Date   

Re: Coupler droop

Jim Betz
 

Hi,

My admittedly laissez-faire opinion/practice is ...

"These are blue box kits and not worthy of lots of attention".

So what I do for couplers is to install #5s -with- the copper
centering spring. I love the improvement in the appearance
of the semi-scale coupler heads ... but you gotta admit that
they don't couple/uncouple as well as the "good ole #5s" ...
especially if there are two different coupler types such as
a #5 with a #58. And since, most of the time, my equipment
is running with other people's cars and locos ... there are
lots of times when that #5-to-#58 is in play. Here is what
I do for #5s in Athearn blue box cars.

1) I use a hobby file for a few passes from rear to front of the
centering spring to ensure there isn't any burr on the front
lip that would catch/impede the side to side action.

2) I take enough passes across the end of the #5 (both sides)
that they get "shiny" ... again to remove any burrs in the
area where they swivel. And also to remove any burrs
around the edges of that "5-sided" end.

3) I use the Kadee coupler pliers to put enough of a bend in
the end of the coupler pin that the end is "just higher
than the lowest point of the pin". This prevents the pin
from ever getting caught on the track.

4) I put ever so slight a bend -down- in the business end
of the Athearn metal coupler box cover ... to prevent
it from catching the coupler shank. I also often file this
same area to remove any burrs.

5) I install the couplers and use a Kadee gauge to adjust
the height of the coupler (fibre washers on the bolster
as required - which is "quite often").

6) I adjust the depth of the uncoupling pin to the correct
height using the Kadee gauge - while preserving that
bend up of the end I did in step #3.

7) It is rare that I don't do some level of weathering on
my couplers. I use acrylics (actually Delta Ceramcoat
Craft acrylics) in 'washes' that hit the faces, the
tops, the knuckle spring, and the pin ... and if you
flick the pin a couple of times they free up and
operate without any hesitation.

- end of story ... Jim Betz

P.S. I do not run my blue box cars much these days. Watch
eBay if you are interested in some very nicely weathered -
and running - rolling stock. They just don't meet my
standards of "believability/prototypical accuracy" these
days ... eBay seller id "OldRocky". They should start
showing up "in a few weeks". Or contact me directly -
OFF list ... on list attempts will be ignored.


Re: Blue "Tank Car Connected" Sign

Malcolm H. Houck
 

Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:58 am (PDT) . Posted by:
_"John Sykes" john.sykes60 _
(mailto:John.Sykes@us.army.mil?subject=Re:%20Blue%20"Tank%20Car%20Connected"%20Sign)

True. In some cases they just used an actual blue flag or blue lantern at
night (aha! that's why some lanterns have blue lenses!).










Most rule books specify, in connection with the protocols for observing the
"blue flag" safety rules that
employees are to observe ". . . a blue flag by day and a blue lamp by dark.
. . " , or the rule contains language to similar effect distinguishing
between day and nighttime practice.

Mal Houck


Re: Coupler droop, height and centering

Tony Thompson
 

Mal Houck wrote:
Does anyone have experience with the scale couplers and were any changes required to insure reliable operation?

There has been considerable concern about whether or not "scale" couplers will "gather" properly and couple with other sizes, or if they will or will not couple properly on curved track.
Obviously it depends on the sharpness of the curves. I assume you are comparing #5 with #58 couplers, and yes of course, the smaller heads have less gathering range. And you know what? The prototype is the same. Prototype drawbars often have to be kicked or otherwise nudged to couple on curved track, and on a strong curvature, it may not be possible to couple conventional freight cars. (That's why traction lines had special couplers.) Some modelers do complain about the small-head couplers, in this regard, but to me it is, if anything, a step toward realism, and away from the toy-train " couple anything, anywhere" routine we were used to.

