Interurban Freight Motor

Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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This could fit into the usual "Kit Bashing/Scratchbuilding" thread, but as it refers to an item of interurban tramway rolling stock, it might as well go into the tram section!

It is still a "work in progress", but will be updated at various points until the model is complete.

A couple of years ago, I picked up a secondhand Bachmann baggage car at one of the GSS shows for the princely sum of £15 and thought that it would be a suitable basis for conversion into a US style electric interurban goods railcar, something along the lines of this one which is preserved at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, PA....

11-2986.jpg

This one was owned by the Philadelphia and Western, a third-rail operation that still operates between 69th St in Philadelphia and Norristown, though it is now the Norristown High Speed Line operated by SEPTA. The car was latterly used as a works car by SEPTA and was additionally fitted with trolleypoles.

I had looked around for a suitable (ie cheap...) motor block to use in constructing the unit and had not come up with anything until a few months ago, when after comparing the dimensions of a battery chassis that I had bought with a loco body kit, i thought it would be possible to use one of those, rather than the original plan to have a track powered unit.

The chassis in question is a Houston Gate Loco Works product - a laser cut wooden chassis frame with motor, wheels etc that looks like this...
HGLW chassis.jpg
and at less than £20 for a 4-wheel drive version it wasn't going to break the bank, so I bought one to carry out some haulage tests. If it hadn't turned out to be suitable, I wouldn't have lost out as it would have ended up as another 4 wheel shunter with a scratchbuilt body.........

However, it actually fitted the bill perfectly, so it just needed some work to transform it into a sutable match for the original bogie it was replacing. Some stripwood was used to create a cradle to attach it to the (doctored) chassis of the model, and the centre sections of the original Bachmann bogie sides were cut down by about 0.5" to match the slightly shorter wheelbase.

DSCF7203.JPG

Once the bogie sides were attached, the cut-down Knuckle coupler arm was attached to the new bogie and dummy third-rail beams & shoes were made from scrap material and fixed to the frames....

DSCF7208.JPG

Then the other original bogie had the shoe beams fitted..........

DSCF7209.JPG


To be continued.............
 
musket the dog

musket the dog

Model railways, 00, 009 and G. Kayaking, remote co
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Looks like an interesting project. Have been curious about the HGLW chassis for a couple of ideas of my own. How if the drive transferred to the second axle? Just wondering what sort of performance could be expected from the unit, not that a Bachmann Jackson Sharpe is light to begin with.
 
Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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Looks like an interesting project. Have been curious about the HGLW chassis for a couple of ideas of my own. How if the drive transferred to the second axle? Just wondering what sort of performance could be expected from the unit, not that a Bachmann Jackson Sharpe is light to begin with.
The drive to the second axle is by means of a polyurethane drive belt from the axle which is driven directly by the motor.
The shunter I bought was just single axle drive - which works fine pulling Hartland or HGLW wagons, or even two IP Engineering VoR coaches + a van - but I thought a 4wd version might be better for this project. I set up the powered bogie and a HGLW flat wagon with the Bachmann coach body+roof mounted on them and sent them for a spin along my line and there appears to be sufficient haulage capacity there to tag a trailer or a boxcar behind as well. The chassis is assembled at the moment, but awaits wiring up and a dry day to give it all a run and conduct further tests - possibly this Sunday if the forecast is right!
Will advise what my findings are after this, as I'm hoping a trailer or goods stock is well within its capabilities, as I have some more schemes up my sleeve for this chassis (or a pair of them) if it proves its worth.
 
Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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As it is actually dry outside for a change (apart from the track being very wet) I assembled the complete chassis today - with some temporary wiring - and conducted some tests to make sure the concept actually worked in practice!

The picture below shows the complete chassis unit.....
DSCF7280.JPG

Obviously a hole has had to be cut in the chassis to take the motor bogie cradle, and this is mounted on a simple wooden frame, the final height adjustments being made using metal washers.
The batteries (It's only a 3V motor) will be housed underneath the chassis when it is all put together properly.

After giving it a run round the complete loop on its own, in both directions, I placed the coach body on the chassis to provide a bit more weight and then attached some Bachmann bogie wagons behind it to see what it was capable of hauling. I was pleasantly supprised to find it would manage 3 of them without any problems (was expecting it to haul 2), including on my gradients, and if operating on level (and dry) track, I would think it could manage 4-5 bogie wagons.

