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

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The AE&C Florence

Having growing up in Chicago during WW II and afterward I was aware of the many examples of trolleys in and around the City. In the City were the CSL, CRT, CNS&M, CA&E, and CSS&SB. Outside the City were the C&WT and the 3 interurban lines mentioned in the prior sentence.

Only the streetcar lines operated single car trains, while the CRT ("L") and the 3 interurbans ran multiple car trains. Yes, they also ran single car trains but these, at least to me, were the exception.

The "L" and interurbans had a bigger impression on me than the streetcars. All this boils down to my liking multiple car trains. Furthermore, in the past few years my interest has grown to include interurban parlor-buffet and dinning car services.

As a companion car to operate with the AE&C 314, the parlor-buffet car Florence was chosen. Information on the AE&C/CA&C parlor-buffet service plus the cars used is available in the C.E.R.A. Bulletin #105 and other books and booklets written about the CA&E. Therefore, more information will not be written here other than the Florence and making a model of it.

Florance was chosen over Carolyn because Florance was a half-motor car where as Carolyn was a trailer. Since I would have a 2-car train, a full-motor car plus a half-motor car would make more sense than a full-motor and a trailer for a limited train.

Due to the AE&C office fire, few photos of the Florence exists. The plus and minus of this is, making a correct model is difficult. But then, who knows exactly what a correct model of the Florance should look like.

What did the Florence look like?  The Florence was the 10th car of an order for passenger cars from the Niles Car Co. in 1906. The passenger cars were numbered in the 300-308 series.This should mean the exterior dimensions of the Florence were the same as the other cars of the Niles series. However, the C.E.R.A. Bulletin has slightly different dimensions listed.

The ends of the Florence matched the other cars of the Niles series. The layout of the windows on the sides of Florence did not match the other cars in the Niles series.

The window pattern on one side of the Florence can be determined from the photos in the C.E.R.A. Bulletin 105, "The Great Third Rail" (hard bound copy) bottom of pages 70 and 71.

On one side of the Florence is 3 double arch windows followed by an oval window followed by 4 more double arch windows. 

For the other side of the car, photos which appeared in the "Spring Issue 1964" of "Electric Traction Quarterly" will help. The story is about "The Great Third Rail Wreck of 1922" in which the Florence was the leading car of a 3-car train. The train hit a Model T Ford. Four of the 10 photos are the only other photos of the Florence I have seen.

The other side had 2 double windows with a stain glass arch above followed by 2 oval windows followed by 4 more double arch windows. However, the set-up of the interior of the Florence is still unknown.

Before starting on the rebuilding of the scratch-built brass coach, I decided to have Jim Osborn, the owner of Midcco Models, Midwestern Train Hobby (Jim's business card appears at the bottom of the page.) design, engineer, and build a model of the Florence for me.

After consulting with Jim we decided the interior of the Florence may have looked like this. We took an educated guess on how the interior was set-up and utilized.

When consulting Jim Osborn to built a model for you, he will send to you a proposal which contains a "bill of details" plus if applicable a drawing of the model he will build. Read over the "bill of details" carefully to be sure you understand what you are getting. It is not that Jim is going to pull something over on you. He is the most "straight arrow" and trusted individual I know! It is more for you understand what the finished model will look like. 

The same is true for the drawing. Check over the measurements. If necessary talk with Jim regarding any terminology and/or questions you may have before the model is built.

Since I have extremely specific requirement as to what I want, I always telephone him to ask about what he plans to give me. This reduces any surprises!

With a quantum leap of faith, the model was built and finished in the next post.


Friday, April 19, 2013

The AE&C 314 Part 2

To me, mapping out the wiring of a model is extremely important. This should be done while the model is in the planning phase.  To keep things easy to follow and future reference, a drawing or schematic should be made and kept. No two models are the same.

To see different ways to wire a trolley model look at chapter "Electrical Control of Model Traction"  in the "Model Traction Handbook for Model Railroads" published by Carstens. Several methods of control and wiring are presented.

If you have both trucks insulated for 2-rail, it's easy to wire up a model to run on both trolley wire and 2-rail. In the following drawing the term at the bottom "Positive = RED" should be "RED Wire or Terminal on the Power Supply". The main draw back is having good contact between the trolley pole and the trolley hook.

The main "positive", advantage of pole reverse wiring is, as long as the power supply is set to forward, the model will go forward. This is exactly like the prototype!

A photo of of the dual power trucks made by the Q-Car Co. appears in the prior post. Dual power was chosen due to the weight of the model itself plus the unknown weight of the trail car it will pull.

