For those owners who have taken their observation cars apart to add figures, did you notice the mounting points in the bodies are different from the other cars?

I ask because I found when taking my Union Pacific Observation "City of San Fransisco" apart there were no mounts to screw the frame into the body on the rear end. It appears there are screw mounts in the roof that long screws or a threaded adapter was meant to be used but isn't there. Do other cars have these adapters or long screws? Is this setup unique to the UP Excursion cars? 

The only thing holding the body to frame before taking it apart was the excess adhesive used for the windows.

Front end of the car with typical screw mounts in the end bulkheads.

Rear end with screw mounts in the roof.

With the excess glue removed the frame now slides off the body by just picking it up.

Pete

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Yes, I have seen that in the same kind of car you picture. I think that there are holes in the frame, and certainly in the plastic interior assembly, for long screws to be inserted. But if they had been, they’d be visible squarely in the two side windows at the end of the car. That is the only reason I can think of why they were not installed at the factory.

On another thread about these cars, someone posted that they had worked out the length and diameter of the (metric) screws needed for the purpose of using the mounts in the roof of the car. I have thought about affixing a piece of something, probably plastic, at the base of the car body that shorter screws could be drilled into. Have not got around to trying that.

Meanwhile, you can always put in some ultra-sticky double sided tape . . .

P.S. Here’s the thread where this was discussed: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...54#80410241313147254

The screw measurement was 3 mm diameter x 60 mm length.

BobbyD posted:

Can you glue a triangulated piece just above the floor in both corners to screw into leaving the windows unobstructed?

It's slightly awkward because those corners are not 90 degree angles; see photo below. Plus you have to get rid of all the excess double-sided tape and the side window edges are very close to where the mounts would be fitted.

UP_Excur_Bodywork_copy2

My idea, which won't be better than Pete's, is to glue in a mount on the flat end of the car and provide for a single screw through it to hold the rear of the car's body in place. That means drilling through the metal frame and possibly cutting away a small part of the interior molding but neither is any big deal.  On mine I am planning on fitting an illuminated tail sign near that position so some of the body will have to be trimmed away in any event.

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I am working on a fix guys. Film at eleven. 

As for the adhesive, I just rubbed it off along the depression in the dome cars. All the rest I just covered with scotch tape which can be seen at the top pic above. Eliminates all sticking and as pointed out the frame falls out of the end now that is not screwed to the body.

Pete

Hancock52 posted:
BobbyD posted:

Can you glue a triangulated piece just above the floor in both corners to screw into leaving the windows unobstructed?

It's slightly awkward because those corners are not 90 degree angles; see photo below. Plus you have to get rid of all the excess double-sided tape and the side window edges are very close to where the mounts would be fitted.

UP_Excur_Bodywork_copy2

My idea, which won't be better than Pete's, is to glue in a mount on the flat end of the car and provide for a single screw through it to hold the rear of the car's body in place. That means drilling through the metal frame and possibly cutting away a small part of the interior molding but neither is any big deal.  On mine I am planning on fitting an illuminated tail sign near that position so some of the body will have to be trimmed away in any event.

Don't they come with an illuminated one? It is nice to see the windows are "flush" now.

BobbyD posted:
Don't they come with an illuminated one? 

Nope. I have not got an end on photo of my own to show you but I borrow the one below from another Forumite:

IMG_7798 copy

There are three nice LED taillights shown illuminated in my photo below but the rear door is blank.  I have found a photo of a tail sign UP used which I intend to install with an LED mounted behind.

City_Of_San_Francisco_Dome copy

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Hancock52 posted:

There are three nice LED taillights shown illuminated in my photo below but the rear door is blank.  I have found a photo of a tail sign UP used which I intend to install with an LED mounted behind.

City_Of_San_Francisco_Dome copy

Will you be doing a period City of Los Angeles or a modern era version with a UP Flag Shield?

I think all of the modern era trains I have seen, the City of San Francisco is sitting somewhere in the middle and a Business Car or theater car is last which may explain why Lionel didn't put a drumhead on this car.

I am hoping I can get a Kenefick Car for my train and add the drumhead above.

Pete

Norton posted:

I will be using the existing mounts in the roof. The threaded holes only allow a couple of threads to engage. You can't go too far unless you use an impact wrench. 

Pete

Are you going to blank out the windows as I suggested or going to do something else?

MELGAR

I detailed both the UP Executive and Challenger Observations and did NOT make any modifications to the car because it was unnecessary.  Yes the posts are visible if you look for them, but with people in the car, viewers will be drawn to the people inside and not the vertical post. I also did not alter my two Pennsylvania Observation cars when I painted seats and added Presier 65602 Seated People that I painted. The 21" Pennsylvania Observation cars are similar.

Draw attention away from the posts by the placement of the people in your car.  The rear car body rests on the chassis plate when assembled. It is screwed in the front and the rear assembly is adequate to hold the car together.  Once it is on the track, there are no issues.  Adding a drumhead is nice, but will this always be your last car on the train?

There are times when Lionel's designs need owner modifications.  I do not believe this is one of those times. 

Sincerely, John Rowlen

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Norton posted:
 
Will you be doing a period City of Los Angeles or a modern era version with a UP Flag Shield?
 
I’ve tracked down a “period” tail sign (as in late in the City of San Francisco’s service life) and I am planning to use that unless I can find something better. Apart from anything else it is rectangular and can be scaled to fit.
 

