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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got these cars and really like them as they came in my favorite road name Undec. The only problem is I did not like the excessive distance between the cars. So I took on the task of shorting up the distance.





Moved the cars closer together by 1 inch.






Little work but I think it looks better. Later RJD
 

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I am a little puzzled RJ. Those couplers look like Aristo more than what I have seen on USAT products. I am not sure whose hopper it is either. I know you mentioned getting some Aristo undecs so may that is what they are.

I am sure many will wish to know or copy your adaption.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alan: The cars are USAT ore cars with Aristo tucks and couplers. These cars are very short.

Sesh: I will post some pics on what I did to make them couple closer together. This is about as close as I can get them without going to a body mount which would reqiure more work than what it's worth. This was a cheap and easy fix. Later RJD
 

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Alan:

The cars are short. They were designed to carry iron ore in Northern Minnesota to the docks on Lake Superior. Iron ore is more than 2-3 times as heavy as coal ( I don't have my mineralogy books here at home to check the exact amount) , therefore the cars are significantly shorter than the standard hopper car. The iron ore was shipped from Duluth and other ports on Lake Superior to ports on Lake Erie (Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio). There other railroads would transfer the ore to the steel mills. The B&O was one of these railroads, they could only fill the standard hopper by about 1/3 rd of the normal level of coal. Unfortunately, USAT chose many railroad logos for their cars and missed the few that actually used these cars. My memory may be a little off, but of the railroads shown by USAT only the Great Northern actually used these cars. The major user of these cars was the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range, sadly missing from the cars available.


Chuck N
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
C&NW had many ore cars as they where located in the iron ore country and had big ore docks in upper Michigan. Mine are lettered for the C&NW as I bought the undecs and the C&NW had the black cars instead of the oxide red. Later RJD
 

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These cars were used by a limited number of railroads on the north and south sides of Lake Superior. As I said earlier, the most of the cars by USAT are for railroads that never had these cars, and not for the few railroads that used these cars. The C&NW was one, unfortunately, it is missing from the USAT roster of available of railroads.

LGB made similar cars, but they also made them for railroads that never had them. Had either of these manufacturers made the DM&IR I would have bought twenty of them, as I have a lot of fond memories of canoe trips in northern Minnesota with my late father.


Chuck N
 

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Oops!!

I just went to the USAT site and they now have the DM&IR ore cars, no pictures yet. The last time I checked, they were not there.


Why did you switch out the USA trucks with metal wheels for the Aristo trucks with plastic wheel? Do the ore cars have a platform for KD couplers?


Chuck N
 

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I don't RJ changed the trucks, but he will respond.

I have two of these cars, no coupler platform, and sadly, you would have to make a very thick and unsightly shim to get the coupler down low enough. I am discouraged since I wanted body mounts. But I also purchased Santa Fe ones, and have subsequently found out Santa Fe never had them... drat...

Regards, Greg
 

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Thanks for the prototype info Chuck and RJ, I will look into the DM&I railroad.


Although there were iron ore hoppers in the UK, which were also small, they were in fact the same size, more or less, as our coal trucks up until around the 1960's.


I lost interest in our railways after half of it was closed and dieselization took place. Fortunately the UK probably has the largest Heritage Steam run railways in the world - helped as well by being a small Country in size. Apart from my own Heritage line within 100 miles of here there are at least five standard gauge Heritage lines plus some miniature ones as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Chuck: I got rid of the USAT truck because I do not like the dummy look of the springs I like the real McCoy. The USAT metal wheels are used in the Aristo trucks and fit fine. Later RJD
 

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RJ:

Thanks for the answer.

Alan and others interested in the Iron Ore cars:

These cars were designed and built to haul 70 tons of iron ore and are 24 feet in length. The three bay hoppers modeled by USAT were designed and built to handle about 70 tons of coal and are about 40 feet in length.


Chuck N
 

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Posted By aceinspp on 11/06/2008 8:43 AM
Chuck: The USAT metal wheels are used in the Aristo trucks and fit fine. Later RJD


That is what I have found particularly as often Aristo' s wheels were not available at the time |I needed them. Sadly the USAT wheels have gone up in price over here by almost 50%, so they are not as reasonable as they once were. You cannot beat trucks with working springs I feel even if they can fly through the air if not secured with cotton (or similar) when changing wheels.
 

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The cars were short for two reasons: first, because of the density of the ore; second because they were essentially custom-designed to fit in the dump chutes for the lake barges that carried the ore to the furnaces. A long string of these cars could be parked in the holding chutes and dumped all at the same time. It was common for these cars to operate in sets of four, called "miniquads." The cars were permanently coupled together with a drawbar instead of a knuckle coupler, and the set moved as one car.

Later,

K
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 11/05/2008 8:44 PM
I don't RJ changed the trucks, but he will respond.

I have two of these cars, no coupler platform, and sadly, you would have to make a very thick and unsightly shim to get the coupler down low enough. I am discouraged since I wanted body mounts.

Regards, Greg


OK, this confuses me. Kadee make three different "lifts" for the couplers with the lowest (low rise) being ~straight across (as opposed to mid-rise or high-raise). Are you saying that even the low-rise ones are still too high?
 

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Todd:

I think that the problem is that the cars are too high and you need a stepdown coupler rather than step up. Since I don't have the cars I can't measure the body height above the rail to see if that is correct.

Chuck N

PS: Kevin or somebody else in Colorado:

What type of cars were used to deliver the Iron Ore to the steel mills in Pueblo (CF&I). The Colorado and Wyoming Railroad was used for this transport. I really can't find anything but the name for the C&W. I think that a lot of the iron was mined in the Laramie Range in Wyoming and some may have come from the Orient Mine in the Sangre de Christo range. None of the books that I have on RRs in Colorado mention the iron ore transport. There is a lot of information on the movement of marble (limestone) from Monarch to the mills in Pueblo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you look at the cars you can see how much needs to be added to make Kadee couplers work. It would sure look ugly to add that much of a shim to lower the coupler. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well lets see if I can give you the pics to show what I did to shorten up the couplers.



This is what the truck and coupler look like before mods.




I cut off .529 inches off the truck shank.




I removed .302 off of the coupler to move it in. Now you have to re drill the coupler and the truck sank.




Here the coupler has been reattached to the truck in the new location.




Now you can see how the screw that holds the coupler in place is now under the axle. down side to this if one needs to change a coupler now you have to remove the wheel set to get to the screw to remove the coupler.



Not to good of pic but here is the train with all the cars modified. Later RJD
 

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Kevin
that would save a person on Kadees.
I have some gundersons on draw bars and pray they never detrail. but with those shot cars should be no problems.
 
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