LC-2 vs EL-3a

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Mon Jun 8 16:04:56 EDT 2015


This is my follow-up to your thought that a VGN EL-3a model would make a good starting point for a N&W LC-2 model.  Enough of the drawings I requested from the Archives have arrived for me to elicit the following facts:

The pony wheels of the LC-2 and EL-3a are both 33".  The LC-2 driver diameter was 62", whereas the EL-3a's was 61".

The spacings of all axles are identical between the two classes.

The distance between the front coupling face and rear buffer of the EL-3a is 609" vs 583" for the LC-2.  Front coupling face to lead axle distance is 93" for the EL-3a, 85" for the LC-2.  Trailing axle to rear buffer distance is 66" for the EL-3a vs 48" for the LC-2.  My conclusion from this is that the frame of an EL-3a model would have to be cut back substantially at both ends to represent an LC-2 frame credibly.  Shortening the rear of a pair of ALCO frames by 18" looks pretty straightforward, but shortening the 8" up front doesn't.

The LC-2 body OAL is only about 4" shorter than the EL-3a's, but has very significantly different window and door placements, so a new body would have to be fabricated for the LC-2 in any case.  The LC-2 body bottom is also 3.625" closer to the rails.  (This is interesting, because the floor of the LC-2 seems to have pockets in the floor to receive the upper ends of the spring hangers when the springs are fully compressed, whereas the tops of the EL-3a spring hangers sit well below the body floor.  I'm guessing the tunnel clearances in the N&W electrified zone were much tighter than on the VGN's, and with the 1" extra driver diameter, ALCO had to get creative to lower the LC-2 body enough to meet the clearance plate.)

I have attached a spreadsheet showing the key dimensions available from the materials I have so far.

I find that I'm daunted by the scope of effort needed to make this work.  I would much rather PSC or Division Point produce a new LC-2 set at $2200 for a pair (painted), than to modify a pair of Alco EL-3a's (orphaning the 3rd) at a net cost of ~$600, or a pair of Overland EL-3a's (orphaning the 3rd) at a net cost of ~ $1800.  Maybe if somebody wants to surplus a couple of Alco EL-1a's (cheap) I would put this one in my job jar.

But if somebody had the skill and inclination to photo-etch new body and roof sheets for LC-2's, I'd probably get much more enthusiastic about this!

Best Regards,

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