New Electric boxcab Project

Where users can chronicle their builds. Start one thread and continue to add on to it.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, hwboivin3

btlnco
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:33 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

New Electric boxcab Project

Post by btlnco » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:05 pm

Greetings,
This, I hope, will be the construction blog of my boxcab locomotive. (oh no not another boxy locomotive on 2 axles some of you are thinking!) agreeably no its not.
My friend and Machine shop mentor Chris said "Hey, you should build a box cab type engine to get into outdoor riding scale trains" after a few false starts on some projects, I found one I'm pretty sure I can build, with some help of course :wink:

As a side note, if you haven't been to a club, and are new to the hobby, go find one, talk to the members about your ideas, and listen to what they say.. Listen is a key word, also understand what they say, if they say its not a good idea to build a BigBoy steam locomotive your first time go around.. they probably know what they are talking about, and heed their caution.

So, back to the Electric Boxcab build.

When Chris mentioned building a boxcab, I went straight to Google images and looked for days on the different types of little boxy engines. Not many grabbed my attention, they all looked well, too boxy and non railroady.
In the quest for a locomotive that I could build with the tools, equipment and parts I already had from said two false starts, I found a image of a HO scale Brass engine that was a model of a Great Northern Railroad boxcab electric engine. It struck me as a interesting engine with a interesting career.
History lesson pt. 1.
Back in the old days. (1900-1910) the GN had a problem with their new Cascade Tunnel (which is currently the old tunnel) the smoke from the steamer were practically killing the crews and passengers on the 2 mile long tunnel over the cascades in Washington state.
The solution was to pull the steam powdered trains through the tunnel with electric locomotives. GN bought 4 engines from ALCO/Westinghouse, they were the first locomotives in the USA to use 3 phase electrical system.( I wont go into that here, as I dont quiet know what it means yet, other than it was powered by two overhead lines and the rails as well).
these four engines numbered 5000-5003 pulled every GN train, freight and passenger through the Cascade tunnel from 1909 to 1928 when the New 7 mile long cascade tunnel was built.

The engines rode on 2 leaf sprung trucks, with 60" spoke drive wheels. Had 4 trolley type electrical pick up poles(two each end)
and could be operated from either end. average speed through the tunnel was about 15mph( my engine will be geared for a faster type locomotive)

The Model.
The model that I will hopefully be building will be lettered for my own line, and wont be a strict version of these GN tunnel motors.
with that i have some freedom with my modelers licence. That being said, I will try to get all the details and dimensions correct, just that my engine will be lettered for my home road and have a top speed on 10 real miles per hour(scale 80mph) as this will be a mainline engine pulling the 1st class train on my railroad.
I was doing my normal Google search and found a online machine shop.
http://www.emachineshop.com they have a free easy to use CAD program, along with a price calculator for thier business. I found the prices to be a bit steep compared to local steel cutting business's here. luckily you can export the files as DFX. files which is a common cad file.
So armed with a easy to use cad program I set out to make the scale 60" drivers. This took some time to learn and figure out how to use the program and the 3d feature. I came up with a drawing of the wheel, then submitted the drawing to various metal cutting company's here in Portland,OR. flame cut was not an option because of the fine spoke lines, so it was either waterjet or laser, I opted with laser as it is generally cheaper.
All the quotes came back that week and I had a clear winner.
the go ahead was given and a week later I have 8 drive wheels for my engine.

I've been working on the cad program and have basically everything drawn up that needs to be cut from steel. the trucks where a pain, but I think I have them nailed down. the biggest pain I see coming will be the leaf spring, and hangers on each of the two trucks. with some help an luck, I should have that nailed down too.
I hope you enjoyed the start to my thread.
I look forward to sharing the engine and hopefully the cars to follow as well.
untill next time
Cheers
Jason S
Attachments
boxcab 7070.jpg
a photo of a 12mm to 1 foot drawing of the GN "tunnel motors"
wheel 40.jpg
scale 60" spoked drive wheel, laser cut 0.75" A36 structural steel
driver38.jpg
8 drive wheels ready to be machined
brassm.jpg
brass model of GN electric tunnel motor

User avatar
James A
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:28 am
Location: Chiloquin, Or

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by James A » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:21 am

Ah man this will be cool. I love GN Boxcabs. Really looking forward to watching this.

