Freight & Passenger Car Trucks:
Jim's long wheelbase (5'-10") archbar tucks are home-made using
modified white metal sideframes cast by Steven King originally for
7/8" scale, Maine 2' gauge rolling stock. Cumberland Model Engineering
plain steel 33" wheelsets;
Hartford Products truck springs; and Jim's own built up brass & wood bolster,
spring plank & brake rigging complete each truck. Those shiny
wheelsets are the result of taking the CME plain steel wheels (made from "ledloy"
carbon steel which if left unpainted rusts like mad) and polishing them on either a lathe (or
as Jim does on a drill press) using a 3M scuff pad. Jim paints his trucks
engine black. How about that flat car load!!! It must be headed for a wreck
somewhere on the Cliffside & El Camino.
Palace Passenger Trucks
truck project has been to
create fully functional (sprung, equalized & with a swing motion
bolster) wood frame 6-Wheel Pullman Palace passenger
trucks for his
72' standard gauge business car. Drawings came from a turn of the last
century Car Builder's Cyclopedia's (see below) as well as actual measurements
from a similar bolt-together iron six-wheel truck on an existent
passenger car in the California State Railroad Museum.
The trucks are a mixture of brass
castings, fabricated components made from wood and brass, and
Cumberland Model Engineering 36" plain steel wheelsets. Below are
pictures of the casting patterns (soldered up from brass bits and
pieces cut either by hand or on my Japax wire EDM--note first picture, top
left, for EDM cut patterns). Also pictured are the first round of investment castings
made by Dennis Mashburn of K&D castings in Abilene, Texas and the various wooden
frame components which Jim cut by hand. And yes, that swing motion
bolster actually works! But the leaf springs are fake--the actually
springing is done by a Hartford Products coil spring cleverly hidden
from view inside each cast leaf spring!
Patterns & Castings
Composite Brass & Wooden Components
Partial Assembly (Note the
functional swing links and suspension!)
The Completed Truck
Standard Gauge Rolling Stock:
Side Door Caboose
About the same time that he was working
on his 40' boxcar, Jim also began work on a side door (or "drovers") caboose.
The prototype ran on the Sierra Railroad in California, plans for
which Jim was able to obtain (see pic #1). The
model is constructed just like the prototype with a framed inner
structure covered with scribed sheathing on the outside and
board-by-board construction on the inside. The model features a full interior.
Castings are from Ozarks Miniatures.
36' Trussrod Flat
36' wooden flat car was the ubiquitous workhorse of the wood car era
and lasted well into the steel car era on many logging railroads
(several examples in various state of rot exist today, inoperable,
at the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia).
Typically, most wooden flats had four trussrods passing through cast
iron queenposts, though some high capacity cars could employ 6 or
even 8 trussrods. A few cars attained 40' or more feet in length,
but 36' and 32' were by far the standard. The plans shown below are
for a Ma & Pa 36' flat typical to the era. Jim's models, though not
exact copies of the Ma & Pa car, are representative. Jim's cars are
built from redwood, and he has loaded them with a variety of
Western Scale Model's 1:20.3 scale
twin cylinder mill engine kit. This basic flat also provides the
foundation for Jim's low side 36' gondolas. Note also the nail-by-nail construction!
Kadee couplers are standard.
What's a cheap and dirty way to build a
fleet of gondolas? Start with a generic wooden flat car and then add
sides! The D&RGW did it on the narrow gauge; Jim on the F scale
Cliffside & El Camino--The Astro-Turf Line! Imagine unloading
these by hand . . .
36' Tank Car
The earliest tank cars were essentially
flat cars with wooden barrels for holding oil mounted atop their
decks. Later, iron and then steel tanks mounted longitudinally
replaced the wooden barrels, but the idea of a tank car as
essentially a flat car frame with a tank mounted atop did not
disappear altogether, at least not until well into the steel car era. These
early pre-WWI cars rode on archbar or even Fox trucks, though later
they would have been updated to cast steel trucks. Below are plans
8,000 gallon prototype and pictures of a later, longer car though
built along the same lines, now located in Sacramento:
Jim's model is of an early steel car
with a heavy steel frame supporting the tank, the former of which is
built up from brass channels & flat stock; the latter from a
combination of acrylic pipe, styrene, and brass fittings.
The Completed Car
72' Business Car
Jim's biggest project to date is a
1:20.3 standard gauge model of a turn-of-the-last century 72' wooden
business car--essentially an observation car for the railroad brass.
As of April 2007 he has mainly been at work on the six wheel Pullman
Palace trucks (see above). But he has also completed patterns and
rubber molds for the clerestory ends of the car's roof. This
promises to be another 1st by Jim in the world of F scale standard
gauge modeling (Jim already holds the record for 1st tank car, 1st
gondola and 1st caboose).
The Care Sides & Ends
The Clerestory Roof
The Completed Car--TBA
Wedge Snow Plow
Jim's latest project, undertaken
concurrently with his passenger car, is a piece of
maintenance-of-way equipment: a snow plow.
The Completed Car
Fn3 Idler Car
Jim's Outdoor Railroad: