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Model Railroading is fun and this unique model proves it.  The inspiration was a car built at the Cumberland Valley Railroad shops in 1855 and is the oldest passenger car preserved in the United States.  Several unconfirmed reports indicate that this car played a role in the Civil War in shuttling troops to the front from the South

 

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If you consider that the horse in that era was regarded as transportation as the automobile is today, that would make it the first “auto-train” in use.  Back then towns were built about twenty miles apart, a good day’s ride by horseback, but a traveler with the use of this car could travel a hundred miles or more and still have access to his favorite transportation “vehicle”.

  

            

 

This car can be seen at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania as it appeared a bit later in its life.  The model generally follows the outline of this car with a bit of imagineering as if had been built later, say in 1910, with a clerestory roof and  as standard gauge.

 

   

 

   

 

The most difficult part of this model is the clestory roof built from solid roof stock so let’s start there first.  What we need is a nice rounded end with the top roof rounding down to meet the lower roof at the end.

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This stripwood shape has been available for forty years or more and while its popularity has declined it is still quite available today.  The grove near the top is where the windows will be formed

    

          

We will begin by trimming away the uppermost edge to where the formed end will eventually cut away.  This will be at the end of the last clestory window.  The lower roof is rounded as required.  Note that several rounding schemes were used between different railroad companies but once you decide on the desired curve it should be duplicated on all four corners of the car.

You can make your own templates for rounding the roof curves or Labelle (now with a new owner) makes a laser-cut aid for the curved roof trim.  Note that this one sheet provides trim pieces for (2) cars.  You can also purchase one template and copy as many trim pieces as you need

          

 

The most critical part of forming the roof edge is the matching the two ends of the trim piece to the curve of the roofs.  Get the underside right and the rest will be easy.  The bottom of the trim must align with the underside lip of the top roof edge and come in contact with the lower roof curve.  The top roof is then sanded to keep a constant thickness on the trim piece. 

 

The Completed end is now cut off at the end of the trim and used to complete the roof and we are ready to start on the roof proper

     

Make a horizontal cut through the Clestory window section.  Don’t worry about being precise as it is easy to sand the separated pieces to size.  All you need just a slight step on the top-most section of the roof

 

Next make (2) vertical cut to remove the center part of the lower roof.  The center part will be discarded.  The outside bottom pieces should be long enough to extend under the window section.

 

Be careful not to damage the grooving at the bottom outside edge of the side pieces.

 

 

 

 

I used the 3-in-one fixture to align the lower roof pieces first, then the upper roof.  The center portion is used to build the side panels of the car including the windows.  This side shows the lower roof and panel side; the bottom has the guides for the upper roof.

The body is a piece of scrap lathboard and the rest was scraps of unused strip-wood pieces.

    

 

 

This is where the two end pieces are glued to the two lower roof sides.  The fixture insures the critical surfaces are held in alignment.  The inner corners of the outer two sides hold the roof pieces both horizontally and vertically in place.  This jig is also handy for holding the roof for detail work and protecting the bearing surfaces.

This is the other side of the same fixture used to glue the upper roof piece in place between the ends.  Note that in the picture to the right both the upper roof overhang and the lower roof bottom are in perfect alignment

 

This jig is used to make both the larger baggage door and the two smaller end doors.  The vertical [muntin] boards laid in place first, then the remaining pieces are laid in place in the gaps provided, pushed to the left against the spacers, and glued in place. 

   

Make sure all pieces are firmly glued in place when making the jig, then use Vaseline or some type of petroleum product to seal the porous wood surface.  This allows the finished part to be easily removed.  Powdered Graphite or Teflon may be used and rubbed into the wood instead buy they can be a bit messy.  Be sure to replenish the barrier at first sign of the parts sticking  

 

 

There are many advantages of mass producing more doors and windows than you need for a project.  First, you can pick and choose the best to use to complete your model.  Another reason is to fill your parts box with ammunition for your next project.  The best reason is that quite often the first part or two that you make may not be the best.  It is also much easier to keep everything square and held in place by longer pieces during the construction.   

 

Note the two different types of clestory windows, the baggage doors, and the different styles of end doors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

  

   

  

 

 

  

 

   

 

   

 

PHMC Catalogue No. RR79.40.15  

The museum site where car in now located is:

     http://www.rrmuseumpa.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

  

  

  

 

 

 

   

  

  

  

 

 

          

   

 

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Model Railroading is fun in Connecticut.
Bob Van Cleef, MMR

Last update   07/24/2012