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


Re: Coupler droop

Craig Zeni
 

On Jul 13, 2013, at 11:27 AM, STMFC@yahoogroups.com wrote:
3b. Re: Coupler droop
Posted by: "John Sykes" John.Sykes@us.army.mil john.sykes60
Date: Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:20 am ((PDT))

Keith:

Just the other day I wrote to Kadee telling them that I had found a solution to just such a problem. What I did was insert Kadee fiber washers under the coupler. I used 0.010" washers for most, but if the couplers were not free to move laterally (side to side) after modifying, I switched to a 0.005" Kadee steel washer. I guess you could use the 0.015" fiber washers if the couplers are really sloppy. My experience is that after this mod they fit perfectly and I didn't have to glue them.
If I have excessive Couplerus Limpus I will glue a strip of styrene across the lower part of the draft gear opening to support the coupler. That strip is typical .010" thick. Paint it the color of the draft gear and it disappears.

I asked if the whisker couplers were thinner or the same as #5s and Kadee responded that they the later runs were actually 0.005" thicker to compensate for the square spring that no longer needed.
So I wasn't imagining this.

The way I deal with the B end of Genesis F units is to take the extra set that comes with the model and sand thickness from the inside face of the cover. I'll then put the coupler in the box and glue that lid in place. Let it dry and I'll then countersink the assembly to take a flat head screw nearly flush with the surface...needed to clear the truck as it pivots/gimbals fore and aft. Oh, and by using the short shank scale coupler you get nearly dead perfect scale coupling distances between F units...which which you will pull your freight cars. (See what I did there?)

I do wish Kadee would conjure up a neat retrofit for Genny F units...

Craig Zeni
"Bother..." said Pooh as he chambered another round.


Re: Coupler droop, height and centering

Malcolm H. Houck
 

Does anyone have experience with the scale couplers and were any changes
required to insure reliable operation?

There has been considerable concern about whether or not "scale" couplers
will "gather" properly and couple with other sizes, or if they will or will
not
couple properly on curved track.

If this's a problem it is, in my opinion more related to the side play
between
wheelsets and truck frames; -- a topic much discussed with JP Barger. An
answer is to replace the "one size fits all" wheelsets with ReBoxx
wheelsets
that are (can be) more carefully matched to the varying distances across
truck frames between journals. This can easily be done since ReBoxx
are made in a variety of lengths and, with careful measurement taking into
account the manufactured specification of lengths, can be matched to
a nearest 0.001".

With replacement wheelsets all cars center on the track and scale coupler
matched are not a problem. . . at all! In addition, since the elimination
of
truck side plat also eliminates vertical play, couplers will be (should be)
all
at a proper height above the rails. In replacing all OEM and other
replacement
wheelsets with ReBoxx sets I have ben able to discard nearly all shim
washers
previously needed to obtain correct coupler height.

An additional benefit is that with a correctly fitted ReBoxx wheelset a
truck
rolls extremely well. The finer tread width seems to have no problems with
well done track, besides.

Mal Houck


Re: SP B-50-25 12 panel 40' boxcar with corrected details

Tony Thompson
 

Andy Carlson wrote:
The 1946 built cars came with the 5/5/5 Interim Improved Youngstown 6' door. the 1947 cars came with both 4/6/6 and 5/6/5 IYD. I just discovered a list which indicated all of these cars came with ASF A3 ride control trucks, not the Barber Lateral Motion.
Yes, the SP order summaries for ALL the cars of B-50-25 and -26 show they had ASF A3 trucks. The relevant table in my book on SP box cars says the same.

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


Re: Coupler droop

Michael Watnoski
 

Greetings,

The problem I have had with #5 Kadee couplers in blue box freight cars is often due to the spring plate. I typically trim the tabs on the vertical portions so they do not interfere with the metal coupler box cover. If they touch the cover they bend the plate such that the coupler will bind and cover may not seat properly. This takes just a moment with sharp scissors. I usually trim the short tab at the front of spring as it often has a rough edge that drags on the coupler shank.

The metal plate should have its inner surface of the front edge filed smooth. When installing the metal cover, I will squeeze the sides slightly to insure that it grabs the locking barbs on the sides of the coupler box. These are seldom perpendicular when formed.

I usually prep a bunch of couplers and springs ahead of time so they are ready to use. Also burnish the shanks as described in the instructions. I use a pair of needle nose pliers rather that the drill bit called for as it is easier to handle.

