Santa Fe highball

This is a Pecos River Brass ATSF Hudson 3 rail with ERR cruise and scale front and rear 2 rail wheels. Tracks perfectly.

Same train pulling out. Many of the cars are GGD Burlingtons that I will re-do as ATSF cars with AC at a later date.

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atsf highball
ATSF pulling out

This thread takes me back to another lifetime!  I guess you could say I was 3RS before there was 3RS...  I was into 3 rail back in the late 90's not long after 3rd rail started coming out with PRR steam engines.  I didn't have space for 2 rail, and I was in a 3 rail operating group.  I remember a lot of people being surprised when I showed up to an operating session with my first fully weathered and Kadee'd consist...  and a lot cringed too!  I changed my wheelsets to the flatter plastic wheelsets that looked more scale.  I even went on to run a lot of brass scale cars - they ran fine on Gargraves/Ross track.  I had to downsize and move to a smaller place, so everything was sold.  I have some pics from back then I will post below (forgive the quality - no digital back then, I scanned them in at some point).  Thanks for taking me down memory lane!  Y'all are doing some great work!

Bret

2-8-2Lgcaboose-weatheredLgdust all appliedhopper-grey-weatheredLghopper-red-weatheredLgPRR boxcarQ2 engine & tendersteam 1 

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Ben Snyder posted:

Getting back to the hobby for the colder months. Just finished this Lionel PS-4 flatcar. A bit more difficult to add Kadee’s to, but after some careful planning it came out well. Now to figure out what to load on it...

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Please show us how you did it. 

Sweat the details!...



 

Luckily I snapped a bunch of pics just in case: 

start by adding a plate onto the wood, this needs to be brought to the same height as the die cast framing. This is styrene attached with gel super glue. 

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Next make another styrene plate to raise the height to be even with the end sill. 

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Next drill 2 holes in the small area by the stake pockets and tap them to your desired screw preference. I use 2-56. Be careful when drilling and tapping to not go thru the basswood deck.

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Now you’ll need to cut down some screws to attach the plate. I also put some plastic solvent glue between the plates. 

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now reattach trucks, check against the height gauge, and make a shim for correct mounting. Again carefully drill thru shim and the 2 installed plates, then I just threaded the screws in the hole, no tapping, as it’s only plastic. Cut down some more screws and mount your couplers. I also superglued the shim to the underlying plates.

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Doublecheck your work and call it done. I pulled on these pretty hard by hand and they are strong, so I’m positive you could put quite the train behind one of these without incident. 

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just exercise patience when drilling and tapping so as to not go thru the deck. I kept removing the drill and checking to see if I’d hit wood. I also use a Kadee tap that I cut the end off so it threads all the way to the bottom of the hole. Not a hard job  

Good luck!

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  The Atlas trucks are modified to mount with E ring like the Lionel.   Lionel trucks are such a bear to work with I decided to just replace them for 3RS.   The brass wipers are an experiment to cut down on flickering lights.  Works great so far.IMG_0535

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This next I-12 has an ERR Mini Commander inside for the soul purpose of operating my coil Kadee coupler.

Can be remotely uncoupled anyplace on the layout for picking up or dropping off freight cars.

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Next is the last planned conversion of a Lionel flat car.   Used my last cast frame extensions.IMG_0601IMG_0602104_5786102_2962IMG_0588

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JoeW,

You... "Used my last cast frame extensions."?  Please, tell me more!

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

When I started out I intended to do something like what Ben did and just change couplers.   But so many of my Lionel 50' flats didn't like The Atlas switches and shorted out.   Wheels out of gauge.  Lionel sheet metal couplers are just a pain to work on.   Decided to replace with Atlas trucks which required a bolster spacer.   Came up with a one piece frame extension that extended the frame, spaced the truck, held the coupler and filled the gaps in the end frame.   A lip at the top held it in place with the end of the main frame between the frame and wood floor.   Super glued the coupler end  and fillers to the end frame.  Truck mount screw held it together in the middle.  Just had to use longer screws.   Break the super glue bond at the end and the car can be restored to 3 rail with little damage.   A little scraping of super glue and paint touch up.

Made 2 masters out of plastic.  One for 40' and one for 50' flats.  Made silicone rubber molds of them.  Cast a bunch in resin.   Did all this sometime before 2012 when I shelved the hobby.   Won't be anymore.   Just used the last 2  50 footers  on the Lackawana piggyback.   One of them may have been the master.   Did find the master and last 2 of the 4 footers to take a pic of.  IMG_0712

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The 50' piggybacks were harder to do.   The frame opening was narrowed on one end.   This required modifying the extension to fit properly between the narrowed frame rails.

