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

Friday, December 26, 2014

Myles A. Jarrow 1922 - 2014

Dan Joseph photo

During his childhood, Myles Jarrow traveled to many places with his family using streetcars, interurbans, and intercity trains. His earliest memories of riding streetcars in Chicago dated back to the mid-1920s. Among other local attractions, he enjoyed visiting the Balaban & Katz movie palaces, the various museums, and the Municipal Pier (now called Navy Pier). But observing and riding the colorful streetcars mesmerized him more than anything else.

Outside of Chicago, Myles was fortunate to experience firsthand many of the streetcar and interurban lines that still operated during the early years of the Depression. Decades later, he would lament not having gotten into photography. But Myles' photographic memory did a fine job of preserving intricate details from those trips. He prudently saved timetables, brochures, and other memorabilia from his travels.

Apart from being involved in his family's company which manufactured refrigerator door gaskets, Myles dabbled briefly in transportation. He and his friend Frank Butts operated a small bus company in Lincoln, Illinois after World War II. 

Myles joined the fledgling Central Electric Railfans' Association back in 1938. Remarkably, his involvement with CERA would span three-quarters of a century! As Member #23, he was the last surviving member to attend the early meetings. Myles was a gifted speaker who would pair his lucid memories with images from various photographers. He gave several excellent, memorable programs at CERA through the years.

Myles' passion for travel continued well into the 21st Century with trips to Europe as well as visits to USA cities with streetcars and light rail. Reduced mobility in later years did not deter him from attending CERA meetings, visiting IRM, or enjoying social visits with friends. His energy and youthful spirit transcended his 92 years.  

On a more personal level, Myles was a longtime friend. We will miss his always-upbeat attitude, companionship, enthusiasm for the hobby, and great sense of humor. A walking 'time capsule' of Chicago in the '30s and later, Myles was an interviewee for the book Downtown Chicago in Transition, co-authored by Eric Bronsky and Neal Samors.

Myles passed away on Sunday, December 21. He bequeathed his extensive collection of books and paper items to the Illinois Railway Museum. A memorial service is being planned for Tuesday, December 30 at North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, Illinois. Details are forthcoming.

signed Eric Bronsky

Thank you goes to Eric for allowing me to use his remembrance of Myles.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A 2014 Merry Christmas and a 2015 Happy New Year

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year plus any additional seasonal greeting to all.
This year's holiday models are both from the  St. Petersburg Tram Collection. The one on the left is a St. Louis PCC while the one in the center - right is a Pullman PCC. Both were built for the Chicago Surface Lines (CSL)/Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) during the time the CTA took possession of the CSL.
Both sets of cars had been ordered when the CSL was in operation and delivered with the CTA was in operation. Oddly the St. Louis PCC has a CTA logo on its side while the Pullman PCC has a CSL logo. The colors of the cars are the beautiful Mercury Green (light green) and Croydon Cream with the belt rail painted Swamp Holly Orange.
Both models are powered with Q-Car Company trucks. They have interior lighting using a Miniatronics lighting system using LED's and working headlights.
Something unusual happen in taking the photo. The electronic camera focused on the nearest model, the St. Louis PCC on the left. This made the balance of the photo out of focus. The photo being out of focus was not noticed until this post was composed. The 11 other similar photos taken at the same time were all out of focus. There's always next year!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Important Info About Ordering Trucks Plus Trucks for the Older Wooden "L" Cars

Important Before Ordering Trucks for Any "L" Car

Direction of Motor
All the prototype "L" cars are built with the trucks installed very close to the end of the car. The modeler needs space under the end of a model to install couplers and other items at the end of the car. For Q-Car Company using a can motor, and perhaps Wagner/Current Line, there is more room at the end of the power truck where the motor is located. The additional space is both above and at the end of the of the truck.

Therefore when ordering power and trail trucks, tell the vendor which direction the motor and gear box are to be located. Should the power truck be made with the motor facing "out" towards the end of the car or "in" towards the center of the car.

Regular Power Body Bolster or a Flat Brass Body Bolster
For a low profile power truck Q-Car Company will usually supply a soft cast metal bolster like this:

You may find this bolster has to be mounted inside the model on top of the floor. A flat brass bolster can be ordered instead of the soft metal casting which can be mounted under the floor where you want it.

You can request the flat brass car bolster from Q-Car, You must indicate this when the power/trail trucks are ordered. The brass bolster has to be mounted to the model and cannot be removed from the power truck. A short screw holding the brass bolster is soldered to the power truck's truck bolster.

