Lisbon streetcars

Lisbon has one of the funniest streetcar networks in Europe, and probably worldwide. Five lines still operate on the narrow gauge system (900 mm - 2 ft 11 7⁄16 in), even after construction of an extensive heavy transit subway system.

The minimum radius is particulary sharp, only 9 meters. Fourwheeled wooden cars are still in service, not only in heritage service, but in revenue runs. During the night, on line 15, the articulated Siemens cars are replaced by Brill built 4 wheelers.

Many american streetcar pratices are still visible in operation : Trolley poles (on line 28), reversible seats, K-type controllers, Brill built carbodies or local copies...



Glazing plan for the Ohio Electric Combine

Glazing is a thankless job. To help a little, I made a glazing plan for the Ohio Electric Combine - and tested it myself...

For glueing, I use MicroKristalKlear from Microscale.

The plan is donwloadable as a pdf file and will be moved to the Model blog "interurbanmodels.blogspot.com", for further use.

Sorry folks, for the Millimeters. I have no measuring tools for small dimensions others than in Millimeters...


Functional Tall Lights for H0 Interurbans

I will try to make a test to print tall lights with the car body, who could be made functional by glueing small red LED behind the holes.

Wait and see how it comes out of the printer ...

My first O scale track ...

Some asked me if I could make O scale models. I said no everytime. Our european houses are small, there is no broad 0 scale culture here, and no hope to find a club layout anywere.

But I must admit that recently I bought my first O scale track, and some 36" wheelsets.


Engineers dream (2) - the test of truth

For "Engineers dream, Vol 1", see here

Yesterday, I received the first beta print of the Fort Wayne - Lima Traction Lightweight Combine.

The first and biggest surprise was the pilot, 3D printed in brass. The quality of this print done by i.materialise in Belgium is amazing! The pilot bars are only 0.5 mm thick.

This means that in the future, ANY detail of a car could be reproduced within 3D technology, and that even a second rated craftsman like me could build a first class H0 model ...

The only shadow: brass printing is expensive, with high fix costs. But a whole car kit (without motor) will remain in a reasonable prize range.

The second surprise was that I am not so bad as an engineer. All comes together: car body, frame, truck frames...

Cannibalizing a Bowser PCC, this car is mounted in less than one hour. There are just some holes who must be widened, I will perhaps fix some issues in the final version.

You can even reuse the Bowser circuit board and lighting. The car is running smooth, even through curves with a radius of 16 centimeters.

The third surprise is that I have lost the riveting when exporting the file for printing. But there are just  some parameters to change, and the hard weeklong riveting work will reappear


Ohio Electric Combine - painted and glazed

Front and right side view, the car run on Taylor MCB trucks
Weathering makes the car looking a little tired
Rear ad left side view with radial coupler


Making good things better

  A while ago, I made a lot of Cincinnati Wooden Combines in several versions. The overall design of this cars could be considered as very good, but some features were not very practical.

The front and rear platforms with pilot and doorsteps were formerly part of the body. This made it very difficult to glass the car, as the end windows were nearly out of reach. I never offered these cars for sale, because even if they were very beautiful, they were not perfect, in a technical point of view.

I decided to re-engineer the car, and started with the Ohio Electric version. Now, the radial coupler, the doorsteps and the pilot are part of the frame, and the body glides over the frame.

This makes it possible to print the body in Shapeways "Frosted Detail" (FD) and the frame in "Black, Strong & Flexible" (BSF). FD makes a perfect car body nearly without steps in the rounded clerestory roof. The frame in BSF is less detailed, but very strong, this is specially important for the pilot. I consider the detail as "good enough", and as the material is black matte, you do not need to paint, without loss of detail by paint coats. The "Taylor" type truck frames and three different radial drawbars are part of the under body set, all printed in BSF. One drawbar has a normalized NEM 362 mount, ready for Kadee #20 couplers.

I ordered one test set, and I can say it is perfect! The car was quickly mounted and motorized with NWSL Stanton drives, Model 1210 , part #39279-4 Wheelbase 7’(84”), wheel dia. 36”.

Next days, I will paint and glass the car. A complete mounting instruction will follow soon. The kit is now on sell at: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/interurban .

For a complete car kit you need a car body #CCC1101 and an under body set #CCC2101.

All other versions of the Cincinnati built combines - Northern Indiana, Terre Haute, Oneonta & Mohawk Valley - will be re-engineered soon.


