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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Nason P5A and Reefer Running Again

Preparing to make the video yesterday I ended up quickly working on two more models that fit with the theme, an early Nason reefer and also a surprise, a cameo appearance by a Nason P5A!

The reefer only needed a bit of touch up paint and new wheelsets to get it layout ready to roll among vintage cars I might run. It is now on Nason trucks with Scale-Craft wheelsets. I wanted a little color in the video and it is a type of Nason car that was on many early layouts to be sure. One quirk of this particular car when it came to me, which I did not change, is it has an O scale K type brake cylinder, just visible in the photo.

For quite some time an article here (mostly by Ed Havens) on the Nason P5A locomotive (introduced in 1934, the first commercially successful OO locomotive) has often shown up in the top ten articles in American OO Today. That is actually due mostly to searches unrelated to American OO but still, thinking over the concept I had for the video I had to get the model down off the shelf, it would be perfect to include.

Could I get it to run quickly was the question. A lot of the projects I have around are actually models that others worked on and either got stuck or abandoned before completion. In this case some prior owner had got this P5A project to a bench test state with a new DC motor installed in the drive. The motor was in with leads but they had not worked out the pickup from the rails. Looking it over on getting it down from the shelf, the wheelsets all measured out pretty well with the standards gauge and also it was a two rail model (produced 1938 or later) so it had real potential for me. My main job was to make insulated mountings for the front and rear trucks and set them up to pick up power. And after a bit of adjustment this model does run well and even as a single motor version (double was offered as well) pulls like crazy. It is a noisy beast to be sure with all those spur gears in the drive and the bronze body but one that I will have to work over further at some point with more details and paint. And I have pantographs that I need to mount sometime soon.

It is as of now obviously unpainted and unfinished and, no, I don’t plan to decorate it for the Orient! This model is a real classic OO model not often seen in operation. Check the video to see and hear it go.


Steve Neubaum said...

That FGE reefer, did Nason make it with multiple road numbers? I have one where the paper sides are dead on identical in every way, except the road number. Mine is 36266. I always wondered who made this car. Body feels rather solid, almost as though it were a solid block of wood. As I have some obviously scratchbuilt HO reefers of similar construction from solid wood, I assumed that someone scratchbuilt this too. My FGE car has a Scale-Craft brake cylinder underneath. As I convert American OO to HO trucks (Instant narrow gauge railroad!), this car also runs with HO passenger equipment, as it is fairly close to express reefer size and looks good with HO coaches too.

John Ericson said...

Yes, they did have multiple car numbers and the bodies were sold in two styles. The version with the solid block body seems to have been originally sold as Page kits (click on the Page tag in the sidebar for more) but when they dropped that line (it used the same car sides as Nason and seems to have been sold by Nason as an alternate line) some late Nason kits were sold with the solid block bodies as well.