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

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A look at the Nason “All Service Express Car”

A car I have long puzzled about is the Nason All Service Express Car. It is a 60’ baggage car of a somewhat unusual design that, being more familiar with western roads, I did not recognize.

One of the most notable things to mention first is this car was a part of the initial line of sand cast aluminum passenger cars, introduced by Nason Railways in 1934 (more information here, with photos of a completed model). This scan shows the parts of the car and also a built-up example, as shown in their sixth edition catalog.

The car body, thanks to help from the America OO Facebook group page, I now know is based on the PRR B60 Baggage Express Car. The Nason model would be of the original version of the car, not the later/updated version with porthole windows.

The trucks seen on the Nason model are Commonwealth 4 wheel top equalized passenger car trucks, a type only used, so far as I can tell, on the Erie, the New Haven, and the Boston & Maine. And apparently not on very many cars. Why Nason decided to make this truck and put it on a PRR prototype car I don’t know. Probably it is just a danger of guessing the future, it was a modern truck design for the time that caught the eye of Hugh Nason, but was not a winner in the longer term.

This photo shows what I have of this model: a floor and three of the trucks. It’s a start I suppose, or parts that might complete the set of sides and ends someone else has.

I should mention that the castings of these models are so fine, people might think they are die cast. But they are sand-cast aluminum, and Nason must have used a fine art foundry to make the parts, they are very well made. The cast parts are meant to be screwed together.

This is an uncommon model and I would think desirable, one to look out for.

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