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Rusty Traque posted:
Simon Winter posted:

Not trying to be wise guy or any such, but what makes you think, or what makes you certain it is a PRR  cabin? We can have a bit of fun with this one!


Google PRR N6a...


I know what an N6a looks like. They have both offset and centered cupolas. What I'm curious about is how it got identified as a PRR cabin, but not which type, and who might have imported it. There are evidently some of the N6a features that are missing. Just wanting to do a bit more investigating. Certainly not implying anyone is in error....unless they say cabeese! 



Last edited by Simon Winter

That is an N6A cabin. And only the very early ones had the doors in the cupolas before Air brakes were used.    that way Brakemen could get out onto the car roofs easily from the cabin without climbing ladders while the train was moving - brakemen would set handbrakes when the engine whistled for it.    All PRR cabooses/Cabins had the doors on the cupolas early one on both ends.    They were boarded over/closed up.    They also all had little doors on the side high up in the corner for putting out one early style of marker light.

I have never seen an N6A with a centered cupola, only the version shown.    the N6B was built with both centered and offset cupolas.     There is a long mix of various stories as to why.     All N6A as far as I know were converted to N6B with the narrow cupola,  to allow them to be used all over the system.    Some may have been scrapped.   The N6Bs were built for Lines East because of tunnel clearances in some places, the N6A did not have the restriction and were designed and built by Lines West (of Pittsburgh).     I think the basic dimensions and appearance  were pretty much the same on both classes with exception of the cupola.   I don't recall when the conversions took place, but it was between WWI and WWII.

That model is most likely an "Alco Models" import.   They imported unpainted ones in the 80s I think.    I have heard that Weaver also imported N6As painted, but I have never seen one.    I have seem a lot of Weaver N6Bs.

Attached is a photo of an N6B with the offset cupola and the modern trucks and end railings as the model above has.

Definitely an Alco Models model of a PRR N6a.  The major disappointment I had with the model was that the window sills  did not extend beyond the siding - as was characteristic of PRR wood sheathed  Nd, NDA, N6a,and N6b’s.  With some rework this can be corrected.  Few N6a’s made it into the 1950’s, while numerous N6b,s continued in service.  


Last edited by Keystoned Ed
Bob posted:

Looks like an Alco Models N6a to me.  I have two of them on my layout.

Simon, I've never seen a photo of an N6a with a center cupola.  Lots of N6b center cupola photos are out there, but I would appreciate it if you can share a photo of a center cupola N6a.


Bob,  All I know for certain of is that I have cabins with both cupola locations, and I didn't think that I owned any N6b's,  but I am likely mistaken. My real preference is the N5c. I miscount a few rivets to suit my ends now and then, and I've been known to fracture the timeline slightly.


Last edited by Simon Winter


All N6Bs had the narrow cupola and have been modeled and imported much much more than the N6A with the wide cupola. Probably because the N6As disappeared in the 20s and early 30s as they were rebuilt.     If your cars have narrow cupolas, they are N6Bs, not N6As..      The N6Bs lasted well into the diesel era.    


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