Not that much room under flat cars

The Vancouver Train Expo seems a long time ago now. The bolster pattern that I worked on there? Yeah, it didn’t work out. I had forgotten to leave room for the straps and bolts on the tops of the trucks. Well, one nice thing about modelling in styrene is that mistakes are quick and cheap to correct.

With a car propped on the new bolster, I could then test the deck height, which was perfect. But when I test fitted the draft gear, I found there isn’t as much room under there as you might hope. I think the draft gear itself is too deep, and this makes it foul not only with the truck bolster*, but also with the brake lever.

While I had the car sitting on its trucks, I also noticed that the bolts marking the ends of the truss rods are almost in line with the wheels, auguring interference to come. This may dictate the depth of the needle beams and queen posts so the truss rods don’t bump against the wheels.

Thank goodness for Proto:87 flanges or I would really be in trouble!


* Actually the beams that hold the side frames together and from which the swing hangers hang. Does anyone know the name?

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4 thoughts on “Not that much room under flat cars

  1. If the bolts are in the right spot, you could probably cheat by shifting the actual posts and truss rod inboard 2.3 skoshes. That would give the correct profile, might be better than compromising on Queen post height…

    1. Thanks for the idea Stephan. It may also be preferable to having a two-steep truss rod angle, which is the usual response of HO scale flat car builders. Fortunately 2.3 skoshes is a long way when your wheels are only about 4 skoshes wide!

    1. It’s my go-to epoxy: Devcon Plastic Steel. I like it because it’s easy to get in plain tubes rather than those naff double-extruders, and doesn’t set in five minutes. Once cured, it sands and files nicely too. Those PB wires are there because the truck design needs work; without them the beams do not stay in position. Sadly the design is in SketchUp, and it will take some work to bring it into OnShape to fix it. It’s much easier simply to get more printed.

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