With the chassis on its own, it derailed going over one point, but this was due to it being too light. Once the body was on, it traversed pointwork with no problems. Only derailments then were caused by some of the stones on my ballasted sections of track catching the shoe beams and lifting the bogie off the track, something easilly rectified by moving the offending stones.

Now that I have proved it all works, I can get on with converting the baggage car body.........
 
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Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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My original intention with the carriage body was to remove the existing end sections and scratchbuild some rounded ends, as on the prototype at the top of the page, eliminating the open end platforms. You can actually buy resin castings designed to fit the Bachmann cars from one of the US manufacturers, but these add quite a lot to the price of the model.

However, when I was at a rail museum in New Jersey last year, I picked up rather an interesting book from their secondhand sales pile (think it was all of $3) entitled "Narrow Gauge to Boston" about the 3 foot gauge Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn line in Massachusetts. This opened in 1875 and was steam worked up to 1928 when it was electrified, operating up to 1940 as such, when, unfortunately, it closed. Part of the route was reused by the Boston Blue Line subway out as far as Wonderland (formerly Bath House) station. There are plans to reinstate the line as far as Lynn at some stage, though I have my doubts that will ever happen.
When the BRB&L electrified, they just motorised some of the existing, rather ancient, coaches, to make power cars with added driving cabs, which then hauled unpowered trailer cars. A couple of their unpowered coaches ended up on the East Broad Top line in Pennsylvania and this gives an idea of the age of the stock that was upgraded for the electrified line.

10-1492.JPG

Even the end loading balconies were retained on the electrified driving cars, so with that in mind, I decided to keep them on my model and just cut a couple of driving cab windows in each end.......

DSCF7206.JPG

This a much easier conversion job than making new ends as can be imagined.

There is a picture of one of the electrified BRB&L cars on this webpage if anyone is interested
http://railroadpostcards.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/boston-revere-beach-lynn-railroad-was.html
 
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Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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The painted bodyshell has now been affixed to the chassis and awaits the fitting of various detailing parts, some of which still await construction, eg marker lights, trolley retrievers etc. Dash panels and trolleypoles have been constructed already.

DSCF7281.JPG
All being well, the model should be finished by the end of next week.
 
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mcbearuk

mcbearuk

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The painted bodyshell has now been affixed to the chassis and awaits the fitting of various detailing parts, some of which still await construction, eg marker lights, trolley retrievers etc. Dash panels and trolleypoles have been constructed already.

View attachment 204090
All being well, the model should be finished by the end of next week.
Very nice, neat piece of mix-n-match, I am impressed. but shame on you for wimping out on the ends! I am planning to do a similar job on a Bachman combine to produce a small Interurban car for my forthcoming garden line and I am thinking of ways to produce the classic Interurban ends - without purchasing the expensive resin units from the US. I was hoping that you would do the hard work in prototyping new ends and I would only have to follow your example. Now it's back to the graph paper and tinkering with Plastruct bits and pieces.....
 
Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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Very nice, neat piece of mix-n-match, I am impressed. but shame on you for wimping out on the ends! I am planning to do a similar job on a Bachman combine to produce a small Interurban car for my forthcoming garden line and I am thinking of ways to produce the classic Interurban ends - without purchasing the expensive resin units from the US. I was hoping that you would do the hard work in prototyping new ends and I would only have to follow your example. Now it's back to the graph paper and tinkering with Plastruct bits and pieces.....
The final result, with dash panels, does have rather an air of the Manx Electric about it, and is certainly preferable to the BRB&L verandah railings, retained from their steam hauled stock.
Pictures of the finished article should be posted on here sometime next week.
 
