I am eagerly awaiting my Lionel Legacy UP No. 844, now en route from Muffinland, and have acquired several (used) Lionel aluminum 18" cars to complement the "Queen of the Rails", when she arrives.

Internet research indicates that three dome observation cars (9004, 9005 and 9009) remain in the UP's fleet and photos prove that one even graces the hind end of their excursion train, occasionally.

Having explored the world of Lionel and K-line passenger equipment, it would appear that only K-line built a 18" blunt-end dome obs and that the species is all but extinct.  

IMG_6561

However, K-line used the same or similar blunt obs castings on their PRR "View" cars as well as the "Phoebe Snow" tail car.

be7766452e560400bd6305a063d70a4b692875f7-K2_004

Then came the brainstorm... or a mini-stroke: If some clever someone much cleverer than I with a 3-D printer was to come up with a one piece blunt obs car end, having all the appropriate shaping to conform to the innards of a Lionel car, that piece could replace the non-vestibule car end of a standard dome car and, BINGO, a blunt-end dome obs is born!

I acknowledge that the window arrangement will not match the prototype, but, this is O GAUGE.

Selfishly, it then occurred to me that the beautiful but ludicrously inappropriate Astra-Dome included in my MILW Olympian set, now lying partially cannibalized in storage, would make the perfect subject.  A partial repaint of this UP schemed car is even within my limited capabilities.

Is there anyone out there willing and able to produce such a piece?

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

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Hot Water posted:

Sorry but, no images are showing, i.e. "Image Not Found".

Thanks, Hot. I hope I've succeeded in fixing it. As you know, I'm not the hottest capacitor on the board.

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

The answer to your question is "there must be" but possibly he or she is someone with a 3D scanner who could copy your existing end piece in a CAD drawing you could have 3D printed. Or you  could check on Shapeways whether someone offers an HO version of these cars that could be scaled up, which I have done for UP auxiliary water tenders that no one makes in O scale.

The trouble in both cases is (a) cost and (b) you end up with a part in featherweight plastic that is not easy to match to an existing passenger car body.

My first thought was actually Union Station passenger car models, who make the flat ends of these cars in O but not it seems the round corners and roofs: see http://unionstationproducts.com/_4096_4.html

P.S. The HO scale roof piece is here: http://unionstationproducts.com/_tsp_504.html

Lionel's forthcoming UP 21" UP excursion car set is meant to include a blunt end dome observation car. If you are committed to an 18" set you obviously won't want that however. 

Good luck!

The new Lionel ABS passenger cars look great in the catalog and, not having invested heavily in aluminum, I may go that route.  Considering the broad appeal enhanced by 844's highly publicized return to service, Lionel may exert the effort to get it right - this time.  My objection to plastic cars is that they often look "plastic", witness the Empire State Express cars seen in Eric's Trains video, and they always sound "plastic".

I have a beautiful set of MTH Illinois Central equipment that was reasonably priced and looks great.  However, they are betrayed when they roll by.  I'm considering ways to dampen the "plastic" sound and will come up with something.  Perhaps that experience will prepare me for the UP cars.

Meanwhile, it finally occurred to me that I might find the required K-line part online - our friends at eBay are now searching for anything related.  Fortunately, this is a project that can sit on the back burner without sitting on my workbench - there isn't any room, anyway.

Thank you for your thoughts and the introduction to Union Station.  Shapeways was my first thought but, having no example to work from, I presumed that was out of the question.  However, "upscaling" an HO part is a real possibility; the K-line part in question is a lightweight piece of plastic, anyway.

fisch330 posted:

if K-Line once made the car, I would think that Williams by Bachmann would have access to the dies for it and would be capable of making it once again.  Be nice if they offered it in a 21" configuration, too.

Paul Fischer

Those K-Line UP blunt-end dome observations occasionally show up on eBay, both the shorter version as well as the 21" SCALE version. The 21" SCALE version, all by itself, generally sell for well over $500! I would not expect Williams by Bachman to ever bring such cars to market, as they did not get the "tooling" for those K-Line extruded aluminum passenger cars.

Rapid Transit Holmes posted:

........Having explored the world of Lionel and K-line passenger equipment, it would appear that only K-line built a 18" blunt-end dome obs and that the species is all but extinct.....  

K-line never made an 18" blunt end dome.  It was only a 21" car.

