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Beer Can Tank Cars

thetrainman00@...
 

Hi Group;

I model an Eastern Coal Hauler type railroad set in the 1960s and 1970s. The
prototype had several oil refineries along it on the portion that I am not
modeling. I would like to know IF the shorty Beer Can type Tank Cars would
be correct for the era that I am modeling?
Thank you in advance for any help with this question.

Happy Model Railroading,
Jim

Re: Branchline Reefers

byronrose@...
 

On Sat, 14 Jul 2001 00:07:13 -0400 "Tim O'Connor"
<timoconnor@...> writes:

Byron, if those are your real scores for those freight car
models then I can only say that your results are more than
a little inconsistent with one another. Perhaps you apply a
tougher standard to cars that you are more familiar with --
but then, that's no better than what the vendors themselves
do, isn't
Please explain.

I don't think Tim Frederick would give a 95 to any Atlas tank
car, and I certainly wouldn't score the covered hoppers that
highly (especially as I contemplate removal of 2 dozen solid
cast running board supports!).
Tim, you obviously missed my cop-out notice. I have NOT studied them.

Also, of course I meant the Kadee PS-1, I must have had number two on my
mind.

And I completely forgot the P2K tank cars which I would rate at least a
94, losing 2 points to an upside down AB brake valve.

BSR


Funny you should ask that. The answer is yes, most definitely. I
gave
the Kadee PS-2 a 96, the IM SFRD reefer a 93 and the revised R40-10
an
89. I think that's also what I gave the -23, but only because it
was 2-3
years ago. Today it might be less. The new Atlas tanks and
covered
hoppers would probably be in the 95 range too, if I wanted to take
the
time to study them. Instead I just put them in my modern era train
in
the display case, behind an SD-60 and enjoy them.

Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


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Re: Branchline Reefers

byronrose@...
 

On Sat, 14 Jul 2001 00:14:37 -0400 "Tim O'Connor"
<timoconnor@...> writes:

Byron, I forgot to add: the nose on that SD-60 is 4"
too long. Very obvious and serious flaw to us modern
modelers... ;o) [See recent magazine article devoted
to correcting massive frame, truck and other defects
in the SD-60 model.]

Instead I just put them in my modern era train in
the display case, behind an SD-60 and enjoy them.

Tim, .

My display case is not in my bedroom, therefore I don't sleep with them.

I enjoy them in the same way I enjoy seeing a Lionel ATSF ABBA set of war
bonnets

G'night,

BSR
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Re: Any car will do two

Jeff English
 

"Tim O'Connor" <timoconnor@...> wrote:

3-NYC 121612 XM came with soft coal left with corn.
Dunno.
A USRA-clone all-steel box car of 8'7" IH, with 4-4 Dreadnaught
ends and Youngstown doors. Specifically from Lot 559-B, built by
ACF St Louis plant, Lot 494, in 1927 as CCC&StL 49000 - 49999,
renumbered after 1936 to NYC 121000 - 121999.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff English Troy, New York
Proto:64 Classic Era Railroad Modeling
englij@...

| R U T L A N D R A I L R O A D |
Route of the Whippet
---------------------------------------------------------------

Re: Any car will do two

Clark Propst <cepropst@...>
 

Tom,
This agent's book is for Fairfax MN on the M&StL. The fella posting
the info name is Sam. Sam just posted more, he has done the last half of
1947. From the time the cars were unloaded then reloaded (seal
broken-resealed) averages 5 days. The reason I said there were 7 cars
and only listed 6 is because I already mentioned one car.
All,
There are cars of meat listed, all parshially unloaded. Sam has
detremented these cars have come from Sioux City or Sioux falls. Only
URTX 27288 seems like a packing co. car number, the others are ART
16268, 22537, 23622, MDT 21418, 22577, 41565 and PFE 35099,60801, SFRD
23543, 25218.
Clark

Tom Gloger wrote:

--- Clark Propst <cepropst@...> wrote:
I'm admittedly ignorant about the rules governing how cars
are to be loaded. I have found something curious in the agents
seal book enteries from another group. This is a small rural
community that seems to have only one or two setouts a day.
Over a 41 day period I see 7 cars that were setout with one
load then were reloaded. Check out the inbound loads.
1-CB&Q 132879 XM came with coal left with wheat.
2-DL&W 46344 XM came with coal left with corn.
3-NYC 121612 XM came with soft coal left with corn.
4-SOO 13662 XM came with soft coal left with barley.
5-MEC 5210 XM came with soft coal left with corn.
6-B&O 381926 XM came with cement left with corn.
I know in 1938 Lignite was shipped in box cars because it
tended to crumble as it dried out. What part of the country
was this book from? How many days passed between setout and
pickup? What year was it?

