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

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Norfolk & Ohio Express Reefer

Today we have three nice photos of yet another car from the Norfolk & Ohio layout of Carl Appel, currently in the collection of Dick G., an express reefer. This car from the Norfolk & Ohio is a great example of an OO gauge express reefer. Click on any photo for a larger view.



Dick wondered who the maker was. If I had to guess I would think this car could be based on a Graceline kit but tweaked pretty good. The Graceline cars in the previous post do not have the frame casting and could be Selley castings. It could be scratch built or based on Picard in some manner.

The trucks deserve some special comment as well. They are standard Scale-Craft side frames but mounted on a different bolster of brass and with different wheelsets (perhaps Famoco). Dick described them as follows:
The trucks on this reefer are unusual. The bolsters are made from 1/4" square brass. The Scale-Craft passenger car side frames are attached to the brass bolsters with a single small screw. The axles are steel with insulated brass wheels....

I think it would be interesting to see what tools Carl used to make these brass bolsters. They look to be of professional quality.
This car was a runner; Appel modified things to suit his layout. As the wheelsets look to be insulated on one side. I tried once to use Famoco wheelsets in a pair of Scale-Craft passenger trucks; they rolled great but from experience I know that he needed a bolster that was not as flexible as the stock Scale-Craft bolster or he was looking at shorting. So my guess is he wanted to use the upgrade wheelsets on this N&O car and to do so had to make the bolster less flexible; using the tools of a jeweler he fabricated new bolsters. A fine vintage piece.

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