Prototype Car History
SP and T&NO owned 556 60-C-series coaches and chair cars, built between 1908 and 1924, these cars lived on until the last 4 were retired in 1968. In this post we will look at a "modernized" 60-C-5 of the Texas & New Orleans subsidiary of the SP.
|T&NO 777 with trucks installed.|
SP's Texas & Louisiana subsidiary, the Texas & New Orleans handled all SP's connections east of El Paso on the "Sunset" route to New Orleans to comply with a Texas law that stated any railroad operating in Texas had to be based in Texas, got to love Texan politics!
As such the T&NO absorbed many other smaller railroads and consolidated then in 1931 under the T&NO reporting marks. T&NO 777 was built specifically for the T&NO and remained on the T&NO until retirement. Many T&NO coaches were transferred to the SP in 1924 and 1931 probably as the T&NO absorbed and then annulled passenger runs in various areas. Also 1931 would have been about the time that the SP and T&NO took delievery of the 73-C-1 and 74-CC-1 coaches and chair cars. The last batches of 60-C-series cars came over to the SP in the early 1950s with the annulment of many passenger trains on the T&NO. The odd thing about T&NO 777 was photographed in Oakland in 1954, but wasn't one of the cars transferred officially to the SP during that time.
Modeling the T&NO 777
In many ways this build follows the same basic pattern as my build of SP 1005 (Part 1), in which I'd painted the body, decalled, and put the glass in the windows. Leaving the changing of the roof vents to the standard "globe" type of the 60-C-5s for later. I should point out the major difference in the starting point between this car and the one used on the SP 1005, is the T&NO 777 is a car that had the transom windows with stained glass windows plated over by 1950.
|For comparison, SP 1005 with the as-built green transom windows.|
On SP 1005 I used an underframe built by John Ruehle. On the T&NO 777 I will be building my own simpler floor and underframe made from scratch in styrene.
The basic underframe is pretty simple for the T&NO 777, as with all the underframes that I build for the Soho cars that I work on. I follow the general idea that detailing of parts of the car that will either never be seen or interfere with the operations of the car will be eliminated or modified in a way to allow unrestricted operations.
|The under bodies of SP 1804, TNO 777, & SP 2178.|
The new floor is made from a piece of 0.030" sheet styrene which is cut to 7.922" long and 1.120" wide. A center sill beam is made from a piece of 0.250" x 0.125" styrene bar stock, which is cut to 8.035" long. The center sill has to be cut to fit between the coupler box pads. The floor sheet is mounted with up to six small screws. I match drill these to the bodies so that the floor will be fixed to the body for the next step.
I usually mark center marks on the underframe or coupler box pads and the center line of the center sill. Once the center sill is lined up, I use Tamiya liquid styrene cement to weld the two parts of the new floor together.
|The new underframe with scribed center marks for the truck bolster.|
The bolster holes, for the trucks, are drilled in the center sill on the centerline of the car. I measure 1/2 the distance between the inside edges of the bodies side sheets. I came up with a measurement of 0.668" which I set on my calipers and used the inside points of the calipers to scribe a centerline on the center sill. If these scribe marks don't match, mark the center point with the scribe between the existing lines.
I always measure the truck centers in from the endsills to be sure there's enough room around the ends of the car and the steps. The Soho models are slightly too short, so it's a good practice to use. Drill the center marks on the center sill with a No.50 drill.
The Walthers 8ft Pullman 4-wheel trucks need some modifications as well. I chose to use 0.030" sheet styrene pads on the top of the truck bolster and cut out two 0.333" wide, 0.360" long square.
|A pair of Walthers 920-2124 trucks with the 0.030" sheet styrene marked for cutting.|
The truck bolster shims are ACC (superglued) to the top of the Walthers truck bolster. I hold off on marking and drilling out the new bolster holes on the trucks until the new shims are dried and secured in place.
|Modified truck bolsters.|
I use the carbine scribe to press a center mark into the bottom of the truck bolster ship, in the center of the original bolster hole. I then drill out the center marks with a 2-56 clearance drill (No.46).
Making the Body Bolsters
I prefer to build up a body bolster as it is certainly easier to add material than to bolster than to remove it. So I do this by adding a reasonable height of shim styrene. I cut two pieces from 0.060" styrene sheet, which actually only measure 0.055" thick. These body bolster plates are 0.250" wide x 0.350" long. I again mark a center point and drill with my 2-56 clearance drill (No.46). If you feel that you will not have enough thread in the center sills to hold the trucks alone, you can make this hole with a No.50 drill and then plan to tap it.
|Here's the body bolster plates after they are cut out.|
With the holes drilled in the bolster plate, I align the bolster plates to the bolster center holes in the center sills. Again Tamyia liquid glue is used to weld the plates to the center sills.
|Bolster plates instaled to raise body to correct level for couplers.|
At this point I noticed that I'd not tapped the holes in the bolsters yet. Be sure to make these holes square to the body.
|Tapping the holes in the bolsters.|
I picked out two 0.015" (Red) Kadee shims and placed them on the bolster plates. If these are not thick enough, I will get a better idea after the car has the couplers mounted how much more I need to raise the body by.
|Underframe and all parts to put the car on its trucks.|
I prefer to keep the shims as the actual bearing surface between the trucks and the body of the car, so if I have to add more shims, they will take the form of sheet styrene, as the original bolster plates.
|Here's the car as it looks with the trucks installed.|
I mounted the trucks with 3/8" 2-56 screws. I'm tending to use Phillips head screws now, which are a bit quicker and easier to keep the screw driver from slipping off of.
|Right side of T&NO 777|
|Left side of T&NO 777, the body took some scratches, and I covered those with rust, the prototype photo I|
The prototype car photo I am working from showed some damage and weathering to the car's finish. This was advantageous because the decals didn't go on perfectly and there was some damage to the finish under the decals.
I'll take a moment to show a photo of some of my hand tools that I regularly use.
|The various hand tools that I use in most of my builds. Calibers, top, various drills, 2-56 tap, No.11 blade, scribe, etc.|
Left to right;
Digital Calipers (12")
NMRA Standards Gauge (Mark IVb)
Pinvice with No.46 2-56 Tap Clearance Drill
Pinvice with No.50 2-56 Tap Drill
Pinvice with 2-56 Tap
Standard Screwdriver (red) - from driver set -
Phillips Screwdriver (yellow)
Mechanical Pencil - 0.25mm leads & extra eraser
No.11 Xacto Blade & Handle
Carbide Scribe (also used for center marks)
Needle File (again from a set which has many shapes)
The interior on this car is different, as T&NO 777 remained a 72-seat coach, while the SP 1005 after 1943 was fitted as a 60-seat chair car. I used second hand Walthers bench seats from my various 73-C-1 coach upgrading projects - Another story for another time! -
|Walthers coach seats glued to strips of styrene.|
Related Links:Modeling Mail Trains, Nos 55 & 56, the Tehachapi Mail.
Modeling the Owl, Nos. 57 & 58, (Part 1) WW2 to 1950.