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

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Even more trucks of mystery

A few times I have posted articles looking at vintage items by unknown makers. The full run of articles with a mystery item featured is here.

In helping to sort and evaluate some parts recently this truck type really stood out. I have never seen this before. They seem pretty overscale, and I have to believe are homemade. Someone put some effort into cutting a die and then cast these in something like Linotype. There were three of the trucks with the parts, two with what look to possibly be Nason 3-rail (uninsulated) wheelsets. It is hard to say if they are from the early 1930s or a WWII era project. In either case, they are highly unusual.

One unusual thing is the bolsters are built up from three pieces of brass, soldered together. One of them broke in handling now. Why the builder didn’t just bend a “U” from the same material I don’t know. Maybe brass was that scarce.

I also don’t know what type of car these would look good under. They are perhaps supposed to imitate National B-1 freight trucks, but are somewhat oversized, maybe the best choice is under an express reefer, painted black and standing in for some type of early high-speed truck.

This other truck type is a follow up on a prior article. There I had found in parts received one of these trucks, and now I have two more! These very early looking sand cast bronze trucks came to me on this heavy duty well type flat car, with a hole in the middle. The car itself is soldered together in brass.

These have a different type of bolster than the orphan truck I had previously found, but have similar wheels (probably Nason) and are three rail. So the car can’t operate on my layout as it is, but at least the car tracks OK. As these trucks came with this car, probably I will keep them there, but with new wheelsets when the car makes its way through the shop to decals.


C. R. Chinoy said...

Say, I recognize those! The first trucks are not National B-1's at all, they are Taylor trucks! These were popular only on the Reading (I recall reading once that they were manufactured at a plant on their line), and used under most of their cabooses as well as at least one class of boxcar. Recognizable by the giant circle around the springs, the idea was that each truck sideframe could rotate freely around the bolster/spring package--amusingly enough, exactly how the model trucks work--and provide a smoother ride by bending to absorb bumps in the track. It never proved particularly success and no other roads adopted them. A larger passenger version of the Taylor truck was used under the Reading's heavyweight MU cars and commuter coaches.

I suspect whoever made these was a Reading modeler. I've been looking for them in HO and besides a handful of new products, none seem to have been made back in the day. If you have a Northeastern style caboose, these are the trucks to use!

John Ericson said...

Thank you for this comment! I was not familiar with this truck type.