IMG_6561

BTW, that's my picture.  Looks like I have made the popular 'search engine'...haha.

 

Hot:  Now that I think of it, that tooling for the scale streamlined cars, did not go to Bachmann.  Williams already owned their tooling for those extruded cars.   Their rear end design was for a conventional "boat tail" obs.  Okay, so who did pick up the old K-Line passenger car tooling?  K-Line used to make them in 15", 18" and 21" lengths to suit all users.  

They also had done a very credible job of making the Milwaukee Road's Skytop Lounge car ends.  In fact, they replicated the Skytop Parlor cars on the outside and tried to represent the Skytop Pullmans on the inside.  That made the cars incorrect for either use.  I tried to point that out to Maury Klein at the time, but he just ignored me and said no one would know the difference.  When I got my car, I gutted it and installed a correct interior with individual rotating seats and no bedroom partitions.  These cars would also be do a re-run once of these days.

Paul Fischer

fisch330 posted:

Hot:  Now that I think of it, that tooling for the scale streamlined cars, did not go to Bachmann.  Williams already owned their tooling for those extruded cars.   Their rear end design was for a conventional "boat tail" obs.  Okay, so who did pick up the old K-Line passenger car tooling?

I'm not at liberty to say, as the information was told to me in confidence some years ago.

 K-Line used to make them in 15", 18" and 21" lengths to suit all users.  

Paul Fischer

 

Wouldn't it be cheaper and quicker to carve one out of wood, or even plastic?  I assume that writing the program to drive a printer would take about three times the effort that a wood end would require.

if you wanted to make a bunch of them, maybe the computer method would be better . . .

Once, again, I've proven that I'm not very bright or perceptive.  Exhaustive, exhausting web searches finally revealed a Lionel foursome of UP equipment which included a "blunt end obs"!  This set (plus 2 add-on cars) was advertised in Lionel's 2015, Volume 2 catalog right above the MILW cars that I drooled over and now own.  The catalog artwork is so poor that you'd never guess that the last car was an obs, unless you had foreknowledge.  Lionel is now in HOT WATER with a number of OGRers thanks to their apparent "misrepresentation" of the feedwater system on their UP 838.  You couldn't prove it by me but it is another example of the need for clarity and accuracy.

Thanks to a subsequent lack of judgement, I now own those six cars and have a cast plastic blunt obs end which I'd like to have copied:

000_0557000_0558

Since 3D Printing is far beyond me and, based on other comments (above), very expensive, I am studying the feasibility of having copies cast in aluminum.  I know that sand castings can be very fine and there are a number of outfits that advertise their services on the web.  I'll start working the phones this week, however, I am wondering if any of you have had any experience in this area and can offer advice in this regard?

I'm also wondering if there are standard versions of Armour Yellow and Harbor Mist Grey that are guaranteed to match Lionel rolling stock?

 

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

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Let me get this straight...THAT flat end observation piece came from the 18" Al set Lionel offered in the 2015 VOL II?  I'm blown away...do you have the specific 4 pack product number?  Just curious...

I may have considered THAT set had I known...Alas, I'll keep my K-line sets...

As for paint, you may contact Lionel and ask for some 'touch up' paint.  May be a PITA to get.

There's a lot of different shades of yellow and grey...like red....or any other color.

Good luck, keep this thread updated.  Interested to see how it turns out.

I can only help on the paint front. I find that the "Tru-Color" versions of Amour Yellow and Harbor Mist Grey are a very good match for Lionel's paint. Tru-Color is pretty much the best option out there with other model railway paint suppliers going off the scene. Of course you have to allow for the effects of dust and exposure to light; it's that as much as anything else that makes it difficult to match manufacturer's paint.

86TA355SR posted:

Let me get this straight...THAT flat end observation piece came from the 18" Al set Lionel offered in the 2015 VOL II?  I'm blown away...do you have the specific 4 pack product number?  Just curious...

I may have considered THAT set had I known...Alas, I'll keep my K-line sets...

 

Are not the last 18" SP and Pennsy sets blunt end Obs as well?

86TA355SR posted:

Let me get this straight...THAT flat end observation piece came from the 18" Al set Lionel offered in the 2015 VOL II?  I'm blown away...do you have the specific 4 pack product number?  Just curious...

I may have considered THAT set had I known...Alas, I'll keep my K-line sets...

