Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>


I have never heard of any sort of device to make cars rock, though some do due to inexpert assembly via loose truck screws.

There was a device that made cars coast when kicked loose by a switcher available about 30 years ago. It essentially a special underframe/floor with a large flywheel with a rubber band to a sheave on one of the car axles, and I believe developed by John Allen. I had a couple of these and they didn't work very well; the drag in a train was considerable, there was reduced turning radius for the truck, and control in those days usually wasn't fine enough for a switcher to properly kick the car. Eventually these underframes went away with my Athearn blue box cars.

On one of my portable layouts I had a spur that was sunk into the baseboard so the ties were nearly covered in dirt and a lot of Woodland Scenics foam. I had pounded on the track a bit with a hammer to make the rails uneven (code 70 Lambert track), and my cars did sway somewhat. I never had any derailment problems. It was an interesting experiment, and sinking the track is something I plan for my next layout. One spur will be sunk so the rails are embedded in street paving with cobbles or stone setts, and the other will essentially be in dirt as the track goes into a small iron works yard. I plan to use a piece of Lambert guard rail flex track for these. I'm not going to bang on the rails though.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 9/15/2019 1:12 PM, Jim Betz wrote:

  Recent post to another group

brings up the question of "how does one achieve the variety of the roof details
that is evident in this picture?" ... as in are there any products out there that
provide the minor variations such as the roof walks (both how wide the boards
are and the fact that many boards are not straight/true).  Another detail is the
way the L-grabs have verticals that are 'truly vertical' at the corner.  Etc., etc.
  On the question of the width of the running boards - on the first -full- car you
can just make out the "N. P." ... so I'm wondering if different RRs had different
specs for their running boards?  Or is that tied to the mfgr of the car(s)? (Note
that the 2 cars on either side of the 1st full car have narrower boards.)

  Also note that the string of cars shows that almost every other car is canted
a different direction (left/right) ... which indicates that the cars were rocking
and rolling their way into that curve.  I've -never- seen a layout that achieves
this particular effect ... that didn't also have a lot of "layout induced derailments".
What seems to be needed to be done to produce this would be very small
height shims one one side and then the other ... say about a car length or
so for each direction.  Yes?  Have you ever seen this produced in a way
that makes the cars rock back and forth - only slightly but enough so if you
look for it you notice it?
                                                      - Jim B. in Burlington, Wa.

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