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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Head End Cars from the Green Brook

Slowly I have been working on a number of projects and one is restoring to operation a matched group of passenger cars built by David Sacks. These three cars are the first through the shop.

The RPO is a Nason model. The main problem to resolve with this car was the trucks which took a surprisingly long time to set up. The major problems were that the trucks did not have enough wheelsets and also the wheelsets present were unusable. He had converted almost all of the six wheel trucks on any car to four wheels only, presumably due to tight radius curves. The car itself is fairly rare and I really wanted to set it up with the Nason trucks as they are also somewhat rare and an interesting item as the major parts are bronze. Also, Sacks had drilled out the outer holes of these trucks and they were originally three rail so that reduced the number of options for wheelsets. I was able after a lot of experimentation and digging to use four Kemtron wheelsets and two Famoco wheelsets to get the trucks rolling.

The milk reefers are a pair. I always find pairs of cars inherently more interesting somehow, so I wanted to get them both back in running order. One needed very little work and the other not too much more, it had a broken truck and a hatch off. The cars themselves are built on I believe Picard bodies and have a number of parts added; Lionel brake cylinders, and Scale-Craft sand-cast (early) reefer hatches, stamped brass boxcar doors and ladders, their die cast frame (modified), and ride on modified Scale-Craft passenger trucks with freight wheelsets. The resulting cars are pretty effective in a general, free-lanced way although almost certainly have no prototype.

More on the rest of this train over the next few months; every car has problems due to storage but will make an interesting model to run, and I like the general paint scheme, I may do something similar in fact when it comes to working on a streamlined train for the Orient.

UPDATE: I should have noted with the Nason RPO that it has brass sides. I like this car; this was built up from their "Pennsylvania Type Mail Car" kit which in their 1940 catalog sold for $4.00 as an "Easy-Bilt" kit. With assembled trucks the kit cost $4.75.

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