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

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Scale-Craft Gas-Electric

The Scale-Craft Gas-Electric cars were introduced on page 69 of their 1941 catalogue and were offered until the end of Scale-Craft production. Two different models were produced, a combination coach and baggage car and a combination mail and baggage car. These models were produced with two different drives. The original drive used one of their standard, large motors in the baggage section of the model with a flexible shaft connecting the motor to a geared truck. The postwar drive had a smaller motor mounted on top of the geared truck as one unit.

I have been working for a few years at finishing the rebuilding of one of these models. Essentially it was done in January but I wanted to install an interior.

Backing up, this particular model had been originally built to use the second Scale-Craft drive. However, when it came into my hands it had been rebuilt with a drive from an Athearn HO diesel that was not working. I fiddled with it for a while. Then, a Scale-Craft drive for this model came up for sale on eBay, so I purchased it for possible use. I could have worked it out to use the drive but the model was originally constructed to use the second of the drives, not the first which was what the eBay drive was. To use this drive would have required extensive work on the floor. And, in the end, I doubt that it would have worked well anyway. Instead I used a drive from a trusty old AHM HO RS-2 (and later used the Athearn drive parts in an AHM SW-1). Runs a little fast but it gets around the layout fine.

Looking at it again today I am going to declare this model done! The seats I was going to use are too small (HO) and also I am not going to install window glass. I still am quite happy with how it came out.

UPDATE: Dick Gresham forwarded these photos of the two versions of the Scale-Craft drive for this model. The bottom view shows the early version and the drive not installed in a car shows the second version.

UPDATE II: I put a new drive in this model, Athearn-based with a big flywheel, it now runs great.

UPDATE III: For another S-C Gas-Electric model see this article.

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