=====
- Tom Gloger e-mail: mailto:tomgloger@...
web page: http://pws.prserv.net/usinet.tgloger

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Re: Upon Further Review...

Richard Hendrickson
 

Well, I decided to correct the IM AB brake system on the R-40-10. Tony
graciously admitted that he, Richard and Dick Harley overlooked this rather
obvious flaw...thus, according to Ted Culotta, putting their recently
awarded patches at risk.....

Hmmm. The kit apparently corrected itself. Opening another box I see
that this car has magically corrected itself also....

I guess our three esteemed analysts don't have to remove the patches from
their vests after all. I don't think there was anything in my breakfast this
morning....must be Richard's fault for doing that wine tasting clinic last
yr at San Jose...
Good grief! I go away for three days and look at the nonsense that ensues.
Brock discovers a non-existent mistake in the IM reefer kit, Thompson
issues an unjustified mea culpa not only on his own behalf but mine as
well, Culotta is prompted to make smart-ass remarks about badges, Harley
also gets into the act, and Brock blames his error on my wine tasting
clinic a year ago. I'm tempted to say something about bozos except for the
heartburn that term has already generated.

For the record:

I knew the kit was okay because I've already built one and I'd certainly
have noticed if the piping was wrong.

I do make mistakes from time to time and I'm perfectly willing to
acknowledge them, but I'd prefer to do so myself and not have it done for
me, thank you very much.

As it happens, I just acquired the first (and probably the only) badge I
will get this year, but I got it at the EAA Arlington (WA) air show and
it's a badge for the International Aerobatic Club (of which I am a member
in good standing) and it will go on my flight suit (maybe upside down, I
haven't decided yet), not on the RR vest which I don't own. BTW, jokes
about not knowing which way is up are hereby prohibited.

Instead of blaming his confusion on the wine his wife consumed at San Jose
last year (since Mike didn't even attend the wine tasting clinic, though
Georgia did), Brock might want to re-calculate his summer consumption of
Mint Juleps, which I understand to be the low-cast alternative to air
conditioning in his part of the country.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

Re: transcontinental freight through the SE USA

Richard Hendrickson
 

Can I increase the chances of not seeing a car class by not modeling it?
No, because the theorectical probability is unaffected by reality.
This whole discussion has been unaffected by reality. I'd hoped that by
the time I returned from a brief trip out of town it would, like Pospero's
conjuring, have "vanished into air, into thin air," but no! It's still
going on, the RR historian's equivalent of the endless theologian's debate
about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. (Speaking of
pinheads....but I digress.) Don't you guys have some freight car kits to
build???

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

Those Trusses

Alan C. Welch <acwelch@...>
 

Am I missing something here?

In a bridge, diagonals under compression fail due to buckling, if they are long enough, slender enough and loaded enough. Diagonals are even more prone to buckling failure than vertical columns due to the fact that they are carrying the UDL of their weight.

In a freightcar side the compression members can not fail due to buckling as they are restrained due to the fact that they are attached to the siding. It doesn't matter a rat's a** whether the diagonals are in tension or compression.

Since fatigue failures are almost unheard of in compression, I would go for having the diagonals in compression.

I don't know when the first recognition of the nature of Fatigue Failures occurred but I was reading some stuff from the AAR in 1920 about track failure and they were not recognizing fatigue failures as such at that time.

Al

Re: Upon Further Review...

