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For a while there has been on my ‘to do’ list a DSP Head End’ car; this looks very like a stock car, but is not, it is of a too lightweight a construction for that.

They were built to be used at the head of passenger trains, and also did the job of some boxcars because at this time (circa 1880, when the DSP arrived in Leadville) ) the DSP only had about 20 boxcars but plenty of flatcars. They also had the only railroad that went to Leadville, which was in the middle of a boom, which started in 1875 with the usual results, and the DSP was short of covered freight cars. The ‘rush’ was as a result of first gold, then silver, the silver being in conjunction with lead having been found there , with the usual results of mass migration to the area.

These were built on flatcars, so first the flatcar was built, with another at the same time, the DSP flatcars were slightly unusual insofar as there were an extra two holes cut in the flatcar deck close to the end of the car; these were used to put in a couple of stakes (at each end) that helped contain the load. In the book ‘South Park’ by Mel Ferrall) and others books there is a photo of a Mason Bogie going up the Kenosha pass route loaded with ties, and these holes are in use to stop the ties rolling off the flatcar.
I have also built some of the earlier designs of flatcar, which are smaller, and as I have some Hartford decals I added another one of the 8 stake pockets per side version that uses those, the earlier ones have different spacing’s for the (usually 6) stake pockets, and the Hartford decals will not fit these.

I use the ‘Ron Rudnick’ books on the CCRR & the DSPRR freight cars which are an absolute gold mine, for my drawings, and modify LGB, or Bachmann archbar bogies for them.

The flatcars are of a simple construction with wood for the chassis, and a 3mm PVC solid foam deck. Add some weight to the underside, and in the center of the deck between the two beams there to give them some weight. The stake pockets are made from the grey colored Plastruct sections (ABS Plastic, not the white styrene) ref ST 8 I think it is.

The fixing staples are copper wire, and the extra casting stiffeners are square styrene strip glued on when they have been glued in position. File out the edges of the flatcar deck to the same size as the center hole, and make your stakes, mine are 3.5mm square.
To stop them going further in than the bottom of the stake pocket I add a small piece of .040 rod into a pre-drilled hole near the bottom of the stakes.

Now, for the top, this looks at first sight very like a stock car but it is a simpler and not as strong construction; after all they were built in a hurry as the DSPRR had a shortage of box cars.
The body has long flatcar style stakes outside, with 2.5mm thick styrene planks glued onto the inside face; the two end stakes, which are inside, are also fitted. The top horizontal piece has some brass wire pins holding it to the vertical members to assist the glue holding it all together
Once all the planks are glued on the structure gains some strength quite well, though with the doors being loose there is some weakness, but not much.

The sliding doors have been built with the aid of a PDF that David Fletcher very kindly provided of the D&RG ventilated boxcar doors, this is intended for a D&RG early Boxcar kit; this is slightly different, but those differences can be dealt with as the building of them progresses.

Basically the PDF provided the spacing for the rods (13 in each door, of 1mm brass wire, each rod is in two pieces = 26 per door), which fit into slots in David’s PDF, which is for laser cutting. To stop the bottom ‘flapping about I have added a couple of brackets on each side to keep them close to the walls, made from some brass waste from some old etched brass kits.

The walls and ends are held together by the roof which is of .060 pre-scribed styrene card, with some cross ribs and a central spine as well. The body can if required easily be removed and the flatcar used without it.

All the flatcar decks have been weathered with several washes of various acrylic colors.

The body has been painted red oxide in color, with the inside being left a light ‘wood color’ , as I do not think it would be painted, the flatcar and body parts are painted separately, but keep the same red oxide color; mine has been slightly weathered; first by adding to the final color coat then doing the same to the flatcar deck, which is also plain, and is a more ‘dirty wood’ color.

The trucks are Bachmann ones modified, which have been given extended ends, to the sides, and brake blocks fitted to them. The modifications start with grinding off the center springs and add a new center to match one of the DSP designs. They are then painted and weathered, including the metal wheels.

Finally I have built one of the larger coal cars(also on a flatcar base); this is a 27 foot long one, and I intend to add the longest ones which are 30ft long, and have a different lettering style; this could also be built as a flatcar by leaving off the top.

New decals are being ordered from Stan Cedarleaf, and I have also included some sets for my Colorado Central vehicles plus some more yet to be built, after all the CCRR Porter, built from David Fletcher’s instructions needs a train for it!

Here are some photos of the work so far, the flatcar without trucks is a Colorado Central design, and all their vehicles are narrower that the DSP&PRR designs. The DSP&PRR designs have their own speciality â€" they have holes in the deck at their end, (almost certainly there were stake pockets fixed to the inside of the end beams as the intermediate end to end beams fit close to these as well. One photo of a Mason Bogie on Kenosha pass shows these end stakes being used to stop track ties rolling off the end of the flatcar behind the loco.



