Converting the Emerald Night to 9v

I built the Emerald Night a while ago and it has sat in the box down in my basement ever since.  It is a beautiful train although it really does need additional passenger cars.  A month ago when I had the e-mail dialog with my Dad about the Emerald Night, he asked me how it be converted to use a 9v motor (since he has several of them).  I know the Emerald Night comes with instructions on how to add a Power Function motor but (a) neither of us have the right motor and (b) neither of us feel like buying more motors when we already have 9v motors on hand.

I thought about it a bit and decided trying to stuff a 9v motor in the locomotive was a fools errand.  However, adding one to the tender looked pretty straight forward.  I decided to poke around a bit and there is thread on LUGNET and a number of blog posts that describe various solutions to the problem.  The LUGNET thread in particular is pretty involved and uses a gutted 9v motor along with Power Functions.  A bit more than I am willing to take on right now although I do have several dead 9v motors.  From further searching it appears there are a number of solutions depending on how close you want it the train to look compared to standard instrcutions.  I am not too picky, I just want it work and not look awkward.

There was an NCLUG meeting this past Sunday afternoon and I decided to take a loop of 9v track and the Emerald Night along with some parts with me to see if I could make it run.  The key to my idea was to add a single wheel set and a 9v motor to the tender.  Doing this meant tweaking the chassis design of the tender a bit to account for the pin on the 9v motor.  The modification is pretty simple and makes use of some standard size black plates.   I have documented the changes to the tender chassis and produced instructions using Lpub.  The instructions for the tender are not complete – they just replace steps 1-5 and eliminate steps 16-18 in the official instructions.

Emerald Night 9v Tender ChassisSo does it work?  Sort of.  I say sort of because the modifications to the tender work fine however the tender struggles to push the locomotive through the curves on the small loop.  I think this is due to the large train wheels on the locomotive which are linked together via Technic axels to bind up.

Unfortunately I didn’t have any parts with me that I could use to swap out the axels for simple pins which I hope will solve the problem.  I hope to try this in the next day or two as I want to run the Emerald Night at LEGOPalooza.


9v 10194 Tender
2010-01-25 – downloaded 269 times
My take on converting the 10194 to 9v by motorizing the tender.
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