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

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Vintage OO Gauge Streamliner

With all the recent posts on rebuilding vintage OO trucks you might think I have become a bit obsessed by the topic. I have! I am enjoying running cars I have not been able to run before now, and have had some time to work on the truck problem recently. It is like a giant puzzle trying to figure out how to maximize the number of working Scale-Craft passenger trucks in particular.

First, this is an “after” photo of the observation car of my “new” streamline train, but first I need to set up what got it to this point these past few days.

One set of cars long in the bottom of a box in storage was a four car streamliner. They were not operable, the trucks barely rolled and there were coupler issues, and I had honestly long thought it a bit of an ugly train. What I thought was the worst part of the train was it had odd six wheel trucks on the cars that were modified Scale-Craft trucks. Not the right trucks for these cars, they should be on four wheel trucks. I had some extra S-C four wheel passenger truck sideframes, and a few weeks ago I figured out that I could not set them up to run with the North Yard wheelsets I had on hand without shorting. I had no spare S-C passenger wheelsets. But I could set up six wheel trucks with North Yard wheelsets. HMMM.

Looking around in car storage, I have also long wanted to get several truckless vintage heavyweight cars running that were purchased in the same lot with the streamliner. Then, some inspiration hit. I could take the four wheel truck sideframes, build them up with wheelsets from the six-wheel trucks on these cars and other scavenged parts, replace the six wheel trucks with four wheel trucks, and get the streamliner running--and get four of the vintage heavyweights running too.

So here it is! I think this train looks MUCH better with the new four wheel trucks. I worked up the trucks carefully and the train runs great! The full train is a RPO/baggage, a diner, a Pullman, and the observation at the beginning of the post. The original trucks were unpainted S-C castings, these are however painted silver to match the train. Click on either photo for a better view.

Looking again at the close up of the observation, in the photo at the top of this post, you can tell the train has interior detail. This train is scratchbuilt and I don’t believe it follows any particular prototype. The builder used stainless steel fluting that looks like O gauge size on the cars and microscope slide glass in the windows, including the bent glass in the rear observation windows. The cars are shorty cars (just under 70 ft). A lot of time and effort went into the making of these cars.

Working with the dummy couplers was something of a first for me. I really prefer Kadee couplers, but as it is a matched set of cars I saw no reason to change this aspect. The train has Scale-Craft couplers; I had to replace two of them.

It has a nice look for vintage cars and really is a nice little train that runs well on my layout. One plus is the cars are not lettered, so I can then pull them with pretty much any locomotive. Pretty much the perfect pike-sized streamliner for my layout.

UPDATE: I believe this train may be an example of the cars marketed by Newark Electric in Chicago. See this article for more.

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