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Heavyweight passenger train project

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  • Member since
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  • From: Franconia, NH
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Heavyweight passenger train project
Posted by dstarr on Saturday, October 15, 2016 4:04 PM

It's time for my New Hampshire branch of the B&M layout to offer some real passenger service.  Real means heavy weight coaches with clearstory roofs to my way of thinking.  This project has been on my mind for a while, and rooting thru my "project cars"  box turned up 5 candidate coaches.  First coach is this one:

Needs paint, badly.  I think this one gets painted for the B&M.  Passenger maroon which can be anything from pure red to boxcar brown.  I have color photos showing both colors, in one case on the same train.  I figure they came out of the paint shop mostly red, and after some road service the soot from the steam engines dulled it down a lot.  For this one (and it's brother) I will give it a coat of red auto primer to cover the green, followed by a rattle can red.  She also needs Kadee couplers, diaphrams, some wire grab irons and hand rails.  Maybe coupler lift bars if I feel that strong.

And I have two of these guys, in Rutland colors.  I think I will leave them painted for Rutland, it was the next railroad over, and some interchange with my B&M branch is plausible.  And having a couple of green cars mixed with the passenger maroon makes a nice looking train. 

And I have this one.  Needs the roof painted black or dark gray, wire grabs, wire hand rails, diaphrams, some love and attention. 

I'll post photos of these cars as I get them down.   This will give me five coaches, which makes a train plenty long enough for my layout.  Especially after adding head end equipment of which I have a good deal.  Actually, most B&M passenger equipment had four wheel trucks rather than six wheel, but I think I will ignore that since five pairs of four wheel passenger trucks are expensive. I don't think I will put lights in them. 

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, October 15, 2016 4:44 PM

dstarr

 

 

I think I will leave them painted for Rutland, it was the next railroad over, and some interchange with my B&M branch is plausible.  And having a couple of green cars mixed with the passenger maroon makes a nice looking train. 

 

 

 

Sounds good.  But I doubt that coaches were interchanged.  As compared to something like a "through" Pullman.

But maybe B&M leased them.  

Or perhaps you can figure out a combined run over B&M and Rutland tracks.  You could then even maybe alternate power with a Rutland unit.  If you're in the mood.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by ACY Tom on Saturday, October 15, 2016 11:37 PM

Coaches did sometimes operate on connecting lines in through service. P&LE and Erie regularly contributed through coaches to one of B&O's through Cleveland-Washington services. This was not very common. 

Tom

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  • From: Central Vermont
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Posted by cowman on Sunday, October 16, 2016 6:34 PM

Dave,

Rode a NH coach from Hartford to White River Jct on a Central VT train.  With the Rutland and B&M meeting at Bellows Falls, don't think you are far off the mark.  Also have seen pictures of B&M equipment in use on the southern end of the Rutland in the Bennington area.

Plan to go to the show in Lincoln in a couple of weeks are you?

Richard.

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Posted by b60bp on Sunday, October 16, 2016 9:08 PM

Oh yes, Rutland coaches operated daily over the B&M, mostly off the Green Mountain Flyer ( later the "Flyer" in the nane was dropped). These cars ran to Troy and Boston. B&M also carried off-line through cars from the CV-CN, CP, NH and Pennsy. They also mixed cars with MC and BAR. Lots of lines carried forcing passenger cars in through service, probably none more than Pennsy, but the Q did a largue amount of it as well. In the 1950's there were probably hundreds of examples coast to coast, ranging from UP to FEC.

 

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Posted by dstarr on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 1:42 PM

First step in project.  Paint the undercarriages and the trucks with dark gray auto primer to kill the plastic gloss. Surface prep amounts to scrubbing with a toothbrush, a shot of 409 cleaner, and a rinse in warm water.  Here they are drying on my kitchen table.  Note the shiny black plastic gloss.

Here we are with my outdoor spray booth.  One good coat of primer.  And the undercarriages look flat instead of glossy.

And all the trucks.  I left the wheels in this time thinking a little primer won't hurt anything and it saving me from masking all the axle holes . 

  • Member since
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Posted by dstarr on Thursday, November 17, 2016 3:53 PM

Project is still going, abet slowly.  Here is the first finished coach. 