HTH

Michael


Disposition of the Collection of H.K. Vollrath

Tim O'Connor
 

I thought this might be very interesting to some members of STMFC...

Tim O'Connor

Over the past month, members of the Big Creek & Southern Live Steam railroad
have been taking possession of the vast collection of H.K. Vollrath,
nationally-known photographer and documenter of steam locomotives. Yesterday
we finished picking up approximately 4 truckloads of files, magazines,
historical documents, and (most significantly) the entire library of black
and white prints and photographic negatives. We are preparing to liquidate
the collection, preserving sections of it as needed.

It is important to note that "K" is in good health and is still quite active
at age 92! He has moved from his home and no longer has the space to store
this massive collection. Mr. Vollrath's great desire is to see his life's
work be of continuing benefit and usefulness to modelers, collectors, and
railroad historians.

Initially this will involve making full year magazine sets of Model
Railroader, Trains, Railroad, Railroad Model Journal, Railfan & Railroad,
Live Steam, and Modeltec. Along with these will be sets of the publications
of the TRRA, Missouri Pacific, C&NW, New York Central, and B&O Historical
Societies (that's what I've seen SO far) plus Arkansas Railroader, Pine
Bough, and many other journals too numerous to mention at present.

We are also in the process of converting K's typewritten catalog of prints
and negatives to digital format in order to begin the process of selling the
prints initially. Per Mr. Vollrath's wishes, the proceeds resulting from the
sale of the collection all go to the general operating fund of the Big Creek
& Southern where his 1.5" scale steam locomotive already resides. Railway
Icons is donating it's services to this effort and derives no profit from
this venture.

K's photography includes steam locomotives of practically every railroad as
he traveled extensively. Photos in the collection date back to the 1880's
and 90's all the way up through the end of steam and somewhat beyond. I
would estimate that there are more than 10,000 negatives and at least that
many prints at this point. K was in the business of selling photos for a
VERY long time!

The plan is to create a special Ebay Store to post the magazine collections
and other collectibles as well as the photo negatives in the very near
future.

If you are looking for photos/negatives/historical information on any
particular railroad and would like to be notified of what is available as we
get this all catalogued, you may email me direct at jdbandman@earthlink.net.
As we prepare to sell various items we will contact you to make an offer for
the items you would like to have.

This is going to be a VERY drawn out project and will take many months to
get everything catalogued and listed for sale so be patient! Also, if
emailing to request specific railroad subjects and photos/negatives, please
expect a simple acknowledgement of your request at this time. Please feel
free to share this information with any other modeling or railfan lists you
know of!

Jim Duncan
Railway Icons
www.railwayicons.us


Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage

 

When I started out I was a model railroader. I used model railroad plans. Although I had researched Railway Age and the Cycs it wasn’t clear to me how detailed a prototype model should be. I soon found out that my initial standard was far from good enough – modelers told me so. But they were willing to help make the products better and I was willing to revise the models to their standards. About six weeks after issuing my first kit, the Pennsy XL box car, I got a call from someone in Canada. He asked me how I could make such a nice model but get the lettering all wrong. It was John Stewart, now deceased, who was renowned for his collection of Pennsy blueprints. He said he’d send me some. Shortly thereafter, a mailing tube containing about 30 lettering diagrams, stencil diagrams and general arrangements arrived. I used the stencil diagrams to produce the proper fonts and issued new decals according to the lettering diagram. But the XL general arrangement was also included which showed me the underbody was completely wrong. I revised that, too. From then on my models were better because I knew what was needed and knew that persons with the proper information would be more than willing to help. By my tenth kit I was unwilling to make a product unless all of the information to do it accurately could be obtained. When I retired I counted up how many modelers and experts had helped me over the years; it was over 200. – Al Westerfield

From: Tim O'Connor
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2013 10:47 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage


Dave

I would add -- Especially if you care about underframes! Sunshine
(probably for reasons of massive production) definitely made a few
mistakes on models, and on documentation. Al Westerfield was much
more thorough in his research, but nobody is perfect.

