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Friday, June 25, 2010

A Passenger Train from the Green Brook, and I need a Break from Rebuilding Scale-Craft Trucks

After more or less tying up the project of organizing the SIG Inventory I moved on to trying to start what I hoped to be one of many summer projects, building/rebuilding a group of passenger cars (heavyweight and streamlined). Laying them out I knew I better go back into the Inventory and into these few passenger cars that I had pulled, as there was one more big truck project at hand.

Short version; the trucks on a lot of these cars were in terrible shape. Rust/corrosion/bad bolsters/bad wheelsets/bad mounting/odd modifications/etc. Most of the six wheel trucks Sacks had removed the middle wheelsets from, and a number did not roll at all. I decided the best course of action was to take them all off the cars and break them down into parts. This meant about 8 pair of 6 wheel and 5 pair of 4 wheel trucks that I was donating to the cause. I estimated (correctly) that I would have just about the number of wheelsets to get them all rolling. I ended up salvaging four pair of 6 wheel trucks out of it as some sideframes were beyond use without heroics and rebuilding every 4 wheel truck I have. Probably a third of them he had modified the side frames in various ways and with the lack of good bolsters those will probably never roll on a layout again.

I had already worked over two matching cars as described this prior post (both of which needed more rebuilding, it turned out), a S-C Pullman and a Nason RPO. To those were added five S-C cars; two baggage cars, two “coaches” (more in a minute), and a combine. All were on 6 wheel trucks but a number I had to convert to four wheel trucks to make the best use of parts at hand.

The baggage cars above need little comment; they are pretty stock. He did add a couple crates that are not that visible as interior details. I like the two tone paint job.

The “coaches” were both modified in the windows department to update the look. The cafĂ© car is on six wheel trucks and has an interior, not very visible in the photo, and the coach at one time had an interior but it was removed long before it arrived in Arizona.

The combine below is I think the most interesting car of the group. My first copy of the Scale-Craft Round Lake catalog was from Sacks and one deal they offered in it was an extra body to make a combine, a factory offer of parts for kitbashing the combine in other words. Sacks had marked that page and cut out half of one of the photos to visualize the conversion and obviously also did the conversion. It does look nice, even if it is probably the dirtiest of the group.

As to the cars in general I did clean the roofs with moist paper towels and q-tips but otherwise I have not done anything heroic to clean them further. They run great together if I leave the RPO out of the train (I will probably give up on the Nason trucks at some point, they are really touchy) and it is a nice closely matched set of cars to be able to run. Also, that they are mostly 60’ cars is a plus, they operate better on the layout.

As to trucks and the title of this post, I really should not complain as it is like a big puzzle. While I think I arrived at the best solution for the puzzle I really have torn down and rebuilt more S-C trucks than I hope to at one time for a long time. I have Schorr and Kemtron trucks lined up for the streamlined cars in progress, and for the heavyweights I am tempted to try four wheel Sn3 conversion trucks instead of S-C just to see how they work out. For sure they will roll better. More on that at some future date.

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