To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 Merry Christmas and a 2013 Happy New Year

To all of you a very  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May you enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

This year the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Ry. was chosen to be in our Christmas card. The model if of a  1922 Cincinnati Car Co. express car. They were more commonly called "Merchandise Dispatch" cars on the North Shore Line (NSL). In the 1920's after the NSL passenger equipment was painted in the orange and maroon paint scheme the express cars were painted the same.

Instead of "Where's Waldo?", where is the pink flamingo? Click on the photo if your eyes need help.

Peace to all of you,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Comparison of NSL Merchandise Dispatch Paint Schemes

Part of this post was an email I sent to some of my friends. One of them commented the info should be posted in my blog. This gives me a chance to get into a favorite idea of mine - comparing models of the the same prototype car or series of cars.

Looking at someones model gives you a chance to look deeper into the interest and interpretation of the prototype by the modeler. After all, the finished model is the representation of what the prototype looked like to the individual who made the model.

Maybe it's time to get out of the esoteric and back to real life. This is a comparison of the North Shore Lines (NSL) 203 to 214 series of express cars. Just so there is no confusion these cars were also called Merchandise Dispatch (MD) or merchandise cars.   

Everyone has looked at both black & white and color photos of NSL cars. After a while some of the paint schemes become blurred in our minds. We can all recall the paint scheme of the cars we have seen running or in which we rode many years ago.

The NSL's MD cars present an interesting study. Many years ago O scale kits were available to build the 203 to 214 series - the 4-baggage (1 at each corner of the body) door style or the 215 to 239 - the 2-baggage (center) door version. I obtained 2 of the 4-baggage door kits with the idea of running them in a train. Why I didn't get 1 kit of each version is lost to the past!

Two events happened within the past week which caused me to get into the topic of comparing the paint schemes of similar models. These were the 2012 TrainFest in Milwaukee and a "Trolley Nite" held by one of the local fellas, Terrell Colson. As we go along you will see how these 2 events came into "play".
Starting with the "Trolley Nite", one of the attendees, Ralph Nelson, brought his NSL MD cars. This models were 1 MD car pulling 3 refrigerator trailers.
Ralph's models were painted in dark green with gold lettering. In the early 1900's before Insull's take-over of the NSL, when the North Shore set its goals on being a major intercity railway all of its equipment was painted in a dark green with gold lettering. Both the passenger and MD cars were paint this way. The 1st 2 photos were taken on Terrell's layout.
This is the complete train of Ralph's models. Of interest to note, early NSL trains ran without headlights.

Sometime in the 1920's after Insull took over, passenger and MD cars were painted orange with maroon trim. The lettering on the cars was the same. The next 2 photos are my models taken on my layout.

After the depression set in, all service (passenger and freight) was hit hard. As revenues dropped, the NSL looked for ways to reduce cost. One way was to cut the cost of repainting equipment. Since the MD service had been reduced to almost nothing, the paint scheme of the MD cars was reduced to all orange with black lettering. This is the paint scheme which lasted until the end of the NSL in early 1963.
Don't ask why I painted one model in the orange and maroon and the other in the all orange. I've forgotten! The other question I ask myself is why didn't I get one of the 2-baggage door kits back then. 
There are both of the O scale kits available on EBay. I have enough other models to complete so I will not be increasing my roster of NSL MD cars.
The other variation on the MD paint schemes is the WW II red, white, and blue "Buy U.S.War Bonds" scheme. The preprinted sides were available in an O scale kit form, I think.  Some how this paint scheme didn't appeal to me back then. However, it does look good to me now! Times have changed!
To complete the paint schemes, here is Eric Bronsky's HO model as it appeared at the 2012 TrainFest.  The photo was taken as the model sat in a siding on one of the many modules of the Northwest Traction Group.  Someone I know has one of the O scale models of the "Buy U.S. War Bonds" car but I don't know who it is. I've searched my photo files without any luck.
Thanks to color photography, or today it should be called electronic photography,  the various NSL paint schemes used on the MD cars can be seen. I hope you have enjoyed the comparisons of the color schemes as well as the models.
As you look at the models think of them as the representation of what the prototype looked like through the eyes of the individual who made the model.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Tale of Two Fives

In 1946 the Aurora Elgin & Fox River Electric Company pulled down the trolley wire and dieselized. The Elgin State Hospital and the Kerber Packing Company were customers of the electric line and still required railroad service.