I was unaware of this, removed the screw, and mounted the flat brass bolster into the floor. The bolster became part of the floor.

To see the correct installation of a Q-Car Company low level power truck with a flat brass bolster see post "AEFRE 49 - #4B ..." Saturday, August 4, 1912 in this Blog. While this is an installation in a model with a brass frame, a model with a wooden, plastic, or sheet brass floor would be similar. The flat brass bolster would be held in place with screws through the bolster and into the floor.

Insulated for 2-Rail or Not
Always when ordering any power/trail trucks specify if the trucks require insulated wheels for 2-rail operation. If you are not sure if the model will ever be operated on a 2-rail layout, order the insulated wheels anyway. The model can always be operated both on a trolley uninsulated or 2-rail layout.

Ordering Power/Trail Trucks for Wooden "L" Cars

Naturally when you see "L" used to describe rapid transit or elevated cars, it is the Chicago elevated which is being talked about. As long as there have been posts on the topic of trucks for the steel 4000 series "L" cars, what about other older "L" cars. Prior to the 4000 series of steel cars the "L" had various number of series of cars constructed of wood. Each series had trucks with different sideframes.

Over the years the "L" used a ridged, the Hedley design, unknown manufacturers' and Baldwin MCB's, and a Jackson & Sharp or McGuire lightweight MCB truck. The ridged sideframes were used in the very early days of the "L" when the motor cars were used as "locomotives" like the early steam locomotives to haul trailers. After the "locomotive" motor cars were converted to MU operation, the ridged sideframes still appeared on the passenger cars. But over time the ridged sideframes started to appear under various service or work cars on the "L".

Ridged sideframe in "storage" in an open field.

CTA S-300 boom car. Both trucks have ridged frame sideframes. Note only the truck under the cab has sleet scrappers. 

The "L" used Jackson & Sharp or McGuire 60" lightweight MCB trucks under wooden trailers. This leaves Hedley design and unknown manufacturers' or Baldwin MCB sideframes.

To scratch build the Hedley the only sideframe with the correct wheelbase, wheel size, and bulk I am aware of is the PSC #9107 Disconnect Log Trucks. It's best to start with the kit since some parts have to be cut off or never added. Parts of the sideframe can be created out of either styrene or brass.
Hedley design sideframe under a 1260-1299 series "L" car at the Illinois Railway Museum.

The unknown manufacturers' or Baldwin MCB sideframes can be simulated with Q-Car's Peckham BU style of trucks shown in the prior post. The Peckham BU's style looks very much like Baldwin MCB's.

Before getting into the topic of the Peckham's, if a number of photos of wooden "L" cars are viewed; you'll notice a number of cars have wheel guards and sideframes with low end frames (like the Peckham BU's).

After automatic train stop as part of the signaling was installed on the "L", the wooden cars had piping coming down from the car body on the ends for the center trip device (cock lever). Some sideframes had outside brake rigging. Coupler supports were added to hold up couplers installed without hangers. One item easy to miss, even though it was painted red, was the 600 v buss junction box. There was a lot of extraneous material under the floor on the end of a car! 
Open gate powered "L" car stored at the west end of the Lake St. "L" route. Finding a photo of a car in which the underbody is visible is difficult. Coupler, chains, and hanger are visible plus the center angle cock and air brake plumbing. See if you can find in the center the 600 v buss receptacle (square shape) and the MU receptacle (round head cover).

Depending upon the car series either the Baldwin MCB or Peckham BU sideframes may be appropriate? The low end frame of the Peckham BU sideframes adds to the material below the floor at the end of a car. Almost all wood plus 4000 and 5000 series "L" cars had strap steel steps on the ends of the sides of the cars. These helped the yardmen in getting in and out of the cars to ground level. On some of the models of these cars the frame of the trucks hits this step. One way around the problem is to use Peckham BU sideframes.

When modeling the older wooden "L" car pay attention to the trucks. Some of the sets of trucks on a car had the same wheel base, some did not. Each series of wooden cars was unique.

When it comes to 3rd rail beams for the wooden "L" cars, I prefer using the Q-Car CS 090 3rd Rail Shoe Beam, Over-running Style. Again, over the years some of the cars got bigger 3rd rail beams just like the 4000's. For every rule there is an exception. This is what prompts me to say, "Build to the photo!" Get a photo of the prototype car (and era) you desire to build. Better yet get photos of both ends and both sides of the same car!


