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G41 & G41a Coil Car Brake System

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  • Member since
    August 2022
  • 2 posts
G41 & G41a Coil Car Brake System
Posted by MWheeler74 on Monday, August 1, 2022 9:55 AM

Hello all,

I am working on scratchbuilding several PRR/CR G41 and G41a coil cars for an upcoming convention and model contest.  I have several references on the size and shape of the car, and plenty of online photos for paint and detailing.  

Where I need help is the brake system.  With the merit award scoring, I want to get the underframe and brake system correct.  Are there any resources that show this?  The ony thing I've found so far is a photo of the underside of a brass model of one of these cars, but I'm not sure how correct it is.  I've been on prr.railfan.net, which has the car diagram but not the brake diagram.

What I have:

* Railmodel Journal, 9/91, Article on kitbashing G41s from Athearn boxcar frame

* Side and end measurements (from prr.railfan.net)

* Online photos (prototype & brass model)

Any help is appreciated!  Thanks for reading.

- Mike

Tags: #coilcar , #g41 , #g41a , #prr
  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Monday, August 1, 2022 5:55 PM

Hi Mike.

 You may find Groups IO a good resource. Join (it's free) and search PRRPro. It's a modeling group just for PRR related items. The latest project is flatcar loads. The previous was race horse express cars. There is a lot of resources on a lot of things and very knowledgeable people.

     Pete.

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Monday, August 1, 2022 6:05 PM

Mike.

 I forgot to add The Keystone Modeler. TKM for short. You can download the quarterly modeling magazine from the PRR Technical and Historical society website. There is an index download of past articles. Someone must have done a coil car by now.

     Pete.

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, August 1, 2022 9:55 PM

MWheeler74
Where I need help is the brake system. With the merit award scoring, I want to get the underframe and brake system correct. Are there any resources that show this?

If you buy a kit for an HO scale brake system (either from Tichy or Cal-Scale), you'll also get a diagram showing where which pipes (usually wire on a model) go where, and also the layout of the brake-system rodding.

Here's a photo of a fairly accurate AB brake system on a scratchbuilt boxcar...

...and a close-up of some of the piping...

I should also point out that the rodding which goes to each of the car's trucks, to actuate the brakes, is not prototypical due to the fact that many modelled curves require the trucks to rotate more severely than would a real freight car.  That's why I connect the rods at their usual activation points, but instead of the rods going straight to the trucks, I angle the rodding towards the centre sill of the car, to allow for better truck clearance.
When the car is on your layout, at eye-level, the braking system generally looks pretty believeable, but if you have a derailment which includes a roll-over, the ruse is plain to see.

I won't claim that the above photos show a fully accurate brake system, but they're at least fairly close.  I have another 400-or-so cars with brake systems at least partially represented, and a few dozen (mostly hopper cars) that show very little of the brake system.

Wayne

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,424 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 12:36 AM

This MAY get you close. The Brass Trains site has a photo of the underside of the RailWorks model.

https://brasstrains.com/BrassGuide/Pdg/Detail/33864/HO-Rolling-Stock-Railworks-LTD-R-173-Pennsylvania-Railroad-STEEL-COIL-CAR

Scroll to the last photo.

Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Northfield Center TWP, OH
  • 2,269 posts
Posted by dti406 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 7:56 AM

I have a Rail Yard Models kit, I could scan the instructions page for the brake gear and send it to you if you send me your email address.

Rick Jesionowski 

dti406-at-Yahoo.com

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

  • Member since
    August 2022
  • 2 posts
Posted by MWheeler74 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 8:40 AM

Thank you all, this is extremely helpful.  I appreciate all of these responses.  

Wrench, I had checked TKM, but not Groups.  I'll look there too.

Wayne, thank you for the excellent detailed guide.  That will prove very useful.

Thank you Ed, that brass car will be a good guide too.

Rich, I will be messaging you.

Looking at all of these replies, another thought has come to me.  If I do not have a diagram on the table with my cars, can I get away with a generic brake system, and not lose too many points? 

Not having done an NMRA contest before, I'm unsure how it would affect scoring.  Any guidance here?

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 11:43 AM

  Mike.

 I have never entered a model in an NMRA contest. As a young lad, I have won some blue ribbons on scale models (cars and trucks) at the county fair. I also did some military models while stationed in Germany in the early 80s. I got a bronze and an honorable mention for an M109 howitzer and an M151 jeep. The M109 was given to the post commander because he was ex field artillery and he loved it for the winter camo paint job on it. That's the extent of the modeling contest experience for me.

   Good luck.

       Pete.

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