"California style" streetcar and single-truck car bash from cable car

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by jetrock, May 31, 2006.

  1. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    Continued from another thread...

    Speaking of cable cars and two-thirds of a California car, I realized a while back that the Bachmann "cable car" model *was* two-thirds of a California car, and decided it was time to try a kitbash. I started with two of those cheapola "cable car" models, costing $2 each at a couple of swap meets, and bought a Bachmann powered cable car primarily for the power truck, which operates pretty well. I still have quite a bit of work to do, but here is the result:
    [​IMG]
    The body is still a little off kilter (need to go back and strengthen the roof line) and of course it still needs poles and a more substantial trailing truck, but the power truck from the Bachmann unit is actually pretty decent, and while the wheelbase is a bit wide the 26" wheels are about right and it runs acceptably at slow speeds--it actually handles insulated-frog turnouts better than most of the single power trucks I've seen.

    Here's a photo of a Sacramento "California style" car for comparison:
    [​IMG]
    After the conversion I realized I had the middle part and the back end of a cable car left over, so I decided it would be fun to use the leftovers for a single-truck early streetcar. In Sacramento, many local streetcars began life as single-truck horsecars, which were later converted to two-truck California cars and then later enclosed...but that's another story. Here's a photo of the bash in its current state (with a white-metal Birney truck and some wheels from the parts box):
    [​IMG]
    Here's a single-truck Sacramento car for comparison:
    [​IMG]
    And here is a shot of the front end of both models:
    [​IMG]
  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    Interesting project.
    I was thinking of bashing a few of those cars into 4 wheel cars.
    The single-truck Sacramento car looks similar to one of the cars operated on the Beaver Valley Traction Co.
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    neat but think the truss rods need tightened up a bit :)
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Now that is a unique set of cars that are rarely modeled...great start, keep us posted:thumb:
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    My current problem is fixing the "truss rod" problem--I'm trying to find something to stiffen the roof so it won't flex the way it does now.

    I think I'm going to do the single-truck car first--I will probably leave it unpowered as a display model (although I could always stick a PDT in there) and a test bed for what I want to do with the two-truck model...
  6. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Nice work Jetrock,, In have one of those cars , yet to be worked on.

    Have you considered using fine oblong brass , hidden under the roof there is a powerful glue that will do the job if you brace it while it takes. just a thought sign1
  7. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    I could give that a try...this weekend I worked on the single truck car, modifying the frame and truck so it sits properly. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to power it--the PDT is just too big and would require too much surgery to the truck, but a "Flea" isn't out of the question...assuming I can find all the necessary hardware.