Lionel 50' flat car

 

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Pulled this K-Line B&O reefer off the shelf to 3RS it over the weekend.   Wasn't going to convert it because of the difficulty in converting K-Line box car frames but really like this car.  

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Had to raise the body to proper coupler height by .10" using washers and plastic sheet.  At this point the car appears to be a little low.   To fix this I'll shim the truck to raise the body then shim the coupler box to lower the coupler.   When I get the new trucks.  Trucks I used are temporary.

Had to use the Kadee short box coupler because the standard coupler hit the big K-Line frame bolster "dome".

Used a cut down Kadee spacer super glued to the frame as a template to drill and tap the coupler mounting holes.  Added 3 more spacers so the coupler box clears the body.

For now I cut off the frame mounted ladders and applied them separately.  To be replaced with body mounted ladder when I find the brass strips.  

 

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My first project in a while. This Atlas Dash 8-40B dates to about 2001. I finally fixed the pilots. I also scratch built the AC  unit and other rooftop equipment.

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Handrails are full length and bent from .40 wire reusing the factory stanchions. (Mario I’m with you on the tediousness of this step, but it makes a big difference). I still need to do the forward rails at the rear step well.  Those will be a cut and splice job.

I didn’t like the grossly oversized ditch light housings, which were wrong for ATSF in any event and so I simply removed the ditch lights and used some Scale diamond tread plate to fill the mount holes. Santa Fe took delivery of these engines without ditch lights and only later mounted them on the pilot, so the alteration is prototypical albeit backdating. Removing the ditch lights opens up the front deck and gives the model more of the brutish big-nosed look of the prototype.  I had wanted to move the headlight to the nose but had no luck loosening it inside the shell, so it stays for now. Nose grab irons are repainted yellow.

It still needs a few touches and some weathering. Unlike my other Atlas engines, this one doesn’t have speed control. Rather than upgrade, I disconnected the motors and removed the spur gears to make a “smart” dummy. It will run exclusively in MU consists anyway.  Happy New Year!

RM

Member of the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL] - building a permanent archive of great O-Gauge content!
Check out [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/BlogCategoryMain?catId=659]My Blog[/URL] on the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL].

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Thanks, guys, much appreciated. Happy New Year!

RM

Member of the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL] - building a permanent archive of great O-Gauge content!
Check out [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/BlogCategoryMain?catId=659]My Blog[/URL] on the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL].

Sort of finished this MTH GP35. Still need to super detail the pilots, but currently I’m out of PSC glad hand assemblies. I made spacers to go between the shell and stock pilot, cut off the footboards and extended the railings. I also added some styrene strips to the chassis plate to take up some of the gap. After I finish the pilots it will get weathered. This was originally a non powered unit that I bought at the same time as a sunburst GP30, so I just pulled the guts from it to power this one as I already had a powered GP30. 

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Wrapped up a second unit today, a non-powered MTH GP9. Did this one the same way as the GP35. This was a powered Reading unit that I repainted and transferred the drivetrain to another unit. Yes extending the railings is quite a job, but it looks so much better, especially when paired with another unit. 

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This afternoons project the MTH Scale Test Car....no drills, no screws, no shims. Needed good files and Dremel,  and screw driver to take out 2 screws. 2 screws holds this whole car together. Make the coupler opening bigger and grind down the boss the holds the claw on. Put the Kadees in then screw the base down tight. The base clamps the Kadee in place.

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The top photo shows how much larger you have to make the opening, don't file the top of opening its at the right height.

 

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Opening complete

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The claw mounting boss (between the two fins) that has to be ground down even with top of coupler opening, I used a Dremel with milling bit. also I just eye balled it. 

