Z Scale 25-Ton Switcher

This insane project came about while I was building my Z Scale Gorre & Daphetid. It was inspired after seeing similar but crude and much bulkier locos appearing for sale on the market. I decided to "do it right" beginning with a scratchbuilt mechanism.

The mechanism began with a coreless motor from a T Gauge locomotive (A) along with its original drive gear (B). This engaged a crown gear (C) from the same mechanism, drilled out for a metal shaft attached to a worm (D) from an old N Scale diesel. The worm drove wheels from an AZL Z Scale diesel (E), with an idler gear in between (F) from the same loco. Brass side frames (not shown) were screwed to a block of thick PC board (G) and electrically connected to the motor terminals (H) with wires cut from a resistor. The outline of the shell is indicated with grey shading.

Although the mechanism functioned, not surprisingly it didn't perform well; plus, it required a special throttle. Attaching a substantial weight to it significantly improved performance, but realistically such weight could not be made part of the finished locomotive. It would only have worked if the shell was made from something like depleted uranium, and since that was impractical, the model was never finished. I do have a video I'd taken of it being tested that I might one day post online.

If I ever come across the mechanism again—it's currently lost amidst the clutter of my last move—I might resurrect the project as a narrow-gauge N Scale industrial loco. This might allow me to make a bulkier shell, perhaps done as a lost wax casting or even a 3D printed metal part, which might add enough weight to make it operable. Who knows—that's a very distant possibility for another time.

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