Large Scale Central

Battery & R/C in a Bachmann Eggliner

I received the new Bachmann Eggliner for xmas, with the hopes of converting it to r/c. To my surprise, there is enough room under the shell for an 8 cell, 14.8v battery and receiver, with room for a phoenix board and a 1" speaker to spare.

I plan on using the factory supplied polarity switch as the on/off switch. Unless I can come up with another method, the shell will just rest on top of the chassis, so I can remove the battery as needed. As stated on another thread, I prefer to have the batteries accessible so they can be switched out to charge. My hope is to have the r/c working by Jan. 20th, when my club has its monthly meeting.

You missed the whole point of the Eggliner…

You are supposed to hatch it, or make an omelette of it…!!

Fred Mills

Lol! From what I understand, the Eggliner was never intended to be a formal product and go to market. One of the Polks decided it would be funny to stick two observation car ends together and stick it on a motorblock. It only came to the market after many people had seen the original and asked that it be produced. With that being said, I respect both the realistic/prototypical side of modeling, and the whimsical side. I am of both sides. However, I do intend to paint it into a realistic paint scheme.

I removed the track pick ups, and I was impressed by the new version of the remake Aristo motorblock. The universal joint is made of metal, and the wheels appear to have ball bearings. It seems that the latest version Aristo blocks do have these features. Still, not bad for just an Eggliner.

I think the “new version” is about 10 years old (

Someone here will know when the BB wheelsets came out…


My installation is progressing. I most recently constructed the platform for the receiver to sit on, and made a cardboard template of the lower platform where the battery, phoenix board and speaker will sit. The receiver platform is a plastic board screwed to two cedar supports. I probably should have measured out the spacing of the supports and lengths of the supports, but eyeballing worked out okay. As of yet, the receiver platform and supports are just resting on the lower platform. I intend to make some small metal L brackets to secure them down using the screws that hold down the weight. The lower platform will be constructed of plastic, so it will be stronger and more weather resistant than the cardboard. Hobby Lobby is selling two 8.5" by 11" by 0.015" thick plastic sheets for $5, which seems like a good deal. I also hope to purchase some connectors after I finish building the two platforms. The Phoenix p8 and a 1" speaker are shown along with the Airwire g3 receiver in their approximate locations.

The receiver and lower platforms are now completed. The lower platform was fabricated from two 0.03" thick k&s plastic sheets. The sheets were glued together for more strength and less flexing. I also scrounged a rail joiner and part of an old drawing compass to make the L brackets to hold down the cedar supports for the receiver platform. Next to do is wiring. The first photo shows the basic structure without electronics, and the second shows it with electronics.

Nice … does the shell fit over all that ?

It sure does! :slight_smile: I’m not exactly sure, but there is probably 5 mm of clearance between the “ceiling” of the shell and the top of the receiver. A very close fit.

Wow, Joe. You stuffed a lot of hardware in a small space. You‘ve given me some ideas, thanks.

Happy to help. Glad you got some ideas. It really helps that the Eggliner has a one piece shell that is pretty much hollow underneath.

I originally planned on using an 8 cell 14.8v li-ion battery, but I have decided to go with a 4 cell battery instead. The Eggliner is a light loco, weighing in at about a pound. Adding almost a pound of more weight (8 cell battery) made the gears whine, and I don’t want to strip them. The 4 cell weighs half (obviously) of the 8 cell. A friend in my club has also converted an Eggliner to battery and r/c, albiet with no sound. He also used a 4 cell battery, but he removed the factory weight. I was hoping I could pull a couple of cars up a 3% grade with it, but I don’t want to stress the gears.

Should I remove the factory weight, or should I keep the factory weight and the battery ?

Also,would removing the weight decrease the center of gravity and make it more likely to tip over on sharp curves?

I’d keep the weight the same, do you have a gram scale?

Without a scale I’d cut the weight in half, add the battery and listen to the gears, adding fractions of the weight until you hear noise, then remove 2 fractions. Opting for the safer than sorry approach.

I just weighed the factory weight. It comes in at 160 grams. John, if I understand you correctly, you believe that the weight of the unit should be the same after the conversion as before the conversion, when it ran off of track power?

Yep, it’s a not a loco, it’s a self propelled car, to me.

I can see why you’d think that. For me, it is basically the Lil’ critter with a different appearance. Admittedly, it weighs less than a Lil’ critter, but the Lil’ critter can pull 4 or 5 standard size freight cars on level track.

I wish you the best of luck with your project.

I guess I’ve changed my mind a bit. If I can keep the factory weight and the battery, I’ll do it. Otherwise the weight will be discarded (if I hear gear noise again). Come to think of it, even with just the battery in it, it should be able to pull 4 or 5 2 axle cars.

I think John’s point is that you normally don’t pull a lot with a self propelled car. I would look at the motor block and since there’s one, and other than the little critter, all the Aristo locomotives have 2 of these blocks, only expect it to pull 1/2 the load of a normal loco.

A couple of cars up a 3% would be pretty much what I would ask of it long term. The motor block is capable of that easily, based on our long term experience with the motor block.

Based on history, I’d say if you are trying to pull the most with it, keep the weight and the additional battery and decoder weight. Be aware though, that these motor blocks can strip gears, some run forever and some strip the gear on one axle… if it starts making noise check the gears.

But finally, since spare parts are now available, you have the option to run it hard if you want, and replace the block if it fails.


I understood what John meant, and perhaps my expectations are far fetched (and I am probably asking too much of it, though I would never ask it to pull the same size train as an RS3), but I sure hope I can pull something with it, even if that means only one car. The packaging does call it “motive power”, and I realize I am in the 0.1% of people actually trying to use their Eggliners as locomotives. But if the Eggliner had the same weight as the Lil’ critter, than wouldn’t the pulling capacity be about the same? I would like to keep the gears intact if possible, it would save me money, and I don’t want to take it apart again. So, even though keeping the factory weight would increase the pulling power, it seems that it could stress the gears more than it is worth doing. Also, the battery weighs slightly more than the original factory weight, so I by removing it weight is still added (battery is only 30 grams heavier), which makes me feel good. Realistically, the heaviest train I’d haul behind it would be 6 AMS short flatcars or a couple light 4 axle cars.

Thank you John and Greg.