If you have worked with power trucks in the past you are aware of the running characteristics of the truck in one direction vs. the other direction. In one direction the thrust is against the end of the gear box while running in the other direction the thrust is against the nose motor bearing. Often the sound of the truck running plus its speed are not the same.

Therefore if 2 power trucks are to be installed in a model it is best to mount both in the same direction. Of course there are exceptions. But, be cautious and don't ruin a power truck.
The completed model is being held in a Bowser foam cradle. Note both of the gear boxes face the same direction. The underbody detail work came with the model. All I added or changed is the electrical wiring and the guts of the trucks.

Both of the sets of sideframes had been altered to match the prototype. This also meant the  the sideframes were able to clear the steps. If you are sending Q-Car or Current Line Models sideframes which require special consideration such as direction of the gear box or with regard to direction of travel, tell them  about your requirements. The trucks will built accordingly.
This shows the alteration to the end of the sideframe plus the addition of PSC brake rigging to the truck.

You may have noticed the prototype AE&C 311 to 315 series of cars had 8440 sideframes which have an 84" (7') wheelbase. I'm using 7830 sideframes which have a 78" (6'6") wheelbase. I do this for the clearance around the steps. O scale trucks are oversize to start out with. In O scale the track gauge is 5'. Truck sideframes are wider and often made with a soft cast metal. The PSC lost wax brass sideframe looks just as good if not better than the 8440 sideframes.

What turned out to be the most interesting part of changing from the Multi-Units to Q-Car powered trucks was, once the body bolster and brass floor were drilled out for clearance of the 2-56 mounting screws, the new trucks could be just installed as they are. There was no need to make the body bolster thinner. Or, no washers were required between the body bolster or truck bolster to raise up the body.

Here the body is in the foam holder. The interior is in place. The front truck has been installed  and the Nyloc nut supplied by Q-Car attached . I prefer to place a spring between the nut and the floor. This keeps the truck tight against the body.

Also, in the photo can be seen the 2 brass rods to hold the roof to the body. They are used to bring trolley current from the roof to the trucks and vice versa. The rear (right in the photo) rod with a piece of insulating shrinkable tubing over it is being use for this purpose. 

The washers, nuts, and pieces of plastic in the lower part of the foam are for bolting the roof on to the body. The set on the left hand side are for the rear brass stud. The pieces of styrene are being used to insulate the stud and connection from the underside of the brass body.

The front brass stud does not need insulation protection. A washer and nut are all that are needed.

This is the rear body bolster. The red wire is attached to a small, hand made 0.005" brass connector to fit over the rear brass stud from the roof with the trolley circuit. The red wire goes into the car body to the Dallee adjustable constant voltage for the lighting. It also goes to the power trucks. I like to use Miniatronics  2 pin micro-mini connectors. You can make your own connectors

Miniatronics states their connectors are not to be used to power rolling stock. I use both wires soldered together to carry the trolley voltage to the power trucks. Using connectors instead of soldering the wires together make it easier to service the power truck in the future. A Miniatronics 2-pin connector for the rear power truck can be seen to the left in the photo.

One modeler I know connects wiring in the model with small power blocks made of wood or styrene and screws. He avoids soldering all wires together. 

A gray wire attached to a larger, hand made 0.005"  brass connector is to be used to pick-up the rail ground  and bring it to the Dallee board. Each motor in a power truck is grounded to the truck frame.

The rear power truck is being test fitted into the car. The brass connector to pick-up the ground can be seen. There is still some dirt to be cleaned up from the power truck.

For final assembly the roof is added last. A nut driver has to be fitted in between the end of the frame of each truck to attach the nuts to each brass stud from the roof.

Here is the finished model. The destination/train class signs on the dash need to be lettered.

Next comes the companion car, the Florence, for the 314.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An Addendum to Work on CA&E 312 Continued

Early on the AE&C experimented with methods of telling passengers standing on the platform the destination and class of a train approaching them. The AE&C had a number of trains running between Chicago and Wheaton. During the day, non-rush hour, there were at least 4 trains per hour - 2 local, 1 express, and 1 limited. Passengers requiring a ride on a local would, per chance, arrive at the station ahead of time and board the 1st train going their direction. It may have been the wrong train - an express or limited instead of a local or vice versa.

Of the 2 methods described in a prior post, the round white lamp with the sheet metal flip signs mounted on the dash below the motorman's window seems to have worked out the best. It was applied to other series of cars.