Winona Windsplitter H0 scale model

While awaiting the first test print of the Fort Wayne Lightwight Combine, my old Windsplitter project meets some attention. 

The first job is done: the model looks somewhat like a Winona Windsplitter. The general proportions seem mainly ok, when compared to photos. As no side elevation exists from this car, modeling work must be done essentialy with photos. Fortunately, a floor plan were published in reviews when the cars were new. 

Any comment, critic or help is welcome.


Ft Wayne Combine ready to print

The print order was sent out today.

One of the last add-ons was a chimney. This high chimney were still visible when the cars were sold to the Oklahoma Railways.

(Of course I will do this version too...)


New in my library: CERA Bulletin 102 - Electric Railways of Indiana

My latest add in my library : 
Electric Railways of Indiana - Book II
CERA Bulletin 102
1958, Central Electric Railfan's Association (CERA)
spiral bound, 176 pages

This booklet contains many photos, including some very rare color photos.

Another delight are the drawings : I found Union Traction 400 class, UTC 427 class, the Indiana Service Corp. 375 class and their trailer 390. Contains also blueprints of the Highspeeds, the IR 90 class, and of the big wooden Ft Wayne - Wabash 500 cars...

This is 3D work for years and years, folks! And not enough, CERA Bulletins 101 and 122 will come to me soon.


An engineers dream

FortWayne - Lima interban car kit, HO scale
An engineers dream is when all is coming together and is matching well.

Now I will check all the clearances all the details for a very last time, check how the Bowser drive will match, and then this model will be "bon à tirer" (good to print).


Back to the boxcars

CERA interurban boxcar with rounded ends
Awaiting the last adds on my Fort Wayne project, I woke up my old Interurban boxcar drawings who were well advanced but eternally unfinished.

First in the list is the rounded end CERA trailer. The double Camel doors and some under-frame is already done.


Ft Wayne Interurban Combine - Unterbody parts

Only few images exists from the Fort Wayne - Lima Interurban Combine, and the unterbody parts are hardly to see on them. Fortunately, better photos exist from the mostly identical Indiana Service Corp cars.

On one side we can see
1 - a fuse box reverser box
2 - a four bloc resistor grid, with perhaps the 3rd position empty
3 - a drawbar
4 and 5 - air tanks

On the other side there are
1 - probably the compressor
2 - an unknown small cubic device
3 - the brake cylinder
4 - an unkown device with a chain
5 - a square box, probably the switch box

Does anybody have further information about this parts? What is the unknown device #4 with his "bicycle chain" ?


Ft Wayne Combine: Last adds on the rear end

Building a roof mat is always a tricky affair. But now it is done.

I installed also a trolley retriever. Can't await to order a first print soon.


Commonwealth truck frames for the Ft Wayne Interurban

The Fort Wayne -Lima Combines had Commonwealt cast steel trucks for small 28" wheels.

The main frames of this truck were slightly incurved upside. Unthinkable to produce this Interurban car without this detail.

As the carbody and frame, this truck frames will be adapted for Bowser drives


Fort Wayne Interurban Combine roof details

Rear view of a Fort Wayne - Lima Interurban combine

There is no known photo about the roof details of this car. Except one. The Bill Volkmer Collection contains a photo of the Fort Wayne Interurban Terminal, taken probably in the late 20ies.

On the right track stands one of the combines that I build.

Even as details are very hard to detect, some interesting features are clearly visible: the long trolleyboard, the position of the ventilators, and the location of the retriever.

Fort Wayne Interurban Terminal


Improving the blog

The layout of this blog is changing. The reason is that Bloggers "dynamic content layout" had a quite pretty look, but works sometimes very erratic. And some features I wanted to have were were nearly impossible, like a list of favorite blogs. I always wanted to link to these blogs, as many of them were linking to mine. Also the different sections like drawings and the book section were hard to handle in the former layout.

In the next two weeks, this blog may change often, as I will try out some features, rejecting them later again. But soon, things will be in order, for me and for you, dear reader....


Checking clearances of the Bowser drive

Ft Wayne - Lima Interurban with Bowser drive
To check the clearances of the Bowser Drive, I modelized the essential parts in "full scale". The blue parts are the original Bowser parts who will be translated onto the custom made floor of the Fort Wayne - Lima combine.

