Westerfield gon

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Mon Mar 28 14:37:18 EDT 2016

On Mar 27, 2016, at 9:12 AM, NW Modeling List wrote:
"I’ve found it interesting that F&C has very detailed layout for their VGN battleship’s brake system, whereas I have heard that they didn’t have a definitive reference for it.  If your research only de-mystified that one sub-topic (brake system layout for ANY of the battleship gons), I would consider that a triumph!  Then we could all get to work making the NPP brass models a little less disappointing.
Oh, and if you could list sources of decently accurate, decently functional HO trucks for these cars…"  -Eric Bott

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The December 1958 Model Railroader magazine has an article by Michael Meier on scratchbuilding a VGN 100 ton gondola. 8 pages of construction text, 4 photos (prototype and model), and 8 plan/diagrams; including brake rigging and piping diagrams. Oddly, he never mentions where his information came from, but it must have been a prototype source, as it is just too well detailed (through I think some small slack adjustment part details are MIA).

I followed his plans to detail my NPP VGN 100t Gondola rebuild project, using available brass brake castings, which can be seen at the bottom of this page:  http://daveayers.com/Modeling/DTAM_4.htm

For those that can't locate the old MR magazine, I can't scan the plans since the IP is owned by Kalmbach Publishing (and my scanner is disconnected at the moment), but you can get a pretty good idea of the dual brake system layout from my model.

As to appropriate trucks: any 9'-6" wheelbase Buckeye 6 wheel friction bearing trucks, without end brake-shoes, should be fine, thorough bolster height may have to be adjusted. Most of the various versions of the Athearn Buckeye truck are good. I would prefer the original diecast, articulated, ones with current 33" wheel sets, over the solid metal or plastic trucks, that may be easier to find. PSC has a number of brass and plastic variations, but I don't see a 9'-6" friction bearing truck on offer currently. There are some other odd HO Buckeye trucks made over the years, popping up at train shows, eBay, and your own parts bins, that may work for you  :)

Dave A.


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