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The Kadee, trim the ears off

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Nice work Clem. Still want one of those just to have in the yard. I’ll definitely be using your write up as a guide. Thanks for the how-to. Here’s my latest fixed pilot conversion, Railking scale Alco C628. Even though I model the Chessie, they did interchange with ConRail, and being that I live in the Lehigh Valley, I just had to have this unit when I found one. I finished the job MTH started by blacking out the Lehigh Valley lettering and flags down the carbody, couldn’t quite understand why they didn’t do it. Fixed the pilots, extended the handrails, added the scrathbuilt cab sun shades, then installed some square tubing to the frame to close up the gap. I also removed the blind axles and installed flanged ones. Still think I might add tread plate to all the walkways and install lift rings on top, and eventually super detail the pilots. Here it is for now:

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 Just finished up a couple of Rutland projects. While the baggage is not completely prototypical it looks like something you would see on the Rutland. They still were running woodsided cars in the 50's. These will bring up the rear of my milk train. Still finishing up the combine. I'll post pics. Next week. Both cars started out as MTH CNJ cars. Both were repainted using Mission Models paint. Highball Graphics is now providing passenger car decals after I inquired if the HO version could be done in O.

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 The caboose is a standard Lionel. A new brass smokestack, Tomar lights, Atlas trucks, some added grab irons and dry transfers from Ozark Minatures. I tried something different with the roof to represent canvas. I used some medical tape and painted it with a mix of artists black and white glue. 

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 I finished up the combine. Window glazing is one task I don't enjoy doing. After discovering PSA adhesive from Micromark. The job isn't so bad. I need to add some boxes and crates in the baggage section and maybe tone down the lighting a bit. I replaced the MTH figures with some from Arttista. This was a fun project and has been on the back burner for years. Ever since Lionel introduced the milk cars in the early 2000's. I've wanted a milk train. It's been a long journey and it's getting close to completion.

 I really like these MTH cars. Sized nicely and very well detailed. Also they are very well thought out as far as engineering. My original plan was a B&M train. Even bought a set of MTH cars, a Weaver Pacific and the project just lingered. I eventually sold the cars and abandoned the project. After seeing a video of Lionel's Legacy 10 wheeler and hearing that whistle. Knowing that Highball Graphics made steam loco Rutland decals. The project was back on.

 After some searching. I purchased a set of Central NJ cars from Mr Muffins. The basic green was close to what I wanted. The glazing was a pain to remove and the orange band had to be painted over. Rather than repaint the whole car. I found a green that was close to the original from Mission Models. Russian Olive Green. I bought their primer to cover the orange band. I removed the lettering and toned down the striping with 600 grit sandpaper. I used a mix of their Tire Black and flat clear on the roof. This paint is available from Micromark and is very user friendly to spray and cleans up easily. 

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  After inquiring with Highball Graphics about lettering. They now offer it in O. The original plan was to placed the stretched out lettering font of the Rutland on the lettering board above the windows. The board just wasn't wide enough. I used plan B and placed the lettering under the windows.

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 This photos shows the Kadee's. Easily added with the mounting shims provided.

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I painted out the red on the floor with black. After doing some research. The Rutland had red seats. I just toned it down with a few coats of flat.

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I really like these cars. Similar cars rode at the rear of the milk trains into the early 50's. The Rutland was known to be a museum on rails. They are the perfect length and the scale like handrails make the car look like an expensive brass car.

 Time to get the 10 wheeler steamed up. I've got a milk train to run.

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 Will,  I'm modeling a NY city bound train. Presently in the consist. 2 Sheffields, 2 Bordens, 1 NYC, 1 Dairymans League, and a future Rutland Reefer. I just picked up undecorated 40 ft. Atlas. Looking to add a few more plus create a return train of empties.

Nothing as fancy as a lot of these (wow!), but I recently installed a decoder and kadees on my Lionel dockside switcher.

Here's the 'before':

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With the original couplers removed, there is a lot of nice flat real estate to mount the kadees:

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After drilling with a pin vise and tapping the holes, the installed kadees look great. I used the 747 underset couplers, as the chassis mounting height was actually a bit low for the 740s. I normally use the metal gearboxes wherever possible, but this engine has its chassis tied to track ground, so I used the plastic ones here.

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And the finished product:

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Fun little engine, and I love a steamer with an operating front coupler!

 

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 In a quest to add to the fleet of milkcars and get some variety in my consist. Often times dairies leased milk cars. They placed lettered sheet metal signs on the sides of cars. From what I read these signs were removed during the war as metal was needed. After doing some research for my Rutland NY bound train. The consist was basically all Bordens or Sheffield cars. I found this picture doing a search. Also uncovered a few brass cars to get an idea of paint color. I purchased a Lionel Pfaudler car. Didn't' look to busy lettering wise as far as a repaint and the price was right. I wet sanded the lettering with 600 grit without trying to remove all of it. I used Mission Models paint. Russian dark olive with some drops of black till it resembled a Pullman green. The decals are from Highball Graphics. The signs were made with a labelmaker. Laid them out on white paper and took a photo. Transferred the photo to Staples and had them done as business cards. If anyone wants a go at this. I have 240 of them leftover. My lack of skills is showing here. I'm sure there is a better way. But the cards after trimming are rugged enough to be just glued onto the sides. I fabricated coupler mounts from aluminum and gave it a weathered look.

