Sperry Rail Car Query

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Dave Flinn, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    The Housatonic & Cayuga has just acquired a Walthers HO Sperry Rail Car. The sheet which comes with the unit says "Depending on the time period, there may or may not be a coupler attached to the front pilot." My car has a front coupler, which fits my 1950's period. My question is should there be a rear coupler? There is a place for one, but it is conspicuously absent. Can anyone out there tell my track gangs whether or not they can sneakily attach a car to the back of the Sperry when it's making its rounds?
  2. Blake

    Blake Member

    This link will probably give you way more info than you want to know but what the heck. Check it out and have some fun.

    Sperry Rail Service
  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

  4. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    Sperry Rail Cars

    Thanks to both Blake and Matthyro for the links. The Sperry one, in particular, has lots of good information (more than I could absorb in one sitting), but I still didn't get the answer to my specific question (although I could have missed it).

    My car is #127, although it doesn't have quite the same paint scheme as the photo of 127 on the site. I suspect the photo is of later vintage than my road, anyway.

    I'll repeat the question, just in case anyone else has some good thoughts: did these cars have/use couplers on the rear?. This one has a place for one, but there's nothing there, while there is a coupler on the front. It's not a big deal; and I suppose, since I'm freelancing, I could add one or not, as I see fit. I'm just curious about the prototype, however.

    Thanks guys.
  5. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    This is just a guess, but.....

    I don't think that the Sperry Rail Cars are meant to pull anything...

    Thus no rear couplers....

    The coupler in the front is meant for use when they infrequently break down. It is there for another locomotive to tow it...
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    A little more information, including TinGoats photos and a conversation with an X-SRS employee, who I just e-mailed and invited to join us.
  7. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    SRS etc.

    Again thanks to Tin Goat for the explanation, which sounds logical to me. I guess it raises the question of why there is a coupler pocket on the rear of the car, though.

    Also thanks to jon-monon for the additional information, and I hope your buddy soon joins us here. This could develop into a really interesting thread.
  8. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Coupler pockets

    More guesswork here....

    On the Sperry Rail Prototype, the older equipment was often bought second hand.

    Gas mechanicals (Doodlebugs) didn't last very long on railroads. They were introduced as a means for the railroads to compete with cars and buses. The automobile was taking business away from railroad passenger lines, so with declining ridership, the mainline railroads went with smaller/faster passenger "self propelled" equipment. When this didn't work out, they sold or scrapped the Doodlebugs while they were still relativly new.

    Sperry Rail bought the Doodlebugs second-hand. They would modify them at the Sperry Rail shops to add the rail detector equipment as well as reconfiguring the insides to add galley kitchens and crew quarters...

    The Doodlebugs would originally be built with couplers at both ends, but Sperry would remove the rear couplers, since they weren't needed. But the coupler pocket would remain.

    In the case of the models. I would imagine that the manufacturers are using regular Doodlebug models and modifying them into Sperry Rail Cars.

    There is already a coupler pocket on the rear of the regular Doodlebug models but they just don't put a coupler in it in order to match the Sperry Rail prototype.

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