Interurban Freight Trailer blueprint

C&LE Interurban Freight Trailer

This is the ultimate compilation of the Interurban Freight Trailer drawings mentioned in my last message.

This work is mostly based on the blueprint published in  "Traction Planbook", 1975, page 96, but with some corrections. Basically, the measures in this print are correct, but not the drawing itself, who shows a carbody a little bit heigher than the real figures.

All known mesures are mentioned here in inch.


Never trust a drawing, even two drawings

C&LE trailer diagrams superposed

"Traction Planbook", second ├ędition, second printing from 1975, contains on page 96 a drawing of a Cincinnati & Lake Erie Freight Trailer, serie 3300. This diagram was drawn by R.M.Wagner.

Another drawing of this car was published in the Jack Keenan book, "Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad - Ohios Great Interurban System", page 220, diagram signed by Mark Hood.

Hood probably copied of Wagner, because some details are so similar. But some mesures of Wagner must be wrong. Both diagrams superposed, the problems appear clearly. The Wagner (Traction Planbook) is in black, and the Hood (Keenan book) in blue, both scaled to 1 inch = 1 point.

Wagner has drawn a more arched roof, 21" high. Hood made the roof only 16" high. If Wagner was right, than his own measures of the carbody height are wrong, because the addition would made the trailer exceed a height of 13'. Perhaps both were wrong, and the boxcar body was less high and the arch of the roof bigger?

By the way, the addition of some sub-measures of the frame give bizarre figures :

Wagner : 4'8" + 27'6" + 4'8" makes not 36'9"

Hood   : 4'8" + 27'4" + 4'8" also makes not 36'9".

The truck bolster distance may have been 27'5".

But in the end, even with this small errors this drawings are so great.


Indiana Railroad Highspeed fleet in HO scale

IRR Highspeed in HO scale
The model and the inspiring book

Yesterday was the rollout day of the painted and weathered model. It is still missing window glasses, couplers and some other details.

By a "coup de chance", I found two other models, so later I will compose a full three car train.

All three models are in fact slightly different. The oldest one is equipped with the old Bowser mecanism and 8 mm wheels. In this configuration, the distance of the trucks is slightly too short. To match the real car, the leading truck must be advanced some millimeters. But the wheel diameter is correct.

The second has still the old Bowser mecanism, but 30" wheels (8.8 mm). This wheels are too big, the prototype had 28" wheels, 8 mm are matching better. The truck distance ist still not correct. On both old versions, truck sideframes are made of die cast.

The third car has the new Bowser can motor mecanism and 8.8 mm wheels, but the truck distance is correct now. Truck sideframes are made of plastic. This new model is a poor curve rider, due to some conceptual errors.

I used the base of the third model first. The new Bowser mecanism was replaced by a new Bowser PCC mecanism with his 8 mm wheels, with the IRR truck sideframes clipsed on. After this easy modification, the car can ride very small curves with a radius of only  5.5 inches. The two other cars will be modified with a Bowser PCC drive too.


Traction terminal - trackside view

Indianapolis Traction Terminal - trackside view
ITT details

More than two years has passed since I have done this. The progress seems slow.

But I have redrawn strictly all, the measures were not totally correct.

This time all seems well in place, never more than a quarter of an inch apart.

A second version with main figures on overlay will follow.


Indiana Railroad "Highspeed" in HO scale

Having an Indianan Railroad car in HO scale was a longtime dream. Virtual railroading is tricky and not always relaxing.

Recently, I had the chance to buy a Customtraxx/Bowser Indiana Railroad "Highspeed" for a very moderate price. The car - actually out of production - was announced on Ebay as "not working", the trolley pole missing.

After shipping to Europe for half the buying price of the car, I found that the body shell, based on a cast probably 40-50 years old is still a good reprodction of this lightweight interurban cars.

A second look showed that a mecanism of a new Bowser PCC would match exactly. So I unmounted the old motor with a saw (no other way to put him out) and adapted a "cannibalized" Bowser PCC drive.

The car runs very smooth through a 14 cm radius (5 1/2 in), I think he could even turn tighter.

The car will be equipped with functional head and tail lights, the holes are alread drilled. Next step : cleaning, smooth sanding and painting of the shell.