Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mystery Car - CSL 250

Attended the monthly meeting of the Kishwaukee Valley & Eakin Creek Model Railroad Club this past Monday evening (May 1oth) This club, which hosts 4 separate layouts (one each in N, HO, 3-rail O scale, and a large outdoor G scale layout), is based in the Del Webb/Sun City development in Huntley, Ill.

Jim Osborn and I gave a brief talk about the NMRA, membership, and the upcoming NMRA 75th National Convention. After the meeting, we adjourned to the layout room and viewed the layouts. I was presented with this large scale model of a Chicago Surface Lines "Big Pullman" car.

This is an old, scratchbuilt car, which has seen a bit of rough handling over the years, and needing a bit of TLC. Given my experience and "knowledge ??" of traction, and large scale, I was asked to undertake the restoration effort.

No one seems to know who built this, or when. It appears at first glance to be nominally 1:24 scale (I haven't had any chance to take measurements as yet). It's built of wood, looks to be made possibly of laminated veneers. It's a very lightweight piece. The car was built with a modified 3-rail (Lionel ?) truck, and is set to run on 3-rail O scale track. Given that, the materials used, the style of construction, it seems to me that this car likely is a minimum of 50 years old, certainly predating the "LGB invasion". The older style of bulbs used, the use of actual house-window, window glass also seems to date this as an older piece.

My plan is to clean the old girl up, make some minor repairs, and basically restore this as a display car. I'll swap out the funky O scale trucks with something gauged out to at least 45mm, maybe the full 1:24 proper gauge. I think the car is too old/delicate to really be used as an operational car. Hopefully, I can also find out who the proper credit for building this might go to.

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