American Freedom Train.......

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enjineerbill

Avid People Watcher
Rex,

Josh,

Dave,

Paul,

MY Pleasure, Guys. Thanks much for the good wishes. This project has come to mean more than just building the train. The history of the people behind it, the deadlines that were met, all are things that demonstrate what we can do with nothing but a dream. Did anyone here know that the Reading T-1(used in the east due to tighter radius and clearances) was restored in 30 DAYS? And that's only ONE example!

Thanks again everyone!

P.S.--GatorDave, Good to 'see' you again!!

More to come,

Johnny
 

enjineerbill

Avid People Watcher
Display Cars...

The American Freedom Train had 10 display cars. These cars were all made from ex-Pennsy baggage cars and were special in that new ends were created for a special conveyor belt that moved people from one end of the car to the other. This process kept the large crowds moving at a constant pace through the cars. A system that worked quite well. It is because of this unique system that the outside of the cars were different on either side. On the engineer side of the train the windows were shadowboxes with three dimensional items inside. On the firemans' side the windows were panels that were lighted. It was along these panels on the inside of the car that the conveyor was installed thus not allowing for deeper 'shadowbox' windows. The display cars are all identical in appearance from the outside, the only difference other than car numbers were that the display windows had chronological dates on the bottoms starting at 1776-1786 and moving a decade at a time till 1966-1976 was on the car numbered 110.

These 10 display cars were filled with various types of historical artifacts ranging from early documents from the formation of the U.S. Government to the Ruby Slippers that Judy Garland wore in the movie 'Wizard of Oz', and Abraham Lincolns' rocking chair, and so on.. The cars were climate controlled and they were the only portion of the train that were toured by the general public.

The cars I'm using as a starting point are the original cars from the Lionel sets from the 70's. These cars were almost exact copies of the prototype. The only thing Lionel didn't do was to produce all 10 cars AND they did not have accurate window displays. The cars Lionel produces were the numbers 101, 110 and the more rare 105 car that only came with the steam sets. Why they chose these cars is a mystery.

No real progress shots as the cars in this batch of 5 could not have the roof removed after having been cemented in place. This required masking the roof during the gloss/dull coating steps that happened numerous times.

All cars have been stripped of original paint, been repainted with acrylics, and decaled.

The cars will get:

Blackened ends and underbodies.

Wire grabs and rails.

36" Metal wheels in original Lionel trucks.

Body mounted knuckle couplers.

And of course, the PROPER window treatments in the display windows. These are reproduced from photos of the actual windows from the prototype.

AFT 102...

Display_102.png


AFT 103

Display_103.png


AFT 104

Display_104.png


Group of five.

Displaycars_101_105.png


More to come,

Johnny
 
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enjineerbill

Avid People Watcher
And I'm also working on the three flats the train had. These flats were 85' long and carried the ticket wagons, concession wagons, a fork lift, a step van, and various other 'support vehicles.

Starting point are the newer RTR 85' ones from Athearn. I got a great deal on some decorated ones so I stripped 'em down and repainted them. They are dead ringers for the cars on the Freedom Train. The only difference in the work done on these is that I will decal the tiny stripes and stars they had. Here they are after an acrylic primer and fresh 2 coats of white...

Flats_1.png


Flats_2.png


And the loads will all have to be scratchbuilt except for the forklift and step van. So I'm starting on 2 of the four drop floor wagons. Starting point were rib sided military vans from ROCO. Sanded to smooth sides and starting to build the unique undergear that they had. This undergear was developed by the Ringling Bros. Circus when the needed to adhere to close clearances inside the tunnel cars they used for the show. This way, none of the wagons would exceed the height of any coach in the train.

Here are the wheel brace sub-assemblies that are being fabricated from styrene.

Wagonundergear_1.png


What the wagons look like from the side with rear wheel subs in place...

Wagons_1.png


Wagons_2.png


The wagons will sit level. The front wheelsets will be on an attached fifthwheel assembly allowing for steering of the vehicle. These wagons were towed into position and had a steel 'tongue' that folded up on the front of the wagon for traveling.

Wagons_5.png


More to come,

Johnny
 

tenwheeler

Member
That is a real piece of history that you have built, Johnny. You do awesome work!!!

I never saw that particular Freedom Train, as I was stationed overseas when it made it's rounds. I certainly remember going with my Dad to see the first one when it toured the US in 1947. It was headed by a PA-1 if I remember correctly... and the train was a beauty.

Once again, congratulations on such a project so beautifully done!!!

Bob
 

enjineerbill

Avid People Watcher
That is a real piece of history that you have built, Johnny. You do awesome work!!!

I never saw that particular Freedom Train, as I was stationed overseas when it made it's rounds. I certainly remember going with my Dad to see the first one when it toured the US in 1947. It was headed by a PA-1 if I remember correctly... and the train was a beauty.

