Sunday, December 28, 2014

Arkansas Valley Smelter Update | 5 Comments - Click Here :

    Keith Hayes - Though the Rio Grande's third rail was removed between Salida and Malta in 1926, providing my C&S layout an interchange with the D&RGW creates some operating interest in Leadville. One of the large D&RGW customers was the Arkansas Valley Smelter, which is located down the hill near Stringtown, just below the old Colorado Midland grade. (the D&RGW freight depot has been moved to the site, if you should visit.) The end of the layout includes a Rio Grande staging track for the connecting train to Salida; part of this job is switching several industries, including the Arkansas Valley Smelter, which serves as a visual foil to hide the open staging track.

      The overall scene as the operator would see it. The car card box fits nicely within the form of the brick building on the right. The Assay Office is on the left. Some low open storage bins will probably fill the space between. Or maybe a truck scale.

       The inspiration: All that remained of the cluster of structures at the Yak Tunnel in California Gulch in 2012. This too, may be gone now. The Yak drained a number of mines located in the gulches further north and was served by the Colorado Midland.
    I wrote previously about this project in September 2014, "An Exploration Into 3D Printing".
In towns like Leadville, the wood buildings burned down in early fires and were replaced by brick structures, like the Yak Tunnel. Searching for a suitable kit yielded the Dayton Machine Company kit in HO manufactured by Walthers. The problem is that the small windowpanes are a dead giveaway to the scale.

    The previous post described my foibles designing and ordering the various windows and doors for this project. The model has a clerestory and the sides are four masonry bays long, about 12” actual. The site for this building is a bit more than two car lengths long, and I have a second need—a place to hide a car card box. So, I cut the sidewalls and spliced them together. The walls were painted a rust color (my preference for brick), and some watery light gray paint wiped in for mortar. The walls were assembled, and I got some stout Evergreen strip styrene to reinforce the corners and provide a brace at the bottom of the clerestory.

    The model had a continuous clerestory window, so I had to make new 3d print castings to form one in S scale. The castings were assembled on a couple pieces of styrene strip. All the windows and doors were painted black, as that seemed the right thing to do. Once the paint was dry, I glazed the windows using clear styrene and canopy glue. New roofs were constructed out of .040” black styrene, and a heavy rib was glued to the clerestory roof. The corrugated metal is from Wild West.

    I used Tom Troughton’s method to build the platform. The base was cut from 1/8” tempered hardboard. I drilled holes for 3/16” square posts, painted the base brown, and glued the posts in from the bottom. The platform is scale 2” x 10”, though the real thing would have more likely been decked with 4” x 10”s—bars of bullion are heavy, you know. Cross braces were added between posts under the deck.

    I added a couple numbers above the two track doors to indicate car spotting locations. This should provide some operational interest for the train crew. When I designed the layout, I created a switch back at the smelter for a coal storage building. Train crews will have to pull the cars at the warehouse, then go into the stub track to pull the cars from the coal track. The operation is reversed to spot new cars at the coal bin and warehouse.

    Raggs To Riches recently issued a kit for a Silverton smelter in HO—it included an eye catching Assay Office, and I asked Joe Fuss if he was planning to make the office available in S scale. True to his word he did, and that meant I had to buy the kit. It is a fun build and has a neat form, and some great details.

    To complete the scene, I ordered some crates from Scenery Unlimited, and some Arttista figures to create a card game taking place on the back side of the building, beyond the watchful eye of the boss.
    With this area taking shape, I am moving back into town to complete some of the structures there.

Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! | 6 Comments - Click Here :

Clearly created by someone who has visited my house - Darel

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to all the readers and contributors of the C&Sn3!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Part 3 - C&S Stock Cars | 11 Comments - Click Here :

    Derrell Poole - Don't let the caption on the title photo throw you - I'm still talking about original build cars.

    One lot of 20 stock cars was built in November and December of 1907. They were numbered 7065 to 7084. Like other Type II cars they used Bettendorf cast trucks and body bolsters. The cost of these cars was 700.00 each.

