Large Scale Central

Railpro Install in a Bachmann 2-truck Shay

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I have been away from LSC for quite awhile and it is good to be back…

I am looking for a source that shows how to install a Railpro module in a Bachmann 2-truck Shay. I have found a rather detailed instruction for a 3-truck Shay but not for the 2-truck.

If something has been written or posted I’d appreciate some direction to finding it.

Redwood Creek and Tallulah Ridge Railroad

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I’ve done it in an early version. Posts are here somewhere; will try and find them. Originally a battery r/c conversion that was later converted to Railpro. I wanted to keep the flicker board so I needed to build a split battery pack with 3 cells in the boiler and one in the air tank. Trucks were hard wired as well.

Here is the original post…

And here is the conversion to RailPro…

Hey Jon!!

Thanks so much for sharing your detailed conversion. Very clear as I read through it…and the pictures are great!! I’m looking forward to getting started with mine.


No problem Richard. If you have any questions, just ask.

I’ve been told that if you don’t care about the Firebox Flicker, that when the board is removed there is room for a small speaker in there. This gives you great spatial placement for the sound and frees up the tender for batteries. My split pack battery idea got the job done, but was problematic at first. I also wish that my batteries were easier to replace as the cheap Tenergy cells I used are not charging properly any more.

I’m a big fan of placing the speaker in the firebox on the Shay’s. I have 3 done this way and really like the results.
I don’t care about “fire box flicker” because I seldom run at night and it can’t be seen in the daylight. And as Jon points out it frees up a lot of space in the tank for batteries and boards.

Also if you seal the firebox it makes a great speaker enclosure, see the current thread regarding speaker enclosures…

The best thing about having the speaker in the fire box is that the engine noise is coming from the engine area not somewhere in the back of the locomotive. This is especially important when using the video camera.

Thanks Jon and Rick!! I’m leaning towards using the firebox for the speaker as well. I don’t typically run at night. Hoping to start working on the conversion soon.


Since all my Rail Pro engines are diesel and there are options for Mars Lights and other flashing lights I would think the the Rail Pro Steam module would have the Firebox flicker option, or something that would work for flickering. Just a thought. One note do not use the Bachmann electronics for any electrical hookups, take them completely out and use the Rail Pro, it should be able to work everything, only exception would be the smoke generator and Rail Pro has a hookup for that.

Thanks John,

I’ve been struggling getting to the electronics of the shay. One of the two smokebox screws was stripped on the head and could not get it to release. Finally took a big risk and took a small Dremel bit with a round head and drilled into the screw head. It actually worked by giving me enough of a bite using a small flathead screwdriver to get the screw out without damaging anything other than the screw. Now I’m awaiting a set of new powered trucks.

Disassembly of models can be challenging at times, I do rebuild all my engines and rolling stock, so from time to time you have to invent ways of disassembly and not destroy the model. I always try to look for the manufactures parts diagrams online, this does give me some idea on how it goes together. Looks like you used your modeler skills to remove the screw, probably the way I would have done it. The new powered trucks should be a no brainer, your Rail Pro has power terminals for the front and rear truck, just remember if you are going battery power only remove the track pickups in the trucks, if you are going to use track power then the Rail Pro instruction will show how to wire it up. I have battery power in all my engines, just takes all the fun out of track cleaning and everything else that goes with track power.