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.

Model Rail (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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