    According to certain records another lot of 3 Stock cars was also built in November. These were specifically to replace 3 of 5 AC&F Type cars (numbered 7015 to 7064) that had been destroyed as of April that year. The cost of the replacements was only 650.00 each. Since they still owed money to the Trust under which the C&S had purchased these 1900 vintage cars they were  obliged to maintain the lot. The AC&F numbers to be replaced were 7016, 7046 and 7058; the new cars carried the old numbers but they were indeed Type II cars.

    But other records suggest that we don't know the full story. In fact, this does not seem to be the first time the Railroad replaced a missing AC&F car. Numbers 7054 and 7015 had been destroyed in 1904 and 05 respectively. Their values of 634.37 each had been recorded on January 1, 1906 in an Equipment Renewal Analysis. Both cars seem to have been replaced prior to the fall of 1907 but there is no actual record of this. The Official Railway Equipment Register reflected the losses between 1904 and 05 but then regained the count only to exclude the replacements to be built in late 1907. As of September the net balance of the 7015 series stood at 47 cars.

    What seems in-congruent is that 7015 along with the 3 replacements cars built as Type IIs were grouped with the 7065 series in a document titled "Unit Record of Property Changes - Equipment". This strongly suggests that 7015 was, in fact, a Type II car. The URPC-E appears to date from the late teens when the ICC was developing its Valuation Reports. Was 7015 perhaps the very first Type II car built? The records suggest a practice to first built a single car of any new design before the shops got down to the business of out shopping an entire series; sort of a sample car, perhaps to address any shortcomings. But this doesn't seem plausible once we realize the particular circumstances of 1906 and 07. The Type I Boxcars were about to be built in early 1906 when a massive fire destroyed a substantial part of the facilities in February. In fact, the building of the Type I Boxcars was delayed until just shortly before the first run Type II cars were built. This is not to say that one Stock car of the Type II design could not have been built before the Type I Boxcars but even the ORER does not support this.

    It could very well be that 7054 had already been built prior to the fire. It could have been built to a unique Type I frame but more likely it was simply a reconstruction of the AC&F design (the two designs were nearly identical anyway). Interestingly 7054 was not listed anywhere in the URPC-E.

    Thus it seems, despite 1907 records, there were actually 4 Type II cars that replaced AC&F numbers. Incidentally there isn't any clue as to why the replacement cars were 50.00 cheaper than the new cars.

    Under AFE 603 fifty Type III SUF Stock cars were built in 1910. They were numbered 7085 to 7134. All 50 cars were apparently turned out in August at a cost of 700.00 each.

    In Figure 17 we see the roof variations of a Type II and a pair of Type III models. The Type II cars were equipped with wood roofs but the Type III cars used the outside Murphy roofs  like the Type II and III Boxcars. Since 7065 is nearly 3 years older than the SUF cars I've tried to weather its roof to support that vintage. The running boards on the SUF cars also vary from each other and sets up a bit of variety in a train. Wood roof walks were typically not painted.

    The Type II car in Figure 17 represents a car that has been in use for nearly 3 years. Its paint is faded and the car displays plenty of road grime but it is still in good shape. On the other hand 7085 is spanking new - again to validate the vintage of late 1910.

    The model of 7065 was built several years ago from a Berlyn Kit. As it stands, the stock Berlyn kit is grossly over-sized. To build the model correctly I bashed it with PBL Type III parts. As I recall I milled off the end sills and sheathing and replaced them on the PBL end pieces. I simply glued an additional strip of plastic along the bottom edges of the new sides pieces. These modifications were necessary since the sills of the 1910 cars were 7" deep as opposed to the 1907 cars that had 9" sills.

    Since building 7065 I've acquired additional Type II box car ends from Paul Vaughn who now owns the Berlyn C&S kits. I have 4 more kits to build and the Boxcar ends should reduce some of the work that the PBL parts require. But you will still need the side pieces.