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Richard correctly notes:

Instead of blaming his confusion on the wine his wife consumed at San Jose
last year (since Mike didn't even attend the wine tasting clinic, though
Georgia did),
However, said wife learned much from the clinic...as she was supposed to
do...and has been practicing on me...with variously interesting results ever
since. All in all...not negative in any way...unless you become annoyed at
false declarations that might ensue as a result. BTW, thinking back on it, I
believe that part of the problem was a result of trying to determine where
the retainer line went. This led to the underbody diagrams and flipping them
to be viewed from above etc. Even then, I have no idea how anyone could have
made such a gaffe....wine or not.

Mike Brock

Re: Those Trusses

thompson@...
 

Alan Welch said:
In a bridge, diagonals under compression fail due to buckling, if they are
long enough, slender enough and loaded enough. Diagonals are even more
prone to buckling failure than vertical columns due to the fact that they
are carrying the UDL of their weight.
Well, sure, Alan, and that's why diagonals expected to carry compression
are heavier in section, so they WON'T buckle.

Since fatigue failures are almost unheard of in compression, I would go for
having the diagonals in compression.
Obviously Alan doesn't know a great deal about fatigue in making this
statement; in fact, we typically fatigue pre-crack test specimens in
compression when their toughness is limited.

I don't know when the first recognition of the nature of Fatigue Failures
occurred but I was reading some stuff from the AAR in 1920 about track
failure and they were not recognizing fatigue failures as such at that time.
The usual attribution of the discovery of fatigue was by Wohler in
Germany in the 1860s, seeing peculiar "elastic" failures of railroad axles.
(In fact, plots of stress vs. cycles to failure are still called "Wohler
curves" in Germany.) It may be, of course, that some ARA folks (not AAR, of
course) in 1920 might not be aware of fatigue as a failure explanation, but
if so they were certainly not metallurgists and likely not mechanical
engineers either.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

B&M reefers into milk cars

John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

The B&M converted some of their 40 foot reefers into milk cars, most famous
being the Train-Miniature Bellows Falls Co-op car. The prototype photos
seem to show that the trucks were the "standard" Commonwealth four wheel
passenger truck, with an 8 foot wheelbase, but if so, they must have moved
the truck bolsters inboard, as the trucks don't extend out the ends, as on
an ore car. But it seems really hard to believe that they would go to this
much trouble, as I would think that repositioning these would mean a whole
rebuilding of the underframe. - John

Re: Upon Further Review...

Richard Hendrickson
 

Richard correctly notes:

Instead of blaming his confusion on the wine his wife consumed at San Jose
last year (since Mike didn't even attend the wine tasting clinic, though
Georgia did),
However, said wife learned much from the clinic...as she was supposed to
do...and has been practicing on me...with variously interesting results ever
since. All in all...not negative in any way...unless you become annoyed at
false declarations that might ensue as a result.
No, no, Mike. You've got it all wrong. The Romans understood this eons
ago: In vino veritas. So there must be some other explanation.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

Re: Any car will do two (too?)

Richard Hendrickson
 

Tim O'Connor made a good start on identifying the cars:

1-CB&Q 132879 XM came with coal left with wheat.
Not sure what this is.
One of the Q's many pre-WW-I 40' wood truss-rod u/f box cars retro-fitted
with steel ends (of which they still had almost 3600 in service in 1947).

2-DL&W 46344 XM came with coal left with corn.
A double sheathed ARA car, built 1926

3-NYC 121612 XM came with soft coal left with corn.
Dunno.
Jeff English nailed this one (of course).

4-SOO 13662 XM came with soft coal left with barley.
A 36 ft box; a Fowler clone?
Yes; the Soo bought a substantial fleet of these before they started
ordering 40' cars of similar construction, and many lasted well into the
1950s.

5-MEC 5210 XM came with soft coal left with corn.
A 1923 ARA design car

6-B&O 381926 XM came with cement left with corn.
An M-53 wagontop?
Right again.

What interests me about this list is:

(1) it suggests how much coal was transported in box cars. It was
apparently standard practice to ship coal in box cars for unloading by hand
to destinations where bulk unloading facilities were not available.

(2) it raises the question of how the cars were cleaned before reloading.
I wouldn't think that merely sweeping them out would do a sufficiently good
job of removing coal dust that they could then be loaded with grain. Were
they hosed out? If so, who did this, and where?


Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

Re: source for early Pullman ends for SAL boxcars

ThisIsR@...
 

