East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

April 2009

Supply Car Kitbash

As I created the paperwork for operating the Piedmont & East Blue Ridge, I included waybills for “Less than Carload Lot” freight and merchandise to be picked up at the Winwood connection with the C&O Railroad. LCL would best be handled by a small box car or a passenger car with a freight compartment. The P&EBR did not have a car that fit this description.

I dug through my collected kits, and found a small Cache Creek resin 10 ft. supply car. I opened it up and spread the parts out. The issue that immediately struck me was the underframe. Not sure what wheelset and coupler combination would yield the correct coupler height, I decided to build the frame of the kit first.

Inserting wheelsets into the castings and holding the whole thing together with a rubber band, a problem became apparent. All four wheels were not touching the railhead. A small bearing hole in one of the castings was out of line.

For a modeler with more experience and the right tools, this might not present a serious problem, but I am not prepared to deal with this sort of thing. So I began to search for alternatives for a car to be used to haul LCL freight.

At about this time, the Railroad Lines Forums started a Rolling Stock Challenge. Many of the initial posts were suggestions for building some sort of maintenance or crew car. This got me to thinking about mixing and matching parts of different kits to come up with the car I needed.

Casting about through the kits I had on hand, I discovered that a Chivers flatcar deck was precisely the width of the structure from the Cache Creek kit. This opened up the possibility of building a unique car out of two kits.

Combining the Chivers flat car with the Cache Creek supply car may provide the P&EBR with a solution to its LCL problem, and also provide the maintenance crews with a tool car.