Convert a railcar to DCC
Left frustrated that the updated Graham Farish GWR diesel railcar isn’t Dcc-ready? Don’t worry – Chris Leigh shows you how to make it digital.
Frustrated that Farish’s GWR railcar isn’t Dcc-ready? See Chris Leigh’s solution.
The GWR’S ‘razor edge’ diesel railcars were a common sight on the Staines West branch, so I really had to have one for my new ‘N’ gauge layout. The problem was that the only available ‘N’ gauge model was the old Graham Farish model that lacked any form of provision for DCC. Still, no matter. In 2014, Bachmann unveiled plans to give the old 1985 model a new chassis, with a six-pin DCC socket and NEM pockets. I placed an order and waited. It has proved to be a rather long wait but the railcar finally arrived in July 2018. Somewhere along the way, however, the spec for the new chassis has changed. Yes, it has a different motor and the wiring is accessible, but there is no DCC socket. Instead, there’s a small cut-out space for a decoder. To be fair, it is much cheaper than the original quoted price but this is very much a 1980s model, not a 21st-century upgrade. I suspect that I will not be the only customer to have been disappointed after such a long wait for a supposedly improved model. The revised model has only been offered in GWR chocolate/cream or BR green, but not the 1950s crimson/cream that I needed. The old Farish railcar had been offered in crimson/ cream, so I wondered if I could put an old body onto the new chassis and get the DCC railcar that I needed, albeit one with no possibility of installing sound. At a cost of around £170 for the two models, it would make for an expensive, silent railcar, but with a bit of luck I could sell on the new body on the old chassis and recoup some of that cost. Here’s how I got on.