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.



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.


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s