Hey Denis:
I didn't even think about carving those darts off. How long were the
"tabs" along the sidesill? What thickness of styrene should I get to
reproduce them? Are the
wheelsets accurate for the Seaboard car? Is the factory color close enough
to Seaboard freight car brown or whatever they painted boxcars.

Re: B&M reefers into milk cars

thompson@...
 

John Nehrich said:
The B&M converted some of their 40 foot reefers into milk cars, most famous
being the Train-Miniature Bellows Falls Co-op car. The prototype photos
seem to show that the trucks were the "standard" Commonwealth four wheel
passenger truck, with an 8 foot wheelbase, but if so, they must have moved
the truck bolsters inboard, as the trucks don't extend out the ends, as on
an ore car. But it seems really hard to believe that they would go to this
much trouble, as I would think that repositioning these would mean a whole
rebuilding of the underframe.
John, both Commonwealth and GSC also made a 5-1/2 ft. wheelbase "express"
truck; is that what was used? It ought to be pretty clear from a prototype
photo.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

Re: Any car will do two (too?)

thompson@...
 

Richard Hendrickson ruminates:
(2) it raises the question of how the cars were cleaned before reloading.
I wouldn't think that merely sweeping them out would do a sufficiently good
job of removing coal dust that they could then be loaded with grain. Were
they hosed out? If so, who did this, and where?
Naw. They were just trying to put a little grit into those Midwestern
personalities. Coffee had already failed in that mission, as the Midw'ers
learned to brew it pale.
<into bunker>

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

Re: B&M reefers into milk cars

John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

Tony - It doesn't appear to be. Originally, Bill Mischler had won a
kitbashing award for his conversion of the T-M kit, where he modified the
underframe to use the Central Valley four wheel truck. His article in
Railroad Model Craftsman didn't have any prototype photos, so I had assumed
it was stuck using these longer trucks, but with the Athearn express reefer
truck, it wouldn't have been necessary. Bill corrected me on this, saying
the protos show a longer truck, so I went and checked and would have to
agree. - John
PS - I will have to find a photo and post it. - JN

----- Original Message -----
From: <thompson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2001 5:31 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] B&M reefers into milk cars


John Nehrich said:
The B&M converted some of their 40 foot reefers into milk cars, most
famous
being the Train-Miniature Bellows Falls Co-op car. The prototype photos
seem to show that the trucks were the "standard" Commonwealth four wheel
passenger truck, with an 8 foot wheelbase, but if so, they must have
moved
the truck bolsters inboard, as the trucks don't extend out the ends, as
on
an ore car. But it seems really hard to believe that they would go to
this
much trouble, as I would think that repositioning these would mean a
whole
rebuilding of the underframe.
John, both Commonwealth and GSC also made a 5-1/2 ft. wheelbase
"express"
truck; is that what was used? It ought to be pretty clear from a prototype
photo.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history



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BLT Reefers Part 1

byronrose@...
 

As many of you may know, I have spent a great deal of time over the past
2 1/2-3 years working with Bill Schneider of Branchline Trains to bring
to fruition a styrene model kit of an American Car and Foundry (AC&F)
refrigerator car. Built in the 20s, it was a car commonly seen wearing a
wide variety of lettering schemes over its long life, ranging from
extravagant billboards in the 30s to basic stealth lettering in the 60s.
I have been collecting photos and data on these types of cars ever since
my first exposures to them in the early 60s. You may also be aware that
several years ago I worked with Al Westerfield to produce a resin kit of
a series of three cars built by AC&F, including the very same version
done by BLT. It was based on that that Bill contacted me and asked if I
would help him develop this project. Was I ever eager.

Over the next several months I sent him copies of all the data I had on
the cars, including general arrangement drawings (graciously provided by
Chuck Yungkurth), detail drawings from various books in my library,
photos and other documentation, as well as asking Al W to help by
providing copies of photos that Al used during the course of his own kits
development. I even met with Bill and his tool and die cutter, Chris, in
Chicago during the Naperville/Rosemont shows in 1999. Everything
seemed to be going well.