A General Electric 45-ton diesel locomotive was purchased to serve these remaining freight customers. The locomotive was numbered No. 5. A diamond shaped logo was painted on the side of the locomotive along with the railway's name and the locomotive's roster number.

Over the years small diesel locomotives were made and imported in brass for the O scale market. There were 44-ton and 70-ton models. Then, a few years ago Rich Yoder imported a 45-ton model in brass.

This was it! Rich Yoder had made and imported other freight cars which I owned. They are extremely fine models for the cost. The new 45-ton locomotive was also a star! It runs well plus the detail is all there.

This is the model, when just like the AEFRE, my trolley wire comes down, and a small layout with a few freight cars can be made to keep me occupied.
My model is painted and lettered for the 1946 era.
No. 5 pulling one of Rich Yoder's High Walkway Tank Car and a pink Chateau Martin express car.
Don Bruno also purchased a 45-ton model. He wanted his painted and lettered for the time when the AEFRE stopped freight service and became a Trolley museum.
No. 5 is pulling a Rich Yoder Mathieson Dry Ice Car.

Some comments about the 2 models are warranted. The decal used on the 1946 version of No. 5 was available from Walthers in both HO and O scale.  Years ago Walthers had many interurban decals available. Some were small runs. The small run decals were packaged with hand-written labels while others were packaged in typed labels.

For the newer era No. 5 Paul Mayer of Shore Line Decals made the decals. A link to  Shore Line Decals appears at the bottom of this page.

Paul has a drawing of the 1946 era AEFRE decals and potentially can make these decals upon request. I believe Paul can make both of the diesel era AEFRE decals in HO scale also.

If you scrutinize the under bodies of both No. 5's you may notice they do not match. In assembling the models, one has the under body reversed. 

The models run smooth and without any problems when operated straight out of the box. However, they ran faster than the prototype. For this reason I wired the 2 can motors in the hoods in series. Now both models run smoothly and slow! 

Both models have 2 horns, one on each hood. The prototype probably has only 1 horn. For the O scale models, HO scale horns were used. On the prototype the horns are small!

Finally for Don's model, the newer era, I had problems painting the louvers in the ends of the hoods in the alternating black and orange. Don instructed me to paint the louvers all black.

To give you an idea of Rich Yoder's attention to detail here is the interior floor with the operator's controls and seat. There is only 1 operator position next to the side window of the cab even though the locomotive can be operated in both directions and where the operator may have to move from one side of the cab to another to see the trainmen on the ground assisting in the operation.

Here is the operator "glued" in his seat using a generic "DAP Kwik Seal" adhesive. The adhesive is white now but will cure to a clear which is hard to see.

Rich Yoder has sold out of the O scale 45-ton locomotive. They will show up on EBay or train meets.

If you desire to see the actual prototype No. 5, visit the Fox Valley Trolley Museum  . After enjoying your visit and perhaps a ride you can become a member.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Model Not Running & The Electrical Short Circuit

The very item which makes a trolley model unique can also be the model’s undoing. You place a trolley model on the track, place the trolley pole (pan) on the wire, turn on the power, and nothing happens.

The over all problem may be non-conductive oxidation or dirt on the wire, trolley pole slider or wheel, track, or wheels. OR, the model no longer runs due to an electrical short circuit.

If you routine for getting the model to operate due to non-conductive oxidation or dirt does not work, STOP trying to pass electrical current through the model!

When the problem is due to an electrical short circuit, the amperage of the power supply can be passing through the entire wiring of the model including the trolley pole.