For the most part you really can't accurately say that so-and-so's
stuff is all good, or all bad. Some Athearn models were incredibly
well done, and some are horrible. Same with Intermountain. Red Caboose
(and IMWX before that) seems to be more consistently accurate. Kadee
has a reputation for perfection, but their models often have incorrect
running boards, or trucks, or underframe details.

For over 17 years we've been discussing freight car models online in
this (and predecessor) mailing lists so it's easier to answer specific
questions about specific models. Painting with a broad brush doesn't
cut it, usually.

Tim O'Connor

Dave Lawler wrote:
"For top of the line, prototype specific accuracy, try resin kits from
Westerfield and F&C."

Stating resin kits are *100%* accurate is a dangerous assumption. It's
true for the most part (especially for Westerfield), but you still need
to model from photos and other sources to keep the manufacturer honest.

Trust, but verify.

Ben Hom




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Coupler droop

midrly
 

Most coupler box lids, including Kadee, are atyrene. I've glued a strip of styrene onto the bottom of the box as a "carry iron" to level the coupler. Lube this and the inside of the box with some P-B-L Neolube, and you won't notice its presence.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Dan L. Merkel" <danmerkel@...> wrote:

I've taken the Kadee washers and trimmed a wee bit off of each side then put them right in the coupler box to help with this. Don't see it too often though. I wonder if you could put an ever so slight bend in the front lip of the little metal clip that holds the couplers in place. Haven't tried that but it might work...

dlm
---------------------------------
Dan L. Merkel
http://thecourier.typepad.com/alongtherightofway/

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage

Tim O'Connor
 

Dave

I would add -- Especially if you care about underframes! Sunshine
(probably for reasons of massive production) definitely made a few
mistakes on models, and on documentation. Al Westerfield was much
more thorough in his research, but nobody is perfect.

For the most part you really can't accurately say that so-and-so's
stuff is all good, or all bad. Some Athearn models were incredibly
well done, and some are horrible. Same with Intermountain. Red Caboose
(and IMWX before that) seems to be more consistently accurate. Kadee
has a reputation for perfection, but their models often have incorrect
running boards, or trucks, or underframe details.

For over 17 years we've been discussing freight car models online in
this (and predecessor) mailing lists so it's easier to answer specific
questions about specific models. Painting with a broad brush doesn't
cut it, usually.

Tim O'Connor

Dave Lawler wrote:
"For top of the line, prototype specific accuracy, try resin kits from
Westerfield and F&C."

Stating resin kits are *100%* accurate is a dangerous assumption. It's
true for the most part (especially for Westerfield), but you still need
to model from photos and other sources to keep the manufacturer honest.

Trust, but verify.

Ben Hom


Re: Coupler droop

Scaler164@...
 

This is what I suggested earlier and have had a good degree of success with in the past.


John Degnan
Scaler164@comcast.net
Scaler187@comcast.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan L. Merkel" <danmerkel@sbcglobal.net>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2013 11:01:24 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Coupler droop

I wonder if you could put an ever so slight bend in the front lip of the little metal clip that holds the couplers in place.  Haven't tried that but it might work...

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Coupler droop

Scaler164@...
 

I have also had luck filing the shanks of the earlier Kadee couplers thinner, but not with the whisker couplers.  But I have to admit I've not tried filing them with the coupler in a vise... only by holding them in hand... so that could be the source of my grief.

As for the length of the shank... that is not the issue I have with Kadee couplers on the Genesis F units... it is the thickness of the shank that causes the problem.


John Degnan
Scaler164@comcast.net
Scaler187@comcast.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim O'Connor" <timboconnor@comcast.net>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2013 10:49:56 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Coupler droop


Kadee coupler shanks can be filed thinner quite easily. I have
done this many times, and they still work perfectly. They can also
be shortened at the rear end for incredibly tight applications,
such as the rear of F units, or steam loco pilots.

Tim O'Connor


  > The shank on ALL of the ones I've tried are simply too thick,
  > and end up getting 'pinched' by the lid of the gear box when it
  > is secured as it should be.



