Wednesday 14 December 2011

Check your baggage on the White River Division

A CNR baggage express car is spotted at the White River Junction station for loading prior to the arrival of the Vermonter. On the prototype lines in New England that was a common occurrence at larger centres. One could see one or a few baggage cars waiting loading.

Baggage Cars on the White River Division

Last year I finally began building the White River Division's passenger car fleet. Till then I had only ran RDC Budd cars. I  have collected a fair amount of passenger craftsman kits over the past decade but never had the time to build them. When the Rapido Osgood Bradley coaches became available things changed. I purchased a B&M and NH coach. I then began looking at the Rapido CNR and CPR cars. The baggage cars looked interesting and would be a good addition to the fleet. I purchased three. Two at once, a CPR maroon baggage car and the CNR 1954 green, black and gold car. I got a deal on a third car this past summer, a pre-1954 green baggage car. This one I am currently detailing.

The Rapido baggage cars look great right out of the box but I wanted to add some additional interior details, a little weathering and a grimy black roof. I don't like the shiny finish on most passenger car roofs especially as the roofs get marked up. I have unified my fleet with Floquil grimy black roofs. It give the car tops that gritty look that I saw on these type of cars during my railroad career. These roofs can also be easily touched up when scuffed up.

A comparison can be made between a finished and an out-of-the-box model.
The baggage car is ready for paint and weathering.

I began my upgrade by taking the roof off and adding the two batteries for the interior lighting. The lighting is really neat and if you add a load inside and open the doors they show really well. I was working on the CNR green, black and gold car first. I painted the roof, under body, couplers and ends grimy black. I then added some rust and earth chalk weathering to the parts I had just painted. The car sides I left as is. I added mainly Juneco metal detail parts to the interior. The figures added are the Juneco porters that I painted up as baggage men. I include Juneco boxes, sacks, milk cans and barrels to the interior. These were glued in with Walthers Goo before the roof was installed. The double doors were glued shut as they just don't stay closed when handling the car. I left the two single doors open so I could see in and through the car. I realised after the baggage car was all together that the floor had a bit of a sheen to it although the floor colour looked good.

A look inside the CPR car. The floor has been painted in the area that is seen through the door and details added.
 On the CPR and pre-1954 CNR baggage cars I have painted the area around the open door with Floquil grime then while wet I dragged some rail brown along the floor. The floor looks a lot better with this done. These two cars have grimy black roofs, ends and under frames also. A little chalk weathering was added to these cars. Once again I used my Juneco detail parts and porters to fill the car interiors. With the batteries added to all the baggage cars, the lighting when used really brings out the added interior.
A Rapido CPR baggage car awaits a Montreal bound train. A CPR E-8 holds down that run on the White River Division.
 Originally I was going to change out the couplers on each baggage car with Kadee Scale #58 couplers, but the couplers included worked well and actually look good when the cars are coupled together. So I just left them as is. On the pre-1954 CNR baggage car I added the tail end markers that are included with the cars. I thought this one might be seen at times on the tail end of my trains. The markers are made to operate like the real thing. One can remove the markers then move them to the other end of the car. On the White River Division the baggage cars that are to be set off at White River Junction are handled on the tail end. That way the cars are just cut off at the platform before the train departs the station. A really simple operational move.

This detailing project was a very easy one to complete. What I have done to these cars can be done to any coach, baggage or express cars that one may have in their fleet...George Dutka 

A before and after view all in one.
The details inside the baggage car door can be clearly seen.

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