 

Dear 86TA355SR

Yes, it's true, they're in Volume II.  Here is the link to the eBay listing which even has a photo of the blunt end obs car end casting and the embarrassing amount of money that I spent to support my addiction:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/122034...e=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

J. Lionel Cowen should take a page from eBay seller Jonathan's playbook and provide more "explicit" catalog illustrations of their products so that we have some clue as to what they're selling.  The illustrations in the 2016 catalog touting what should be a gorgeous UP Excursion Set, though larger, are no better.  Though it's a small price to pay for living in God's country, I'm located about 600 miles from my LHS (Local Hobby Shop), so visiting to see a product displayed costs almost as much as the purchase price - I have no choice but to rely on OGR reviews, catalogs, dealer websites and eBay listings.  However, in today's BTO environment, we're all in the same boat, even if you live in a highly populated Hell Hole like Chicago, etc:  we must pre-order, then like it or eBay it.  Some choice.

BobbyD posted:

Are not the last 18" SP and Pennsy sets blunt end Obs as well?

I have an SP 18" set (Shasta Daylight) and true to the prototype the observation car is not blunt ended but tapered/boat shaped (for want of a better word).  I can't recall any recent Lionel SP set that has anything different.

Pennsy on the other hand I think is different and there have been Lionel offerings over the years that included blunt end observation cars. Not sure how recent any of these are but in any case I have not seen a blunt end piece listed as available on Lionel's replacement parts site.

Hancock52 posted:
BobbyD posted:

Are not the last 18" SP and Pennsy sets blunt end Obs as well?

I have an SP 18" set (Shasta Daylight) and true to the prototype the observation car is not blunt ended but tapered/boat shaped (for want of a better word).  I can't recall any recent Lionel SP set that has anything different.

Pennsy on the other hand I think is different and there have been Lionel offerings over the years that included blunt end observation cars. Not sure how recent any of these are but in any case I have not seen a blunt end piece listed as available on Lionel's replacement parts site.

SP SL Obs $_1

The Southern Pacific Sunset Limited set 6-20005. The last of the beautifully finished 18" cars.

The Pennsy The Senator set 6-200000 is fluted blunt ended also while the UP City of Los Angeles set 6-20010 is smooth sided blunt ended.

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I bought the Sunset Limited's 2 car add-on set in order to have an SP sleeping car for my Illinois Central Hawkeye.  The Lionel cars are fantastic/amazing/gorgeous but, of course, wrong for my application... but I settled.  The prototype car, in days of yore, was a smooth sided numbered job which was painted red and silver.  By the I came along in the late '60s, the IC was running Pullmans in foreign road colors on Nos. 11 and 12 - one car in each of the two trainsets.  The SP car was far preferable to the RF&P's Spotsylvania County because the SP's ceramic toilet deadened the rail and truck sounds while the County's stainless steel acted as an amplifier and every rail joint could wake the dead.

If I close my eyes, I can see the little blue night light, feel the shiny blue and white wrapper on the PULLMAN bar soap and smell that "Pullman Smell" that has no equal on this planet...  *sigh*

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

Rapid Transit Holmes posted:

I bought the Sunset Limited's 2 car add-on set in order to have an SP sleeping car for my Illinois Central Hawkeye.  The Lionel cars are fantastic/amazing/gorgeous but, of course, wrong for my application... but I settled.  The prototype car, in days of yore, was a smooth sided numbered job which was painted red and silver.  By the I came along in the late '60s, the IC was running Pullmans in foreign road colors on Nos. 11 and 12 - one car in each of the two trainsets.  The SP car was far preferable to the RF&P's Spotsylvania County because the SP's ceramic toilet deadened the rail and truck sounds while the County's stainless steel acted as an amplifier and every rail joint could wake the dead.

If I close my eyes, I can see the little blue night light, feel the shiny blue and white wrapper on the PULLMAN bar soap and smell that "Pullman Smell" that has no equal on this planet...  *sigh*

The HAWKEYE?  That ran in the Mid-West.  The closest SP at the time got there was near Dallas.  What train did that IC train connect to?  Or did IC lease the cars?

Also, there is nothing like the square of ice cream served in the diner!

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

Dominic Mazoch posted

The HAWKEYE?  That ran in the Mid-West.  The closest SP at the time got there was near Dallas.  What train did that IC train connect to?  Or did IC lease the cars?

