Waste Not!

Waste Not!

2023-04Fran Foley is a local model railroader and railfan who makes detailed 3D printed On30 cars and critter-like locomotives and small passenger and freight cars (check page 15 in the March/April 2021 GAZETTE.) He often comes by at one of my open houses with a briefcase full his wonderful 3D printed models. Several months ago, a local model railroader passed away and his family wanted to have an estate sale. However, he lived in the hills making his home hard to find and there was little parking. So, Charlie Getz suggested I host the sale at my home which is in the center of the Silicon Valley with ample parking.

I took advantage of the sale to sell several kits and models I no longer needed. Fran came by with his briefcase, bought a structure and I gave him a few more. He left saying he would give me one of his On30 3D kits.

Sure enough, a few months later at O Scale West, he came to my open house, not with his briefcase, but with a kit for an On30 Pacific Coast Aggregates GE Electric 3rd Rail 12 Ton Locomotive. I have not seen 3D printing like this. The parts were thick and detailed and went together perfectly. The locomotive was designed to be powered by the motor truck from an On30 Bachmann trolley car. I had two of these cars under my layout. So, I pulled one out, removed the power truck, and modified it following Fran’s instructions. It fit perfectly. I also removed the side frames from the trolley.

But what to do with the unpowered trolley? I hate waste, so I thought what happened to many old trolleys and remembered that they were often turned into diners. So, I mounted my truckless trolley on a Masonite base, removed the trolley poles, and added a kitchen and a sign.

I also added an interior to the trolley body and kitchen using the Berkshire Valley Models Counter with Stools kit I reviewed on page 16 in the May/June 2023 GAZETTE. And I sourced out a stove, refrigerator and other details from my scrap box and cluttered up my diner and kitchen. Now what to do with the trolley truck? Maybe a utility flatcar for Fran’s locomotive?

—Bob Brown, Editor

2023-04This article appeared in the September/October 2023 issue of Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette. Subscribe Today!