Resistance in an electrical circuit causes the conversion of the electrical energy into heat energy (heat). The heat can cause problems. Soldered joints in models or wiring will un-solder causing wires to come apart and brass models to deform and come apart. Wire, which is metal in a thin, dawn-out form, will not only deform but will lose other physical properties.

The reason for this post is the affect of an electrical short circuit has on the trolley pole! When the total amperage of the power supply goes through the trolley pole; the wire used for the trolley pole, the material used for the trolley shoe or wheel and trolley base, the springs, and the screw and/or material used to hold the trolley pole to the roof of the model will be affected.

The most common affect I’ve seem is the deformation of the springs. First the springs will become hot and then glow until the electric current is turned off. After this the springs are soft and stretched-out. The springs will no longer hold the trolley pole up to the trolley wire. The only way to get the trolley pole to work again is to replace the springs.

Recently I obtained a streetcar which would not run when placed on my test track. The test track is a 36” long straight piece of track with overhead wire. An old power supply is used to power the test track. To see the amount of current used both a voltmeter and ammeter are part of the electrical circuit.
This photo is the power supply installed at 1 end of the test track.
From left to right - a brass rod line side pole with the positive power supply attached with an alligator clip.
At the bottom right is the negative power lead attached to the track.
The black electrical panel part in the center contains the 2 meters.
The black wire coming out of the panel is the positive and negative power leads with alligator clips.
The use of the toggle switch in the bottom center of the panel is unknown.
The toggle switch at the bottom right of the panel controls the direction.
At the right is the small but useful power supply. 

The voltmeter and ammeter are an important part of the circuit. You can tell immediately the electrical “condition” of the model or whatever is connected to the wire leads of the power supply.

Recently to test a newly acquired non-operating model (without disassembling the model or placing it on the test track) the positive (red) lead was connected to the trolley pole and the negative (black) lead to the power truck. The model didn’t run.

Next, the trolley pole was removed (unscrewed) from the model. The pole unscrewed unevenly from the model (This turns out to be an interesting observation.). The positive lead was attached to the 2-56 screw sticking out of the model’s roof. The model still didn’t run.

I knew there was an electrical short circuit in the model. Without knowing exactly where the short was, I decided to replace the “wiring” from the inside of the trolley base to the motor lead outside the model on the floor exterior. This was estimated to be a 30 minute task.

Without going into too much of a discussion, the model was wired-up so the power truck could be easily electrically disconnected from the model. At the same time the negative ground was brought-up into the model. This later part was done for the future installation of interior lighting in the model.

Back to my interesting observation of the difficult trolley pole removal from the model – it’s the reason for this post. The correct trolley pole base for the model is a 4 or 2 spring vertical. This was on the model when I got it. Observation of the trolley pole base disclosed the vertical part of the base was curved.

The springs were removed to be able to better see the base and perform corrective actions. The vertical part of the base was deformed when the full amount of electrical current of the power supply went through the trolley pole. The piece of metal heated up enough to become soft. The action of the springs was strong enough to cause the heated piece of metal to take on an “S” shape.

The part of base which was deformed was a lost wax casting. Small protrusions were filed off. Then the trolley base was placed in a vice to apply enough pressure to straighten the metal casting.

The springs were replaced and the trolley pole moved up and down without any problems. To blacken the part of the trolley pole which had deformed, the lower portion of the trolley pole was dipped into Neolube #2. At the same time this will improved the electrical connection where the 2-56 screw, screws into the trolley base. Allow the Neolube to dry first before attaching the trolley pole to the model.

The bottom line of this post is when 1st testing a model which you have never seen run, test it with a power supply having both amp and volt meters. If there is a short, high amperage draw for a comparable model, immediately turn off the power to avoid any damage to the electrical circuit.

If a model with an electrical short circuit is allowed to have high amperage go through the model for an appreciable length of time, inspect the model including the trolley pole for damage. The trolley pole may have been damaged in a way which alters the geometry of the shoe or slider and the trolley wire.

