It Was A Personal Victory

It’s been a little while since my last post.  Moving sucks.  Moving four times in the span of a year and a half royally sucks.

Today, I felt very personally victorious.  A guy sent us a box of boxes of trains that needed various repairs.  In one of said boxes was a Pennsylvania dining car.  The shell was loose, both couplers were loose, it was missing a coupler fastener, and it was missing wiring and a light bulb for interior lighting.

One coupler was easy, but the other one was a little tricky.  The repair concept was pretty simple, but finding the right parts to match was fun.  It’s original fastener was gone, and it was of an older style.  I didn’t have any spares in any of my parts boxes, so I trimmed the coupler box arm to fit the new fastener.  It fit well, but it did not have a strong enough friction fit for me to call it done.  I bored out a hole through the arm and the new coupler fastener to make room for a screw.  I had no screw of the precise width and length, so I cut off the excess length with a cutting disk.

Simple, but kind of time consuming.

The next obstacle was rewiring it to light up.  It’s original bulb was gone, it had no wiring, and it’s electrical pick-ups in the trucks were gone.  I could only find a marginally oversized bulb that worked, so I bored out the circuit plate to tolerate the bulb.  I used some sheet brass to fashion home-made electrical pickups that would contact the three axles of each truck.

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It was aesthetically crude, but it worked well when I tested it.  Once I had the trucks fitted to the frame with their new pick-ups, I soldered some multi-stranded wire to the fastening screws and the electrical contact plates to complete the circuit.

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It wasn’t quite to manufacturer standards, but it worked well.  I’m happy with it.  The guy’s son is going to be very happy when I send his trains back to him.

My next big challenge is digging into the GP40 Union Pacific locomotive behind the dining car.  I can’t find any discernible screws or flaps, and its parts diagram isn’t very helpful.  I found a photo of just the metal chassis, and it looks like something is reverse-fit into the shell.  Oh, well.  I enjoy the challenge of it all!

 

My repair bench on a daily basis.
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