Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Case of the Missing Truss Rods | 20 Comments - Click Here :

Robert Grandt Collection.
    Doug Heitkamp - Details, it's all about the details! How often have we heard that phrase? As fans of the C&S, we often have to rely upon old photos for information. Analyzing old railroad pictures is almost a hobby within a hobby. It's amazing what people can "see" in these old black and white prints. I've always been interested in freight car construction practices from the turn of the century. Since virtually none of these cars still exist, I have to rely upon pictures for a lot of my research.

I recently purchased a print of this photo from Robert Grandt. It was taken in Idaho Springs shortly after the turn of the century. Based on my reference material, the cars in the picture are:

On the right -
C&S 7681 - 30', 20 ton, Built by Peninsular 1884
C&S 7591 - 27', 14 ton, Built by Union Pacific 1883/4
3rd car back - I believe this is another 27' car based on the details.
In the rear center: 
C&S 7306 - 26', 12 ton, Built by Litchfield 1879/80

On the left:
C&S 7529 - 27', 14 ton, Built by Union Pacific 1883/4

While the upper brake staff supports are certainly unique, that's not the reason I've asked Darel to post the picture to his blog.

My question is - Where are the outer truss rods on the 27' cars?

You can clearly see them on C&S 7681, yet they are not visible on C&S 7591 or the car behind it. There are also no truss rod end bolts visible on the corners of the end of car C&S 7529. Every drawing (and model) I have seen for the 27' cars depicts the usual 4 truss rods with needle beams and queen posts. While the 27' cars in the picture have the needle beams, they appear to be lacking the traditional outside truss rods. 

Derrell Poole pointed out to me that if you go back into the blog to "Roper's Snapshot Saturday No. 9 from July 2014, there is another picture worth looking at. C&S Boxcar 7408 is also a 27' car. Again, needle beams but no visible outside truss rods. Derrell is not only a good friend, but he is also a great resource. His eye for detail and knowledge of the C&S is amazing. Any of us that model the C&S owe Derrell a big Thanks!

In my conversations with Derrell, we both agreed that there were truss rods - thus the needle beams, but that there were probably only two, just outside the center sills. We have no way to prove this, but based on the clues presented in these old photos, it's our conclusion. If anybody has any ideas or info on how these cars were built, feel free to comment (even if it's just a guess)!


Doug Heitkamp
Centennial, CO

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Roper's Snapshot Saturday No.20 | 4 Comments - Click Here :

Courtesy Robert Boorman Collection.

Courtesy Robert Boorman Collection.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Friday Quiz | 19 Comments - Click Here :

Unidentified location (according to Denver Public Library).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

More on 3D Printing | 8 Comments - Click Here :

    Mike McKenzie - This is in response to Keith Hayes’ 3D printing post. Like Keith, I use Shapeways to print my 3D models. There are other vendors out there that I’d like to investigate, but for now Shapeways fits my needs.
    I was out of the hobby for 35 years until 4-5 years ago. As a teenager (the early ‘70s, ah, remember the ‘70s?)  I belonged to the old Midwest Narrow Gaugers here in the Chicagoland area, with the likes of Len Madsen (my narrow gauge mentor) and Al Kamm Jr. I left the hobby when college came around but always kept a place in my heart for trains. As a graphic designer, I’d been using 3D software for product mock-up renders. I use a 3D software package called Carrara Pro (started life as Ray Dream Designer), and had my own copy at home. Wanting to create something in 3D on my own led me back to narrow  gauge railroading and eventually back to “hard” modeling, Sn3 this time around.
    The thing that really got me into 3D printing was the fact that I’m a better 3D modeler than I am a wood carver. I’d picked up an Sn3  Tomalco Pagosa Springs combine and thought that 3D printing would work nicely for the clerestory roof, I sure wasn’t confident I could carve it with satisfactory results! I’d been posting some 3D renders (not prints) of K-36 parts modeled from D&RGW engineering drawings on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum. It was sort of a zen exercise, with a vague dream of finishing a complete 3D K-36 someday.

    Another member saw them and asked if I could model some D&RGW flat car parts to be 3D printed in On3, parts otherwise not commercially available. Well, that turned into some 3D parts for a San Juan Decals On3 6200 series flat car kit. Another gentleman saw my clerestory roof in my Shapeways shop and wanted me to 3D print some coach roofs (a couple C&S coaches included) for his Heartland Railway HOn3 kits. Those roof s came out really, really nice, even though they were the cheaper plastic (lower resolution, less detail).He wants to do a couple more C&S kits in the future. As it stands (and it will only get better), 3D printing is almost perfect for short run kits in our chosen niche scales and gauges, and bodes well for the future.

    My main scale is Sn3, but as with the San Juan kits, I dabble in On3 on occasion. I’m modeling and printing parts for an On3 K-37 (parts not available and/or problematic to scratch build, for me anyway) to be used in a diorama of K-37 490 as it sat on a flat car in Alamosa being parted out. The frame and other parts would not be appropriate for a powered model. I think they came out really nice.

As for the C&S…
    When I first came back to model railroading, I zeroed in on ‘40s-ish D&RGW 3rd division as my main focus, in Sn3. But I’ve been broadening my narrow gauge horizons as time goes by, becoming more fascinated by other roads and eras, the DSP&P/C&S included, as well as the RGS, Crystal River (I’m a big C-21 fan) and the Mears’ lines out of Silverton. Among the limited literature I kept when I left the hobby in the late ‘70s were the Silver San Juan and Colorado Rail Annuals #9 and #12 (on the South Park), divesting myself of such gems as Rails, Sagebrush and Pine (!!), Slim Rails Through the Sand and Last of the 3 Foot Loggers.
    I plan to model a freelance narrow gauge line heavily influenced by the D&RGW 3rd division but with another line based on the C&S, either independent or acquired. While most of my rolling stock and power will be Grande, I’ve acquired a number of “Miller” cars, BLW and Overland stock and box car kits. I got me one of the Leadville Shops 26’ stock cars which I’ll fit into the ‘40s somehow – mostly because it’s just such a cool kit. Also just acquired a Cimmaron Works C&S business car #910, well, just because.
    Anyway, just as the wood laser-cut people are pushing the envelope on that technology for the betterment of our hobby, so too will the growth of 3D printing make an impact.

Mike McKenzie

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Roper's Snapshot Saturday No.17 | 9 Comments - Click Here :

Derrell Poole Collection.

Derrell Poole Collection.

Derrell Poole Collection.

Derrell Poole Collection.