If you examine photos of the era, you will notice what was printed on the signs changed over time. One photo I noticed had a destination city printed on the sheet metal above the round lamp. Apparently at that time, trains operated from Chicago to Wheaton and then to one of the potential destination cities on the Fox River. The sign I saw had "AURORA" printed on it. More about train operations later in another post.

Exactly how long the "white lamp flip sheet metal destination" signage was used is unknown. When this method was discontinued, the sheet metal was removed and the white lamp housing was painted in the same color as the balance of the car including the glass lens of the lamp. When the glass broke it was replaced with a piece of wood or metal and painted. Over time a few cars had the entire lamp housing removed and replaced with wood.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The CA&E 312 is Now the AE&C 314 Part 1

A Dallee Adjustable Regulated Power Supply, Item #378, will be used to provide a constant current to 1.5 v bulbs. It will be hidden in the lavatory.

From experience I've found if the bulbs are placed 1.25" to 1.3" apart, the Dallee board an be set at 1.25 v and still provide adequate lighting for daylight or night running. You don't want the bulbs to be too bright. Remember this is a 100+ year old car and era.

This is only a partial photo of the interior of the roof. However, the 1.5 v bulbs can be seen. the wires going off to the right are for the bulb in the vestibule.

If you've read past post of this blog, you know I prefer bulbs over LED's. I make my own light sticks with the bulbs pointing down and out of the wooden stick. The amount of bulb sticking out controls the amount of light. On some models the bulbs have small plastic collars made to look like the socket the bulb is screwed into to.

As long as we're on lighting, let's cover another electrical topic. The CA&E and I presume the AE&C when operating under trolley wire ran with only the pole up on the 1st car. The 600 v trolley current was bussed between the cars. This means if I intend on operating my brass model with another car, plans should be made now to attach the cars electrically.

Do not use the couplers for this!  Constant electrical contact cannot be guaranteed, instead a wire jumper will be used the same as the AE&C. Trying to set up an insulated electrical port on a brass body car is difficult. Instead a hole the size of an insulated wire was made. At the same time, a wire was attached to the trolley side of the wiring in the roof.
Note the wire from the roof passing through the brass end. This will be the wire jumper.

Once the old paint is striped off the body and the body washed, it can be painted. I decided to paint the model with aerosol Rust-Oleum paint.

Before starting, the movable doors and traps were glued shut. Painting movable parts takes a long time. Even professional painters will glue parts like this shut. ACC was used for this part.

The body was first painted with Light Gray Automobile Primer. Time was taken in spraying the primer. Each coating was light to prevent over-spraying and running. The primer coat was inspected before proceeding.

The AE&C passenger equipment was painted a dark green. The exterior of the model was painted Hunter Green. Follow the instructions on the aerosol can carefully. More than one coat was required.

The parts of the model which were not intentionally sprayed dark green are the underbody and the interior including the vestibules.

The balance of the model was hand painted using Poly Scale paint. This paint is easy to use given you have master applying it with a brush. The window sashes and doors were painted D&RGW Freight Car Red. The underbody was painted Grimy Black. The vestibules were painted Zinc Chromate Primer. Finally, the interior was painted D&RGW Building Cream.

The roof was painted separately as part of its rebuilding. The exterior of the roof was painted a rust color. The interior of the roof was painted refrigerator white.

Decals were used for lettering and the car's numbers. A clear glaze was applied over the model to "lock" the decals in place.

The model had brass clips soldered under the windows in the main part of the interior to hold the glazing in place. To mimic glass, 0.020" thick clear styrene was installed in the main interior. 

In the vestibules the builder of the model had soldered brass U-shaped brass channel to hold the top and bottom of the glazing. Here 0.010" think clear styrene was used.

To hold the styrene in place diluted "Formula '560' Canopy Glue" was used. It was diluted with distilled water. Canopy glue is a white fluid which dries clear. If any get on the glazing where it will show, allow the glue to dry. Then, use a wet, with water, Q-Tip or other cotton swab to remove the excess glue.

A sub-floor was made from 0.020" styrene. When making a sub-floor always cut it slightly smaller than the interior floor space. The smaller size will allow the sub-floor to clear any obstacles, such as the glazing, during installation or removal. To center the sub-floor during installation, you may need to use small styrene strips along the walls of the interior.

For the partition and the lavatory walls 0.040" styrene was used. Part of the partition between the smoker and the balance of the coach was cut from the original brass and incorporated into the styrene. The seats are Kiel-Line plastic flip overs.

The trainmen and passengers came from various vendors. The Dallee adjustable voltage supply can be seen tightly tucked into the lavatory.
Clear bathtub caulk was used to attach the passengers and trainmen in place.

