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

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,

No comments:

Post a Comment