    Cars 7085 and 7089 were built from PBL kits. I had obtained these for parts to correct the Type II kits. But I when I ordered additional parts from PBL I decided to go ahead and built the Type III cars. These are the only SUF Stock cars I intend to run on my layout.

    You should also purchase the PBL spurs with the door parts because the Berlyn doors are unusable. You will notice that the doors on both Types are different from those of later periods. As much as I've looked, doors seem to have changes along with everything else in the late teens. I milled a jig out of aluminum to lay out the door slats for this configuration and then glued them into the commercial door frames.

    In figure 21 you will notice that the various details of lettering are located on the side sills of 7065 while they are located on the lowest slat of the siding in figure 22. It isn't too hard to understand this reasoning on cars with 7" side sills. The side brace castings are brass etchings simply glued into place since these are different from the braces on the Type III Stock cars (compare Figures 17 and 17).

    Compare the Type II side sills in Figure 21 to the location of the same lettering on the SUF cars. Once again dates in both cases validate the vintage I am modeling.

    All Type II stock cars were built in 1907 and therefore have only the 1907 cast Striker. But if you look closely you will see that there are a couple of errors on 7065. I failed to include the draft gear data on this end of the car because at the time I was not sure that this appeared on both ends. The same mistake occurred on the SUF cars where only one end has the markings. This was also due to a shortage of the correct decals necessary to do both ends. Another error was the lack of the Retainer Valve descriptor that should be located below the diagram and left of the brake staff on the SUF cars. If you look closely at the end of 7065 in figure 16 you will see this descriptor in the right location. Another error is that the airline goes thru the end sill. This is a feature of the AC&F cars but not the later builds.

    One of the big questions about Stock cars is that of double decks. So far there is never mention in the records of multiple decks during original construction of any C&Sng stock car. I believe additional decks were installed much later. In the URPC-E removable double decks were installed in some of the Type III cars during April and May of 1928. My research has turned up records of the late '30s that indicate some AC&F and Type II cars had also been equipped with double decks. A clue I have not looked into would be the Stock pens and loading chutes and when they started to appear.

Derrell Poole
Hamilton MT.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Part Two - C&S Type III Coal Cars | 1 Comments - Click Here :

    Derrell Poole - The 50 Type III (strictly a modeler / historian designation - the C&S referred to steel under framed cars as "SUF") coal cars were built July to September, 1910, under the authority of AFE 604 that had been issued on 9 February of that year. The cost of each car was to be $700.00 for a total of $35K. The series was numbered 4498 to 4547. The first car was built on 12 July. Then on 28 August the shops turned out 4499 to 4525 (27). The last 22 cars, 4526 to 4547, were put in service in September. The disjointing of continuity is probably because the same shops were also building Boxcars and Stock cars at the same time.

    This group of models represent all of my planned (currently) SUF coals. Since my layout date is September 1910 these are very new cars and they show it. The paint is fresh and weatherless. The lettering is complete and true to its vintage. The wheels don't even squeak! 

    But the lettering isn't quite complete. You will notice the location of the data markings and how they more or less center on the 2nd side board of the box. These markings provide the dimensions weight and capacity of the cars. The weight of any given car in a set will vary by a few hundred pounds. And that could change over time. Weight was, of course, of paramount importance since that was a limitation of motive power. Weighing cars was a pretty routine duty of the Mechanics Department. In other words this is a part of the data you can mix up a little bit. 

    What's missing on my cars is the date and location line. This should be in place at the top edge of the bottom board as indicated by the note in Figure 11. On this car it should read "DENVER  8  10". I had a reason for not including this line but since it wasn't a very good reason I don't see the point in tell what it was.