Next comes the installation of the trucks, electrical and the roof on the model.



Monday, April 1, 2013

Work on CA&E 312 Continued

My reasons for re-building this beautifully constructed model are many. Unfortunately I either failed to take many photos of the reconstruction or the photos which were taken have been lost.

This post contains many tidbits about the operation of the CA&E, particularly the early years. They are the basis for my decisions regarding how my brass model was handled. For further information read many of the books, booklets, and pamphlets about the CA&E. 

My rebuilding of the model took the following into account. The early history of what eventually became the CA&E is incomplete. Many facts are known but due to a fire in the 1910's in the home office, photos and other written history were lost.

The model 312 was in a series of 6 cars (311-315) built by the G. C. Kuhlman Car Co. in 1909. The 311 and 312 were half motors. That is, they had 2 motors instead of the normal 4. Half motors were run in trains with full motors to reduce electrical costs while maintaining normal operating speeds. The half motors were used in trains with 1 or more full motor cars.

The original name of the CA&E was the Aurora Elgin and Chicago RR (AE&C). The railroad was originally built with the idea of competing with the CB&Q for traffic between Aurora and Chicago. The track from Chicago to Wheaton to Aurora was the main line. Any track to another location was a branch. Therefore, although Elgin later became as important as Aurora, the track to Elgin was a branch, called the "Elgin Branch"!

Parlor-buffet service was initiated in 1904. The parlor-buffet car Carolyn, although built after the original series of cars, was built much to the standards of the original cars. The Florence was built in 1906 and was slightly longer then the cars built before it. The Carolyn was a trailer while the Florence was a half-motor. Due to the aforementioned fire few photos of either cars exists. Most of the photos of the Florence were taken after an accident involving the car in 1919.

One thing to note - the caption for the photo on the bottom of page II-40 in the C.E.R.A. Bulletin 105, "The Great Third Rail" is misleading. The Florence is NOT the leading car of the 2-car train. The Florence is the second car of the train. Count the number and type of  windows in the sides of both cars. The number and style of the second car match the number and style of the Florence.

The caption for the photos of the Florence on the bottom of page II-41 of the same booklet is correct. Note the number and style of windows showing. Compare your count of windows to the photo on the prior page.

If you look at the AE&C's passenger equipment, with each order of cars the AE&C was learning and ordering "better" equipment. The original equipment was the same length as a MET "L" car and without a lavatory.. The word "better" was used since the AE&C order cars while being longer the additional length was used to have a lavatory and/or more seats. The AE&C was learning how to deal with curves on the "L" and the effects of the curves on the length of their equipment.

At the same time the AE&C was experimenting with methods of showing the public what the destination and class a particular train was. Most interurbans used destination signs to accomplish this. The AE&C used other methods with their wooden cars. One set of cars came from the builder with a small rectangular box below the motorman's window. 

The 1909 Kuhlman cars of which my brass model is, came with a small white lamp below the motorman's window. Installed above and below the lamp were metal panels hinged so to act as flip panels. One the panels were printed the destination and the class of the train. The purpose of the small white lamp was to illuminate the metal panels. How well this worked is questionable. 
This is a photo of the finished model. Lighting at the time the photo was taken caused unusual color distortions. The reason for the reasons for the destination and class of train will be covered later. Notice the door knob plus the small step on the door frame to reach the 600 v buss.

So my brass model came with the white lamp and the non-working flip panels. The panels were soldered to the end of the car. I could not remove them and therefore had to deal with them in any choice of re-working the model.

Another items I had to deal with was a headlight soldered to the lower portion of the end door. I had no intention of removing the headlight and rebuilding the door panel. This is what the door panel looked like on the back of the model. 
This is a photo of the finished model. Lighting at the time the photo was taken caused unusual color distortions.

The headlight meant the train was to be run after sunset and before sunrise. The AE&C did not run train with headlights while the sun was up unless the weather warranted it, for example, during days of heavy clouds and thundershowers.

One more consideration was my model was made with the upper arched sash as the car was delivered.

Considering all the above my model had to painted in the colors of the AE&C, dark green with mahogany doors and window sashes. The headlight and destination/class lamp had to be working. The car could not be numbered 312 unless it was in a train with cars having 4 motors. Therefore, my model was renumbered 314.

After looking at the photo on the bottom of page II-40 in the C.E.R.A. Bulletin 105, "The Great Third Rail" I decided to make my brass model one of the 2 cars in the photo. All I would need is a model of the Florence. The train would be a full motor car plus a half motor.

More to come. Cheers,