Re: C&BT Car Shops -- Re: History of Prototype Freight Car Modeling


Admittedly, I gave a condensed version.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
Sent: Sun, May 13, 2012 1:59 pm
Subject: Re: C&BT Car Shops -- Re: [STMFC] History of Prototype Freight Car Modeling

Rich Orr wrote:
C&BT was founded in 1986. Dick Schweiger was an avid East Broad Top
modeler and found the available hopper cars wanting. Not being able
to purchase cars for the EBT in quantity or quality which satisfied
him, Dick made the decision to manufacture his own. Thus C&BT was
True, but certainly incomplete. I lived in Pittsburgh in those
days and knew Dick pretty well. He had always wanted to do standard-
gauge cars, and only started with the EBT project because he was sure
it would sell. He certainly was interested in and built models of the
EBT, but his home layout, as far as it ever got, was standard gauge.

. . . Dick moved on to HO boxcars. The tooling for these cars was
designed so that the ends, roof and sides were interchangeable.
Dick was continually frustrated with his inability to find a
toolmaker who could produce dies to suit what he wanted. The horrible
detail sprues that were in C&BT kits were upsetting to Dick (he once
told me that they were "revolting"), but he wanted to get the kits out
the door. He knew that modelers who wanted the car bodies produced in
his many varieties would replace the details, and he hoped for awhile
to find another toolmaker and just get new detail sprues done. Dick
had bought some injection molding machines and was actually making
more money doing custom molding for miscellaneous customers (he did a
really large run of styrene soap dishes at one point) than with
freight cars.

Along the way several well know modelers (at least one of whom is
now deceased) convinced Dick that separate parts would never be
accepted, It was "too much work" to build a fleet of cars this
way. The result was the tooling was re-cut to included molded on
ladders, grabs etc.
This is true, but Dick had also given up on finding a good
enough toolmaker to produce the detail sprues he needed. He told me he
had given up on that route, and would go more "Athearn like," and at
one point he even approached Irv Athearn to see if any of the old dies
were for sale. He got VERY short shrift from Irv.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Yahoo! Groups Links

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.