We need another locomotive like a hole in the head. However....the superintendent of motive power thought it would be good to have another steeple cab that could be used with the battery car, or just with from-the-rail/wire power. He also wanted something that was as heavy as a brick to eliminate the need to double head longer trains.
After a year's worth of indecision and searching, I finally bought another Aristo steeple cab (including "free" caboose.) Ok, now, where did I put the saw?
After removing the six million screws to take things apart, the floor was lengthened by about an inch. Pieces of angle were tapped and machine screws were run up thru the floor. Some JB weld keeps things tightly held in place.
I kept the Aristo drawbars but removed their couplers, and after some file work, was able to it Kadees in their place. Height seems to be close enough for government work.
A couple pieces of 3/16 plate steel were nestled between the angles. I put them in place with bath caulking, in the event I need to pry them back out some day. Red connector is for the battery power. The little gold connector on the left side of the coupler connects directly to the trolley pole to make MU operations more reliable when using overhead power.
Longer wiring harnesses were added to both of the bricks. You might also notice the pieces of channel that have been added to the side of the frame.
Wires have been run from battery connectors, trolley jumper, motors and wheels. The two DPDT switches at the top determine the source of electricity to the motors -- rail, trolley or battery. The pair of diodes are in the circuit to slow the motors down a bit to keep pace with the other power units that might be used as multiple units. Battery box at bottom is for the headlight. Switch is to the left.
Did you ever wonder why the sides of the cab don't match? One side has a wider window that's offset. The other side is symmetrical. Vertical pencil lines indicate where saw is to be applied.
Cab has been lengthened, body putty applied. Window is from Grandt Line, and has had the sill removed. End cab windows have been made a bit longer as well.
Shell is almost complete at this point. Trolley board made from piece of boxcar roof walk. The car body ends are made from various pieces of styrene, mostly .125 thick for rigidity. Some door detail was fashioned from .010 styrene with Ozark door handles added. "Bumps" for cooling of traction motor blowers are wooden buttons sanded to match the pitch of the hoods. Smaller "bumps" represent sander filler hatches (dress snaps) and the circular hole in the side is the air intake for the blowers. (Small piece of PVC pipe with fine screen behind.) Headlights were takeoffs from the M54 project, with some styrene tube added for greater diameter. You might also notice the NBW castings along the side frame channel. Those two AAA batteries power the headlight. Once they're painted black, I hope they look like air tanks. Piece of 800 grit emery paper glued to roof. Still need the bell, trolley pole hooks and a couple of air whistles.
Two views of the finished project. Couldn't decide where to mount the bell so put it back in the parts box!