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Modeling a LV scale test car


Lehigh Valley scale test car 96672 Drawn by Bobb Losse, Sr.


7′-8″


Full size for O scale: 1/4″ = 1′-0″; 1:48


Both cars were originally built with vertical brake wheels but were subse- quently updated with


Ajax brake


wheels. I was told they both survived into Conrail, and for some time No. 96672 was the oldest piece of equipment on the Conrail roster until it was re- tired, but I was unable to confirm that. The Lehigh Valley was not known for extensive documentation of its equip- ment, and much of what did exist has been lost. There are no known shop cards or drawings for any of the cars. Determining their dimensions was based on analyzing the few photos which were located. I would like to thank Jim Dalberg, Bobb Losse, Bud Rindfleisch and Lee Turner for their help with research for this article.


Construction I decided to model No. 96670 because I liked the steam engine type handrail posts located completely around the top. Like the prototype, I started con- struction with a passenger truck as the base for the frame. Jim Dalberg sug- gested using a Model Die Casting truck, which he used in his HO model of No. 96672. The MDC truck which came with the express reefer kit has a seven-foot wheelbase, which is only six inches longer than the Lehigh Valley car and the plastic is much easier to work with than a metal truck. I started by removing the elliptical


and coil springs with a fine tooth Zona® saw. Then, I filed the top and bottom of the truck flat, squared the ends, and filed down the top bar above the jour- nal box. The kit wheel sets were re- placed with Northwest Shortline 36″ wheels.


The top of the frame was cut from


.060″ styrene measuring 13′-0″×7′-6″, which was the width of the truck. Sev- eral 6″×6″ strips were added across


76 SEPTEMBER 2012


A Model Die Casting truck from its express reefer kit was filed on the top and bottom until the top beam and drop equalizer were flat; the springs were removed (above). A frame was built from styrene and placed on top. Kadee No. 78 coupler boxes were installed on styrene pads and styrene pieces locked the truck on. A weight was attached to this underframe.


6′-11″


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