I’ve been planning to add a pair of Lackawanna boxcars to the freight car fleet. They had 15,295 boxcars listed in the October 1926 ORER. This isn’t a top ten overall quantity but they had the sixth most boxcars of railroads serving the Northeastern states. DL&W cars could have arrived on the Allegheny Yard branch in Pittsburgh via the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh connection. Plus, I like how their fleet looks.
The core of these projects is the Accurail 36-foot boxcars with straight steel center sills. This project has been at the back of my mind for a while. With many freight car projects, there is often one step that has delayed progress. With these cars, replacing a roof was that step. I wanted one car to represent a DL&W 30-ton boxcar with a wood roof. The other car would be a 40-ton version with steel ends, quite easy to model with the Accurail kits.
I bit the bullet, developed a plan, and started modifying a car body.
Corner grabs were also installed and fascia strip of Evergreen 1×4 styrene was added to reflect the prototype details.
I installed a Tichy retainer valve and 0.008-inch diameter brass wire retainer line. A small notch was carved from the back left of the brake platform to clear the retainer line. A small J-hook was added halfway down the car end to anchor the wire.
I made the uncoupling hardware from 0.0125-inch diameter brass wire. The prototype had a funky shape at the pin pull area above the coupler. I did my best to reflect this detail. Eyebolts hold this in place. The last bend at the left was done after the details were installed.
I inserted the underframe to support the car body while removing the detail. I also added an alignment tab below the door latching hardware. This white detail came from an unknown resin kit. I recommend you keep those leftover resin kit parts in a box as they can come in handy.
Now this model was ready for a wash before heading to the paint booth.
I moved my attention to the 40-ton car with metal ends. This 1922 build photo is the inspiration.
The model end sill isn’t quite the same as the prototype. I noticed the end sill grab irons needed to be relocated in order to install the Carmer uncoupling levers. Based on reviewing many Lackawanna boxcar images, it seems they standardized on the Carmer hardware in the mid-Teens for new and rebuilt boxcars. This is another detail difference to model.
In addition to the grab iron adjustment, the model received the retainer valve, retainer line, vertical brake staff, and supports for the running board and brake platform. Wire grab irons were also installed in the corners of the short longitudinal running boards.
These cars also had a door alignment tab on the left door stop but located higher. The extra resin parts came in handy, again!
After inspection, I realized again that the prototype did not have a brace on the doors. I went through another round of detail removal. I’ll post my steps to remove these door braces in the next blog post. Adding the photos here will make this post too long.
That sums up the prep work on these Accurail shortys to reflect Lackawanna prototypes. I’ll cover more progress soon.
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