Obviously, the free view accross the passenger compartment is lost. This may be achieved later with an Hollywood drive.


Motorisation of the Ft Wayne - Lima Combine

Engineering of the floor plate is under way, in its first version for the Bowser drive. Later I will try a Hollywood Foundry "high end" motorisation.

With a Bowser drive, the car could look like this. Bogie rotation, currently about 16°, may be improved up to a maximum of 20°.


3D brass printed pilot

This is the renedring of the 31-spoke pilot, with his fixing structure.

Drawing this part, with his incurved upper and triangular lower part, was not so easy as it could seem.

Now, I hope that the result would meet my expectancies...


Third Rail Land in Southern France

Font Romeu train station
Beware of the Third Rail ! 
A short summer brake : Some photographs from the third rail land in Southern France. Metre gauge, vintage motors, controllers and resistors. It could be considered as an Interurban ...


A fine brass pilot for the Ft Wayne Interurban Combine

The Fort Wayne -Lima Interurban combines and their sister cars had some very light steel pilots. 3D printing such a fine piece in resin is impossible. For this part, I will try out 3D brass printing. In fact, not the brass is printed, but the lost wax moulding. This process is expensive, but permits wall thickness down to 0.5 millimeters.

One pilot would cost as much as the half of an entire resin printed carbody. But it is worth to be tried out.

The 3D brass printing process is presented here : http://i.materialise.com/materials/brass


Ft Wayne-Lima Combine - riveting the rounded ends

The riveting of the rounded ends is particular complicated and time consuming. I found a new procedure to accelerate this procedure in Cinema4D. One single rivet is cloned following a given radius and start/end angle. This may speed up the painful riveting work and soon I could start to design the floor plate. A first plate would be prepared for a Bowser PCC drive. With a Hollywood drive this car could be equipped with full interior seating.

The doorsteps will be part of the floor plate this time, as no radial coupler is required for this car.


The mythical Winona Windsplitter - and his not so spectacular rear end

Winona Windsplitter rear end

One of my current "long term projects" is the Winona Windsplitter as an H0 print model. It is not as advanced as the Ft Wayne - Lima Combine, but sometimes I like to change, because working on a single project could be boring.

Nothing spectacular was done, just the rear end of this car, which is nothing else than a standard rear end of a Jewett build car.

But some details were more difficult than expected: the arched doors and the buffer with its steps. But it is done.

Of course, the elliptical front end, this will be another round.


Chicago Surface Lines Peter Witt One Man Car

Photo: Paul Mayer
Paul Mayer has painted another CSL Peter Witt in a green livery.

In the early 50ies, some dozen of the famous "Sedans" were transformed to one man operation. The single center door was removed and the double door reduced to the half. 

Sadly, this green cars never run in revenue service in Chicago.


Fort Wayne & Lima semi-lightweight combine

The Fort Wayne & Lima Railroad purchased in the 20ies several semi-lightweight combines built by St. Louis in an effort to cut operating costs. Identical cars were delivered to the Indiana Service Corporation. Shortly after delivery, this cars were one-manned by turning "back to front"

When the Fort Wayne -Lima was abandoned in 1932, five cars were purchased by the Oklahoma Railway. A sixth car, #91, was used as a building and is presevered by the Illinois Railway Museum.

This car is currently drawn as a printable 3D file. Most of the variants (Ft Wayne & Lima, ISC, Indiana Railroad, Oklahoma Railroad) would be made available. Motorisation could be a Bowser or a Hollywood Foundry drive.


3D modeling for newsgraphics

You may find that that this blog is a little asleep.  But that is only temporary. I am actually absorbed by some seasonal Live Steam acitivites, and with drawings for a video animation for the French railways. This animations will show how the "Modalohr" intermodal railcar works, with his pivoting berths loading semi trailers within the restricted European clearances.  This 3D models are destinated to be animated, and are obviously not printable ..


Back from the East Penn Traction Meet

I am back from the 21. East Penn Traction Meet 2013 in Philadelphia. It was a great pleasure to meet so many people I have only known by mail before.

Next days I will respond to all who asked me questions , who gave me their card or mailed me. Just be a little patient, and never hesite to ask again.

These photos of my Oneonta & Mohawk Valley car were taken on Bob Dietrichs home layout, on the EPTC home layout tour on Sunday. This car never was in a such pleasant environment before...