I was even sent copies of the in-progress drawings being developed for
the die cutting. I spoke with Bill quite frequently then, always asking
him when I would get ALL the drawings and when could I talk to Chris
about several corrections that were needed based on the drawings I had.
"Not yet" was the constant answer. Finally I called Chris only to find
that he had finished the die work several weeks previously. I passed an
the corrections I had, just in case. It was for naught.

The project languished for some time while they developed other projects,
the 50' box cars, the well liked 40' box cars, the express reefer, and
the ever loved Pullmans. Sometime during this period, Bill sent me some
reefer parts, all his rejected parts that he couldn't use to build the
two display models he was showing. Everything had sink marks, warps, or
wasn't fully cast. Totally useless to critique the model by. Finally,
early this year, it became hot again. After waiting months for Bill to
send me a "box" that he insisted was on his desk loaded with sample
castings, and getting nothing, I finally received finished kits. How did
I get them? I bought them, as any customer could do. Was Bill too
embarrassed of his product to send me sample sprues which he knew I would
find errors in, knowing that his budget and/or time constraints would not
allow corrections to be made? Who knows?

But now I had a real kit in hand and tore open the box. Let's leave that
for the follow up, as a separate email.

Byron
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BLT Reefers Part 2

byronrose@...
 

Branchline Trains just released a kit for a Refrigerator Car built in
1927 by American Car and Foundry, for Union Refrigerator Transit Comapny
and affiliated roads. It is a car which has been seen in modeling
several times before, starting with an HO resin kit (which I helped Al
Westerfield produce) and more recently in O scale, as a brass model and
as parts of a plastic model by Atlas. The usefulness of this car is its
longevity, in several cases lasting into the 60s. During its lifetime it
hosted hundreds of different lettering schemes, most of them well
documented if you want to do some digging. It was also the subject of
several largely photographic articles in the model/prototype press.
Truly, a useful car to model.

So what do we actually have when we open the kit box? A collection of
parts which clearly puts this model out of the shake the box class, but
based on discussions with BLT, a kit intended to be easily built. Now
that I have built one, I'm afraid that hasn't happened. Let me mention
several sore spots before I get down to cases.

Parts which DO NOT fit: Sides to car body. Trucks to underframe.
Underframe to floor.

Parts which bear no resemblance to their full size counterparts: Ice
hatches (murder on a reefer).

Parts which are incorrectly located: Side door latch bar, air hose.

Lettering crooked, smudged, poor color coverage, poor color registration.

That latter is really ironic. One of the reasons BLT wanted to produce
these kits is to show off their custom painting skills. I guess rushing
will take the edge off that. The artwork produced for these models is
phenomenal, the best I have ever seen. Lots and lots of time was
expended on it, I have the phone bills to prove that.

Please don't think I'm doing this to be spiteful, I have aired these
complaints to Bill Schneider and told him that I was going to make a
report to the STMFC group. Everything I have pointed out here I can
document with photographs and drawings. I have too many examples in
plastic that confirm all my complaints about the final product. I'd like
to think that BLT would consider some retooling, but I think chances of
that are between slim and none and I don't blame them. Even with a
perfect kit, this one wouldn't sell enough kits to make any money,
considering the number of parts and the way modelers have been spoiled by
built-up freight car models. I don't thing a tanking economy helps
either.

Let's dig into a car and I'll point out its errors and try to pass on to
you what you can do to turn it into a decent model, and then what extra
work it needs to get a really good model out of it. Please keep in mind
that I am not trying to show off any rivet counting abilities, I am
simply trying to build a model which will not look out of place among the
better Intermountain, Red Caboose, P2K , and even Accurail models. One
in which the parts go together in their correct place and which will
operate on a layout. I will break my discussion into three
subassemblies: underframe, carbody and roof. Here we go.

The major problem with the underbody is that the geometry of the parts
around the trucks keeps the car from rolling and turning. The wheels rub
against the flanges of the diagonals so beautifully cast into the ends of
the floor. With a #17 chisel blade, shave down the center part of the
out-sticking flanges by about .010". That's all it needs and it's easier
than adding a washer to the bolster and having the car sit too high.

