Large Scale Central

Submarine Transport for the Triple O

Pete ( @PeterT ),

Yes, the there are four pivot points, two on each end. The yellow and black “arms” rotate at the trucks and over the cradle. Our early “tongue depressor” experiments showed that this was the only way to get this beast over our R1 / 2’ radius curves. We tried restricting the sway at both the cradle and the trucks, all to no avail. I did build some extra length into the arms to ensure that the cradel and trucks did not rub against each other on tight curves.

What we observed was that under tension, the rig came around the curves and straightened out. Backing out on the screws on the arm gave it enough “play” to swing pretty freely. This would have been great if we had 30’ long rights of way. I think our longest run of straight track may be about 12’! I doubt there is any way that we could push this rig. That is probably OK for now.


Are you and family alright with those wild fires burning over there?


Yes, thank you for asking. The fires are all on other islands. Maui is in real trouble. A coworkers extended family is basically watching and waiting. The state is diverting inbound flights to Maui and evacuating tourist. The old whaling ports and first royal capitol is, as I understand, effectively destroyed.


Good to hear that you all are safe. I wasn’t sure of your location in relation to the fires and the tragic loss of life.
Living on the West Coast we have been through wild fire evacs several times, always scary.

Sad photo of the Sugar Train site at Lahaina posted on MLS.

Link to referenced post

Oh no…

Quick update…

No building progress, but we did rummage through my bits box for the tie downs, chains, and brakes. We also had a good discussion on how to weight this thing properly. I am letting him brainstorm and investigate before we settle on a path forward. So far:

  1. Find a small box we can fill with lead from decommissioned dive weights, paint it black like an iron weight, and add a hook for cranes to removed.
  2. Build a bin on the end of each truck platform and fill it with ballast rocks.

I’ll let him decide. He has been desperate to catch up with his brother who proudly wore his NARTREK Cadet “Mercury” pin at the last rocket shoot, building like mad on the lanai, only to have 'flu deny him the chance to make the required flights. I have told him no more rockets until this project is done, as I have my own projects I’d like to start!

Somewhere along the line, though, he broke into the “gemuckabuckets” (coffee containers we use to hold scrap material) to undertake an initiative project for the railroad:

Rockets, I am sure, are a fad. He will return! In all seriousness, any hobby that encourages building and tinkering and doing is fine with me!

Hopefully, we’ll make physical progess on this rig later this week.



Saturday morning after breakfast, Kid-zilla and I hauled this project down and really thought about the balance issue. I was pontificating about weights, when he asked, “Dad, can we just put some wheels in the middle?” I had thought we’d looked into this, but we broke out our wheel sets, and he set-to with some LGB wheel sets and a small flat car for comparison.

His tinkering caused me to realize that this was very near to being a workable solution. I remembered we had some busted LIONEL trucks and their slightly smaller wheels in the bit box. After some rummaging, we found an intact truck…

…and test fit the thing with the submarine on top.

It would require us to raise the cradle a bit, so we took the sub and truck out to the track, balanced the boat on the truck, and found it would pass through the tunnel.

Kid-zilla said he had a project in mind for the complete truck, so he grabbed some sideframes and commenced to cut, file, and sand away the broken crossbeam.

Next weekend, we will cut some 1/2"x1/2" scrap to make a new cross beam, mount it to some brass strip, and make the whole lot fast in the center of the carrier.

As the picture below shows, this will require us to put another fender washer or two on the truck platforms to even things out.

We are getting closer! I also told Kid-zilla no more rockets until this is done, as we lack workspace and, frankly, it isn’t nice to leave a project on the shelf in an almost done state. He has said again and again, “We have to use all our skills for this project,” but I think the immediate satisfaction of simple rocket kits has caught his imagination for the moment.

Speaking of rockets, though, in a shameless “Proud Dad” plug, he joined his brother in achieving his National Association of Rocketry Cadet “Mercury” rating this weekend.

Not trains, but modeling nonetheless. He began the journey working on the Triple O, so his achievement, in part, comes from what he learned making things roll along the rails and give purpose to what those things do.

Have a Great Week!


Before you do any cutting check to see if the center truck will just bind and derail as the sub will “cut “ the corners

Thanks, Pete. We didn’t cut rhe good truck. This truck had snapped, so Kid-zilla just trimmed away the broken stuff, leaving only the side frames. We will take your advice and test our “fix” before making anything permanent.


that will be very needed.
why don’t you try a little setup?
put the middle part of this model with its one centertruck on a R1 curve?
the overhang to the outside should be notable. while the prow and bow supportcars have practically no overhang. - looks like many happy derailings in the future.

your “tunneltest” showed, that there is plenty of spare room on the upper side
so if it were me, i would try out, how no support cars but two trucks under the midships structure would work. (with the trucks placed each at a quarter from the end)

just thinking loud…


You may want to allow the truck to move laterally to the left or right, as the overhang on R1 curves can be severe. Hope that does not interfere with the base of the sub’s hull.

Best, David Meashey

P.S. For a short time in college, I lived in Hull Hall. Try saying that real fast!

Sounds like Middle Eastern food, if you say it fast enough!


We made limited headway on the project this week. Making a truck out of sideframes and scrap wood proved harder than anticipated.

I entrusted the cutting and sanding to Kid-zilla.

We had to pass the new thing that connects the sideframes through the sander multiple times to make sure the wheels spun freely. Then, he left me to figure out how best to glue the lot together. CA? No, too brittle. E6000?

Almost, but I got the thing all kapakahi and had to break the bond on one side. I finally got the thing to sit level on the tracks using contact cement. We will, of course, have to reinforce this later with screws or nails.

I took the whole thing out to the track (Kid-zilla was in a funk this weekend), and tries to see how it would lay. Two things:

  1. As expected, we will need to place some fenderwashers under the “arms” to level everything out.
  2. As I should have known, I screwed up early on in the process. Specifically, I failed to drill a vertical hole in one of the arms and / or trucks, and the whole things is torqued.

At least the trains ran well.


Something like this may build your skills then

Nope I’m not affiliated just a thought so I picked generic :sunglasses:

My small workshop in Florida has a Dremel in a similar vertical drill press. It works, but only up to the capacity of the Dremel tool chuck, which is about 1/8".

You need to chill with the parables and let him know your thoughts!


I had been thinking the same thing. Though as @PeterT noted, a Dremel is size limited, a jig like this would at least ensure the tap hole was vertical.



While Kid-zilla and his 1:24 gang attended to some dog-created washouts…

…I unscrewed this rig, inserted the required fender washers, and rigged the central truck temporarily into place. As predicted by numerous folks above, this center truck bound in the R1 curve. Kid-zilla and I discussed what to do next, as it seems every solution only presents new problems. One possibility is to use the cradle to make a truck trailer for his PLAYMOBIL big rig. Another may be, as suggested above, to relook a simple flat car with an open bottom. I have a spare set of LGB trucks, and, as this is a railroad not a trucking simulator, we will start with this.

Updates as progress dictates.