Trolley poles are expensive. But at the same time they are the part of the model which sets it apart from other railway models.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

East Penn Trolley Club and Additional Vendors Listed

Three Chicago area retail hobby shops have been listed at the bottom of this page under "Traction Suppliers & Chicago Area Hobby Shops With Web Sites".

Each is unique and has carved out a particular niche in the O scale market besides stocking the normal modeling supplies found in other hobby shops.

Finding a retail store (hobby shop) which will stock trolley parts can be a problem. This is why trolley oriented vendors are listed at the bottom of this page. A hobby shop near your location can supply the items common to all model railroaders.

In posts in this blog are mentioned specific vendors for unique items covered in the post. When possible a link to the vendor is provided.

While I know there are other hobby shops which stock HO models, please recall this is an O scale oriented blog. I have very little knowledge about HO trolleys and models.

It's important for modelers to know the hobby shop(s) in his or her area to be able to obtain the day to day hobby supplies. 

One exceptionally useful web page is the list of trolley specific vendors provided by the East Penn Trolley Club (EPTC).

By the way, are you a member of the EPTC? Here is a link to the membership application.  Why not join?

The next biannual EPTC 21st National Model Trolley Meet is planned for May 2-5, 2013. It will be held at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. Check out this link for more info. 


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Westchester Junction Part 2

After installing lighting in your models and layout buildings, the next most attention getting "device" is to have trackside and grade crossing signaling on your layout.

I used the Circuitron BD-2 circuit boards. Circuitron electronic boards allowed me to install a system free of the layout's electrical track circuits. One Circuitron board was required for each block plus the trackside signals. There  is a cost to install trackside signals no matter which electronic system you pick.

If you don't have the funds to do the entire layout, you can start with just one track block. Pick the area of the layout where you are most likely to get the most attention. After you have installed the system as your friends bestow positive comments upon you. start to plan for the next block.

Now back to my newly install home interlocking block signal. The east bound home interlocking signals on my layout can display 4 different combination of aspects.

Green over Green = PROCEED at allowed speed per employee rule book..
Red over Red = ABSOLUTE STOP Only instructions from the dispatcher can over ride the signal.

Green over Red = STOP  The track ahead is clear, however the turnout at the junction is set for the diverging route. An east bound train may be leaving Westchester Station. After waiting for 5 minutes contact the junction tower to see what is going on.
Red over Green = STOP The track ahead may be occupied and the turnout at the junction is set for your route. After waiting for 5 minutes proceed at restricted speed prepared to stop within your view of the track ahead.
My review of the trackside signals on my layout gave me more realistic signals. I hope visitors to my layout will enjoy watching the signals change color more than they have in the past. Now if I can only get the road crossing signals working! There are 3 of them. Maybe next summer when more work will be done on the layout the grade crossings can be made to work. The balance of the year is for model building and re-working older models.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Westchester Junction Part 1

After receiving a number of positive comments about signaling on my layout, I made an executive decision to replace the newly installed single head signal for east bound trains at Westchester Junction with a new home interlocking signal with 2 heads on the mast. The upper head (red and green aspects) is for the track ahead while the lower head (red and green aspects), normally for a diverting route, is for the condition of the junction. 

Another way of saying "condition of the junction" is the red or green aspects will tell if the track turnout is set for through (green) or diverted (red) traffic.

This brings up some interesting set of potential aspect configurations. But before getting into the configurations, here's the installation of the signal.

This is the new signal base held in place using a generic clear "DAP Kiwik Seal". The material comes out white and cures clear.

A machinist square is used to "square-up" the signal mast.
A view down the tracks. The mast leans a little from the tracks. NMRA Clearance Standards are followed for the placement of the signal.

