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C
ME Products--Trucks

Cumberland Model Engineering trucks are made from either investment cast brass or spin cast white metal as noted and are based upon actual railroad blueprints and/or prototype measurements wherever possible. Patterns are made from CAD drawings through either rapid prototyping or CNC machined brass masters. They are intended to be as close to scale as possible without sacrificing operational reliability.

Ordering may be done via personal check or money order. Truck and wheel orders should be directed to
to Mr. Don Niday ( donniday@ironcreekshops.com ) or call (865) 671-1270.

For general information on trucks and/or truck development, please see the Contact page.

Freight Car Trucks  (updated 1-7-14)

Several varieties of freight car truck are now available in F Gauge. More are in development (see below). Each truck is cast in white metal and equipped with plain steel wheels, stainless steel axles, and 3/16" ID ball bearings. Each truck begins as a 3D CAD drawing based upon a specific prototype, using my own measurements, or where available, actual railroad blueprints. My thanks in particular go to the archives of both the Norfolk & Western Historical Society and those of the Southern Railway Historical Association for generously making available scanned prototype drawings. Wheel Standards for F Gauge as developed by the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) and as used by CME may be found here.

Trucks are sold by the pair. Trucks come with plain steel wheels. Nickel-plated steel wheels are available at extra cost. Please direct all truck and wheel orders to Mr. Don Niday ( donniday@ironcreekshops.com ) or call (865) 671-1270.

Available Trucks  (updated 1-7-14)

The Prototype Historical Information The Model Price
(Add for nickel plated wheels)
Wooden Bolster Archbar

Before the widespread availability of cast steel truck bolsters, hardwood bolsters were the norm, usually strengthened with trussrods. Being in use on standard gauge cars up to the eve of WWI, the so-called "Cleveland" truck soldiered on in narrow gauge form well into the 1920s. Our example comes from the pen of industrial historian John White and his magisterial The American Railroad Freight Car.


(5'-2"" Wheelbase)
Truck Kit: $125

Brake Rigging Super-detail kit: TBA

50 Ton ARA-Bettendorf
(N&W Class T-64)

In steam era railroading circa WWII and into the steam-diesel transition years, the most ubiquitous friction bearing freight car truck is some variation on the steel-side-frame-with-integrally-cast-journal-boxes. The Bettendorf company originated the concept prior to WWI with a T-section design, later superseded by the much superior U-section design. The concept was so popular that the American Association of Railroads standardized the concept; and though many other companies aside from Bettendorf produced their own variations, the name stuck. The prototype for this truck follows the Norfolk & Western T-64 class 50 ton truck with standard spring package (as opposed to the optional elliptical spring & snubber (at left).


(5'-6" Wheelbase)
Kit: $125

Brake Rigging Super-detail kit: TBA

Truck & Wheel Parts (updated 1-7-14)

Most freight car trucks from the steam era rode on 33" wheelsets while modern roller bearing equipped trucks generally use 36". Similarly most passenger cars from both eras have ridden on 36" wheelsets. The wheelsets pictured below were produced by Cumberland Model Engineering for Iron Creek Shops and are available in either rusty, polished steel or nickel plated finishes. Each wheelset is double insulated and uses a stainless steel 8mm axle with 3/16" journals on the stub ends.

  Size & Material Price     Size & Material Price
33" Steel, Polished $12.95 36" Steel, Polished $12.95
33" Nickel Plated $15.45 36" Nickel Plated $15.45
  Truck Springs--small
(.240 x .375)
10 each   Truck Springs--large
(.280 x .550)
10 each

Freight Car Trucks in Development  (updated 1-7-14)

Prototypes Historical Information Status of Model Material Price
(Add for nickel plated wheels)
30 Ton Archbar

(5'-0" Wheelbase)

The prototype for this truck is a typical late 19th-early 20th century archbar design using a pair of steel I-beams for a bolster. The 5'-0" wheelbase and 4 x 8 journal boxes were very common for this era and could be found beneath multiple varieties of wooden rolling stock. This particular truck supports a 36' Ma & Pa wooden boxcar preserved in operable condition on the Strasburg Railroad located near Lancaster, PA.


Brass Casting Pattern
White
Metal
TBA
30 Ton Archbar

(5'-2" Wheelbase)

The Southern Railway prior to and following World War I used 5'-2" wheelbase archbar trucks under many of its wooden freight cars. Variations included differing varieties of cast column, the "set" or height of the archbars above the rail head, Simplex bolsters built up from 12" channels and bar stock, and double bolts through some columns. The version modeled here is based upon drawings provided by the Southern Railway Historical Association for the SR standard 30 ton boxcar.