Madman

Madman

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"shame on you for wimping out"
MC


"The lord above gave man an arm of iron so he could do his job and never shirk. The lord above gave man an arm of iron. But with a little bit of luck, with a little bit of luck, someone else will do the blinking work".
 
mcbearuk

mcbearuk

I'm New, Please Be Gentle
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"shame on you for wimping out"
MC


"The lord above gave man an arm of iron so he could do his job and never shirk. The lord above gave man an arm of iron. But with a little bit of luck, with a little bit of luck, someone else will do the blinking work".
"I love hard work, I can watch people doing it all day"....back to the sketch pad
 
Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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It was my original intention to scratchbuild some rounded ends, but the biggest problem was working out exactly where to join the new ends to the original body, given the changes in roof contours and the presence of the clerestory roof, which I waned to retain. It would have been easier if the clerestory roof had been dispensed with.
This one is just basically a prototype to prove that a (low cost) battery conversion can be done, and there are various changes I will make on future conversions, eg the size of the cradle holding the bogie to the chassis.
I've got 3 further Bachmann coaches in a pile awaiting conversion, two of which will be come a 2-car multiple unit.

There is another full baggage that may end up something like this Railway Post Office at Seashore Museum, Maine.......
D4-056.JPG

and a spare chassis that may have a new body constructed and look something like this Baldwin, still in everyday use in Mason City, Iowa.....
11-1642.jpg
 
trammayo

trammayo

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This chap did supply conversions for the ends of the Bachmann J&S coaches. I have his catalogue somewhere and, if I can find it, I will post a pic.


Model Tramway System,
8 Upper Road,
Meole Brace,
Shrewsbury,
Shropshire, SY3 9JD,
England.


And I am enjoying this thread by the way!
 
Madman

Madman

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Would you have the link to the Model Tramway System chap ?
 
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Dave Ottney

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I like the conversion using the original end withe the larger windows for the driver's station. It works particularly well being that the car is a baggage car. I also think your method for mounting the power truck (bogie) is ingenious.
Can't wait to see more progress.
Dave
 
Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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The trolleypoles (fixed dummies) were constructed using various oddments of plasticard and two pieces of wire that came from some magazine binders - think they were the old RCTS ones. The springs came from a USA trains 0-4-0 switcher that I was given, with stripped gears, several years ago. This has now been stripped for parts accordingly.
I couldn't find any suitable items to use as trolley wheels, so it's got a representation of carbon slipper type heads instead.
I always keep all of my plasticard offcuts in a small storage tray, and they come in very handy for jobs like this!

DSCF7282.JPG

With reference to the US produced resin ends, I see that the full kit of two ends retails for $140 (about £90-95 at current exchange rates) , so that actually works out twice what I will have spent on building this (£15 body, £19.95 chassis and about £10 worth of odd bits of plasticard, paint etc)..........!
 
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Madman

Madman

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Hm, the ends are quite a bit more than I would spend.
 
trammayo

trammayo

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Would you have the link to the Model Tramway System chap ?
Hi Dan - he has no internet site - I used to phone him. The catalogues were £1.00 ea but that was 10 years ago. If you lived in the UK, he would tell you to send 6 Ist Class postage stamps. I probably sent him a cheque as Irish stamps would be of no use to him.

I have found the catalogues, and tried to find a way of scanning them in - to no avail. Blxxxy Win 10. The Interurban parts are the dash, doors, floors (with or without steps), roof, and seats (the latter to replace the stove) and - I think - window components.

I will get a picture on somehow. He also did (or does) enclosed ends for the Bachmann trams. In fact there were trucks (including Brill), overhead components etc.

One other thing to say - the name is not to be confused with the American company.

If anybody wants the phone number I used (hope it's still current) please send a PM!
 
Miamigo259

Miamigo259

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This is the American firms page on the interurban ends.
http://www.lightrailproducts.com/interurban-front.html
Given the other items they produce, I can't imagine that anyone in the UK would produce exactly the same things, so perhaps he just acted as an agent for the US products?
 
trammayo

trammayo

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This is the American firms page on the interurban ends.
http://www.lightrailproducts.com/interurban-front.html
Given the other items they produce, I can't imagine that anyone in the UK would produce exactly the same things, so perhaps he just acted as an agent for the US products?
I would think you are right even though he told me there was no connection between him and the US company!

I never did get around to purchasing anything (I'm of the deep pockets and short arms persuasion).

Your excellent thread has rekindled the interest - although it will join the ever growing list of things to do.

Keep up the good work!
 
trammayo

trammayo

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I have managed to scan in the page from the catalogue .....

001.jpg