Image above captured on the upper deck of the layout where scenery has progressed to some extent...
Shot with Olympus C-750

Welcome to the SP Oregon Division!

An N Scale RR depicting the good old days along "The Friendly".

Friday, May 4, 2012

BLMA 100 Ton Trucks Added to Chip Gon Fleet

Since the new lumber mill will be shipping cars soon here, I had to prepare more woodchip gondolas so they could be put in service.  Recently I acquired a number of Deluxe Innovation Chip Gons with some really nice loads already added (Thanks Arnold!).  So after my last visit to Kel's place and admiring how easy it was to add body mount couplers and BLMA trucks to these cars, it was time to add the upgrades to my cars here.  MT 1015 couplers in bulk are cheap, and with the plastic underframe it is easy to drill and tap the mounting.  With the BLMA 100 ton trucks under them, there is no need to shim the 1015s for a perfect ride height.  I hated to put resistors on such nicely detailed wheels, but fortunately no one has ever made note of seeing a resistor on any of my rolling stock to date... so after adding a detected wheelset to each car, it was a real breeze to complete the dozen additional cars needed for service.
Here is a comparison shot of the Deluxe GEBC "Ace" chip gons with the BLMA 100 ton trucks on left, and MT RB trucks with FVM 36" wheels on right.   The newly modified car appears to have too low a coupler height when comparing to the other car, but this is mostly due to the fact that the MT talgo trucks have the 36" wheels installed, making the ride height higher than normal on those cars.  The car's new ride height difference is striking.... these things look sweeet!          

Another shot but of a Deluxe Gunderson Deep Rib gon for comparison.  I have body mounted some of these before, but never with the addition of the BLMA 100 ton trucks.  Not quite as straight forward of a mod, but by using the 1025 coupler, it is basically just a matter of filing the end sill to make room for the coupler box to fit up snug to the underfame.  Well worth the time to get the better ride height, as these cars never looked quite right until lowering them down this far.

Still a few more chip gons on the layout that need the upgrade treatment, but will go back and revisit the ongoing body mount project (yet again) not far down the road.

About 50 cars have been added to the layout to balance out operations with the new mill, and trains that have been reconfigured since the addition of staging.  Been slowly adding more resistors to wheels and am down to the last few cars that need to be completed for the next run.  Had a number of inquires on how I put on the resistors, so working on an overview in "My Pages" section with some snapshots on my methodology making detected wheelsets.  Maybe some ideas others would be interested in...  stay tuned for that one.

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