In a previous post I mentioned that if you had the “Old Style” Atlas 70 Ton Roller bearing trucks with the rotating end caps, you would have an issue with the Protocraft axles. The don’t work, at least they won’t permit you to have the rotating end caps. The 36″ roller bearing axles will, but all of the wheelsets that have 33″ wheels, which you need for 70 ton trucks, have shorter axles (you can also get 36″ wheelsets with the shorter axles, which work well with the new style of Atlas Truck.)
What that leaves you with is Northwest Short Line (NWSL) axles as seen below.
As I hope you can see from these rather stinky photos, the axles fit in the truck bushings just fine, but they have a shoulder on one side, which does NOT fit in the bushings. Now, technically speaking, this probably doesn’t seem like much of a problem, since as you can see from the bottom photo, when the bushing hits the shoulder, the side frame doesn’t sit so far away that it looks unrealistic, I could live with that. The problem is that because the axle end is pointed, not enough of the axle sticks out of the side frame for the bearing cap to grip onto, thus creating the problem. The only way to correct this is to turn the shoulder down so that more of the axle protrudes from the side frame. This is a situation that I was hoping to avoid the need to use machine tools… since one of the barriers to entry of Proto48 is the whole “you need a machine shop to model in the Proto48″ mythology.
I have asked Norm from Protocraft if there is a way to mount 33” wheels on the longer roller bearing axles. Since the 70 ton trucks will only be mounted under boxcars, the use of the heavier, 100 Ton axle shouldn’t be noticeable.
The other option would be to sell the trucks on eBay and get the new style … Or wait for me to produce a 70 Ton Roller Bearing truck of my own, which I will be working on in the future, but there is no time line on when I will get it produced.