Tunnel clearance car...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by shaygetz, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    While I shoulda been weathering my Northern as I had promised Miles, I got distracted when I glanced over my scrap box and saw the makings for a tunnel clearance car.

    >>>> http://www.toytrains1.com/images/trains/bo-2002-47.jpg

    >>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Primitive_clearance_car.jpg

    >>>> http://www.prrths.com/Phila_Misc_Clearence Car Story.html

    >>>> http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/cn_laser_clearance.jpg

    I chose to model the rod type. When the rods were extended they made for quite a sight going down the rails. Slowly pushed ahead of a locomotive, the rods would make contact with any obstruction that wasn't properly removed in the construction of the tunnel. Sadly, truck mounted lazers have take over, making for a less than impressive (but still interesting future 'bash with an old Bachmann Tackster step van:thumb:) show.

    I started with a short heavy steel flatcar and a super cheapie boom tender cabin lurking in the scrap box. Rather than do a How-to, I just photographed it unpainted to show the different kibbles and bits that went into it, hoping to show newcomers that there's always a project in the wings, regardless of cash on hand.

    The rods were picket fencing placed on a Plast-Struct frame and clipped to follow the NMRA Standards guage for tunnel and bridge clearances. The rest of the structure came from bits and pieces cobbled together from a Volmer pedestrian bridge and walkways made from Atlas lumber loads. Bits of .015" brass wire, more Atlas lumber and two scrap marker lamps round out the cabin. More brass wire and two brake wheel castings made up the front and rear railings.

    Once painted, I plan to wreak havoc on the club layout tunnels and cuts with it, as my Bachmann tri-level auto racks just don't like one particular cornerfence1

    Attached Files:

  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Interesting car Bob! I'll bet club members are gonna get anxious seeing you coming with that one! :)
  3. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    I look forward to seeing the completed project - I love unique rail equipment.

    You've placed the measurement device on top of a bolster. What all requirements are there for longer cars like auto racks that create massive overhang? Is the 'standard tunnel measurement' taking that into account, or is it adjusted based on the curve of the tunnel? Would having the measuring device in the center of an 80' flatbed be more accurate to the prototype requirements or are all tunnels bound to the same specifications?
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    neat Bob up to your fine stanards:) had one if them once think it was a atlas kit:) but not shure too long ago:(
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks, guys, I do enjoy seeing what can come of scrap box kibbles when so much of the hobby can be so expensive.

    Yeah, Ralph, I can already see their eyes rolling when I whip this pup outta the carrying case.:thumb:

    Jim, I've seen those kits go for way too much on Ebay...sigh...wish I had gotten one when they could be gotten.

    The outline of the fingers are clipped exactly to the NMRA Standards gauge---height and width and made stouter than I would like because it is a working car. The gauges are based on reasonable trackability. While the Bachmann racks are built to go around an 18" curve, they look outlandish doing it. The gauge would set clearances for a more reasonable radius---24-30". The club has 32" radius curves, the trouble is some rock castings that are along a rock wall.

    If i were to do a layout where I had to do curves 24" radius or less then, yes, I would highly recommend build one of these into the center of an 80+ foot car, just to make sure of the clearances.
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Neat idea, Bob, and a neat looking model, too.

    Prototype railroads use clearance cars built to match clearance diagrams similar to those published in the Official Railway Equipment Register. The various diagrams take into account all of the outside dimensions of the cars and the distance between truck centres. You can probably see references to these diagrams if you check some of the smaller lettering on your longer cars. Plate C, Exceeds Plate C, Plate D, etc. each refer to a particular "plate", or diagram. (The letters, C,D, etc., are usually enclosed in a "box").

  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Looks good Bob.
    Uh...Might want to paint the cabin another color though..Or is pink the color of your MOW equipment on your road?
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks guys, I've got the superstructure painted and, as I thought it would, the black paint makes everything look smaller and finer. I'll have pics tomorrow.

    As for the color, Ed, I thought it were kinda purdy myself:thumb: I don't know the origins of the cabin except to say that it came from a unit more poorly made than Tyco if that were possible. The plastic is super soft and required some internal bracing to cure a serious inward bowing on the sides. The cupola barely fit, you can see in the picture the strips of grey styrene that I needed to fill in the gaps. It's really solid now though, and has some nice scribed siding and trim detail that kept me from tossing it when I got it. All in all there's about 4 hours into it up to now.
  9. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    That's neat, Bob! :thumb:
  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks, John.

    Got some painting done last night.

    Attached Files:

    • MOW6.jpg
      File size:
      55.2 KB
  11. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    your right Bob a coat of paint made it look even better:D
  12. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks, Jim. Assembled and ready to go...

    Attached Files:

  13. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Oh my gosh that's beautiful ...

    I just noticed it's sitting on some dual gauge. Do you have any narrow gauge tunnels that'll need their own inspector? Make another one?
  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks, that's a photographic display I've built. My camera hates anything other than natural sunlight. It's dual gauge for my shared interests in N scale and HOn30.
  15. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    I love how the shadow casts on the caboose part of the car.
  16. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Shadows MAKE photography. It's what makes it look 'real', even if you're taking pictures of 'the real thing'. If you watch professional photographers they go to great lengths to not have the flash coming from the same location as the camera.
  17. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Had to admit, being an amateur photogragher, I got all kinds of warm fuzzies when I saw that effect.:thumb: Speaks volumes for natural sunlight and a portable diorama.

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