CRT 3143 operating on the Lake St. "L" as a single car train with the conductor on the rear platform.
The 2 photos are of my scratch-built open platform car. It is powered with Q-Car trucks. The sideframes are Peckham BU with the same wheelbase and wheel size. The trucks have NSL 3rd rail beams and an arc shield. The arc shield was added more to hide the sideframes. The prototype car did not have MCB sideframes. Each of my wooden "L" cars has trucks with different sideframes and 3rd rail beams.

You may have asked yourself how do I know what sideframes and 3rd rail beams appeared in the wooden CRT cars and the 4000's during their life. Like everything else in life nothing is just black or white. There are a lot of grays. After looking at enough photos of something, one starts to get ideas of when something started and ended. My comments are to give other modelers a general idea of what was or was not. Again, when modeling a specific car obtain as many photos of that car on or about the date you wish to model. Be sure to get photos of each side and both ends.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ordering Power and Trail Trucks for Your CRT 4000 "Plushie" Part 2

Wagner Car Company/Current Line Models
About the time Q-Car Company introduced the CRT 4000 "L" car model in March, 1973, the Wagner Car Company introduced a power/ trail set of trucks. They were called:
BLW78 & Bar, CTA 4000 Power 6'-6" wheelbase, 33" wheels and
BLW66 & Bar, CTA 4000 Trailer, 5'-6" wheelbase, 31" wheels.

This is part of page 16 of "O Gauge Trolley Trucks, Truck Book No.4, Wagner"

Please discard the printed material in the upper left side of the page. It related to a different set of trucks.

If you desired the BLW78 & Bar could be ordered without a motor if the model was to be a non-powered car.

If the car was to be a trailer, the same as the prototype car; then the trucks should be ordered without the "Bar" (3rd rail beam).

Should you run into NOS (new old stock) or used stock of the Wagner trucks for the Q-Car 4000, chances are you may find the power truck is of an older design. Initially the trucks were offered as DC60 (open frame motor sitting upright or vertical) or INCH (open frame motor sitting on its side with split axel). When can motors were introduced a CLL (can low level) design was offered along with the DC60 and INCH. Taken from page 5 of the same Wagner power/trail truck catalogue.

Please discard the printed material in the upper left side of the page. It related to a different power truck. The photos are samples of the type of drive in the truck. The side frames for the "L" cars are different.
The DC 70 is included to show you the difference between the motor and design. Notice the size of the motor and location of the brushes. The DC 70 motor was a more powerful motor than the DC 60.

Today Current Line Models offers only the CLL (Can Low Level) design. When Current Line Models took over the Wagner Car Co. line of products, the same descriptions for the trucks were retained.

Q-Car Company
Q-car does not have a specific side frames set as "Elevated Trucks". Instead the modeler must do a mix and match. To make things a little complicated Q-Car never had a Baldwin 5'6" wheelbase side frame for the trail truck.

These are the side frames Q-Car has which are applicable to a CRT 4000 series car:
CS 205 Baldwin 7222A, 72" (6') wheelbase

CS 212 Baldwin 8430AA, 84" (7') wheelbase

CS 221 Baldwin 7825A, 78" (6'6") wheelbase

CS 233 Peckham BU 7222, 72" (6') wheelbase
, and
CS 247 Peckham BU 7825, 78" (6'6") wheelbase

The last 2 sideframes the Peckham BU are listed now but will be covered later.

If you are planning on using Q-Car Company sideframes, it appears the Baldwin 7825A (6'6") and Baldwin 7222A (6') sideframes are the best choices.

Do not use the Baldwin 8430AA sideframes. They are too long of a sideframe and will interfere with the coupler installation, car floor depending upon interior construction, and the strap metal step on the side of the 4000 series cars.

The Baldwin 7825A should be used for the motor truck. Pieces of styrene strips can be added between the bottom of the journals to the end of the sideframe.

Although the Baldwin 7222A sideframe is 6" longer than required, it is the best for the trail truck. Q-Car does not have any other suitable 66" sideframe available.