The next morning the adhesive is curing. More adhesive was used than required.
Even though the adhesive has not completely cured, the area is re-ballasted.
The name of the junction is placed on the building. The name was prepared on a computed for the desired size. After being "glued" onto a 0.010" thick of styrene using the clear generic DAP adhesive caulk, the name was covered with clear adhesive tape. The sign was cut out with a razor blade then attached to the building using the caulk.
Here is an over view of the new junction looking east bound with its signals in place.
You may have noticed the 2 electrical heads on the junction building. One pair is for the company telephone while the other pair is for 120 v electricity. The junction building will be receiving telephone and electrical service from the Westchester station.
We'll cover the various light configurations in the next post.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Installation of Elevated Junction Tower

Many years ago a then Chooch, now available through Berkshire Valley, Elevated Crossing Tower was purchased and built. There was never a suitable location on my layout for the building. After installing the new track signals, a potential location started to grow on me. Why not use the tower not for a grade crossing but instead for the junction where the CRT Westchester branch joins the main line? It could be called "Westchester Junction".

But 1st, if you are using signals with miniature light bulbs, getting the same amount of color from like color bulbs may be a problem. You may have to deepen the color of a bulb. Up until recent times most glass bulbs were colored or tinted with clear (You can see through it.) lacquer paint. Within the past couple of years, to make the paint more environmentally friendly, the solvent base has been changed to a water miscible formula. The new "tints" or "stains" as they are called do not color the glass as well as the lacquer base tints.
These are the new glass tints or stains available at Michaels.

The other way to deepen the color of a glass bulb is to use a Stanford's permanent marker of the same color. I hope they are still made with a lacquer based tint. Also, I don't know if a yellow marker is made. However, if you have to use the new water miscible tints there is a way to use them and still get reasonably good results. After dipping your brush in the tint, wait about a minute or so before applying the tint on the glass bulb. The stain will dry a little before application. You may have to apply more stain after the 1st coating dries.

Other ways to get all the aspects to have the same color concentration is to use LED's instead of bulbs or better yet use new Keil-Line signals. They come with plastic lenses for the aspects. The colors are almost guaranteed.

After the installation of the elevated tower was complete, standing there admiring my work, the thought came to me the tower was controlling an important point on the layout called "Westchester Junction". Should the signals at the west and east of the Junction be part of the automatic block system or home signals controlling the Junction?
Suitable signs still have to be made and mounted for "Westchester Junction".
James Bond in a Toyota 2000GT Open-Top model, driven by his girlfriend Aki, is trying to escape from Blofeld in "You Only Live Twice". Bob the watchman is holding them for an approaching train.

The beauty of the matter is, it's a hobby. There are other trolley modeling items to take care of. The question of the signals can be answered and fixed if necessary later!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Second Part of Final on Automatic Block Signals for the Chicago & Utopia Ry.

Never mentioned before, on my layout as you stand inside of the oval of track to your left is west while to the right is east. This is true no matter the orientation of the layout room. Even if you are facing east in the room - left is west and right is east!

A number of visitors have commented even though the layout is a large oval, it seems like straight track with little or no curves. This was my intention when the layout was designed and built. The inside overhang of a model is less noticeable than a model's outside overhang.

The new signals installed in between the 2-track passing siding were a clearance nightmare. The single head signal placed in between the straight section of track at the west end was not as much of a problem as the multiple head signal to be installed at the east end. To check for clearance, 2 of my CSS 80 foot long cars were used. They are the longest passenger cars on my layout.

This is the clearance test for the single head signal installed at the west end. It's tight!
The platform and signal head appear to be off center. This is an effect of taking the photo at an angle instead of straight down.

Location of the multiple head, east end signal was not as easy. Both tracks are at the start of a wide sweeping curve. To locate the best spot for the signal, the two 80 foot long models were moved back and forth to positions where the overhang of each model was greatest.

For the car on the outside curve, the greatest over hang was at the middle of the car. For the car on the inside curve, the greatest overhang was at the corners of the car. You can expect to have similar overhang "problems" on  straight track within 12"-18" of any curve. As soon as one of the model's trucks is on curved track, the overhang of the model changes.
The signal ended up nearer the outside track. The overhang of the corners of the model on the inside curve were greater than the overhang of the other model on the outside curve.
Some words of wisdom if you ever have to  work under a layout installing electrical equipment and the like. Working over your head or even with your arms up, is tiring. Do as much as you can to prevent fatigue and problems before starting the under the layout work.

