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

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cars from the Work Train

To kick off a series of short articles for the end of the year, first up we have four cars from the work train.

Three of these were scratch built by William Gilbert and are lettered for his Grand Island. X75 is a low side gondola (really a flat car with gon sides added), X76 is a bunk car, and X78 is a tool car. All are riding on Schorr trucks, very sharply made and neatly painted and lettered. All are 36 foot models; I especially like the truss rod details on the gon and the bunk car and also note the gon sides are built up from individual boards. Besides the Schorr trucks and bolsters the only other common OO part seen on these cars are the Eastern K type brake cylinders. These three are way above average in the world of American OO models. As always, click on the photo for a better view.

That leaves one more car to describe. It was with some materials obtained from Gilbert but I don’t think was a project of his. Someone had put together this old-time hopper car using metal hopper bottoms from a HO car and the rest was wood. The body was broken (perhaps from shipping) and some parts were missing on the sides; also, I don't believe it had ever been lettered. I replaced the missing parts with close duplicates and added a brake wheel, end beams, Schorr trucks/bolsters, and Kadee couplers. It is not as sharp as the other cars, with some mismatched details and weights visible in the area where the load would ride. It could use a few more details really, but my goal was not to get too heroic and get a broken car together and running. And like the Gilbert cars it is a unique car that fits in the context of a work train or could be used in an early 20th century setting as well.

I don’t run these often of course but I do enjoy having these in the mix of things I can operate. Tomorrow two Scale-Craft conversions will be featured.

UPDATE: The mystery car was made by Ed Schorr (son of Fred Schorr) as a youngster! He wrote and relayed that info -- I am glad to have it running again.

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