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Unique project: Emergency war caboose

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Unique project: Emergency war caboose
Posted by tstage on Monday, April 27, 2020 10:26 PM

Anyone know where I can find 7/7 boxcar end panels?  I want two for the following scratchbuilding/kitbashing project:

I poked around the internet.  Tichy and Westerfield offer 7/8 Murphy ends but no 7/7.  I'd even be willing to cannibalize them from an existing boxcar shell but I don't know which ones would have them.

I appreciate any leads you might have.  Thanks in advance...

Tom

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 27, 2020 10:31 PM

Hi Tom,

I can't help with the 7/7 ends, but I will say that the caboose is an interesting project! I look forward to watching your progress.

Dave

Edit: Have you considered 3D printing?

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by tstage on Monday, April 27, 2020 11:32 PM

No, I haven't, Dave, but I'm not opposed to it - if that's my only option.

10+ years ago I kitbashed a prototype of the above out of a 40' MDC wood boxcar.  The steps, windows, and doors were cannibalized from a Walthers caboose.  The sill beams, interior end panels, and grooved sliding door-filler came from Evergreen stock:

It was really a proof-of-concept project so it's a bit crude and lacking detailing.  Now, I'd like to build it closer to the actual NYC prototype.

Tom

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 7:02 AM

Where these built from recycled boxes because of the shortage of materials?  All going to the war effert?

And I image they were made from wood box cars?  Much like the wood side hoppers.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 8:16 AM

Tom, the easiest path is to buy the Tichy ends, then choose one rib in the 8-rib portion and use either your X-Acto knife or a razor saw to make a cut across the crown of that rib.

You can then use either a mill file or sandpaper to carefully remove the half-rib and part of the valley from each portion.  File or sand in only one direction at a time, not back-and-forth, as that usually ends up in a rocking motion which creates a curve in the mating surfaces.

When the excess material has been removed, use a solvent-type cement, such as Testors or MEK, to generously coat the two mating surfaces, then place them face-up on a sheet of glass or other smooth surface that's impervious to the cement and join them.

The plastic will soften as soon as the cement is applied, and if you slide the mating sufaces against one another before aligning them, it will allow any irregularities to "smoosh" out.

Let the joint thoroughly harden, then use a round needle file to remove the smooshed-out excess.
I use this method to either add or remove ribs to/from the Tichy ends, and if I could remember on which cars I performed that operation, I'd post a picture (or three).

Do not use the F&C ends, as they cannot be joined with solvent cement, and will therefore not permit a tight bond.

Done properly, the joint will not be noticeable at all.

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Posted by ndbprr on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 8:22 AM

If you want to see a wartime caboose with character look up the PRR NX23.

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 11:06 AM

I just looked through my stash of boxcar ends because I thought there was a chance  had 7/7s in metal from Red Ball, Selley, or Walthers (possibly WWII era models!), or in plastic from one or another of those Train Miniature variants.  But no luck and for what you seek to do, cast white metal probably would not be the best raw material anyway.  

Dr. Wayne's reference to liberal applications of solvent cement followed by pushing the parts together so they "smoosh" reminds me of Art Curren's kitbashing methods for plastic structures where he actively sought to over-apply the solvent to a joint and press hard so that plastic would ooze out from the joint.  Most people do anythng they can to avoid that but he did it intentionally - with the idea that letting that goop harden and then carefully cutting it away with a sharp knife would mean a solid corner join with no gaps whatever.

By the way remember the earlier discussion about those boxcar ends in this older thread:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/13/t/186783.aspx

Good luck

 

Dave Nelson

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 12:41 PM

Yes, I do, Dave.  Hard to believe that was over 9 years ago. Surprise  And here it is clickable:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/13/t/186783.aspx

And this one is even older:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/13/t/87980.aspx

The latter is the thread that I perused last night.  I had forgotten the more recent one from 2011. Tongue Tied 

Tom

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Posted by Wolf359 on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 1:13 PM

Have you tried anything like Trainz.com or ebay? I don't know if this would fit the bill, but a quick ebay search yielded these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tichy-Train-Group-3020-HO-Box-Car-Ends/231871980871?hash=item35fca5a547:g:w8UAAOxyY7FRCr5o There were a few others on there as well, but these are the only ones I saw that have the "Buy it now" option. I haven't checked Trainz yet, but I'll let you know if I see anything. This sounds like a pretty interesting project. Good luck with it. I look forward to seeing it when it's done.

