Drawbarred 53' double stack cars - worth doing a kit? Help and suggestions

prbharris Aug 23, 2018

  1. prbharris

    prbharris TrainBoard Supporter

    We are bringing out a number of 53' double stack well cars in the very near future. We already produce the Gunderson 53AP car. Thanks to the help of Jim Panza we have identified a number of differing 53' cars - with external ribbing as designed and built by National Steel, Thrall and Trinity.

    Some of these are run, by TTX and other roads, as single cars, such as National Steel's NWF13 [now ready for release], and some are 3-car articulated consists such as Trinity RWG33 cars [we have these cars tooled and pre-production examples were shown at the NSE Convention in Salt Lake City in June] and NSC's NWG33 car.

    However, some 3-car consist such as NSC's NWG30 and Trinity's RWG30 were, and still, in 2018 are, run as drawbarred consists [with over 1000 units in TTX service]

    The question that I pose is: is there sense in producing a fixed drawbar for a 3-car consist. This would be an etched bar - such as the ones we use for the 89' Long Runner flatcars - that fits under both truck pins at each drawbarred end?

    The advantage would be the reduced number of couplers required - and be prototypical. The disadvantages are that it would be a fixed consist and, therefore, difficult to separate for transporting and would require painting. There would be a small additional cost [about $1] for every set of cars, as the two drawbars would be a part of the floor and grabs etc. etch tool.

    If your answer is yes - what separation would be best between the C and A/B cars [ie what length of drawbar] would be your suggestion?

    Thanks for your thoughts.


    Peer Harris
    N Scale Kits
  2. Ryan Wilkerson

    Ryan Wilkerson TrainBoard Member

    Exciting new line of much-needed prototypes!
    I like the idea of a drawbar to be prototypical. I'm accustomed to handling Deluxe Innovation 5 car sets as they hold together.
    For length of drawbar, would you be able to get near prototype spacing between the cars by bringing the pivot point inward?
    I'm fine with a 22" minimum radius but that might limit the market. Maybe 18" or 15"?
  3. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

    I'm an intermodal junkie so I'll buy anything. (y)
    I personally have 24" minimum radius on my layout. I would think an 11 or 12 inch radius would be fine for most. Maybe include two drawbar lengths? One for the 9 3/4" guys and the other for minimum 18" radius?
  4. prbharris

    prbharris TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks guys

    Two lengths would seem a sensible compromise, without a significant price impact - and we are also looking at a way of bringing the pivot point forward for those that would like more prototypical drawbar look for the 22" radius guys. What about the use of a pin into the coupler pocket, either using the MTL screw or their newer plastic pin through a hole in the drawbar?

    I will try to keep you all informed.


    Peter Harris
    N Scale Kits
  5. 17fixer

    17fixer TrainBoard Member

    I'd say having it fit in the MT coupler box would be a excellent idea! It could be then used universally across many car types. Intermodal, log cars, pulpwood flats, hoppers, ortners, and what ever else needed. All by just swapping out the couplers for the bar. Maybe an option to offer them seperately. I've seen where some have made their own just for this. I can't think of any commercially available except for the ones that came with the all purpose wells from Co-Cor. And those are just in a double ended T shape to swap out with the couplers in a rapido truck/coupler. Would be much better to have the option to have better trucks (ie. MT, BLMA) and the ability for truck or body mount draw bars.
  6. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

    I'll agree as well as having the drawbar being able to fit in an MT coupler box as well. I think it goes without saying that many folks convert their rolling stock to MT trucks as well as use them on your kits and others. And the drawbar available individually will let folk be able to use them on to retro fit the other manufacterer's well cars, as well as some other types of cars that may be drawbar connected as well.

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