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Discussion Starter #1
When Challengers were in regular use, they were used to pull both freight and passenger trains.

I'm converting an MTH Challenger use, and will need to make a battery car for it.
It will be pulling both freight and passenger trains (but not at the same time!).

My question is -
Can you suggest one type of car that might prototypically have been behind a Challenger in both sorts of train?

Here in the UK it was not uncommon for a 90mph-rated sort-of-boxcar-used-for-parcels to be behind the loco of regular passenger expresses.
Did the same happen in the USA?

Hamish
 

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It did indeed happen that boxcars and reefers appeared as head end cars in passenger consists BUT ... those cars were fitted with passenger air and signal lines, had passenger high speed trucks and a different braking system. Your acceptance of models inaccurately detailed will be required to use a common freight car as the battery car in a passenger consist.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Doug. You're up early!

A bit of Googling for "head end car" lead me to "express reefer" and "express box"
What sort of high-speed trucks were used?
Like heavyweight cars, or perhaps the earlier lighter passenger cars?
Some pictures show REA cars with standard-looking freight trucks.

So, for a reasonably prototypically express car, I need a reefer/boxcar the includes the word "Express" on its sides, and a passenger-type truck?

Hamish.
 

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Posted By Dougald on 03/10/2009 6:15 AM
It did indeed happen that boxcars and reefers appeared as head end cars in passenger consists BUT ... those cars were fitted with passenger air and signal lines, had passenger high speed trucks and a different braking system. Your acceptance of models inaccurately detailed will be required to use a common freight car as the battery car in a passenger consist.

Regards ... Doug


So Doug does this mean that we CAN use say a boxcar WITHOUT any modes as your are stating? I use a UP 40' bx car and it works fine.

AJM
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looking through my old cars, I've found these two USAT reefers -

SantaFe El Capitan Coach Streamliner - orange - 15010
REA Express - green- 16154

Would either of these be a typical "Express reefer"?
 

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Express reefers were most commonly painted a shade of green or pullman green, not that there weren't exceptions. I do seem to recall an express reefer painted in Milwaukee Road passenger colors for example. A dark green would be best for your purposes probably as it wouldn't stand out so much.

While various railroads had express reefers something like REA (Railway Express Agency) would make a good generic type that could be hauled by any railroad. All of these cars were oufited with four wheel passenger trucks for high speed operation in passenger trains. These reefers were typically about 50' in length and could be either wood or steel sided although they would all have steel underframes. You might occasionally find one of these cars in a freight train perhaps dead headed somewhere. Remember too that there were many mixed trains operated in steam/passenger days even on mainlines so having several freight cars in the same train as maybe a coach or combine would look okay.

Express boxcars weren't widely used in the heyday of passenger service as most lcl freight would be handled in baggage type cars. Steel type boxcars were mostly seen at the end of passenger service on most railroads and were usually painted to match the passenger consists. I believe the Union Pacific had a few of these painted yellow and silver.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Richard,

Thanks for all the info.
I'll convert my old USAT REA darkish green reefer as the battery car, with a pair of old USAT passenger trucks.
The USAT cars also have the advantage of lift-off roofs.

But would a Challenger have pulled a train of mixed freight and passenger cars?
 

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I would say it would be rare that a challenger pulled a mixed train. However, in the book Moving Mail and Express by Rail (authored by Edward Derouin), there is a picture on p211 of a challenger hauling a Christmas mail and express train. In the consist are 6 boxcars and 4 reefers plus a caboose or combine (a rider car) While admittedly a special situation and also not much of a passenger train, being solid express and mail, the example is still there. In all my other pics of challengers, I found them mostly in passenger service ... I did not find a single instance of freight cars mixed with passenger cars in the consist.

Regards ... Doug
 
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