Hi everyone,


Thought yinz might like to see a couple of loads that I installed on the Lionel f9 well cars that were produced about 15 or so years ago.  The first is a C&O car with 2 large gear loads.  These are actually 4 separate plastic gears made for changing the gear ratios on RC cars.  They are 17/32" wide,  approx. 4" diameter and have a 15/32" bore, and have 57 teeth.  I went to a small local hobby shop and ordered them-they were about $6 each.  I used a 1/2" basswood dowel rod for the shaft and just pressed the gears on the shaft in a bench vise.  The fit was just right and I was still able to rotate the gears on the shaft to get the teeth to line up so it appears to be a wide gear on each shaft.  I painted the gears with red oxide primer and painted the wood shafts with Testors rubber color enamel.  The rubber color is to

simulate the shafts being coated with cosmolene for corrosion protection.  The wood cradle is just 1/4" thick basswood that was made to fit in the well of the car after I took some measurements.  After final fitment and assembly of the cradle,  I stained it golden oak.  I then added the Mesta Machine signs on both sides.  For final assembly into the car,  I put the cradle into the well and attached it with two small screws through the bottom of the car(the holes are already there) and into the wide cross pieces on the base of the cradle.  I then set the gears into the cradle,  and glued the wood caps in place.  I used Elmers wood glue for  all the cradle joints.

The second car is the PRR well car was a quick and dirty load.  I had bought a couple of USA trains G-scale generator loads for a cheap price at a local train show some time ago.  While tinkering around,  the light bulb went off,  and lo and behold the G-scale generator load was a perfect fit for the well car.  The generator already comes mounted on I-beams that have holes in the bottom for screws.  I drilled a couple of holes in the bottom of the well car and had a nice large generator load.  I added a couple pieces of stained basswood for blocking and the car was done.  It's always nice to have something a little different from everyone else.















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Great Job!  Those loads sure look much more realistic than those cable reels that came on those cars.  And many of my neighbors in West Mifflin worked at Mesta. 



They look great. Here is what your gears may look like at the end of their usefulness. I got this gear from a lawn mower drive wheel, and cut it in half. the thin gear is from my pond filter pump. The bearing and race are from a tractor mower, (those and the fan blade are the only metal items),  the fan blade is from a Reznor garage heater exhaust motor, the reel is a solder reel with some weathering, and the other pieces are items I thought would go well with the scrap load. 


Scrap gear load 001

Scrap gear load 002

Scrap gear load 003


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Thanks for the kind words guys.


Bill,  I worked on repairing and overhauling quite a bit of Mesta equipment during my years as a machinist at the old USS Homestead Works.  Some of the old Mesta plant,  including one of the old office buildings,  still survives and operates as WHEMCO(West Homestead Engineering & Machine Co) but it is a shell of its former glory years.  They still had an old Porter "fireless cooker" operating there well into the late 1980's.


Don, that scrap load looks pretty good-it's like the "big stuff" that I remember going by in the Union RR or P&LE gondolas.



Last edited by Former Member

Don't have a pic, but a Bachmann On30 2-6-0 fits perfectly in the well.  I also put the tender on a 40' flat to go with it.  Shipment to some museum! 

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