Cut Levers?

Jim Betz


I'm looking at upgrading a significant percentage of my
HO scale STMFC era freight car fleet by adding cut levers.

Did the RRs specify the style/brand of cut levers on the cars
they ordered or was this something that the car mfgr supplied
as "standard equipment"?
For example - if the car was a Pullman built PS-1 did it almost
always have a particular style/brand of cut lever?

Extra credit - in the period between the end of WW-II and
the end of the scope of this list - was there a 'dominant'
style of cut lever in use (or just a few styles)?
Yes, I have gone to pictures to research this and firstly
this particular detail is often missing/in darkness - and
more importantly I can't come up with an answer that
I'm confident with.


It's a bit too easy to just add a bit of wire with a 90 degree
bend in one end (or both) and be done with it - I've seen a
lot of cut levers done that way - but I'm hoping to do more
than that. Yes, the simple ones are better than nothing.

Are you purchasing your cut levers or are you making your
own? If you are making your own would you please post a
picture of the jig you are using to bend them - or even a
video of the actual process. (If all you are doing is a simple
90 degree you don't need to bother - *G*.)

Most of the cut levers I've seen modeled use a single eye
bolt formed from brass wire on the outside end/corner of
the car - are any of you doing more than that for your
freight cars?

Has any one modified their method of modeling cut levers
due to the use of whisker couplers? It occurs to me that it
might be possible to drill a hole in the side of the coupler
box and simply insert the end of the cut lever into it
(instead of attaching it using glue).
I think this is more possible now than before the whiskers -
because I suspect there's a way to do it that doesn't
interfere with the action of the coupler and still looks

If this is possible - then I think we can have cut levers
that actually lift/turn! (Can actually functional cut levers
be far away ... *G*.)
- Jim B.

P.S. I'm also going to be adding brake hoses. I've decided on the
Hitech brand as the preferred ones - but I've already got a
small supply of the Kadee ones that I will use up.

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