The wire used in signals is thin and light in nature. There are some steps which can be taken to improve the situation. I use Tomar  O-851 switch stands which have a 16 v bulb to light the switch lamp. To pre-wire the 16 v bulbs longer wire leads are added.

This switch lamp is painted yellow as is the practice of the CSS for derails. On my layout the voltage for the switch motors' electric circuit is 12 v. The 16 v bulb will still burn very bright on 12 volts. This is far too bright compared to the prototype kerosene lamps. Therefore, voltage reduction is required. A 100 ohm resistor is placed in series with the bulb. Radio Shack has resistors from 10 ohm and up. you may need to try different value resistors to find the one which suits your need.
Wire cutters hold the wires down for photo taking. The larger yellow wire is soldered on and heat shrink tubing used to cover the solder joint. The resistor is soldered on before a heaver wire is attached to the other lead. Smaller diameter pieces of heat shrink tubing were used before a larger diameter heat shrink tubing is used over the resistor.

The slightly heavier solid copper wire soldered on is anywhere from 12" to 24" long depending upon the application. The wire can always be cut shorter or extended. The solid wires are helpful in pushing the wire leads through a hole in the layout.
The switch stand is mounted on ties with spikes through holes in the base of the stand. This brings up an interesting point. Drilling holes is always easier before the installation starts than during the installation. Therefore, I drilled the holes for the spikes larger before the switch stand was installed.
Now, on to the signals. The top of the concrete base in most applications is at the height of the rail head. Per AAR rules when signal heads are installed on a mast, the center line of the lowest aspect (in modeling the bulb or lens) is 13 feet above the rail.
On my layout the concrete bases are higher than the rail head. This is my goof! The 13 feet above the rail head does have some exceptions. The reason CA&E signals appear to look so squat is they are! Interurban passenger cars when placed next to most mainline railroad locomotives and passenger cars are smaller in stature. The CA&E block signals were manufactured so the aspects (lenses of the lights) were in line with the motorman's vision. You can do the same!
This is a single head mast ready for installation. The black wire is the common ground for both the red and green bulbs. The red and green wires are extensions of the red or green wires. Heat shrink tubing was used on each wire at the point of soldering the heavier wires to the thinner wires. Then, so equal stress is placed on all the thinner wires at the same time when a wire is pulled, a larger diameter piece of heat shrink tubing was used over all 3 wires.
To install the signal, a large enough hole is drilled in the layout. My favorite adhesive, DAP's clear Kwik Seal or generic substitute, was used. The caulk was allowed to cure  before the signal was wired in.  The caulk was chosen for ease of positioning the signal plus easy removal of the signal at some future date without ruining the signal's pseudo-concrete base.

The more complex multiple signal head mast looked like this at the time of installation. There are 3 sets of wires. With multiple black, red, and green wire sets; short lengths of heat shrink tubing will be applied along the length of the wire sets to keep the wires of one signal separate from the other wires.
I have a feeling my style of mounting 3 signal heads may not have been very prototypical. Note the ladder to access the signals is mounted on the side.
Here is the signal with the 3 sets of heads after installation.  Only a thin signal maintainer can go up the ladder when a car is stopped next to the signal. The light bulbs have to be touched up with special glass paint. One of the advantages of the Keil-Like signal products is the plastic lenses included with the signal. This way all the red, green, etc. aspects have the same color red, green, etc..
More can be written about signals on my layout but it is time to move on!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Part of Final on Automatic Block Signals for the Chicago & Utopia Ry.

After posting the information on the block signals on my layout, I started to think more about them. There were 2 areas of concern. The first is the signals in the area of the turnout leading to the stub track at the CRT Westchester station. See the 2 drawings for before and after .

These photos show the work in progress.
The new signal is on the near side of the turnout instead of after the turnout. The signal to be replaced shows a green aspect.
The 2 new signals are on the far left of the photo. They will replace the signal on the far side of the turnout displaying the red aspect.

The 2 new signals on the left are now active (Please excuse the blurry photo.) and the old signal removed.