Next, notice how the air brake train line snakes thru the cross bearers.
It is located too far from the center sill for the trucks to turn for a
#6 turnout. The easy solution is to drill new holes in the bearers about
halfway closer than they now are and tight under the flange that will be
closest to the rail when the car rolls. While you are at it, plan to
reverse the fit of the two members shown closest to you in diagram 1 of
the instructions. The flanges should point toward the nearest end, the
center could go either way.

It's likely that you'll have a difficult time when you attempt to fit the
underframe members together and into the floor. Apparently, no allowance
was made for paint in the fit of these parts. The holes in the center
sills need to be enlarged to thread the cross members thru. Use a #11
blade and shave around all the holes, especially top and bottom.
Otherwise all the paint will strip off when you slide them together.
Then shave the paint off the long slots in the floor to receive the
center sills. It wouldn't hurt to also shave the tab part of the sills,
even imparting a slight bevel to help it find it's way. Don't glue any
of it until everything fits snug. Then do it! Oh yes, save installing
the piping and rods till after the big parts are glued in place.

One of the scratch-my-head errors built into the underframe is the excess
height of the cross bearers and bolsters. They both should wind up flush
with the bottom of the side sills, with their riveted cover plates
riveted to the side sill. That cover plate is missing completely from
the cross bearers, so even if you wanted the extra credit to add it,
you'd have to modify their shape before you could. The bolsters would be
even harder.

When you glue the various brake rods in place, angle their loose ends
toward the center sill, this will help in the turns. Finally, when you
get to the air hose under the end sill, cut away the entire standoff
bracket and glue the hose directly to the mounting block. These cars did
not use a bracket.

As an aside, check out the diagram that comes with the Cal Scale air
hoses. It shows the standard location for air hoses on all freight cars
until the advent of long throw cushioned underframes in the 60s. The
hose is mounted in line with the coupler horizontal centerline, that's
the centerline that runs left to right looking at the end of the car.
The reason should be obvious: that creates the exact same geometry for
all air hoses, no matter the type or use of car, and means that any car
shop can repair or replace any hose at any time from their standard
stores. That also means that the RC X-29 is wrong.

The plastic coupler provided does not fit well into the pocket. It tends
to slant down and the pin hangs too low. I glued a piece of .010" at the
end of the cover plate to solve this. I don't know how a real Kadee will
fit.

For extra detail, replace the tinplate-like K brake with a Cal Scale
casting, the only one made which casts the triple valve large enough to
actually provide all three braking functions. You could replace the
brake rods with wire, .012" please, and add a connection from the K brake
to the train line, but the train line itself doesn't need to be replaced,
it's close to scale size. If you do wire, include a piece of chain at
the lever end of the rod to the brake wheel. That was a low tech method
of allowing the air brakes to work without trying to shove that rod out
the end of the car.

If the car you're building is post 1940s, you should replace the K brake
with AB brakes. Al Westerfield will have a kit available by Naperville
2001 for this conversion based on parts I made for the same purpose on
his reefer kits.

And if you worry about such things, you can replace the trucks (P2Ks)
with Accurails spring plank truck. That's what most cars wore their
entire life. I found that P2K wheels dropped right in and roll well.

In spite of the work put into separating the parts to avoid masking for
multicolor painting, there are several parts of the kit that need to be
painted black before continuing. I used a black Sharpie with good
results. For better results, the car should be oversprayed with clear
flat after completion to even out the blacks. These include the side
sill part of the carbody casting, below the side insert, including the
bottom and the lower part of the inside edge, the end sill grab irons,
the hatch opening interiors if you're modeling open hatches, and places
where paint chips off during assembly. Unlike some recent models, the
parts layout did not allow them to be cast in appropriate colors to avoid
touch up paint where parts are cut from sprues.

Moving on to the body. Before gluing the end sills in place, sand the
back of them to thin them enough to set back under the wood siding. They
were not flush with the wood, they were flush with the angle iron that
supported the member the wood siding was nailed to. There is a definite
shadow cast here.

Let's attack the car sides. Problem: too long to fit at the corners
properly. Solution: sand paper. Start by removing the sides from the
car body; this is best done by pushing the pegs out from inside the car.
Trying to pull the sides out from the face will possibly result in an
unrepairable bend in the car side. Then to ease gluing the car sides to
the car body, drill 4 large holes, about 3/8th inch diameter, from end to
end of the sub-sides on the body casting approx centered top to bottom.
This will enable you to easily glue the sides from the inside.