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Posted by Wolf359 on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 1:37 PM

I just checked Trainz.com, and I was able to find this: https://www.trainz.com/products/detail-associates-6235-boxcar-end-dreadnaught-4-5 I also checked Walthers, and they have three types of end available. They have one USRA type end from Tichy, and two AAR type ends from Detail Associates. I hope this helps.

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Posted by mvlandsw on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 7:30 PM

Are the ribs on the prototype caboose pressed in rather than out?

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 8:22 PM

According to another forum member, Dave (dehusman), they are "inverse 7/7 Youngstown (Murphy)".  It's discussed here on a thread from 2011.

Tom

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 9:13 PM

doctorwayne

Tom, the easiest path is to buy the Tichy ends, then choose one rib in the 8-rib portion and use either your X-Acto knife or a razor saw to make a cut across the crown of that rib.

You can then use either a mill file or sandpaper to carefully remove the half-rib and part of the valley from each portion.  File or sand in only one direction at a time, not back-and-forth, as that usually ends up in a rocking motion which creates a curve in the mating surfaces.

When the excess material has been removed, use a solvent-type cement, such as Testors or MEK, to generously coat the two mating surfaces, then place them face-up on a sheet of glass or other smooth surface that's impervious to the cement and join them.

The plastic will soften as soon as the cement is applied, and if you slide the mating sufaces against one another before aligning them, it will allow any irregularities to "smoosh" out.

Let the joint thoroughly harden, then use a round needle file to remove the smooshed-out excess.
I use this method to either add or remove ribs to/from the Tichy ends, and if I could remember on which cars I performed that operation, I'd post a picture (or three).

Do not use the F&C ends, as they cannot be joined with solvent cement, and will therefore not permit a tight bond.

Done properly, the joint will not be noticeable at all.

Wayne

Wayne,

As usual, I appreciate your detailed response. Big Smile

It's funny you should mention creating the 7/7 end panel from a Tichy 7/8.  Last night I was looking at a close-up of another NYC "temporary" war-time caboose from a .pdf doc entitled The Caboose Classics - New York Central Line - Part 2.  In one of the photos (seen below) showing the end view of NYC #18755, two 7-panel sections appear to be cludged together, with the top portion overlapping the botton portion and secured with rivets: (Click to enlarge)

So, that would really follow your suggested method of replicating the needed 7/7 panels for the caboose.  And the photo will prove to be invaluable for supplying detailing information.

For those interested, below is a side and interior view of the same caboose: (Click to enlarge)

The blurb underneath the above photo states "Note smooth roof without rib reinforcements showing".

This last photo is IHB temporary caboose #276 showing the same 7/7 end panel from an oblique view: (Click to enlarge)

I love the addition of the small window on the right side of the interior wall end panel, as well as the "SAFETY FIRST" signage stenciled on both ends.

Tom

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 9:21 PM

The picture in your first post shows that seam.  I had to look up the topic, and answered my question, on why and how they were built.

Nice project!

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 9:31 PM

mbinsewi
The picture in your first post shows that seam.

You can see a better image of the end wall here:

https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/cabooseclassics2.pdf

Scroll all the way to the last page. Excellent infromation here on NYC cabooses of many types.

Also:

https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/pages-from-1975q1.pdf

https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/caboose-classics3.pdf

https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/cabooses4.pdf

The NYCSHS is a great source for information. .pdf files can be downloaded and saved or individual pages can be printed for reference at the workbench.

I also took a quick inventory of my house cars and didn't readily find any 7/7 ends.

I do have a B&O war emergency caboose.

 BnO_I-13_C1819b by Edmund, on Flickr

The B&O built these using the frames of former stock cars.

 

Hope that helps, Ed

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 9:36 PM

gmpullman
You can see a better image of the end wall here: https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/cabooseclassics2.pdf

Ed,

That's the very document where I obtained the photos that I posted above.  Thanks for the link.  I've included it with my earlier post.

The cupola-less cabooses would also be another interesting project...

Tom

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 2:08 AM

mvlandsw

Are the ribs on the prototype caboose pressed in rather than out?

 

 
Good question.  In Tom's first link to those two older posts, there's a photo of one of my boxcars, with mention of modifying a Tichy end, and then using it as a pattern to create a "rubbing" using aluminum foil.

Here's the same car, but with a better view of it and its ends.

