Way back in the late 1950s, Revell was really big in the HO scale model train market. Many of the companies that we know today weren’t even around then but Revell sure was. I remember that my brother & I got our first train set for Christmas when I was about 9 or 10 and it was by Revell.
I still have a few pieces from that first set and from time to time, will find cars that were the same as the ones in it. I think I have three of the cabooses and the car pictured above makes the second MoW track cleaning car. This one happened to be a train show find that I paid an entire $3 for. Someone had removed the track cleaning parts but the car itself still looks cool so I spent a little time working on it to get it layout-ready.
Due to the age of the car, it also had the old horn hook couplers on it so they had to go. But this car had talgo trucks on it. For those of you who don’t recognize talgo trucks, they were very popular on less expensive train cars; they had the coupler box cast onto the truck itself. It is generally accepted that the talgos don’t work as well as body-mounted couplers so one generally removes them. But when I went to remove the trucks, I got another surprise… they were metal. I really don’t have any tools small enough to delicately cut metal like that so I decided that the entire truck assembly had to go. This created another problem as the kingpin posts were super big; I didn’t have any trucks that would fit on them.
Time for a serious body modification so I cut off the pins at the bolster level then carefully sanded them flat and level. But before installing new trucks, I went to work on the couplers. Given the way that the body mounted to the underframe, it was a little more difficult than simply gluing the coupler pockets in place. I had to make sure that they didn’t restrict the easy removal of the body. After a little trial & error, I did get them where I wanted them then used a little plastic cement to temporarily hold them in place. A day later after the glue had set, I used a small drill bit to drill a mounting hole through the center post in the coupler pocket. Once that was done, it was simple to assemble the coupler & spring in the pocket then put the cover on using a self-tapping screw. Once assembled, I checked to see that the couple moved easily in the pocket and that it didn’t cause a problem when removing the body.
Now it was back to the truck installation. Since the old ones really wouldn’t work any more, I decided to use something a little unusual for an unusual car. I had a few pairs of Fox trucks I had picked with metal wheels so thought that those would be different enough. Since I had cut off the longer mounting bins, I had to use a longer screw to hold them in place. And, as mentioned in the last post, it took a red washer on each pin to get the couplers to the proper height.
The car originally had two smoke jacks on it but one had been broken off prior to my getting it. I had originally figured that I’d just grab one out of the scrap box but then decided that a tank on the roof of the car would be a little more interesting. Once again, a few dollars and a little time at the work bench produces another interesting piece of rolling stock for the maintenance of way train that I’m working on.