All together in front of the depot - close ups of the 'head end car' follow



the body and its flatcar base assembled.



a top view showing the roof supports; the roof was one piece of 60 thou scored for the planks, and also inside to make an interior groove so it can assume the shape required



body & flatcar separted - note the end stake holes in the deck.



body & door, note scrap brass brackets to hold the bottom of the door close to the body.



the little one - the CCRR flatcar (with different trucks)



2 DSP&PRR flatcars - one awaiting decals and new trucks, for which I am waitng for our dozy Bacnhmann europe to deliver, so I can modify them!) Hartford decals used on the other. The decalled flatcar is an intermediate design with four truss rods used - this allowed the capacity to rise from 10 to 12 tons (officially) - I'll bet they were loaded above that!a



CCRR & DSPPRR flatcars together



the DSP&PRR 27ft coalcar; these are quite large vehicles; they also have a different style of truck.



the coalcar in bits! the load is a block of polystyrene packing, with bits of grit stuck down then paint the lot black; when dry roughly varnish the load, add some extra bits of coal to provide to 'glints'. with a PVA (which should dry clear). Note the queen posts this is the first instance of these being used on DSP cars. The grit provides some extra (small ) weight for the load. Awaiting decals from Stan.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hi,

Its easier to add a reply like this than to add it into the (possibly) rather long starting message! So here are some more thoughts -

The westinghouse brake unit is a cobbling together of bits of sdcrap PVC foam, and bits of tube - I am doing the same as Bruce Chandler (thanks for the idea Bruce), and just locatiing a brake unit on the underside.

The brake wheels are part of a small consignment that Rid Fearnly brought back from his last trip to the USA, for which I am very grateful - fast delivery and I know that they would get here! Our post service is very poor (last year they 'lost' 15 million items!!!)

The last flatcar built - which is the decalled DSP&PRR flatcar, has (PVC solid foam) plastic side members; this is because I had at the time run out of sufficient depth strips (that has been rectified - the bandsdaw has been busy) for them. There are wood strips under the base however for extra stiffness and lead sheet between the center pair.

The Colorado Central painters had some very unusual ideas: the 'CC' was in a lower case, whilst the 'RR' was in an upper case; difficult to get the right, and even now the full stops are different sizes!

A lot of time fiddling about in Microsoft word' and 'Powerpoint' has been expended getting the lot into some sort of order for Stan. The South Park is not lacking in difficulty either, with differing sizes of letters, and one set of vehicles (the 30ft Peninsular Car Co Flats & Coal boxes) having a totally different style of lettering for themselves. At least I could use Times Roman (in bold) for that! The ability of Word to push, pull and generally 'stretch' things about has been very useful.
 

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That's wonderful Peter. It's interesting that you chose the seldom modeled DSP&P as your prototype. The fact that you follow the prototype so closely adds greatly to the importance of your already fine modeling.

Great models, narration and photos. Thanks so much for this most interesting post.

BTW has the actual color on the Summer & Winter refrigerator cars ever been nailed down? I remember there was a great deal of conjecture in the On3 community and Bill Reynolds in particular many years ago and the general opinion then was that they were probably white.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi,

Thank you for the kind comments, they are appreciated. I have just been making a load of hay, and a tarpaulin cover for it as a 'load' for the flatcars; not yet finished but it is started at least!
 

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Exceptional work as always, Peter. I really enjoyed the history. It makes it come alive that much more.

Take care,
Matt
 

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Hi Peter,

Very nice work on your new cars. The head end car really looks good. I noticed the two longer stakes on the center of the coalcar, they seem to match the trussrod beams. Is this the way the cars where built?

chuckger
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Posted By chuckger on 08/12/2008 6:11 AM
Hi Peter,
Very nice work on your new cars. The head end car really looks good. I noticed the two longer stakes on the center of the coalcar, they seem to match the trussrod beams. Is this the way the cars where built?


chuckger




Hi Chuck,

Sorry for the delay in answering, but Yes the drawing shows that the two center stakes went down to the lower edge of the needle beams. I think it was to assist in keeping the side running straight (look as some photo of bulging sides of D&RG gondolas) and would hopefully provide some extra stiffness in that area.
 

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Superb Peter!!! Providing the history adds so much.

Looking forward to a follow-up on the hay load.

TBug
 

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Hi All,

It has been some time since I added to this topic, and it has no been somewhat expanded but I will put most of it into a new topic.

However I now have the decals from Stan Cedarleaf, and here is a photo of the finished article,



Here it is with its decals, I have finished it in a weathered finish as it would be getting old by my modeling period, with a lighter or chalky version of red oxide for the basic color. This has a lot of a medium cream color added to the basic red oxide I use, which I find is better that the rather fierce plain white and more controllable. Then washes of a dirty stone and brown are added in a random pattern, not forgetting the (modifed) LGB trucks.
 
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