Next remove the six mounting pegs on the back of the sides. Snip with
track nippers, sand the backs smooth. Then sand the backs toward the
grab iron end down to about .057". You should now be able to set either
end of the side into place and get a close to perfect fit, unfortunately
not at both ends at the same time unless your model is one of the flukes
that cast that way. I haven't found one yet. Then comes the tough part,
sanding the bevel off of the grab iron end to make the car side fit. I
suggest the grab iron end so as to not destroy the ladder symmetry at the
corner. The asymmetry of the side won't be noticed and besides, sanding
one corner is much easier than sanding two. Try 240 grade sandpaper
mounted tight to a flat wood block. A 45 degree guide won't hurt. Sand
slowly and carefully watching the progress from the painted side. Keep
the newly sanded edge parallel to the board groove and take off no more
than 1/4 of the board width. Remember to keep even pressure top to
bottom of the side as you sand. That should do it.

Once you have an almost perfect fit, slip the side in place and tack it
down with solvent cement, not ACC, thru one of the big holes near one
end. Push the other end in place to check your work. If it still fits
okay, put solvent in the two peg holes nearest the end you just glued and
push the corner tightly into place. Keep fingers away from holes and
joints or dissolved plastic will seep thru and get smeared. This is not
the time for that, let any seeped out plastic/glue set for a day before
removing it. Next repeat the glue job at the other corner and finally
the center. You should now have a carbody looking like AC&F and BLT
intended it to look.

Final thing on the carbody. The door latch bar, a separate casting (a
nice touch, too bad not extended to the hinges), is designed to go in the
wrong position. We can't completely correct it but it's easy to make it
look better. It's cast on position puts it about 6" too close to the
door hinges. That not-so-little-bit will jump out after just a glance at
the prototype. Remove the mounting pegs, shorten the horizontal bar
about 4" and restore its handle shape by sanding or scraping. Glue it
into position as far to the left as you can without exposing the holes
cast into the door. This will make up four of the six inches. The
interlock castings top and bottom will be in the wrong place, but the
blotchy black paint on them kinda hides it. Of course, for extra credit
you could remove all traces and use the interlocks from either a PFE or a
Grandt casting.

If you are building a post 1940 car, add the second left grab iron 21"
above the first (not the 24" of the instructions) and do NOT use
anybodies NBW castings, they are about three times the mass of the little
blobs cast on the sides. Pick off a rivet from a donor kit and glue it
on, if you really feel the need to. Also note that most of those later
cars lost some or all of their corner straps, especially the NWX cars.
You're on your own here.

That leaves us with the roof. I've been dreading this, so perhaps I can
delay it for a few moments with a little history. (Tony, correct me if
I'm wrong!) One of the small, mostly unseen, details related to reefers
is the "hatch plug". From the earliest days of refrigerator cars they
have had some method of keeping the cold in and the hot out of those 4
holes in the roof. The flap we see on the roof is only the "hatch
cover", a thin wooden piece usually covered in metal to keep water out
and protect itself from damage. One end of them is hinged to the roof
and the end can be positioned in a variety of ways, depending on the
load, weather and needs, with a heavy hold-up strap or bar. (I'm sure
there's a more glamorous name but it escapes me now.) For a secure, iced
load, the catch cover was locked in place against the top of the hatch
opening. For ventilation, it could be held up with a pin thru any of
several holes in the bar, and for icing, the hatch was flipped over on
its back, on special pads placed to prevent the hatch hardware from
poking holes in the roof.