The model is of a CASO boxcar, done quite a few years ago, when I didn't have much in the way of reference books for freight cars.  I worked from a not-too-detailed photo, and a bit of info that came with it, starting with a Train Miniature boxcar, which was a low-height car much like the real one.  I knew from the photo that the prototype had trucks with a leaf/coil spring package, and that the side sills had been patched with sheet metal due to premature rust-out.  I also knew that the ends were an inverse Youngstown type.  I was not, however, aware of the rib pattern on the ends.

After placing the aluminum foil over the Tichy 5-5-5 end, and carefully moulding it over  the various ribs and rivets, I realised that it would be too tall for the TM car, so I simply sliced-off the excess ribs from the bottom of the foil ends.  I then flipped both of the foil ends in order for them to appear as inverse corrugations, then coated both the foil and the plain sheet plastic that I had installed in place of the cars original ends, with contact cement. 
After allowing it to dry to the touch, the foil ends were carefully put in place.

Here's the car, with proper side sills, along with the sheet metal patch strips over the rusted-out sidesheets, and the correct leaf/coil spring packages in the trucks...

...and the incorrect inverse ends, which should have been 7-7...

...instead of 5-5-2...

I have two more TM cars to redo as CASO cars, and intend to alter a Tichy 7-8 end into a 7-7, then use it to create the correct inverse aluminum ends for all three cars.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 8:35 AM

gmpullman
You can see a better image of the end wall here: https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/cabooseclassics2.pdf

That is a great link.  I bet the crews probably liked this style of caboose, as they look like they have lots more room! 

Mike.

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 9:08 AM

Actually, Mike, since the original intention of the war cabooses was "temporary" and put together quickly, the cars themselves 1) rode like a boxcar and 2) were freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer.  But, they had to make do with what they had at the time and any metal for extra cars would have been earmarked for the war effort.  Some did manage to last into the 50s though.

Tom

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 9:34 AM

I didn't think about the box car trucks.  I bet it was a tough ride.

I've never spent much time reseaching cabooses (?) until I started building my MILW. terminal caboose.

Mike.

PS.  I just found your thread from 2009 when you started your project.

 

 

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 11:26 AM

This thread and its two predecessors are if nothing else good reminders that while we now have much great information for prototype modeling, and some good sources for finely detailed parts, there is still much we do NOT have.  Inverse dreadnaughts in multiple versions among them.  And there are things we used to have but don't now, including many of the rare and obscure freight car trucks and other parts that Red Ball and others used to offer (in a quality that few would find acceptable today).  For that matter a look at just about any Car Builder's Cyclopedia shows that there are many many freight cars which have yet to be offered to us, including in resin.  Tank cars in particular. 

I don't necessarily buy into the "there has never been a better time to be a model railroader" mantra in other words.  I am not anti building and modifying but there are some things that are just darn hard to build or modify and some projects are just going to kept on the back burner as a result. 

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, April 30, 2020 4:24 PM

mbinsewi
I didn't think about the box car trucks.  I bet it was a tough ride.

At least the NYC cars seem to have used leaf springs (less bounce) in the trucks.

The PRR was an early contributor to the War Effort with X32 box cars converted to troop sleepers as well as converted box cars pressed into service as coaches.

The later Pullman-built troop sleepers had Allied Full Cushion trucks which, despite some problems, certainly rode better than the average freight car truck of the day.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, May 1, 2020 8:08 AM

The ATSF versions of these cars have a center door with grab irons up the side and bench on the roof instead of a cupola.

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, May 2, 2020 4:41 PM

I'm doing some preliminary planning on the temporary war caboose.  So far, my understanding is that it was constructed from a 36' wood boxcar.

Q1: From the re-posted photo below, does it appear that the end platforms are "included in" or "in addition to" the overall length of the 36' boxcar?

I'm inclined to say "in addition to" because of the slightly notched and slightly wider bracketed wood siding above the right end platform entry.

If that is the case then that would require end platform "systems" (i.e. platform, stairwells, modified end panel, coupler gear box, brake detailing, etc. as a single unit) that are secured to the end of the boxcar and to the underbody frame by an extended coupler gear box underneath.  That leads to my 2nd question:

Q2: Would that be enough to keep the gear box/coupler from flexing too much laterally?

Given that this is at the end of the train I would say no.

Thanks again for the discussion and input...

Tom

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, May 2, 2020 5:51 PM

I have no reason to doubt your sources about 36 ft but you'd think that such a conversion would be "quick and diry" involving as few expenditures and work-time as possible.  But to me the wheelbase and roof both look like they "fit" the current length of the car, which to my eyeballs looks closer to 40 feet, which means new parts and more work were allocated to this conversion than I'd think likely. 

