"California style" streetcar and single-truck car bash from cable car

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by jetrock, May 31, 2006.

  1. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Continued from another thread...

    Speaking of cable cars and two-thirds of a California car, I realized a while back that the Bachmann "cable car" model *was* two-thirds of a California car, and decided it was time to try a kitbash. I started with two of those cheapola "cable car" models, costing $2 each at a couple of swap meets, and bought a Bachmann powered cable car primarily for the power truck, which operates pretty well. I still have quite a bit of work to do, but here is the result:
    The body is still a little off kilter (need to go back and strengthen the roof line) and of course it still needs poles and a more substantial trailing truck, but the power truck from the Bachmann unit is actually pretty decent, and while the wheelbase is a bit wide the 26" wheels are about right and it runs acceptably at slow speeds--it actually handles insulated-frog turnouts better than most of the single power trucks I've seen.

    Here's a photo of a Sacramento "California style" car for comparison:
    After the conversion I realized I had the middle part and the back end of a cable car left over, so I decided it would be fun to use the leftovers for a single-truck early streetcar. In Sacramento, many local streetcars began life as single-truck horsecars, which were later converted to two-truck California cars and then later enclosed...but that's another story. Here's a photo of the bash in its current state (with a white-metal Birney truck and some wheels from the parts box):
    Here's a single-truck Sacramento car for comparison:
    And here is a shot of the front end of both models:
  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Interesting project.
    I was thinking of bashing a few of those cars into 4 wheel cars.
    The single-truck Sacramento car looks similar to one of the cars operated on the Beaver Valley Traction Co.
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    neat but think the truss rods need tightened up a bit :)
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Now that is a unique set of cars that are rarely modeled...great start, keep us posted:thumb:
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    My current problem is fixing the "truss rod" problem--I'm trying to find something to stiffen the roof so it won't flex the way it does now.

    I think I'm going to do the single-truck car first--I will probably leave it unpowered as a display model (although I could always stick a PDT in there) and a test bed for what I want to do with the two-truck model...
  6. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Nice work Jetrock,, In have one of those cars , yet to be worked on.

    Have you considered using fine oblong brass , hidden under the roof there is a powerful glue that will do the job if you brace it while it takes. just a thought sign1
  7. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I could give that a try...this weekend I worked on the single truck car, modifying the frame and truck so it sits properly. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to power it--the PDT is just too big and would require too much surgery to the truck, but a "Flea" isn't out of the question...assuming I can find all the necessary hardware.

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