While there have been tons of versions of the CNJ Blue Comet released over the years, and some engines at least come close to the prototype, there has never been anything close to a prototypical set of passenger cars released for it. I'd like to use this thread to explore possibilities, either of newer, more accurate sets being released, or of modifying existing cars to more accurately represent the prototype. Feel free to chime in!

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Based on the response to the discussion about the 90th anniversary of the Blue Comet, it seems that there might be enough interest for Sunset/3rd Rail to make a Blue Comet engine and cars, just as they are doing for the Rock Island Rocket and the C&O Chessie Train. However, it's difficult to predict the market - and I'm happy not to be an O gauge model train manufacturer/importer...

MELGAR

VistaDomeScott posted:

If you can piece together a consist of correct cars by various makers, Christine Braden will custom paint the train for you.  I have done this with 2 trains already (not Blue Comets) and she is working on another one for me currently. 

If I can piece together a consist of correct cars, I'll custom paint it myself. The trick is either finding the correct cars, or modifying existing cars to be correct. You wouldn't think it'd be that hard to find a heavyweight coach in O scale with evenly spaced windows... I don't mind taking a dremel to a $15-25 car, but when Lionel cars, WITH broken trucks, are going for $300 and up per set of 4, sheesh! When I get a chance, I'll lay out what'd be needed for a basic 5 car set, figuring 1 combine, 2 coaches, 1 diner and an observation car, and folks can chime in on potential sources.

Okay, this has been "fun" so far

Golden Gate Depot has an observation car with the end recessed, as it was on the Blue Comet cars. Only problems are it has 6 wheel trucks, incorrect window spacing and an incorrect interior. The interior will likely be an issue on ALL O scale observation cars, as the Blue Comet had individual movable parlor chairs.

Atlas Trainman O scale Observation cars have the windows correct (it supposedly used a CNJ car as a prototype), but without the recessed ends. It also has 4 wheel trucks. I think that's the way I'm going to go for the observation car. I may or may not move the end back, depending both on how hard it appears to do and how much free time I have and how ambitious I feel. It may just get painted for now, with moving the end a project for a later day.

https://mrr.trains.com/-/media...R0816_10a.jpg?mw=600

The Atlas coaches are close. They still have slightly wider dividers between every other window, but not nearly as bad as Lionel does. I may pick up a set of those for now, and make castings of the thinner dividers and modify them somewhere down the line.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/file...00x.jpg?v=1541689405

 

The Atlas cars are 60' cars based on a C&NW prototype.  However, they do have the right look.  If you could take those cars and splice in 3" to get the the 72' buffer to buffer distance of the CNJ cars you would have a fairly accurate representation.  For the observation use just the end of the GGD car on an Atlas car and you get closer.  The diner being an 80' car and originally an all wood Pullman Palace car, could be replicated using a GGD base 80' coach by replacing or heavily modifying the sides and adding truss rods to the bottom.

The nice thing about the GGD cars is that they disassemble with a screw driver into flat parts.  The P70Far might look good from the window standpoint as a starting point and then using the full clerestory style roof profile from the original run P70s. 

From the standpoint of the locomotive, the MTH model probably makes the best stand in without having to make modifications. 

I am actually after the coaches myself for their later use in commuter service, but any and all ideas on how to pull those together in a believable way would be most welcome.

Jonathan Peiffer

 

The CNJ cars built in the late 20's were not paired windows.  If you look closely at all mass produced O scale coaches with the exception of the Atlas Trainman commuter cars the windows are paired.  In other words the divider between the windows had a single row of rivets for each pair of windows and then a double row of rivets, which is wider, between separate pairs of windows.   The effect is a wide, skinny, wide, skinny pattern across the cars for the dividers between windows.  CNJ and many east coast commuter cars instead are evenly spaced single windows. 

While some may not be concerned about this detail, it is pretty noticeable if you know about it.  Having grown up around these cars and then been in several in tourist service its a detail that matters to me.

Hope that helps.  I don't have access to my images at the office at the moment!

Jonathan Peiffer

 

aussteve posted:

When talking about wrong width of dividers or wrong windows are we talking dimensions in inches or feet that is wrong?

It depends on which model we're talking about. MTH's coach windows is a matter of inches (but then there's those incorrect AC ducts on the roof!), Lionel's are a matter of feet. 

s-l1600

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GG1 4877 posted:

The CNJ cars built in the late 20's were not paired windows.  If you look closely at all mass produced O scale coaches with the exception of the Atlas Trainman commuter cars the windows are paired.  In other words the divider between the windows had a single row of rivets for each pair of windows and then a double row of rivets, which is wider, between separate pairs of windows.   The effect is a wide, skinny, wide, skinny pattern across the cars for the dividers between windows.  CNJ and many east coast commuter cars instead are evenly spaced single windows. 

While some may not be concerned about this detail, it is pretty noticeable if you know about it.  Having grown up around these cars and then been in several in tourist service its a detail that matters to me.

Hope that helps.  I don't have access to my images at the office at the moment!

Jonathan,

I noticed that this MTH Premier New York Central Madison car (18-inch) has equally-spaced windows with two rows of rivets - but 3-axle trucks.

MELGAR

MELGAR_NYC_MTH_MADISON_CAR

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