Q-Car Company has for the CRT and CTA 3rd rail beams the:
CS 090 3rd Rail Shoe Beam, Over-running Style

CS 090B 3rd Rail Shoe Beam, Over-running Style (CRT)

CS 161 3rd Rail Shoe Beams (CNS&M)
, and

CS 395 3rd Rail Shoe Beam CTA 1-50 & 6000
While the CS 090B and CS 395 are the same they have separate applications. The CS 090B 3rd Rail Shoe Beam, Over-running Style (CRT) is intended for older CTA cars like the "Baldies". If you look carefully at Bruce Moffat's new book you will find photos of "Baldies" painted in the CTA green and white paint scheme where the trucks have an arc protection shield attached. I'm sure photos of "Plushies" in the CTA green and white can be found with this 3rd rail beam.
The CS 395 3rd Rail Shoe Beam CTA 1-50 & 6000 is intended for CTA PCC "L" equipment - the 1-50 and 6000 series and newer. This beam has an arc protection sheet attached. Neither the CS 090B or CS 395 have any sleet scraping equipment.
The CS 090 3rd Rail Shoe Beam, Over-running Style is intended for the older wooden CRT cars.
The CS 161 3rd Rail Shoe Beams (CNS&M) is the 3rd rail beam commonly found on all North Shore Line equipment. This casting closely matches the 3rd rail beam used on the powered truck under the "Plushies" and "Baldies".
If you are modeling a 4000 "Plushie" or "Baldie" in the CRT era and slightly later, using Q-Car sideframes and 3rd rail beams and desire to most accurate, then the following trucks are to be ordered:
Power truck with the CS 221 Baldwin 7825A 6'6" sideframe, the CS 161 NSL 3rd rail beam installed; and
Trail truck with the CS 205 Baldwin 7222A 60" sideframe, the CS 090 3rd Rail Shoe Beam should be used.
This is a summary of what is written above.
Table for the Application of Q-Car Company 3rd Rail Beams on CRT/CTA 4000’s
From time built until late 1920's
From 1930's to cars painted green and  cream by CTA
From the time the cars painted green and cream to retirement
Both Trucks
Larger Motor Truck
Both Trucks
CS 0903rd Rail Shoe Beam, Over-running StyleCS 161 3rd Rail Shoe Beams (CNS&M)CS 090B 3rd Rail Shoe Beam, Over-Running Style (CRT)
Smaller Trail Truck
 CS 090 3rd Rail Shoe Beam, Over-Running Style 
The time frames are approximations. Always consult a photo of the prototype car you are building.

Since the Wagner/Current Lines sideframes and 3rd rail beams were designed for the Chicago "L" they are the best to use for any 4000 model - "Plushie" or "Baldie".
If the Wagner/Current Line product is not available then the Q-Car sideframes and 3rd rail beams are suitable. 
If you look at photos of the 4000's in their later CTA career, you'll notice the electrical arc protection boards added to the 3rd rail beams of the trucks.
When using Q-Car 3rd rail beams if an arc protection board is needed, the board can be made from 0.010" - 0.015" sheet brass. First make a template out of card stock. I prefer using index cards. The parallel blue lines on one side help in drawing the area where the card stock is to be cut.
When making a template for the arc protection board orientate the index card with the lines vertical with the truck on level track. With a pencil start drawing lines where the index card is to be cut. When done cutting out the template transfer the design to sheet brass. Glue the arc protection board in place with ACC.
This post has been long and we need to come to an end. Before ordering trucks for your 4000 read the important set of comments in the next post!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ordering Power and Trail Trucks for Your CRT 4000 Plushie Part 1

Note - Although this post is written for picking out and ordering trucks for a Q-Car Company 4000, a Plushie, the information can be applied to a Baldie model. The terms Plushie and Baldie will not be written with quotation marks.

Before going further perhaps we need to look at trucks for your Q-Car 4000 Plushie. Then you can order your power and trail trucks for your model. If you are planning on powering your model or not, the prototype cars had one truck with motors while the other truck was a trailer. Hence I'll call them power and trail trucks even if the motor truck is without power.

The CRT/CTA 4000 series Plushies motor truck had a Baldwin MCB 78" (6'6") sideframe with 33" wheels and the trail truck had a Baldwin MCB 66" (5'6") truck with 30" wheels.

Attention To Details
During the CRT era I had a chance to see all the CRT cars, including both the Plushies and Baldies, in the dirty, dingy orange/brown colors. The dirtiness hid the 2 different colors and causing a blend into one color - ugly brown-black. When a car was freshly painted, it was beautiful in the crisp orange and brown. What a contrast between the newly painted cars and the dirty ones.

