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C&DR No. 31

From Bob Hayden
Thu, 7 Aug 1997

>Maybe Bob could tell us about #31 when he gets back from Oz.  I don't
>remember seeing it before, and its provenance isn't mentioned on the
>HOn30 page.  Looks like two hoods from the Grandt end cab diesel (or
>Bachmann center-cab) with the cab from the Grandt box-cab unit, but
>what's under the hood(s)??
>Fred Nangle

OK Gents,

I’m just getting caught up from the Australia trip, a week-long trip to the IPMS (Plastic modeling) national convention, and last week’s NMRA national (which included about 400 visitors to the layout last Wednesday and Thursday). If I can survive the Narrow Gauge Convention two weeks hence, I may actually get back to work on the layout before the snow falls!

Let’s see, No. 31. The mechanism is from a Con-Cor (Kato) N scale Japanese-prototype General Electric diesel that I bought sometime around 1978. I think they may still be available. I used the mechanisn as-is, except that I replaced the traction-tire wheelsets with all-metal ones from a second unit. Makes it pick up a lot better.

The truck sideframes are cobbled together from the frames of a couple of AHM Minitrains Plymouth diesels that had long since been sacrificed for cabs and hoods for other C&DR engines.

The cab is from an AHM Plymouth. The hoods were made, as on many C&DR diesels, by chopping up Athearn SW1500 hoods to make flat panels, then assembling the panels with various bits of styrene sheet and strip to build the hoods.

No. 31 also has a constant-brightness headlight (one end only; has to be turned for return trips), and a goodly amount of lead sheet added inside those high hoods to get the weight up to 4.4 ounces. She’s a little fast (as were most of the early Kato diesels), but runs smooth, and there’s enough oomph there to handle a fair-sized train (8-9 cars).

And just in case you think I build things fast, I reckon it was roughly 10 years between the time No. 31 made here first trip over the layout and the day she finally got her paint and number. And she STILL lacks a crew! Sometimes I think my motto ought to be “Never finish anything!”

Note to the HOn30 guys with modules at Cinncy: Yes, I’ll be there (Wednesday evening), and yes, I’ll have one 4-foot module with me. In fact, I expect to run a locomotive on it for the first time tonight, and it should be fully operational by this Sunday. That’ll give me another week to finish the scenery (it’s already 80% done) and install the structures (all built). I’ll bring a box of rolling stock (probably including No. 31), and a power pack. plus enough tools to cope with the inevitable incompatibilities.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the river (Ohio).

Bob Hayden

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