Re: Walthers 46' USRA mill gon review

Tom Gloger

Byron Rose asked about details, so I went to the Westerfield site
and looked at the 8100 series photos to see what he saw. It's at
Does anyone have good pictures of the real car?

On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 I <> wrote:
The 16" diameter five-spoke brake wheel is 5" below the top of
the flat ends, but doesn't touch the body. The platform nearby
is an added detail, already in place.
--- wrote:
Is there a recess in the end at the closest point the brake wheel
comes to it, kinda football shaped? This is one of the defining
details of these cars and should be there.
None whatsoever. It looks like a knuckle-buster to me.

Also, what kind of platform is it that's nearby? There should
not be a brake step on any part of the car end, the extended end
sill served that purpose and made a separate step unnecessary.
It's a 30x9 inch piece fastened to the top of the end sill,
projecting 4-5 inches over the edge. The 11th picture down on
the Westerfield site shows something similar. On the Walthers
(WKW) model, the upper brake staff support is integral with it.

The paint (Flat white on flat black) is crisp, and the
reporting marks are also on the ends, centered near the top,
NYC over 501536. The stenciled IL says 46-0, but the model
actually measures 45-6 inside.
--- wrote:
Don't try to determine correct dimensions by measuring the inside of
any open top car because the models sides must be cast way too thick
in order to produce the kit. . . .
In general terms, the outside car body dimension of the model should
be an inch or two bigger than the inside dimension on the car body.
WKW model measurements OL: 46-6 feet, IW: 9-4, OW: 10-7

--- wrote:
Does the end door open, or show any signs of looking like it could
open if it weren't cast six inches thicker than the prototype and
integral with the car body?
It looks more like the picture mentioned above than it does the end
of the B&O car shown elsewhere on the 8100 page, with straight edges
and sharp corners to the opening. The step between what I take to
be an "end frame" and the "end" itself is under an inch, and there's
a row of rivets on the end along the edge of the end frame. I'm
guessing it's riveted shut, cause I can't budge it. :-) There's
what look like latches at the top, but they are very small.

USED IN ANY OTHER SERVICE, but except for the floor planking there
is no detail on the inside of the car. Some rivets on the outside
look like they're meant to hold internal hardware. I don't intend
to carry containers, so I guess I should paint out the stenciling
and shave the rivets.
--- wrote:
Don't do that! Those rivets held collapsible stake pockets which
were installed on ALL USRA gons and most of the "clones." If you
want to see what the inside of the sides should look like, check
out Al Westerfields ads in the magazines or his web site
Whew, you caught me in time! Yes, I agree, that explains the
rivets. Now I know where to add details to the interior, while
pondering which kit would have been better to start with. Is it
OK if I just paint out the stenciling? (see below)

But be aware that these cars were used for general gondola stuff
many years before and after they were used in container service.
Besides, any attachments added to the car for container service
would be on the floor.
I'm guessing that by the late 1930s some of these cars would have
been released for general service. The Westerfield kit shows the
container fixtures, but are too fuzzy for me to be sure the planking
in the WKW model is correct. The WKW floor looks like 6" planking
laid crosswise, with fasteners alternating between the right and left
underframe and at each end. Every seventh plank has no fasteners,
and the planks over the bolsters seem to be held down with straps.

I'll be curious to see if Als containers will fit the WKW models
and visa versa.
I don't have either. See the inside dimensions, above.

I tried it on 18" radius track, and one of the wheel flanges
occasionally rubbed against the frame. That should be easy to
correct with a chisel blade.
Seems to be a virus that blew in from the Connecticut area.
Sorry, I missed that one. Is that a poke at 18" radii? :-)

- Tom Gloger e-mail:
web page:

Do You Yahoo!?
Great stuff seeking new owners in Yahoo! Auctions!

Join to automatically receive all group messages.