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Is it correct to have diaphragms on MOW cars ?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Kentucky
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Is it correct to have diaphragms on MOW cars ?
Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Thursday, February 07, 2019 10:27 AM

Cody Grivno has an outstanding article in March Model Railroader entitled: "Modeling a maintenance-of-way car". He modified a Rivarossi baggage car to make an impressive model. Typical of MOW cars, it looks worn out and weathered. 

He also explained how he weathered the diaphragms, but I wonder if it would have been more correct to remove them. 

The article has a the small prototype photo, but it is hard to see if the diaphragm is on the car.  I suspect it is not there. Next, I looked at prototype photos of MOW cars converted from old paasenger cars for both Great Northern and Burlington. All of them had diaphragms removed.

So, I suggest removing the diaphragms  if you are converting an old passenger car to a MOW car. Of course, you should look at prototype photos first. 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by oldline1 on Thursday, February 07, 2019 11:44 AM

Garry,

I would think that most passenger or freight equipment trasferred to MW service would have the very minimum done to them to be used in that service. I also would think that if something went wrong with something on a car like the diaphragm having an issue it would be simply removed unless necessary to the car's functioning. Many pictures I've seen show the cars with a simple paint-out job and new numbers applied.

oldline1

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Posted by mlehman on Thursday, February 07, 2019 1:08 PM

I suspect it varied. In many cases, they were removed. On the other hand, removing them cost money. In the case of say, a kitchen car next to a drom or shower car, there's a case for keeping them. Same with other cars where the personnel might move between cars for various reasons. Then there is snow country, where the "inside passage" is much friendlier than getting down off a car and walking to the next.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, February 07, 2019 4:49 PM

I agree with the replies. I seem to recall seeing both situations with M-of-W cars and, in the case of the NYC they had quite a few coaches that were converted to "Rider cars" which were basically high-speed cabooses used on mail trains and Flexi-Van trains. Those mostly had the diaphragms removed.

Here's a Pennsy RPO car pressed into M-of-W service that retained diaphragms, although somewhat dry-rotted by the time I took this photo in 1997 at Cresson, Pa.

 RPO_PRR_Cresson (2016_09_04 19_23_36 UTC) by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Thursday, February 07, 2019 11:50 PM

Oldline1, Mike L, and Ed ... Thanks for commenting. ... I still think it is best to study photos of the prototype before modleing a MOW car. 

Ed ... The PRR MOW car looks like the diaphragms are falling apart. It might be fun to model that car from an old Rivarossi RPO car. 

Below are two MOW cars with diaphragms removed. 

Great Northern : 

Burlington : 

 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, February 08, 2019 8:34 AM

Heartland Division CB&Q
Ed ... The PRR MOW car looks like the diaphragms are falling apart. It might be fun to model that car from an old Rivarossi RPO car. 

Yes, the Rivarossi car is a good example of a PRR RPO. I see in your lower photo that there is a fancy TV antenna rigged up there, too!

I do have a PRR bunk car and diner that I stripped the diaphragms off of.

 PRR_MoW by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR_MoW2 by Edmund, on Flickr

I'm glad I picked these cars up when I did as I doubt Walthers will be running them again anytime soon. Pretty sure I got them at closeout for about $25. ea.

Sometimes these bunk cars would be sitting for a long time. You might see a propane tank sitting along side and again in your lower photo you can see power cables strung near the steps plus the TV antenna wire.

Interesting modeling possibilities.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by wojosa31 on Friday, February 08, 2019 7:51 PM

The Wilmington DE Wreck Train (PRR/PC) had a P70 coach converted to a kitchen and riding car, and a second P70 converted to a tool and material car. Both had diaphragms removed and replaced with safety chains. 

Camp trains used former heavyweight sleeping cars. these were moved from place to place to accomodate MW Production gang workers. Some sets had diaphragms, while others used chains. Depended onwhen and where they were converted, I guess.

Other former passenger cars were used for stationary storage and other purposes. The PRR ex RPO Ed used as an example would be an example of a car that was never intended to run again.

Amtrak had a small fleet of ex PRR Pullmans stored at the Adams, NJ MW Base. When these cars outlived their usefulness, they were cut up on site. Again, some still had diaphragms, others didn't.

Boris

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