The Heljan models do look superb but it seems I’m not alone in finding that the performance of these models struggles over Peco points. The main issue seemed to be that the pony trucks would not cope with Peco points . Thanks to the internet I have followed a fix for the pony trucks.
One of the theories being that the Heljan pony wheels are too fine scale and the pony trucks too light. My first modification has been applied to a first generation Heljan model of Yeo with the product code 99501. You can identify this first generation by the fact that the pony trucks don’t have any brass connectors that guide the pony trucks. This was a modification by Heljan to improve the problem of the pony trucks adopted to all the second generation models. I have two of these second generation models but my experience is that the modification does not seem to make much of an improvement to the same problem. That is the pony trucks seem to have a will of their own in negotiating my Peco “ Mainline” 18 inch radius points. So following what I write below I have modified my first generation Heljan and I’m very pleased to report that all issues have been rectified. The model runs beautifully across all points in all directions and very slowly. As my models will never run on the smaller radius Peco points I will, in addition to the pony truck modification remove the coupling attachment that is built into the pony trucks and add Greenwich couplings to the front and rear buffer beams. This seems to work perfectly well on the Backwoods models.
So how to modify and get your Heljan working ?
Shopping list ;
1- Romford 8.00 mm metal wheels 6 hole Disc . I purchased mine from DUNDAS models ref: DW 82
2- brass round Tube - 2.5 mm outside diameter 1.5 mm diameter . I bought mine from Eileen’s Emporium ref BRT 2515D.
3- Superglue Gel
Tools - X Acto metal cutting modelling saw and a table top Modellers’ vice.
How to modify
1- unscrew the pony truck and remove the Heljan wheel set from their lugs (?) They simply flip out.
2- cut a length of brass Tube to 5-6 mm in length for each Romford axle to be inserted into.
3- remove each Romford wheel from their axle ( they slide off with a little subtle pressure by finger)!and cut off each pin point leaving an axle of approx 12 mm length .
4 - add one Romford Wheel to its original cut down axle.
5- insert axle into the brass Tube
6- add second axle and using a back to back N gauge push fit the Wheels to correct back 2 back.
7- push fit the new assembly into the lug vacated by the original wheel set.
8- super glue gel if desired can be added if required to help bind the brass to the lug - but I haven’t as yet and all seems fine. Total time taken per Pony truck was approx. 15 minutes.
I hope the following photographs help explain this simple but effective modification.