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I was inspired by other forum member's interior upgrades and was wanted to try and build a better interior for one of my cars.  I started with a K-Line K4690-15902 RPO car.  In 1999 K-Line made a 15” compressed version of this 85' Union Pacific car.   In the first photo you can see the aluminum shell next to next to the K-Line original plastic interior and a copy of the September 1949 A.C.F. plans for this RPO.

5902 side [2)


I started by removing the plastic K-Line interior, then installed a thin sheet of 1/32" basswood on top of the metal frame.  Next, I installed floor planks horizontally and stained the planks a light brown.  The interior dividing walls went up next.

5902 side2




Below is A.C.F's photo of the new #5901 RPO car as delivered to Union Pacific.

5901 new inside



Now, here's a looks at the new wood floors and walls next to the original plastic K-Line interior.

1



The RPO workers and details were fun to add, but most will not be seen by the viewer as the train speeds by.

17151618

I hope this post helps others who want to upgrade your passenger car interiors.   I'll attach a copy of the A.C.F. plans as an attachment.



*** Edit***

To look at the other interior builds in this series click on the links below. They are listed in the order I run them on my layout:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...-an-e-8-cab-interior

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...interior-upgrade-rpo

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...6327-k4690#lastReply

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...car-interior-upgrade

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...enger-car-8003-k4690

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...lounge-car#lastReply

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...enger-car-1305-k4690

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...upgrade-k-line-k4690

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...upgrade-k-line-k4690

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...senger-car#lastReply

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...upgrade-placid-haven

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...oenix-aluminum-shell

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...pullman-sleeping-car

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...c-passenger-car-1575

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...-passenger-car-k4690

Attachments

Images (9)
  • 5902 side (2)
  • 5902 floor and walls started: The floor is base wood with stained strips on top
  • 5901 new inside: UP photo of new 5901 RPO car
  • Before and after shot: A lot of detail cannot be seen with the shell on
  • Center RPO section: Center RPO section
  • ROP door open: ROP door open
  • Loading from RPO storage: Loading from RPO storage
  • RPO storage area: RPO storage area
  • 5902 side (2)
Files (1)
Here are the .pdf plans to make your own Union Pacific RPO interior
Last edited by T.Albers
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Hi Pete, 

Thank you.  I created the green mail slots by glueing a flat row of "Plastruct ST-4 traditional ABS Square Tubing" side by side.  Once the first flat row dried, I cut off the backs and they looked like the bottom row of mail boxes.   From there I glued another row of ST-4 on top and repeated the process until I got the height of mail boxes needed.  It took the whole bag of ST-4 to create the effect.  It probably would be easier if you know someone with a 3D printer.  

That is a superb job; thanks for sharing it including the historical material and plans. I think that for the sub-scale interiors of most Lionel, MTH and K-Line cars, scratch-building interior details like you have done is the only way to go.

I am not sure that anyone has produced anything in the way of 3D printed details for 3rail RPO cars but Delta Models makes kits and components in cast resin. Problem is that these are intended for cars with scale-size interiors - more like Golden Gate Depot or brass 2rail models than the main manufacturers’ products. An example is the Delta RPO overhead bin (like the ones shown in your third photo above):

A09860D9-AAC3-49B6-B310-5ECD87FEF5FD

This is a nice replica of the real thing but would have to be cut down with some difficulty to fit in a standard Lionel etc. RPO. I see how you have tackled this part in your car and bearing in mind what can actually be seen through the windows I think it works great.

Delta make other parts and indeed whole RPO interior sets. I’m only showing a few here for comparison purposes:

8F9428DD-3DF1-4535-A946-C898A6B985AD5373CBD3-8EE6-402C-A05C-788DF4398153C3A9564A-3FD9-4797-B429-BF835633CB8D

Attachments

Images (4)
  • A09860D9-AAC3-49B6-B310-5ECD87FEF5FD
  • 8F9428DD-3DF1-4535-A946-C898A6B985AD
  • 5373CBD3-8EE6-402C-A05C-788DF4398153
  • C3A9564A-3FD9-4797-B429-BF835633CB8D

Thank you for the compliment Hancock52.  I agree with you on true 1/48 scale vs. compressed scale for passenger cars.   The Arttista figures #1181, #1324, #1325 seem to fit well to add some action.  And I found the wooden chair from Scale City Designs.

PRRHorseshoe, to make the subfloor I used a thin sheet of 1/32” x 3” x 24” basswood.  Then cut it to the same width as metal K-Line base (the ends of the subfloor were cut slightly shorter due to the clearance for cars end caps).  I elevated the basswood subfloor on 1/4” x 1/8” wooden strips to gain clearance above the existing power and ground wires from the trucks.  This small clearance space under the subfloor can be seen in the photos with the doors open.  The subfloor with stained horizontal slats was then mounted on top of the metal K-line base using the same exact screw locations that held the plastic interior. The trick is to line up your 1/4 x 1/8 wooden strips with the factory screw hole locations.  I did not connect anything to the outer shell or it’s extrusions.  

One side note, since the interior floor gets elevated to clear the wires running underneath your standing figures will be too tall.  Their feet will need to be removed to bring them back down to normal size.

Thanks GunrunnerJohn, you are correct.  Even though the my guests viewer won’t be able to see all the details I found I really enjoyed the process of researching and building the interior.  And now as the RPO rolls past me down the track, its interior lights pick up the warm colors of the cars stained wood floor and I smile knowing the details that went inside.  :-)

Hi KingFish,

Here’s how to remove the shell off a K-Line K4690 RPO or passenger car.  

1st:  Remove the 2 Phillips screws on each end that hold on the end caps (sounds like you did this step already).

2nd: With the screws removed your end caps are pressed in place and held by a single small channel on the top inside of the shell.  This is the hard part, start by gently wiggling the end cap until they start to loosen on the sides.  At the same time pull the end cap away from the shell.  You will see the sides pull away first, this will give you a place to get a fingernail under.  Keep pulling the end cap “straight” away from the shell and wiggling until it completely pulls away off the top channel.  Let me know if this helps!

T.Albers posted:

Thanks GunrunnerJohn, you are correct.  Even though the my guests viewer won’t be able to see all the details I found I really enjoyed the process of researching and building the interior.  And now as the RPO rolls past me down the track, its interior lights pick up the warm colors of the cars stained wood floor and I smile knowing the details that went inside.  :-)

Also you have a fine photographic record of the interior and the work you did on it. I have kept a photo album of the few cars where I have put in detailed interiors, including the historical research I did on the prototypes.

I have seen true O (full) scale passenger cars where the roof is removable and so the interior can be seen complete. But realistically that isn’t possible with the vast majority of 3rail cars. 

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