I think all of the modern era trains I have seen, the City of San Francisco is sitting somewhere in the middle and a Business Car or theater car is last which may explain why Lionel didn't put a drumhead on this car.

Agreed. 

I am hoping I can get a Kenefick Car for my train and add the drumhead above.

I know that feeling but I have had no success trying to track down a good K-Line UP business car and in any event I already have the UP theater car.

 

Ok, this is what I have come up with. I still have to clean up the rough edges and paint it but will hold off until I decide what color to do the interior with. I think UP may actually have this interior on their site.

The part is made of copper clad epoxy circuit board with brass tubing and brass threaded spacers.

Fitted to the car. Note the scotch tape over the adhesive. The frame now drops out after the screws are removed.

How it appears from the rear.

image

And from the side.

The length of the thread spacer was determined by seat back height. If I had to to this over I might carve enough of the seat back so this adapter could sit below the window. It will get painted to match the seat so likely not noticable as the car whizzes by.

Pete

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That is both impressive and ingenious. Sad to say I have NO metalworking skills whatsoever and could not duplicate this. In fact I have just ordered a quantity of Plastruct ABS glue to carry out the exercise I have in mind to deal with this issue on my City of San Francisco car. 

I will say that I am sure that in the finished car this structure won't be obvious. Most Lionel and indeed GGD boat tail observation cars have a long screw plainly visible in the rear of the interior of the car because it holds together the whole roof and rear exterior panel assembly. Your solution avoids that. 

Norton posted:

Ok, this is what I have come up with. I still have to clean up the rough edges and paint it but will hold off until I decide what color to do the interior with. I think UP may actually have this interior on their site.

The part is made of copper clad epoxy circuit board with brass tubing and brass threaded spacers.

Fitted to the car. Note the scotch tape over the adhesive. The frame now drops out after the screws are removed.

How it appears from the rear.

image

And from the side.

The length of the thread spacer was determined by seat back height. If I had to to this over I might carve enough of the seat back so this adapter could sit below the window. It will get painted to match the seat so likely not noticable as the car whizzes by.

Pete

Hi Norton,

Here are some color shots of a UP 9000 series Dome Observation car to help in your search.   Also, in the 1955 UP Domeliner video around the 2:45 mark it shows guests inside a 9000 series car (but this film is in black & white).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?...6ZsoEdJuc&t=431s

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Great work and insight.  I'm glad to see some folks tinkering with these cars.  So many people wrote them off with all the issues.  Some I didn't blame.  Some I think were a exaggerated.  Never the less these are nice cars and with a little work they will be fantastic.  Have both up sets and love them.

C & O-scalers

COHS member

LCCA  member

Appalachian Model Railroad Society.

 

In my world there is a cold beer and vision Niagara for everyone.

Norton posted:

Thank you for the link T. I admire your work. You and Hancock52 are real artists.

I am already working on the MKII mount to replace the one above.

Pete

1.  Have a look at T's thread on his UP dining car if you need any more inspiration: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...enger-car-8003-k4690

2. MKII ???

3.  P.S. I think that this is already well known but the present-day City of San Francisco dome-lounge-observation car is depicted on the UP historical equipment site as shown below. I could be wrong but I think it was one of the cars being pulled behind Big Boy 4014 recently:

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 11.59.48 AM

Inside it now looks like an old-fashioned hotel saloon bar, IMHO. I actually prefer the original treatment T has documented, which has a more homespun feel to it.

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I have been following T's work. Very impressive. You guys should team up with Jack Pierce with his lighting effects. 

I am redesigning the mount so it won't be visible in the rear window. Now that I have the critical dimensions this should go pretty fast.

I think the City of San Francisco was also used in the Bush Funeral Train where I saw the pictures.

Pete

Now for the 2nd generation mount. The seats were milled to allow lower placement of the bracket. Lower center portion removed to allow passengers to now exit the car. 

Gen 2 right.

Aisleway and seat fit. Section on the seat will get painted to match the seats. Brass uprights might just remain brass.

New rear view.

Pete

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Very nice work. So good that no manufacturer is capable of it! (Or me for that matter.)

P.S. I’ve  been studying this and it took some real skill to produce it. I could do something similar in plastic but will probably opt for a lazier solution.

I was thinking this morning of making one out of styrene. The top piece would be thicker as would the piece on top of the seat back. The threaded standoff at the bottom would either have to remain metal or if it was plastic have to be a larger diameter and material removed from the back of the seat. The metal standoff is pretty thin and a plastic copy the same size would likely split as soon as you put a screw through it.

Pete

I just finished relocating the couplers on all of my UP passenger cars. The last one was the Observation from the Challenger set. Turns out this car did come with supports to secure the rear body to the frame unlike the Excursion Observation. Also it was devoid of extra tape below the widows so it came apart easily. As this set came out about year after the Excursion cars it looks like changes were made at the factory to do a better job. 

No idea if Lionel will make these available to owners of cars where these are missing.

Clearly visible in the rear window.

Pete

 

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I would guess that those threaded supports were not available when the Excursion cars were produced and the factory improvised. In any case Lionel has not been great about having spare parts for the second run of 21” ABS cars. 

Your solution is clearly better than the stock parts. I am still aiming for something simpler, which I might get to next week.

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