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Observation Car

Having completed building a Southern Pacific Daylight GS-4 in 1.5 scale, it was time to build some passenger cars.  I wanted to model the 80 cars which would be equivalent to 10 cars in 1/8 scale.  My first thought was to buy them, but after checking around, the $10K price tag for each one was a bit too much for me, especially since I wanted four of them.  The only choice I had was to build them.  My first decision was to decide whether to make them out of steel or aluminum.  I preferred aluminum because of the lighter weight, but quickly came to the conclusion that I did not have the proper welding equipment or the talent to weld aluminum, so steel it was.

The first thing done was to draw up the plans for 3 passenger cars and one observation car.  The passenger cars would be identical to the observation car with the exception of the bobtail end for the observation car.  Concern about the car sagging in the middle due to the 10ft length had to be addressed in the plans.  Once the design/drawings were done, the next thing was to figure out the size and quantity of the steel to be ordered.  Metal for all 4 cars were ordered at the same time to save some money.  I found a supplier that would cut the pieces to approximate sizes at no cost.  This would make it much easier to handle some of the 10 pieces.

 

 

 

Here's the pile of metal for 4 cars just dropped off the truck.  Doesn't look like much but it sure weighs enough (1/2 ton?).  The finished cars are "heavy duty" and weigh around 300 lbs each.  16 ga. (1/16") steel was used for the sides & skirting, 1/8" plate for the floor, solid 3/8" bars for the floor supports, etc.  Lighter gauges could have been used throughout if a lighter (and less costly) car is wanted.   There is a benefit to a heavier car as many of the passengers complimented the comfort and smooth riding. 

 

 

 

 

If you want more detail on the material used, here's the Parts List.  If you want the CAD drawings (.DWG format only) of the Observation Car, email me below.

DISCLAIMER:  THE PARTS LIST AND CAD DRAWINGS ARE BEING PROVIDED "AS IS".  IT'S FREE SO DON'T EXPECT THEM TO BE PERFECT.  DOUBLE CHECK ALL DIMENSIONS.  YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

 

 

 

1 Floor Frame 2 Body Frame 3 Body Panels 4 Bobtail Roof 5 Skirting 6 Odds & Ends 7 Finished 8 Daylight Neon

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Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to [heydan "at" danslocoworks "dot" com].
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Last modified: 09/02/2017.