One thing that looks like 36' foot car is that the wood "ends" would be where the original wood ends were - but that means a really old 36 ft double sheathed car, more like a reefer.  And would that also suggest that the 7/7 ends were taken from a different car?  Once again that sounds like more futzing and expense than I'd associate with a "git 'er done" project of this sort.  .  

It is also hard to tell if the side sill stops where we can see it just beyond the end of the truck bolster.  There seems to be no space for it behind the steps.  So perhaps the side sill supports the 36' idea.   

 

By the way Tom, today I was by chance reading the November 2004 issue of RMC and one of Ted Culotta's "Essential Freight Cars" articles, this one #17 on Illinois Central single sheathed automobile cars, later rebuilt into single door and making for a very unusual looking car, but the IC had thousands of them  They had 7/7 Murphy ends (not inverted).  What Culotta used for his model was a resin kit originally issued by Rensselaer Railroad Shop - that goes back a ways -- later acquired and issued by Funaro & Camarlengo.  It looks like they still sell the kit

 http://www.fandckits.com/HOFreight/6270.html

For some reason I no longer can produce live links like I used to on this Forum.

However it also says site last modified in 2014.  Unless by lucky chance they offer parts which their website does to mention, that would seem a rather extravagant way to get two ends that you'd mostly cut away anyway.  But prototype modelers have been known to do things like that.  They are wild and crazy guys.

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, May 2, 2020 6:59 PM

dknelson
I have no reason to doubt your sources about 36 ft but you'd think that such a conversion would be "quick and diry" involving as few expenditures and work-time as possible.  But to me the wheelbase and roof both look like they "fit" the current length of the car, which to my eyeballs looks closer to 40 feet, which means new parts and more work were allocated to this conversion than I'd think likely.

I hear and agree witih what you are saying, Dave.  I was wondering to myself whether it would be "easier" to go with a 40' wood boxcar kit, scratchbuild a 36' shell from Evergreen freight siding stock, add the existing roof from the kit to the top, and leave the 40' base in tact.  I would use Evergreen I-beams for the side sills and cut those to whatever length I need.  I would probably need to notch the base in order to fit the four inset stairs on the side ends.  Those I can either scratchbuild...or canabalize from another caboose - like I did with my original kitbashed proof-of-concept caboose.

One thing that looks like 36' foot car is that the wood "ends" would be where the original wood ends were - but that means a really old 36 ft double sheathed car, more like a reefer.  And would that also suggest that the 7/7 ends were taken from a different car?  Once again that sounds like more futzing and expense than I'd associate with a "git 'er done" project of this sort.

It is also hard to tell if the side sill stops where we can see it just beyond the end of the truck bolster.  There seems to be no space for it behind the steps.  So perhaps the side sill supports the 36' idea.  

Dave Nelson

I like the idea of utilizing the Tichy 7/8 end panels and creating a 7/7 panels from those using an X-acto knife and liquid cement.  I can try just using those "non-inverted" for the next iteration of the caboose and hone my fabrication process(es) for a final version.

To me it looks like the side sills stop before the steps.  As mentioned, I can use I-beams to mimic that and make them any length they need to be.

Tom

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, May 2, 2020 7:40 PM

tstage
Q1: From the re-posted photo below, does it appear that the end platforms are "included in" or "in addition to" the overall length of the 36' boxcar?

From the pictures you have posted the answer is pretty clear that the its a 36 ft boxcar and the 36 ft is to the metal ends, not the bulkhead of the compartment.

In your terminology, the platforms are "included in" the 36 ft.

Look at the trucks and the position of the wheels relative to the end.  Either they spend thousands of dollars to splice in new center sill and rebuild the structural parts of the car (not really an "emergency" car then is it?) or they just cut through the side sills. Since the car no longer carries a load, other then a couple crewmen and a stove, there is no need for huge load carrying capability.

Assuming that the Accurail 36 ft boxcar is accurate, it has 12 ribs on the roof and your caboose has 12 ribs in the roof.  I rather doubt they could lengthen the body without adding roof panels.

Conclusion:  The car is 36 ft to the end panels.

tstage
Q2: Would that be enough to keep the gear box/coupler from flexing too much laterally?

Since its  a stock underframe right off a 36 ft boxcar, there is no "flexing problem".  It's the regular underframe.

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, May 2, 2020 8:36 PM

Doh! Dunce  Good point about the trucks, Dave.  Using the 40' base would have the trucks too far inward from the end platforms.

Tom

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