Re-thinking the passenger car

With the little rail truck now substantially complete and running it is time to turn my attention to other pieces of the railroad. The truck has room for a driver and one small passenger but when we have company that is not nearly enough capacity. The truck needed to pull a vehicle that could carry more passengers.

We had previously built an ore car which seated four passengers but this was long before we had our MultiCam CNC plasma cutter. Although very functional, it looked very boxy and plain compared to the truck. It was time to rethink the whole deal.

I decided to do a total redesign. I removed the wheel sets from the ore car, took careful measurements and then drew up a whole new concept. I decided two passengers was big enough and they needed to face forward. An air tank was also necessary as the truck will soon sport a whistle which will operate on compressed air. And it needed to be completely different and act as a trailer to the little rail truck. After trying a number of ideas I settled on a tandem trailer. It would sport a swivel axle to avoid the problems I encountered with the double axle truck.

With the concept as reference I drew up the vectors for all of the components in EnRoute. There were lots of pieces! Once I had the files in hand it was a simple matter to load the step onto the machine and watch it cut the pieces perfectly.

I then did a little grinding to clean up the edges before fitting the pieces together and welding them up. The work was done in small assemblies. It looks complex but things actually went together pretty quickly. The springs, swing arms and axle hubs are non -functioning and are just for looks. working with small assemblies  made handling the pieces a whole lot easier.
Once all of the assemblies were done I fit them together and did the last welding. There’s a lot of steel in this piece and I needed the forklift to take it from the welding table and around to the track. Next up is the frame and then the body for the car. Stay tuned…

Published with permission from Source.