2D CAD Drawings
White
Metal
TBA
40 Ton Archbar

(5'-0" Wheelbase)

With the dawn of the steel car era, archbar trucks of greater capacity were developed, some of which were easily able to support loads of 50 tons or even more. This 40 ton example, with 5 x 9 journals and a cast steel bolster, was in use on the Cass Scenic Railroad and its lumber hauling predecessors beneath 40' wooden flat cars originally built prior to WWI. The model is based upon my own measurements of one of the remaining trucks made on a rainy, cool September day in 2002.

 
2D CAD Drawings
& Brass Bolster
White
Metal
TBA
50 Ton USRA Andrews

(5'-6" Wheelbase)

As a successor to the archbar truck, the Andrews concept of a cast steel frame with removable journal boxes antedates the United States Railway Administration (USRA) by nearly 20 years. The USRA U-section 50 ton design and its clones were made in the 1000s after WWI and remained in service throughout the WWII era, and into the modern era in work trains. The casting pattern shown at right was cut on my wire EDM and will be joined to miniature 5 x 10 journal boxes w/ square bolts.


2D CAD Drawings
& Brass Side Frames
White
Metal
TBA
40 Ton 1896 Andrews Patent

(5'-6" Wheelbase)

The Andrews design was first patented in 1896 as a "T" rather than a "U" section side frame; and as such, did not have the strength of the later U-section designs. Nevertheless, the T section was an improvement upon the old archbar trucks, and could still be found in the post-WWI era on small locomotive tenders, some freight cars, and, as in the case of this truck, the Denver & Rio Grande's standard gauge idler cars. This particular truck supports idler car X-3050 at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden and is still used on occasion for switching on dual gauge track.

The F scale version is unique in that (1) this truck has never been modeled before and (2) its casting patterns were created from 3D CAD drawings printed as wax rapid prototypes by Swiss modelmaker Steve Weber. Pictured is the new metal side frame casting pattern. My thanks to Steve and to both Kevin Strong & Rick Blanchard for their research help!

White
Metal
TBA

Steam Locomotive Tender Trucks in Development (updated 1-7-14)

Prototypes Historical Information Status of Model Material Price
(Add for nickel plated wheels)
1896 Andrews Patent Tender

(5'-10" Wheelbase)

Prior to the much more common USRA Andrews trucks of the 1920s and 30s there was the 1896 Andrews Patent truck. These trucks have been used on a variety of tenders, including various Southern Pacific consolidations. The truck at left was used on the tender of Southern Railway 2-8-0 #154.

3D CAD Drawing of Side Frame Brass TBA
Floating Bolster Archbar

(5'-7" Wheelbase)

The rigidity of archbar trucks was greatly improved by the substitution of one central casting in lieu of two cast columns on each sideframe, and the provision of two steel channels, riveted to those same castings, spanning the width of each truck. Similar to the Theilsen truck, the floating bolster truck substituted a spring mounted bolster for a swinging one. These trucks are found on the tender of Southern Railway G class 2-8-0 #107.


2D CAD Drawings, wire EDM cut Archbars
Brass TBA
USRA Andrews Tender

(5'-8" Wheelbase)

Although the USRA pedestal tender truck may have been more common, at least initially, the most common two axle freight locomotive tender of the steam era is probably the 70 ton USRA Andrews as equipped with leaf springs and a swing motion bolster. This truck lives beneath SR Ks-1 2-8-0 #722.

2D CAD Drawing in Progress Brass TBA

Passenger Car Trucks in Development (updated 1-7-14)

Prototypes Historical Information

Status of Model

Material Price
(Add for nickel plated wheels)
Pullman Palace Car 6-Wheel Truck
(with bolted-on pedestals)

(15' Wheelbase)

Passenger car trucks were not always metal. In fact until the turn of the last century, many passenger car trucks were still of composite wood and iron construction, with iron pedestals, journal boxes and braces being bolted onto a wooden frame. Such was the case with the Pullman Palace 6 wheel trucks. The patterns for these circa 1890 trucks are based upon drawings published in the 1892 book by William Voss Railway Car Construction.

This model is the work of Jim McDaniel (see his gallery here) who has agreed to let me reproduce his masterful F scale trucks using his casting patterns and my own laser cut basswood components. These fully equalized swing motion trucks will be offered as kits.

Brass Castings w/
Laser Cut Wood Frame
TBA

Last update: 7 January 2014

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