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Welcome to MLS!

As Snoq Pass said, the main difference is European vs. North American. That said, 2 axle cars were standard all over the world until about the 1845-1850, and bobber (2 axle) cabeese were not uncommon in the US into the 20th century. Also, 4 axle cars were common on a number of colonial railroads - pretty much any place where there was a lot of stuff to move a long distance, and plenty of room to do it in.

As far as converting from one to the other, yes, it can be done. Take a look at this thread to see one example. El Cheepc conversion of Scientific Toys Cars. Generally, the conversion will involve cutting off the running gear (wheels, axle boxes, etc.) and making a new mount for whatever truck you plan on using. There are plenty of folks on here who are willing to help, if you post a question about a specific project. There's even a good chance you're not the first one who's tried such a thing.
 
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