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage

Benjamin Hom
 

Dave Lawler wrote:
"For top of the line, prototype specific accuracy, try resin kits from
Westerfield and F&C."

Stating resin kits are *100%* accurate is a dangerous assumption. It's
true for the most part (especially for Westerfield), but you still need
to model from photos and other sources to keep the manufacturer honest.

Trust, but verify.

Ben Hom


Re: Industry Magazines of the 1950s?

Tim O'Connor
 

Nope. RAGE is standard 8.5 x 11.

Modern Railroads was definitely larger -- think LIFE magazine size.

Does Railway Age count as large-format? Mine are packed away, so I can't check the size.
Regards,
-Jeff


Re: SP B-50-25 12 panel 40' boxcar with corrected details

Tim O'Connor
 

SP/T&NO B-50-25 box cars (PSC = Pressed Steel, PS = Pullman Standard)

SP series 20500- 21499 blt 1946 PSC (wide seam doors)
20500- 21199 -- MINER hb, MORTON rb, ASF A-3
21200- 21499 -- EQUIPCO hb, MORTON rb, ASF A-3

SP series 21500- 21749 blt 1946 PS (wide seam doors)
21500- 21749 -- UNIVERSAL hb, MORTON rb, ASF A-3

SP series 21750- 22249 blt 1947 PS
21750- 22249 -- AJAX hb, APEX rb, ASF A-3

TNO series 54850- 55199 blt 1946 PS (wide seam doors)
54850- 55199 -- UNIVERSAL hb, MORTON rb, ASF A-3

TNO series 55200- 55699 blt 1947 PS
55200- 55449 -- EQUIPCO hb, Youngstown doors, ASF A-3
55450- 55699 -- EQUIPCO hb, 7-panel Superior doors, ASF A-3

Note that by 1956 SP began to renumber many of the box cars into the
new series 122312-124040

===============================================

The 1946 built cars came with the 5/5/5 Interim Improved Youngstown 6' door.
The 1947 cars came with both 4/6/6 and 5/6/5 IYD. I just discovered a list
which indicated all of these cars came with ASF A3 ride control trucks,
not the Barber Lateral Motion.
- Andy


Re: Industry Magazines of the 1950s?

Aley, Jeff A
 

Does Railway Age count as large-format? Mine are packed away, so I can't check the size.

Regards,

-Jeff


From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tony Thompson
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2013 5:55 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Industry Magazines of the 1950s?



Brian Chapman wrote:
My paternal Granddad was a conductor on the northeast Iowa electric road WCF&N for nearly four decades. As a small fry, as I recall anyway, at his home I flipped through many railroad industry magazines, mags that were large format, similar in size to Look and Life magazines of the era.

I do not recall the names of any of these publications but am hoping someone here might recall titles. I wonder if one of them wasn't an AAR publication. . . .
Only large-format mag I can recall is Modern Railroads.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com<http://www.signaturepress.com>
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@signaturepress.com<mailto:tony%40signaturepress.com>
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Coupler droop

Dan L. Merkel <danmerkel@...>
 

I've taken the Kadee washers and trimmed a wee bit off of each side then put them right in the coupler box to help with this. Don't see it too often though. I wonder if you could put an ever so slight bend in the front lip of the little metal clip that holds the couplers in place. Haven't tried that but it might work...

dlm
---------------------------------
Dan L. Merkel
http://thecourier.typepad.com/alongtherightofway/


Re: Coupler droop

Tim O'Connor
 

Kadee coupler shanks can be filed thinner quite easily. I have
done this many times, and they still work perfectly. They can also
be shortened at the rear end for incredibly tight applications,
such as the rear of F units, or steam loco pilots.

Tim O'Connor

The shank on ALL of the ones I've tried are simply too thick,
> and end up getting 'pinched' by the lid of the gear box when it
> is secured as it should be.


Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage

Dave Lawler
 

For top of the line, prototype specific accuracy, try resin kits from Westerfield and F&C. Both have web sites.
Dave Lawler

75621 - 75640 of 192636