Wild Horse Valley RR #3, 38 ton two Truck Shay


I’m not positive as to when Bachmann stopped making the 1:20.3 two truck shay.  making it difficult if not impossible to purchase one that hasn’t been used.

This particular model is an example of one of the older versions that still used incandescent lighting. It’s had some light weathered and detail modifications. it was also modified to run on battery, bypassing most it’s original electronics.  I’ve been commissioned to basically fix it and update it to run off of battery using airwire, with chuffed smoke and sound.

to save cost, I was supplied with a new set of trucks and batteries for the airwire receiver.

whomever previously modified, this Shay, basically cut the power pickups and wires in the trucks and ran some new wires under the boiler wiring both the front and rear trucks in serial, leaving two wires hanging out the back of the locomotive. they did some serious damage to the original trucks, stripping plastic and breaking mounting points, while attempting to make repairs by melting plastic, from what looks like soldering iron marks. rendering the trucks useable for not more than some extra parts and motors.

However, they did add a piece of wood to the front and rear pilots along with what looks like Ozark Miniatures coupler sockets, and real wood load.

due to the damage, this actually makes it’s almost ideal to convert to the battery, allowing me to re-wire the entire locomotive. As part of the conversion, I’ll be updating the incandescent lights to LED lights, with plans of pulling the chuff timing for the smoke and sound from the cylinders – assuming the reed switches are still there. again this poor shay had had most of the electronics bypassed and or removed.

I’m also going craft a mounting point for the airwire receiver and sound card in the firebox while adding new firebox lighting, as all of the lighting functions will now be controlled by the airwire card.  – This is an example as to why conversions are expensive and time-consuming.


The modern Bachmann 3 truck shay, mounted the electronics in the main tender while moving the speaker to the second tender, they also removed all extra circuit boards from firebox. In the two truck shays case, all modern circuit cards will be installed in the fire box, with the speaker and batteries in the tender.   The main switches will be located behind the smokebox door, with the charging port being hidden in the snorkel hose.

Then finally while the shay is apart, I can work on doing some of the weathering effects, making it look like as if it’s been through heck and back again.

This Shay will be #3 for the Wild Horse Valley RR







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