 10 years the tram's paintwork was looking rather worn with some rust showing through. I completely stripped and repainted it opting for a new colour scheme. The chassis and body frame were brush painted with Hammerite Direct to Rust satin black.
The panels were sprayed with Vauxhall Jade Green and the roof with Rover Arum White.