Also, there is nothing like the square of ice cream served in the diner!

And the IC got nowhere near the RF&P, either.  The Hawkeye ran between Sioux City, Iowa, and Chicago.  Beginning with Christmas Vacation, 1967, I became a regular passenger for visits home to the far western Chicago exurbs for major holidays and summer vacations.  When I had enough money saved up, I would ride Pullman - a special treat.  As indicated, the sleeping cars were a Pullman operation, not an IC one, therefore, Pullman could run whatever cars were available without respect to road colors or other niceties.  Nobody but a few rail nuts cared, anyway.  As we all know, the SP lead the fleet in discouraging passenger traffic - closely followed by the vile Penn Central - so there must have been lots of excess SP painted Pullman cars floating about.  As for the RF&P and the Spotsylvania County, I haven't a clue.  I suppose the car came off the Silver Meteor or one of its ilk during a downgrade.

 RFP_402

Wikileaks reports that the Pullman Co. quit the sleeping car business on December 31, 1968, and was dissolved on January 1, 1969.  It was at about the same time that Pullman quit that the sleeping cars disappeared from Nos. 11 and 12 and that left me with coach, along with all the crying babies the great state of Iowa could muster.  There was still the mail, both storage and an RPO.  I remember a Conductor or Trainman telling me that the RPO wasn't long for this world and he obliged me by obtaining a scrap of paper with the Hawkeye's cancellation - now long lost in one of the umpteen moves since those halcyon days but I remember it.

Hawk@S.WyeJct

The Hawkeye was a homely little train but it was generally on time.  One night I clocked it at 120 MPH - it was 64 miles in 32 minutes or some such.  The usual power was two GP9s and they couldn't have made that run, however, various E units found their way into that assignment and I must believe that the Engine Crew had some real fun that night.  As for me, I didn't enjoy that same sensation of floating above the rails, again, until AMTK started doing 125 on The Corridor.

The Lionel SP Pullman ("sleeper") is quite remarkable and I'm sure that all of the other cars in the series are just as terrific - don't let 'em disappear without grabbing a set for yourself.  I just couldn't get over mine.  The quality, fit and finish are exceptional for any model at any price.  Plastic may look nice for some smooth sided cars but aluminum, and particularly this set, is the cat's me-ow.

Note:  I refer to sleeping cars as "Pullmans", just one of my many anachronisms.  When I see or hear the word "sleeper" all I can think of is the old Woody Allen movie of the same name.  I've never been an Allen fan but there was one routine in that movie that every child should be forced to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV2N4KSh3x4

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

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Rapid Transit Holmes posted:

Once, again, I've proven that I'm not very bright or perceptive.  Exhaustive, exhausting web searches finally revealed a Lionel foursome of UP equipment which included a "blunt end obs"!  This set (plus 2 add-on cars) was advertised in Lionel's 2015, Volume 2 catalog right above the MILW cars that I drooled over and now own.  The catalog artwork is so poor that you'd never guess that the last car was an obs, unless you had foreknowledge.  Lionel is now in HOT WATER with a number of OGRers thanks to their apparent "misrepresentation" of the feedwater system on their UP 838.  You couldn't prove it by me but it is another example of the need for clarity and accuracy.

Thanks to a subsequent lack of judgement, I now own those six cars and have a cast plastic blunt obs end which I'd like to have copied:

000_0557000_0558

Since 3D Printing is far beyond me and, based on other comments (above), very expensive, I am studying the feasibility of having copies cast in aluminum.  I know that sand castings can be very fine and there are a number of outfits that advertise their services on the web.  I'll start working the phones this week, however, I am wondering if any of you have had any experience in this area and can offer advice in this regard?

I'm also wondering if there are standard versions of Armour Yellow and Harbor Mist Grey that are guaranteed to match Lionel rolling stock?

 

Holmes, We’re you able the make a 3D copy or cast of this Union Pacific flat end piece?

T.Albers posted:

Holmes, We’re you able the make a 3D copy or cast of this Union Pacific flat end piece?

To be blunt, no.  The casting outfits were amazingly expensive, not interested or just unresponsive.  I have yet to ask Mario about Shapeways but I presume you have to present them with a digitized plan - something far beyond my ken.  The project lies dormant under a pile of newer projects awaiting parts or decals.

You have prompted me to revisit the issue.  Thanks!

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

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