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

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Two Old [Nason] Truck Sideframes

In part III of my series on 1934 I noted that I don’t own any equipment that I feel sure was produced before 1937. One of my most obvious candidates, a Nason P5A, is two rail so while it is a model dating to 1934 my specific model must be later production.

However, I have this pair of truck sideframes that when I was initially writing this now updated article I had been looking at for a few months. They were found in the OO SIG inventory. At first I had no idea the manufacturer, and they looked like they could easily be either a manufactured, very early item by a maker like Thuillgrim that had only sketchy details about parts like truck sideframes in their advertising or something made early on by a skilled modeler who needed trucks before there were easily available commercial options. At first impression to me they also looked like they were cast in a die that was fairly crisply made but was open faced on the back. Because of them looking so crisp I was not thinking they were Nason parts as their trucks were sand cast bronze and were rougher looking.

Shortly after first posting this article I realized that they were in fact two sideframes from probably early production of the Nason Vulcan type truck. What threw me off was that I had only seen this truck as bronze castings that were not nearly as crisp--these are very nicely cast in aluminum--and also that odd pin. Nason meant for you to drill and tap the sideframe and to use screws to assemble the car, and most were I believe drilled and tapped at the factory for said screws, but some modeler had drilled through the front to add what looks like a small nail and had capped it on the back with a brass piece. I am not sure how these pins were to actually work with a bolster, and looking at the sideframes they don’t look like they were ever assembled into a complete truck that saw layout use.

So that mystery is solved and these are very likely early production Nason parts. I have also since then now also noted a pair of their 4 wheel passenger trucks in aluminum as well so at some point they had production runs of trucks in aluminum instead of bronze. At some point I will try to build the sideframes featured in this post into working trucks.

For those interested in mysteries, my longest standing one is the die cast flat car in this article. That one I would love to solve and it also looks like an early manufactured item but I sure can’t tell.

UPDATE: See this article for more early trucks that won't be so easy to identify.

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