Once again, congratulations on such a project so beautifully done!!!

Bob
Thanks Bob. Let me first say 'Thank You' for your service so that we can enjoy things like this.

You are correct, it was a good ole' Alco.

Maybe these will conjure up some good memories....

FT-Train-75.png


FT-10-Comic-75.png


credits to poster.

Happy Easter,

Johnny
 

enjineerbill

Avid People Watcher
Time for a few more items....

Here are some shots of the concession wagons in progress. The undergear is complete and they're off to the paint shops...

AFT_50_3.png


AFT_50_1.png


After Primer...

AFT_50_4.png


AFT_50_7.png


Also starting 2 new railroad cars. This first one is the AFT #20. It was called the crew car and in the blind end had showers and washers/dryers.

JFIN_AFT_20_2.png


After Primer...

JFIN_AFT_20_3.png


And this is the entrance/security car AFT #100. This car was how the public entered the display portion of the train. A series of ramps led up to the baggage door. On the window end of the car was where the security dept. had their office. This car was manned 24/7 while in Freedom Train service. The car also served to aclimate the publics' eyes to the dark interiors of the display cars...

JFIN_AFT100_1.png


And after getting primed...

JFIN_AFT100_3.png


As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the train had three flatcars as well. One of the items that was carried was a stepvan. Used for gopher service, and to provide a means of transporting grocery store supply purchases for the train...

AFT_StepVan_4.png


AFT_StepVan_3.png


More to come...

Johnny
 
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Trucula

Drum Driver
So great to watch this build..It's like re-living history!...I watch for the updates all the time...when completed this model will be PRICELESS!!!!...Keep it up Johnny. Am sure its fun to build this...but its more fun for us to watch it take shape and to be able to say, " I watched him make that!!!!"... Thanks for sharing! :)
 

enjineerbill

Avid People Watcher
Thanks Everyone for the kind words of encouragement.

Not that I have been slacking, but, it seems that spring sprung early and with it the 'honeydew' list came early. I got the list done and turned my efforts back to the ole' girl.......

The next two cars to roll out of the shops are the AFT 20 and the AFT 100.

The AFT 20 was the crew car. It contained a laundry facility and showers along with a place to store some stuff. It was basically a baggage car with the doors plugged on one end for the showers and laundry.

Here is the right side....

JFIN_20_rt.png


And the left....

JFIN_20_lft.png



The AFT 100 was the entrance/security car. This car served a dual purpose. First it was the car where folks who viewed the trains' interior entered the exhibit. It also provided an area where visitors eyes could be adjusted to the cars dark interiors. Ramps were erected to the large blank door and folks followed them up to enter the car. The end that has the small baggage door windows and other windows on one side, was the security/office portion. It was manned 24/7 while the train made its' way across the country. Again, as with most cars on this train, it was a modified baggage car.

The AFT 100 right side(entrance on this end, security/office at far)...

JFIN_100_rt.png


And the left....

JFIN_100_lft.png



And of course, a shot of the cars enroute being delivered by the MadCoW...

JFIN_100_20_Able_2.png


Hope you enjoy,

More to come....

Johnny
 

tenwheeler

Member
Awesome work, Johnny... both your modeling and photography !!! Thanks for continuing to share your work on this project.

Bob
 

rock4329

Member
engineerbill,

Not to get off the subject of the freedom train, which I've been following all along. But I just had to mention that I LOVE the CNW caboose shot!!! There are just two things that I have to let you know, though. CNW's wide vision cabooses are more of the Athearn style than the Atlas style of caboose. And 11092 would have actually been a number on a bay window caboose. CNW's 10 wide vision cabooses were in the 25xxx series. Other than that, I LOVE that caboose!!!!

Also, I LOVE this AFT thread!!!
 

enjineerbill

Avid People Watcher
Thanks, Bob and Josh, as always, my pleasure!

engineerbill,

Not to get off the subject of the freedom train, which I've been following all along. But I just had to mention that I LOVE the CNW caboose shot!!! There are just two things that I have to let you know, though. CNW's wide vision cabooses are more of the Athearn style than the Atlas style of caboose. And 11092 would have actually been a number on a bay window caboose. CNW's 10 wide vision cabooses were in the 25xxx series. Other than that, I LOVE that caboose!!!!

Also, I LOVE this AFT thread!!!
Hello Rock4329(great username) To tell you the truth I didn't know the CNW had any wide visions. I just painted two of them for practice. But they are both going to be repainted into the MadCoW scheme soon. Thanks for watching the thread and I offer this pic as a peace maker.......LOL

frt_2.png


Have a nice Memorial Weekend and when you see a member of the forces that serve us, please take the time to thank them.........

More to come,

Johnny
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Thanks Johnny for more beutiful pictures of your high quality work. I really enjoy your thread and I hope you think of something else when you finish the AFT.
 




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