Mr Ron
Posts: 1765
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by Mr Ron » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:30 pm

I too like boxcabs. Here is a model in 1/8 scale of the first diesel electric boxcab to run on American rails. It was 1924 and it was built by the American Locomotive Company of Schenectady, N.Y. The motors were by G.E. and the diesel was from Ingersol Rand. They were very successful in switching duty, but newer and more powerful diesel electrics were soon hitting the rails. Not too many were built. The basic boxcab shape was adapted for use by many railroads for either electric or diesel. This one is powered by a 12 V motor and a storage battery. The body is built up from wood. I constructed the trucks from aluminum.
000_0258.jpg
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

btlnco
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:33 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by btlnco » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:13 am

Hello all,
just a quick update.
Ive been working on finishing up the CAD drawings to be sent to the laser cutter.
here is a shot of the front end cab panel complete with rivet holes.
cheers
Jason S.
Attachments
boxcab front.jpg
cab front

btlnco
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:33 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by btlnco » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:54 pm

Hey all
Update on the project.

as you can see by the pictures, the cab parts have been picked up. quite impressed with all this.

I goofed on the scaling up, so I need to work on the length of the body. but this involves removing metal, which is allot easier than adding.
I'm happy with the laser work and all the rivet holes I dont have to drill. :shock:

also bought some .5 x 1.5" channel for the base frame.

the truck frames are being proccesed as i type this and hopefully will be ready next week.
hope you enjoy

cheers

Jason
Attachments
Achaski 1024.jpg
End pieces cut an formed
achaskie.jpg
end door way
chaski jpg.jpg
body and monitor roof ribs
acaskiroof1024.jpg
Monitor and roof ribs with monitor siding

User avatar
gwerhart0800
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: Loveland, CO USA

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by gwerhart0800 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:10 am

Can I ask where who did the laser cutting? Did they do the bending also?

I ask because I am considering building a metal cab for my steamer instead of the original wood that the plans call for.

Thanks ...
George Erhart
Loveland, CO
https://lovelandcreatorspace.com

User avatar
cbrew
Posts: 2815
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:17 pm
Location: Vancouver Wa

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by cbrew » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:35 am

gwerhart0800 wrote:Can I ask where who did the laser cutting? Did they do the bending also?

I ask because I am considering building a metal cab for my steamer instead of the original wood that the plans call for.

Thanks ...
George,
we have a few places we use here in the Portland area.
for laser cutting only, i have used http://www.lasercuttingservices.com/contact.html with great pleasure.
Jason, just found this out fit, http://www.bridgecitysteel.com/ with this being the first project using them, the work looked great from both companies.
bridge city does offer more services then cutting, so i will be using them also in the near future.

there is one more company in the area that i have used in the past, but they are no longer competitive on prices. but they are a full fab shop so i still have them in the Rolodex when the need comes up, they are BBC steel http://bbcsteel.com/
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

btlnco
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:33 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by btlnco » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:37 am

gwerhart0800 wrote:Can I ask where who did the laser cutting? Did they do the bending also?

I ask because I am considering building a metal cab for my steamer instead of the original wood that the plans call for.

Thanks ...
i'm having my parts made by bridge city steel of Portland. They also did the bending, I sent them my drawing file, an had them bend the cab too.
The price for the ends where around $85.00 each. An is cut out of 16 gauge or 0.062” steel .
They are great to work with at bridge city steel.
Though if you look around, you might find a laser cutting service in Colorado, perhaps Denver.
Hope this helps
Jason S

btlnco
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:33 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by btlnco » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:55 pm

Hey all
Truck parts came in today.
very happy with the results.
should have a rolling chassis soon

cheers

Jason S
Attachments
frame small chaski.jpg
truck parts together, waiting to be assembled
engine oarts small.jpg
engine components side by side
pilot beam small.jpg
the pilot beam for the end of the trucks. this is 0.50" steel cut and stacked to form the beam. the parts will be bolted together, flap sanded and painted to look like a solid piece.

User avatar
cbrew
Posts: 2815
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:17 pm
Location: Vancouver Wa

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by cbrew » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:59 pm

btlnco wrote:Hey all
Truck parts came in today.
very happy with the results.
should have a rolling chassis soon

cheers

Jason S
Jason, I can tell you are not married... with the loco and saw sitting in the living room :D
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

btlnco
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:33 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by btlnco » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:09 pm

cbrew wrote:
btlnco wrote:Hey all
Truck parts came in today.
very happy with the results.
should have a rolling chassis soon

cheers

Jason S
Jason, I can tell you are not married... with the loco and saw sitting in the living room :D

Some peoples shops are better than others :mrgreen:

JS

User avatar
cbrew
Posts: 2815
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:17 pm
Location: Vancouver Wa

Re: New Electric boxcab Project

Post by cbrew » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:12 pm

btlnco wrote:
cbrew wrote:
btlnco wrote:Hey all
Truck parts came in today.
very happy with the results.
should have a rolling chassis soon

cheers

Jason S
Jason, I can tell you are not married... with the loco and saw sitting in the living room :D

Some peoples shops are better than others :mrgreen:

JS
8)
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

Post Reply