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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A closer look at the Nason boxcab “Diesel”

This fall I won an auction for a Nason boxcab diesel switcher. A rather rare model (introduced in 1939), this example is very similar to the one seen in this earlier article (even painted the same colors!), but a different example (compare the roof details, for example).

Looking at the prototype first, I thought it would be easy to find, I had understood it to be based on a New Haven electric locomotive (but built as a Diesel). My first thought on searching online was that it would be based on their EP-1, but that was a dead end. Finally l found a model of the same design (in O gauge by Icken), which would indicate that it is a New Haven EY-3.

To my example, this model is very well constructed, all soldered together (undoubtedly using a torch for the body) and with a two rail drive set up with a rectifier. I have not tested it but I believe old stack style rectifier needs to be replaced at the least. Only two axles are powered and it is heavy! Everything is bronze and it weighs in at 1 pound 11 ounces. The powered end is heavier, with that large radiator on top being a solid metal piece.

It is also exceptionally well made, I imagine someone spending hours and hours building this model during the war.

For now I’m leaving it just as it is, but when I have a block of time I’ll dig in and see if I can get it running.

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