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

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Truck mounting on S-C flats

Below is a stack of Scale-Craft flat cars, which were shipped out with two different frames. On top is the late frame and on the bottom is the early frame, and it is easy to see that the trucks mount at different locations. The early frame I think was their concession to tight radius curves and the late is for the real situation that scale modelers demanded something that looked less toy-like. The short-wheelbase trucks may in fact be slightly too close to the ends. [See UPDATE].

But what is in the middle? The car in the middle has an early frame and what were called in the most recent issue of The OO Road “Morlok method” trucks. I describe them further in this post, converted from Mantua/Tyco/Model Power HO trucks with re-gauged Athearn 36” HO wheelsets. They are pretty ideal as an upgrade for an early style Scale-Craft flat due to the holes you would use to screw them on are offset slightly--a pair are on top of the flats to show this feature. As such, you can mount them so they look to be closer to the ends. Also, as they are fairly hidden the change of trucks is not very visible, and what you can see looks better than the original S-C trucks. Finally, they track and roll well. These trucks won’t work on every car but they will work well on this particular model, which in terms of my operations has allowed me to free up a few S-C trucks for other cars.

[More on making these conversion trucks here]

UPDATE: After writing the post I had to check. The truck centers should be roughly 5' 6" in from the ends of these cars. The late S-C car truck centers are less than 5' in and the early more than 6'. Morlok method trucks will improve either type of flat, you just position the hole chosen so that the truck is ofset in the correct direction.

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