Strange Boxcar!!

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Bob Collins, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I have a couple of old boxcars I bought off e-Bay some time back and am just now getting around to checking couplers, wheel sets, etc. I could see inside one of them that there is a wheel inside, so I opened it up to check it out. Sure enough a well balanced metal wheel, about an inch and a half in diameter mounted roughly over the trucks at one end.

    I can see no evidence that it has anything to do with track cleaning and if it did have something to do with that the mechanism that would run along the track is long gone.

    Any ideas what the wheel might be or do??


  2. zedob

    zedob Member

    I'm grabbing out of the air. No pic.

    Possibly a momentum generator? Is there any way a rubber band could be attached to the wheel and a truck axel?:rolleyes:

    The only other thing I can imagine would be a some type of anti-jackrabbit start training device. I've seen some crazy pre DCC... humm...actually pre transistorized throttle days gizmos that were dreamed up in the attempts to create momentum by mechanical means.

    Show us a pic.:thumb:
  3. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Actually it appears quite possible that a rubber band could have been threaded down to the axle. As I look more closely at the axle the metal wheel is on I see a notched area where the rubber band might have gone.

    Tell me again why you would have something like thisballoon6 in a box car???


  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    You got it, Z. Bob, what you have there is a momentum car, a flywheel equipped car that simulates the movement of a heavy car pushed in a yard or pulled in a train. A rubber band goes from one axle to the flywheel and you're ready to go. They are rarely used today with the quality and features available on throttles nowadaze. You've got quite a find, I've been hovering over train shows and Ebay for a long time looking for one of them, a nice piece of early 70s model rail history.:thumb:
  5. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    My sincere thanks to both of you.

    This box car is a 40' Illinois Central , have no clue who made it as I didn't get it in its orignal box. I'll put it away in a safe place.

  6. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    have 2 momentum box cars both are modified athearn kit cars. for ther life of my i can't rember who i got them from.
  7. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    Where is AZ do you hang your hat. I spent the month of January in Tucson where I had a chance to do some fun railfanning.

  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    You guys are killin' me...killin' me...I've been searchin' for these things for years and tonight it's all but rainin' the dang thingswall1 :D
  9. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    about 5 hrs driving west of tucson a place called wellton:)
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The earliest I remember was an article by John Armstrong in the late 50s on building a flywheel boxcar. John did his in O scale with a chain drive. John wanted his boxcars to coast as far as the prototype when he kicked them in shunting.
    I couldn't figure out how to apply it to my Lionel.
  11. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    This thing is actually rather ingenious except when you have to take it apart to replace the rubberband. Looks to me like you really have to take it apart.... wheel off the axle, underframe of the car off the box, etc.

  12. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    mine use a spring as a belt drive like the old varney b unit diesels
  13. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    If memory serves me right, I read somewhere that John Allen used to run such a boxcar on his timesaver layout.

    He always liked to play a joke on fellow model railroaders. So he sneaked in that car on his timesaver and persuaded his 'victim' to use delayed uncoupling for kicking that car into a siding. Then he and the other (informed) bystanders almost doubled over laughing when that car coasted on and on and on ... :wave: ... until it hit the end of the track. The face expression of the unlucky engineer must have been a sight to behold.:D:D:D


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