When the CTA took over the "L" I continued to see the "L" cars and the metamorphosis from an range & brown, to a green & cream with an orange belt strip separating the 2 colors, then the a green & cream or white without any separating belt color. The green & cream with the orange belt stripe was a soothing, balance of color. The green & cream then white on the 4000 Baldies and Plushies was too course, too big looking and out of balance. But what could a teenager do?

I spent from September, 1955 to June, 1963 riding the Logan Square Branch of the "L". If you have read the newest book "The Chicago 'L's' Great Steel Fleet `The Baldies~" by Bruce Moffat, you know I had a chance to see all of the various versions of steel "L" cars in existence at the time.

Standing on the platform at Logan Square, the end of the line, I had a chance to see the making and breaking of trains during the rush hours. This included other parts of yard operation to bring cars in, from, or through the 2 yards at Logan Square. When train action was at a stop, I had a chance to study the details of the cars both inside and out.

One part of the car which caught my eye was the trucks under the cars. They were large and small trucks. The 3rd rail beam on the large truck was not the same as the 3rd rail beam on the smaller truck. During the winter the 3rd rail beam on the larger truck had more parts to it then during the spring, summer, or autumn. During the winter sleet scrapers were in place on the 3rd rail beam. The 3rd rail beam on the small truck had none of this - only the 3rd rail shoe.

Utilizing photos in CERA Bulletin 115 "Chicago's Rapid Transit Volume 1: Rolling Stock 1892-1947 here is a list of exterior details you need to note.
page 194 bottom - trucks, orange/brown paint scheme, CTA logo
page 195 top - trucks, name on letterboard, car number locations
page 195 bottom - row of vertical rivets to left of center door, NO vertical row of
     rivets to right of center door*
page 199 2 photos right side of page - trucks and 3rd rail beams
page 200 photo to left of page - no windshield wiper, no door opening
     devices, era of car, marker hangers on dash below end windows
page 201 bottom - 3rd rail beams, dark color (black) of added appliances
     (hand rails, chains, hooks, marker holders, door opening devices, etc.)
page 206 right side of page - 3rd rail beams
page 207 - 3rd rail beams
page 209 top - 3rd rail beams, destination signs
page 210 top - 3rd rail beams
page 214 - 3rd rail beams

* = This is an extremely important, almost landmark set of details for the Baldies.

The important items I wanted to point out are mentioned. There are plenty of other details to be picked-up on from the photos. Also look at other books, Bruce Moffat's latest book has many great photos to study for details.

If need be, make a list of the details in order of appearance from one corner to the opposite corner of the end or side of the car.

Of course if you live in the Chicago area, you can always visit the Illinois Railway Museum to study their 4000's.

The 3rd Rail Beams and Trucks
If the 4000 was a motor (powered) the larger of the 2 trucks had sleet scrappers installed on the 3rd rail beam. The scrappers themselves were pieces of sheet metal which were able to dangle from a holder. The holder was raised and lowered as required. The sleet scrappers, as the name indicates, work by scrapping the top of the 3rd rail. During this process the sleet scrapper is worn off and have to be replaced.

The sleet scrappers were raised when not needed. If you study photos or go to where a working 3rd rail beam is located, you will notice large "L" shaped pieces of metal sticking out perpendicular to the 3rd rail beam. Using a piece of large diameter wooden or insulated stick with a piece of metal pipe attached to the end, the "L" shape piece were rotated left or right to raise or lower the sleet scrappers.

To keep the sleet scrappers under tension and down against the 3rd rail, a long piece of, for lack of a better word, leaf spring material is mounted (bowed) over the entire 3rd rail beam. It's held in place by a large bolt in the center top of the 3rd rail beam.

No sleet scrappers are on the 3rd rail beam mounted on the trail truck. And, of course, if the car was a trailer; no 3rd rail beams are mounted on either truck.

More to come! Cheers,

Monday, December 1, 2014

Interesting News Regarding Noisy Wagner Designed Power Trucks

A close friend of mine has found a correct size commercially available worm and gear to replace the worm and gear in a Wagner designed power truck. If you have a noisy Wagner designed power truck changing the worm and gear will greatly reduce the noise.

An article on how to install the commercially available worm and gear into the Wagner gear box should be published, I hope, in a future issue of "O Scale Resource" emagazine

This is an important event. Many modelers have tried in vain to reduce the noise of their power trucks. No more information is available. The fella who discovered the worm and gear plus how to do the conversion will author the article. He richly deserves all the credit.