Virginian Passenger Trains/USRA locomotives

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Tue Oct 29 11:51:10 EDT 2019

Walter Davis (?)asked some Virginian questions, and it seems that those got
lost in the middle of a thread on another subject.  I'll take an attempt at
some answers.

Virginian Passenger Cars: as far as I know there are no dead accurate
Virginian passenger car models. At  some of the conventions we have had
some great clinics on bashing available passenger car models into some very
accurate models.  The Atlas/Branchline cars that are available in
Virginian, in 3 correct numbers by the way, look quite acceptable
(IMHO)from 1-2 feet away.  One of the Crazies has written up a memo, not
ready for publication yet, as to just what's "wrong" with them, and is
working on a clinic how to majorly improve the details.  I'm hoping to have
that clinic available at the convention in June.  One of the importers was
talking about doing a set of three Virginian passenger cars in brass, but
since he couldn't get 30 or so reservations at $900 for the set...….

USRA 2-8-2's.  I'm 98% confident that none of the multiple VGN Mikes are
true USRA Mikes or clones thereof.  Given the going rate for those
exquisite Overland Mikes, if anyone has successfully bashed a VGN 2-8-2,
any class, from an available model, please let us know.

VGN 2-8-4's.  There have been articles about bashing a VGN BA from an NKP
or C&O 2-8-4.  Since these are all Van Sweringen berks, the fundamentals
are there.  Plastic NKP and C&O berks have been done by Rivarossi, Bachman,
and Proto.  Of course NKP and C&O berks have been done in brass, but that's
probably another discussion.  Changes in some of the fittings, and doing
something about the tender, need to be considered depending on how far you
want to go.  One of my prized possessions is a VGN BA that was given to me,
that was bashed from a Hobbyline plastic kit (non powered but just

Now with all that said, I would recommend not trying to bash a BA from
anything else.  The really excellent Proto BA's are out there, and are
still available at train shows, and the prices are in the same ball park as
you'd probably have to pay for something else to use as a base.

Brass BA's are also available; IMHO the Key is better than the PSC.  IMHO.

Now the real experts can take their shots.

Frank Bongiovanni
running back to the workbench
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