The new signal in the 1st photo is active. The old signal is removed. The top signal head is for the route straight ahead while the lower signal is for the divergent route into the Westchester "L" station.

The 2nd area of concern is my use of the very small ground signals for automatic block signaling. This style of signals is more commonly found in rail yards. While I know it's risky to use the signals heads on masts (due to space restrictions), I thought it was worth the effort to try. The signal at the west end of the double track would not be a problem. The set of signals at the east end of the double track has 2 separate sets of signals to be mounted on the mast.

As mentioned the signals head on the mast at the west end has only green and red aspects. A signal mast removed from another location was reused. The signal head had been filed flat ala the South Shore (CSS).
The new signal is the one closest to you. Wait until you see the clearance with passing trains.

In case you were not aware, many years ago the CSS started to cut off the sides of the black background plate when individuals living near the CSS's tracks used the signals as target practice. Cutting off the sides of the signal reduced the size of the target. This reduced the amount of damage plus the target practice itself.

The sets of signals to be mounted to the east signal mast were different. East bound traffic had 2 signal heads for the home absolute stop signal protecting the grade crossing with a another railroad.

The other signal to be mounted on the mast is the automatic block signal for east bound traffic to be able to use the normally west bound main. The 2 tracks in the passing siding are bidirectional.
This is a close-up of the signal heads mounted on the mast. The ladder to reach the service platform was moved to the side.

More about clearance problems and mounting signals in the next post.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

AEFRE 49 - #4B The Flat Car with Decking

Next comes the adding of 2 brass tabs to hold the power truck in place. The tabs need to be 3/32” thick. Each tab has to clear the "top" flange of the “I” beam in order to butt up against the web of the “I” beam. Making the tab from 2 pieces of brass provides this.

Each tab is 2 pieces of brass, 1/16” and 1/32” thick. The drawing shows how long to cut each piece of brass.

The 2 pieces of brass have been soldered together and filed, if required. Note the stepped area to clear the flange of the "I" beam.

Before adding the 2 tabs, the location of the where both power and trail trucks  needs to be marked. Locate the center point of both trucks on the beams. On the end where the power truck is to be installed, measure the width of the flat plate bolster of the power truck on the set of beams. I filed the beams to make the markings noticeable.

Always try to “tin” the pieces of brass to be soldered. Then clean up the area. Place the tabs in location. You may have to “eye-ball” the exact spot. To aid in the soldering, cut 1/16” long pieces of 6% silver solder and carefully place pieces next to the beam and tab. Apply only enough heat with a propane torch to melt the solder.

The brass frame is designed to have pieces of styrene glued to it – this includes end and side pieces. Place the frame on its side on a flat surface. When this is done the frame should not rock back and forth. If it does this means the tab is sticking out too far. The tabs should not stick out beyond the 2 end pieces. If a tab does stick out file it down.

After the tabs are soldered on and filed down, if required, carefully file down the web of the “I” beams where the power truck is located. When the filing is completed the flat plate bolster should fit into the filed out “slot”.

The flat plate bolster of the power truck will stick out further than required. Center the power truck in the frame. Mark where the excess of the flat plate bolster needs to be cut off plus the location of the 1-72 mounting screws in the tabs.

Here you can see both the power and trail trucks before they are mounted to the frame. The body bolster provided with the trucks is of the correct height.

Cut off the excess flat plate bolster material. Drill and tap the holes for the 1-72 mounting screws in the brass tabs on the frame. Drill or file out the 2 holes in the flat plate bolster so 1-72 screws will pass through them.
Normally the flat plate bolster is attached from the top. That's why the holes in the bolster are already tapped 1-72. IN our application the mounting screws are attached from the bottom.

I ran into problems with my 30 year old 1-72 tap – it broke in the brass tab. A new hole had to be drilled and taped. This is the reason the tapped holes on my frame do not match and line up.

File the screws flat with the top of the brass tab if you have to use longer screws like I did. Remove the power truck and screws and store them is a safe location.
On to applying the styrene.