    The 3 models are Overland kits produced by Grandt Line and you cannot get parts for them from Grandt (I've tried). PBL now produces these kits and they will sell extra parts. However certain parts in the OMI versions are especially nice because they were cast in Delrin. In particular is the spur with the coupler lift bars and brake air line. I've talked with Jimmy about these upon occasion but it doesn't seem they will follow Grandt's lead on this and continue (to my knowledge) to shoot them in Styrene. The advantage of the Delrin is that the parts are not nearly as fragile and if PBL ever casts them in Delrin I'd be in line to pick up a smack of them; they are useful on nearly every type of modern C&Sng car.

    In Part 1 of this article ("Type II Boxcars") I pointed out how the draft gear data was located in the center of the end of the truss rod cars. In this modified photo of Figure 6 from Part 1 the location of the SUF draft gear data is sort of pointed out; it should be down near the bottom edge of the car. The particular decal needed for this detail is located on the Foothills Model lettering set for the Type II Coals offered by Berlyn. (See figure 14).

    The hardware seems to play a part in where the data was located on each Type. In Figure 13 these markings fit between the grab irons above the striker but they would not fit in the SUF location used on these cars. The Strikers on the SUF cars were quite a bit smaller (Figure 15) and there was no truss rod end nut next to corner plate.

    The Retainer Valve diagram is circled because this is one of those lettering pieces that is difficult to find - not to mention it isn't even correctly drawn for this railroad. This is a piece from the RGS lettering found in the Berlyn boxcar kits. Missing is the settings descriptor for the diagram that should be located at the "x".

    Also you can see the brake staff hardware and compare how different it was from the post ICC regulation staff as seen on modern versions of the cars. I built this staff from .022" wire and .032" brass tubing. I also had to modify the upper and lower brackets. You will notice the left grab iron and coupler lift bar are located between the staff and the siding.

    The SUF Coal cars were similarly marked with the draft gear data as on the SUF house cars altho I have not determined they had the Retainer Valve markings. Compare the notes of each lettering between the Type II and III cars. Tho the location is correct on the Type II car I'm not entirely convinced the text is correct.

    As I said in Part 1, I NEED lettering sets with these hard to come by parts - particularly that shown in Figure 14. The San Juan Car Co. lettering sets for Block style Coals include this piece but I cannot justify 16 to 18 dollars for each piece I might need. I'm sure the overall SJ set is well worth the price and I don't begrudge that but this is the only part I need. If you don't need these lettering sets WITH these pieces on it I'm sure we can come to some kind of exchange. Please contact me off list.

Derrell Poole
Hamilton MT. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Part One - C&S Type II Boxcars | 5 Comments - Click Here :

Fig. 1

    Derrell Poole - Type II boxcars were built in two sets. The first set of 40 cars (8103 - 8142) were out-shopped in December 1907, the second set of 50 cars (8143 - 8192) were put into service between August and Oct. of 1908 (August; 8143 - 8143, 21 cars. Sept; 8164 - 8188, 25 cars. Oct; 8189 - 8192, 4 cars) The two sets were not exactly alike. They all used the Bettendorf cast trucks and body bolster and all had Murphy metal roofs. But the cast striker of 1907 were not used on the 1908 cars. That striker was the same casting that found its way onto the SUF Refrigerators. In fact, Reefer 500 was out-shopped in Dec. 1908. In later years first run Type II cars can be seen with what appears to be a wooden block with a heavy bar bolted to the face for a striker. So there may have been an issue with the first casting.

Fig. 2
    In S scale the only kits available for Type II box cars are the Berlyn products. They represent post 1919 second run cars. The singular hardware detail that makes them different from the first run cars are the strikers.

    The freight cars changed in general between 1915 and as late as early 1920. I've talked about these differences before - grab irons, brake staffs and gear and end sills, etc.

    When they were built the lettering was the 1906 Common Standard with the large Block figures. This style prevailed until the early 1920's when the Circular Trademark was adopted. But the Block lettering did vary thru the years. Cars appear to have less data details and even different font types to some of these stencils in later years; the pre and early teen period was much more homogeneous and meticulous.  It becomes necessary to study photos of the prototypes taken at specific times the model is to represent. 