 

It was one of the ones in a green primer.  I gave it one coat of Rustoleum red auto primer (2067830) to cover the green and give the top coat of Krylon gloss burgundy (52118) a good red base to keep the color clear and not confused by the green.  The roof and undercarriage are Krylon Dark Gray auto primer.  Microsoft B&M decals  (#87-1014)  went on top of the burgundy and then a top coat of Plaid  clear acrylic sealer (matte) (CS200306) to seal the decals and tone down the burgundy a tad.  Actually the decals went on so slick that they didn't need sealing, the decal film was invisible.  I miss the old Walthers passenger car diaphrams which are off the market.  These are American Limited all plastic diaphrams.  Very easy to mess them up removing them from the sprue.  Extremely delicate, easily lost and easily broken plastic springs.  $21 for a six pack.  Pricey.  Too glossy, I gave them a coat of the matte acrylic sealer to kill the gloss.  

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Posted by dstarr on Saturday, February 04, 2017 4:09 PM

Going away for Thanksgiving, and Christmas, plus some New Years festivities followed by some skiing slowed my heavyweight passenger car project down, a lot.  When I finally got back at it, the only thing left to do was to run them on the layout.  Arggh.  Every damn one of them derailed, repeatedly.  Could not make a single circuit of the layout without derailments.  My every other train runs good, and these are just Athearn heavyweights which are usually good runners, even on 22 inch curves. 

   A lot of derailment at turnouts.  A careful check with the NMRA gauge showed that the flangeways were too wide.  Which let the wheels slide into the gap at the frog and then bang on the nose of the frog hard enough to derail them. Fix, cement bits of 0.020 by 0.040 inch styrene strip to the plastic flange rail, and then do a bit of filing.  Fixed that problem.

Turnout before.

And some Radio Shack small alligator clips hold the styrene strip in place while the MEK evaporates. 

    Then I found the trucks didn't swivel completely freely.  They would sometime catch on some molded on stringers on the undercarriage of the car. 

Here is the stock undercarriage with stringers.

And same undercarriage after taking off the stringers with a Dremel. Could be neater, but it doesn't show. 

With these two fixes ( flangeways and Dremeling off the stringers, 4 out of 5 cars make it around the layout, multiple times, no derailments.  One car is still giving trouble for reasons to be determined sometime. 

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, February 04, 2017 5:00 PM

I can't even begin to understand why you are having this trouble with these Athearn cars. 46 years I have been running Athearn heavy weight cars, I have easily 60 or 70 of them, never had a bit of trouble like you describe - something else is wrong?

Did you change wheelsets?, or do anything to bolster mounting hole?

Very much a puzzle......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by dstarr on Saturday, February 04, 2017 5:12 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I can't even begin to understand why you are having this trouble with these Athearn cars. 46 years I have been running Athearn heavy weight cars, I have easily 60 or 70 of them, never had a bit of trouble like you describe - something else is wrong?

Did you change wheelsets?, or do anything to bolster mounting hole?

Very much a puzzle......

Sheldon

 

I'm with you Sheldon.  I have a string of Athearn heavyweight baggage cars that have been running trouble free on the layout for a couple of years.  Which are the same as coaches except for the doors and windows in the body, which has nothing to do with running.  The wheels are the stock Athearn wheels, one side metal, the other side plastic, in case you wanted to light the cars.  I cleaned them with GooGone and inspected them carefully for dings and crud stuck on the treads.  Only thing I did to the bolsters was give 'em a puff of powdered graphite. 

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, February 04, 2017 5:44 PM

David:

Are those Peco turnouts by any chance? I have read that the flangeway gaps are too wide so I'm planning on doing the same thing to my Pecos. Neat trick with the aligator clips. I'll have to remember that.

Is it possible that the paint on the trucks is contributing to the problem? I'm not sure how the paint would affect the performance but it is one variable that may be different from your other Athearn coaches.

Dave

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, February 04, 2017 6:04 PM

I too have a set of Athearn passenger cars (3 or 4 of them I think).  Anyway, Ive had no issues with Peco code 100 turnouts, but I replaced the wheelsets (either Proto or Intermountain) and body mounted the couplers.  I have had no issues with them since.

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
  • Member since
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  • From: Franconia, NH
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Posted by dstarr on Friday, April 21, 2017 11:26 AM

It's been a while.  I got them all to run properly.  Partly by careful checking of wheel gauge, partly by tightening up the wing rails on the turnouts, partly by Dremeling off underbody detail that might have been interfering with truck swing, and a lot of just plain fiddling around.   Here's some pictures of the coaches (All Athearn heavyweights) behind a Pacific.

And some coaches.  The Athearns look pretty good to my eye, pretty much like what I rode in most places and times.  The six wheel trucks used to be the mark of a first rate passenger car which better ride than four wheel trucks.  Actually I think B&M passenger cars were mostly four wheel.  In actual fact B&M was operating wooden open platform coaches into the early 1950's, and they had dropped all locomotive hauled passenger trains in favor of Budd RDC's by 1960. 

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