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I have one of those in Yellow. Re motored it with a old Lindsey gear drive. The drive kit had this little motor that fit between the axles and powered the axles by a gear. Draws little current. Placed an NCE decoder in it and it runs a smooth and slow as any modern HO switcher. Only issue is that there is no weight to it, limited to only a few cars at a time, similar to the prototype.

Hah, what an idiot I am. It wasn't a Dockside, it was the Athern Hustler. Man, that thing would fly, litteraly.
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Discussion Starter #22
I have one of those in Yellow. Re motored it with a old Lindsey gear drive. The drive kit had this little motor that fit between the axles and powered the axles by a gear. Draws little current. Placed an NCE decoder in it and it runs a smooth and slow as any modern HO switcher. Only issue is that there is no weight to it, limited to only a few cars at a time, similar to the prototype.

These keep following me home.

Found two more A & B units both powered. Unusual.

I can't figure the flywheels. Best case they limit they speed to the innermost pully which is the slowest speed. None ran when I got them tested on the track. Can't figure how they come off.

Removed the shell on one, dumped the whole thing is hot soapy water (that's right) and scrubbed. Completely disassembled and individually cleaned each piece cleaning the badly contaminated armatures commutator in the process. Put it all back together and it's one of my best performing locomotives.

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Discussion Starter #24
Haven't given up on them. Added a few. Amazing part is they all run...……..now. Not so when I bought them. One or two barely made it around the track but most wouldn't even move. Some B units are powered, some not.
Most are belt drive, a couple are gear driven. Only plastic model is center yellow/gray.


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Discussion Starter #26
A lot of history regarding Varney, they managed to survive despite an unmotivating name alike Athearn, Rapido, Rivarossi etc. have.

Ever since I have been hyping these, the ebay prices have risen. Last two ordinary examples went for $72 and $54. I had been used to buying them for <$20. I'm my own worst enemy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
:) :)

Well, as soon as the new owners see just how poorly these run, they will turn around and sell them again at vastly reduced prices. The challenge is getting them to run at all and that is what I enjoy doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
And then you can invest in some more!! rsv, you got it going on!! 😃
I should qualify that "getting them to run at all" statement. Should be - when compared to some of the better running locomotives like Atlas, later Athearns, and Rapidos. For the technology of the times, Varneys run pretty good, surely the equal of most Rivarossis, Athearns, and Bachmanns. It's the coiled spring belt drives that I find intriguing. It's a balance between adjusting the motor magnet screw and the drive mechanism screws that's key.
 

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Seriously, this kind of project is what's great about this hobby! "Making it work", whatever "it" happens to be!! 👍
 

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My dad gifted me with some various Varney pieces when I received his trains. Unfortunately, the locomotives are all gone. There are a number of pieces of rolling stock. The boxcar/refers are not correctly proportionate to everything else, they tend to run small. The later plastic bodied stuff is much closer.
I intend on fixing what I can to put on the layout anyway.
Varney made some nice entry/mid level stuff back in the day. I wish my brother and I had been easier on it when we were kids!
 

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My first HO loco was a Varney Dockside that I bought in 1947 or 1948. It cost $15.00 and did NOT have a spring or rubber band drive. It used a worm/gear drive and ran great, I last used it in June of 1952 when packing up my HO and Lionel O before going to college. All of trains disappeared while I attended college.
 

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I have several pieces of rolling stock but they are all plastic models with spring trucks. They look pretty good with the Revell cars I have. I have never seen the locos but I have several Revell F-7 locos
 

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Discussion Starter #37
May latest Varney purchase on ebay. .99 + $6.50 shipping.

Bought it for the motor, but will probably sandblast and restore.

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Discussion Starter #40
I don't know, we'll see. Ninety nine cents.

Thought it might be missing the coupler and the boiler cover, both common missing items but it has both. Sandblasting and a
Varney dockside boiler cover.jpg
Varney dockside ebay coupler.jpg
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spritz of satin black may do wonders.
 
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