30 March 2024

7th Street Shops - Rails Flanges & Gears Post 13


Friday, May 26, 2023

The Chalk Creek Toboggan - Part 8

In one of the photos of Buena Vista (taken from the Colorado Midland mainline east of town) I saw what looked like a flanger in the C&S yards. This was after the Romley layout I built in Parker (Part 5) had either been dismantled or was stored but I was still planning my 1/4" scale Buena Vista Romley layout. I kept busy building rolling stock. The flanger was one of those distinctly Chalk Creek items I watched for; spying it in the yard was what compelled me to build the model. I also found the drawing of a similar Denver & Rio Grande flanger by J.C. Benson in the Mar/April 1980 "Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette".

Completed On3 Model of C&S 016 - Poole


There wasn't and still isn't any kit for C&S Flangers (there were 2 standard gauge cars as well) in any scale so far as I know. If I wanted the car I had to scratch build it and that meant the usual challenges with such projects. The biggest issues were detailed plans and how to come up with viable hardware pertaining to the plow and mechanism. I solved the second problem by using a Durango Press kit of a Rio Grande Southern Flanger (01 as I recall). The first problem took a little more diligence. I started with the drawing mentioned above and using the few photos available redrew the differences as far as I needed in a new drawing.

Is the model strictly accurate? No. Some things had to be presumed and some things I know now were not clear then. Overall, however, I believe the model is convincing. It does not look like either the R.G.S. model from which I borrowed parts or the drawing which I used as a starting point. It looks like a Colorado & Southern flanger.

As built by the D.L.& G. in the mid 1880s, all 4 cars used what we call the B Type Union Pacific Swing Beam truck. That was much the standard of the South Park freight roster at the time the flangers were built. When 015 became the Leadville flanger in 1936 it was re-equipped with ASF 4 foot archbar trucks used on the 1902 Type 1 coal cars. By 1936 these would have been surplus as many cars were scrapped at that time. I purchased the Swing Beam trucks from Coronado Scale Models.

Note that there are no brake beams on the front truck as there was no means of connecting to the brake linkage behind the plow. Also note that there is a brake cylinder used to actuate the blade from the locomotive. Therefore, the cars had 2 air lines and 2 glad hands on each end. None of the prototype photos of 016 suggest it had the tool box on the front deck like 014 and probably 013. Other detail differences might be square targets on the "older" cars - 015 & 016 

The following photo essay may be helpful, in a general sense, on how to develop just about any.wood framed or wooden railroad car. 

Commercial scale lumber was cut for frame parts

Wood frame parts assembled in a plastic jig

Perspective view showing more end construction

Single needle beam with 2 truss rods

Weights added before floor boards were installed

Form-up of the train air line with other detail

The train air line ran exterior of the frame

Plow installed. Grandt Line couplers

 Plastic "square" to plumb handrail stanchions

Special jig to form the side steps from brass strips

Four sill steps ready to install

Top detail of the nearly complete model

Bottom detail



Sheet brass cut for plow wings and final details, paint, lettering and weathering.

In O scale the car is just over 4" long. This packed a rich amount of detail into a very confined space. The car won Second Place in M.O.W at the 9th National Narrow Gauge convention at Durango, CO in 1989. It was also part of the consist of a train that won first Place at the 12th National Narrow Gauge convention at Colorado Springs, CO in 1992.

Spike from RGS Ridgeway yard

016 was part of a C&S work train entry


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