The hatch plug started as a separate piece, built of wood with a flexible
insulation and canvas edge to seal it into the hatch opening. It usually
had two metal rings attached to one face of it so it could be pulled out
and also a chain to keep it from wandering.. Obviously, they could be
easily lost, misplaced and stolen. Later, better methods of attaching
them to the car were developed to eliminate loss. The PFE did this by
adding outriggers and hinges and hinging them to the same structure that
supported the hatch covers. They also had a way to hold them to the
bottom of the hatch when it was raised for ventilation. The AC&F and/or
URTC approached it from a different direction. They added the plug to
the bottom of the hatch cover and suspended the whole works from (what I
call) a hinged trapeze structure which allowed the entire piece to be
raised for ventilation or flipped back for icing. The attachment to this
structure was four "U" shaped straps rising from the top. The trapeze
itself was more like two "U"s, joined almost leg to leg with the outboard
legs carrying back to the hinges. The hold-up strap fit between the two
joined center legs and functioned the same as the earlier types. The
apparent reasoning for this system was to allow the hatch cover/plug to
settle into a comfortable fit. So far, so good. FYI, the type B hatch
cover is shown in the roof view of the plans for the reefers built in
1930 for URTX by General American, shown on page 170 of the 1931 CBC.

BLT calls these two different styles of hatches respectively, type A and
type B. Again, so far, so good.

Then BLT attempted to model them. In spite of photographs and even
drawings of the type B hatch cover, they completely screwed it up. To
begin with, contrary to known dimensions, they made the hatch covers
three inches too wide. Then, using an ACF/NWX drawing that showed a side
lapping hinge, they assumed that the hinge attachment to the cover was
offset, in spite of repeatedly being shown photographic evidence to the
contrary. Consequently, they placed the hinges on both types of hatches
well off center. The result is they look "funny" when you see them on
the model, which you can't help but do. This makes the type A cover only
look a little odd, while it makes the type B cover and "trapeze" look
positively weird, especially when you compare it to the prototype.

The type A hatch cover can be salvaged without a large amount of work.
Simply snip off the lip on the side with the excess overhang from the
roof hatch insert, and then a similar amount from the offending side of
the hatch cover. This will bring the cover width within a scale 1/2" of
correct. The only visual problem is that the hatch will be 2-3" too
close to the roof edge and seemingly crowding the corner grab iron. But
it won't look too bad. It will still be missing the "U" shaped bracket
that the hold up bar slipped thru but for extra credit you can add this
with a scrap of plastic.

Unfortunately, there is just no way to correct the type B hatch short of
rebuilding most of it from scratch. This bothers me the most, because
most of the better looking car sides used the type B hatch cover. Oh
well ! ! ! ! I plan to try grafting parts from the Westerfield kit onto
a BLT roof. If it works, and I expect it to, I will ask Al westerfield
to make a supply of his hatch kits available, probably at Naperville.

That's as far as I've taken my kit so far. I'm building a car with type
B hatches and I cant bring myself to put As on it. So I started looking
for a car with type A hatches and that's when I discovered how poorly
some of the paint and lettering jobs were. Just several examples of the
A hatch cars I looked at:

GB&W: Entire right side lettering was centered on entire right car side,
between the hinges and the corner of the car, instead of between the
hinges and the inside edge of the ladder.

C&NW Grey: Herald reproduced wrong (in spite of being correct on all the
early artwork samples I've seen).

C&NW Green/Yellow: Green on lower side was pad printed (rather than
masked and sprayed) very unevenly, especially around the door hardware,
and with the lettering included in that green overprinting the yellow,
much of it is unreadable.

On all cars, the top of the red patch below the door is crooked and the
black printed on the door hinges and corner straps positively stinks. It
is not solid at the center of the hinges and either misses the outline or
spills over the edges. On those that don't spill over, it's possible to
touch up with a small sharpie, but if you miss, get out the heavy
weathering gear!

If anybody would like further information, please don't hesitate to
contact me. If anyone wants a copy of this diatribe printed full page
width, or Xerox copies of any of the prototype car photographs, I'd be
happy to send them on receipt of an SSAE. Send an email to get a mailing
address. Maybe someday I'll have my scanner working and do it all
without adding to the USPS deficit.

Thanks,

Byron













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Re: ferroequinological improbabiballistics

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson blurted

This whole discussion has been unaffected by reality. I'd hoped that by
the time I returned from a brief trip out of town it would, like Pospero's
conjuring, have "vanished into air, into thin air," but no!
Speaking of thin air, Professor, after your previous outburst
and now this one it sounds like you could use some more oxygen!
One too many upside down acrobatic manuevers, I'd wager...


Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
Marlborough, Massachusetts