The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Monday, April 21, 2008

Six Wheel Passenger Trucks for American OO

A question came into the OO list about 6 wheel Pullman trucks, as in which one would be the best one to copy today. While by far the most commonly seen truck of this type is the Scale-Craft truck, the version by Graceline was closer to scale and better looking.

The truck on the bottom in the photo is Graceline, made just before WWII; the sideframe on top for comparison is Scale-Craft. Click on the photo for a close up.

This ad introduced this truck to the model railroad world in January of 1941. Clearly, "they're the finest in OO."

Famoco also made a 6 wheel truck, die cast, that I would be interested to see for comparison as well, but I don't own an example of this truck, but it and the Nason six wheel truck are similar visually from the side to the Graceline truck. The Nason truck is however a bronze casting and very easy to recognize.

Of course, demand for a six wheel truck is low today as numbers of American prototype OO gaugers are also low today but if I were to vote for one to copy I would think about the Graceline version as a basis.

UPDATE 2013: This photo shows the other two styles of 6 wheel passenger trucks that were sold in American OO. On the left is a Nason truck, which is sand cast bronze. This one originally was three rail with the metal bolster parts; the two rail version would have a Bakelite block on the bolster area instead. The truck on the right is Famoco. Note the integral bolster of this die cast design as set up at the factory.

In terms of pure operation, of all of these you can't really beat Scale-Craft. Set up with good bolsters and wheelsets these are bullet proof.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always wondered if it would be feasable to hollow out the parts of the Scale craft truck that were cast solid but were open spaces on the prototype trucks. I never tried this. But I think it could b e done and would result in a nicer appearance perhaps.

Phil R.
KY

John Ericson said...

It could be done but would be a lot of work. I do have a set of three scratchbuilt streamline cars on modified S-C 6 wheel trucks, those have had the ends filed off for a different look.