Fig. 4
    The details, both in the hardware and the lettering, are what defines the period that the model represents; specific to a prototype but even to a freelance car. Details and lettering were often defined or prescribed by law. A rather well known and much admired layout was famed for its 1880's locomotives but the road operated post 1911 "United States Safety Appliances" freight cars! Ouch!

    Of Course the Herald is an obvious date marker but there are other parts of the lettering that are surely telling of the vintage. They are often what authenticates the specific vintage. Note the Data Markings in Figures 2 & 3. The bottom lines both contain dates. They are different dates but they both have integrity to the vintage these models represent - that of September 1910. 

Fig. 5

    In figure 5 the Builders Marking is also true to the vintage. Both 8103 and 8138 were built in Denver at the C&S Shops. The Date? December 1907.

    These cars are just under 3 years old (on the layout). A close look at the photos will testify to this age; the paint is faded but not deteriorated. And there is evidence of road dirt and weathering as if they have been on the rails these few years. So once the vintage is authenticated with the details the finish of the model should attempt to reinforce that vintage.

Fig. 6

    In fig. 6 the end details of the first run Type II boxcars are described including the pre USSA Brake Staff and the 1907 cast Striker. Obviously the Grab irons are different as well. These are 21" grabs and were at the time screwed to the wood siding. After 1911 the railroads were to bolt the grab irons in place. Obviously it would have been more secure to bolt them thru the framing than just thru the siding and this may have accounted for reducing the length of the irons. The grab irons were also to have been located closer together so that the rebuilt cars had 5 irons to a ladder instead of 4 as seen on the sides in Fig. 1 & 2. The Type II Stock car ends looked much the same as the car in Fig. 6. Since only first run Stock cars were built, all 23 had these cast Strikers.

    Compare this end lettering with prototype photos of the other Types of Boxcars. You will find that Type I cars place the Herald and numbers to the left corner and that the Draft Gear data was placed on the lower right on Type III boxcars. The only lettering missing on this Type II car might be the use instructions of the retainer valve that would have been located just below the diagram left of the Brake staff.

    This issue of correct lettering is among the toughest to overcome when attempting to authenticate the vintage. Decal designers typically cater to the later, post 1919, periods. Getting the correct sizes and specific data markings is especially challenging when you model 1910. Not one S scale lettering set for C&S Type II and III boxcars will accommodate all of the pieces needed to be a correct and complete car. The Berlyn kits provide decals for RGS variants and the Retainer Diagram is located on that sheet (tho not entirely a correct representation). Decals for the Berlyn kits were produced by Foothills Models. I am not sure who did the artwork. Fresh decals were quite good but as some of the kits are around 25 years old they often prove nearly impossible to use without special treatment. Fig. 7 is a set of San Juan Decals which is the current iteration of the Foothills product.

Fig. 7

    As you can imagine I need decals. The Coal car set provides lettering needed for the vintage 1910 Type III coals and Boxcars. As I said the RGS sheets also provide parts for the vintage Type II and III boxcars. I have several of each of the Berlyn Kits as well as Overland SUF kits. The Decals in the OMI kits provide nothing but the Circular Trademark in C&S or RGS decals. If those of you who build the Berlyn  cars have left over sets because they are not usable I'd like the opportunity to either trade my unusable spares or simply buy them from you. In particular I need the RGS and Type II coal Block lettering sets.

Derrell Poole
Hamilton MT.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Layout Glance | 4 Comments - Click Here :

    Taking an idea from Marty McGuirk's excellent blog about his Central Vermont Railway; I've now added a new feature to the blog that makes it an easy "one click" for readers to access information about our layouts. You can find these tabs just below the header of the blog.
    If you would like to have your C&S/CC/South Park layout featured (regardless of scale), please email the statistical information, trackplan and any photographs by clicking on the Moderators profile on the right side of the blog.
    Many thanks goes to Marty for this great new idea and format!