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Dave_C posted:

 In a quest to add to the fleet of milkcars and get some variety in my consist. Often times dairies leased milk cars. They placed lettered sheet metal signs on the sides of cars. From what I read these signs were removed during the war as metal was needed. After doing some research for my Rutland NY bound train. The consist was basically all Bordens or Sheffield cars. I found this picture doing a search. Also uncovered a few brass cars to get an idea of paint color. I purchased a Lionel Pfaudler car. Didn't' look to busy lettering wise as far as a repaint and the price was right. I wet sanded the lettering with 600 grit without trying to remove all of it. I used Mission Models paint. Russian dark olive with some drops of black till it resembled a Pullman green. The decals are from Highball Graphics. The signs were made with a labelmaker. Laid them out on white paper and took a photo. Transferred the photo to Staples and had them done as business cards. If anyone wants a go at this. I have 240 of them leftover. My lack of skills is showing here. I'm sure there is a better way. But the cards after trimming are rugged enough to be just glued onto the sides. I fabricated coupler mounts from aluminum and gave it a weathered look.

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I wish we knew you were going to do milk cars, here’s a drop in method that gives you close coupling and uses the spring loaded buffers at the end of the car. Big Brother Lar likes them a lot!  And they’re self aligning and super easy to install!

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...adee-conversion-beta

Look for these soon from Scale City!

thanks!

Mario

Sweat the details!...



 

I recently added marker lights/class lights to my lionel sd60, it really needs the trim rings to go around the led lamp, i cut or sliced like a bagel an O ring but im just not happy with it, does anyone with a 3d printer think they could print out a few, wouldnt be a tough project, as i have not made my way into 3d printing, i may be wrong. A part like this isnt available anywhere and lionel, mth are not putting marker/class lights in alot of there locos, so i could see alot of folks doing this mod.

Well, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had anything to contribute to this 3RS thread that I originally started, but I finally found some spare time to complete a project that’s been sitting on my bench since last summer.

This was an “old” Atlas 40’ boxcar that was offered by Bev-Bel.  It had the plastic trucks & wheels and non-operating plastic couplers that were typical of those old Atlas cars.

I plugged the large holes in each truck bolster (left behind after removing the oversized truck-mounting “pins”) with solid plastic rod that was then drilled and tapped to accept 2-56 replacement truck screws; painted the underside of the car frame, interior floor, walls & doors; shaved off the molded-in grab irons on the car sides and replaced them with Tichy wire grabs; added some extra dry-transfer lettering to more closely match the prototype; added Weaver die-cast trucks & wheelsets...and of course added Kadees.

Last but not least I weathered the car both inside and out.  Here are a few shots just after completion earlier this evening...

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Thanks for looking, and thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread.  Please continue to share your 3RS work here...it is very much appreciated!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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Pennsy nut posted:

This thread takes me back to another lifetime!  I guess you could say I was 3RS before there was 3RS...  I was into 3 rail back in the late 90's not long after 3rd rail started coming out with PRR steam engines.  I didn't have space for 2 rail, and I was in a 3 rail operating group.  I remember a lot of people being surprised when I showed up to an operating session with my first fully weathered and Kadee'd consist...  and a lot cringed too!  I changed my wheelsets to the flatter plastic wheelsets that looked more scale.  I even went on to run a lot of brass scale cars - they ran fine on Gargraves/Ross track.  I had to downsize and move to a smaller place, so everything was sold.  I have some pics from back then I will post below (forgive the quality - no digital back then, I scanned them in at some point).  Thanks for taking me down memory lane!  Y'all are doing some great work!

Bret

Q2 engine & tendersteam 1 

Bret, 

Great to see your pictures.  I think we may have both been in the same club in Tidewater VA. I was in the army at the time and had a small 4 foot module that I kept under my bed at the barracks when not in use. I think I have some pictures but will have to scan them. 

Phil Randall

Red Oak, TX

Trinity Valley Traction Co.

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