Re: N4 cabin car

O Fenton Wells

Interesting project Bruce will anticipate the finished product. And I thought I was the razor saw kinda guy

On Nov 15, 2020, at 9:35 PM, Rich C via <rhcdmc@...> wrote:

Bruce, Great plan and a great start!

Rich Christie

On Sunday, November 15, 2020, 08:07:42 PM CST, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:


I'm getting started (or restarted?) on my N4! As some of you may know, the single N4 was an experiment to upgrade the 4-wheel ND bobber to a trucked cabin car. The car retained the ND cupola, and simply had length added to each end. Bob Johnson copied the car records for me so I have lots of information. 

July 31, 1907 – Class ND cabin car No. 486684 was built at Verona Shops 

December 7, 1915 – The car was rebuilt as eight-wheel class N4 No. 488251 at Altoona. 

May 13, 1920 – The car was renumbered to 478215 at Olean, NY.

November 7, 1925 – Two combined alarm whistles and brake valves and one air brake pressure gauge were applied at Buffalo.

June 23, 1927 – A hopper toiled was installed at Buffalo.

May 25, 1941 – At Pitcairn the Old Style couplers were replaced by ARA Type D.  The old style brake pipe end cocks were replaced by end cocks with extension rods and drop handles.  The end hand rails were extended to 48” height.  The Type D4 Westinghouse draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A22XB.  And, the class 2A-F1 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F2.

December 14, 1945 – At Pitcairn Freight Shops the KD 1012 air brakes were replaced by Westinghouse AB 1012 air brakes.  The window guards were removed.  The Miner Type A22XB draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A-2-XB.  The Type D couplers were replaced by Type E.  And, the class 2A-F2 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F5.  

April 1957 – The car was retired from freight service, renumber to 492415 and placed in work equipment service.  It was photographed in such service between 1962 and 1968.

By 1976 the car had been retired from work equipment service and was sold to a private individual, repainted, numbered 475289 and placed on display near Hollidaysburg.  It never had this number in PRR service.  The car was resold to a restaurant in State College, Pa, and subsequently sold to a private individual in State College who, to date, maintains the cabin in his back yard and I was able to visit and photograph the cabin about 12 years ago.

The advent of the F&C ND/ND​kit raises the possibility of using the kit to bash the N4. My plan is to use 2 NDA kits get all the pieces needed. Given the 2 for 1 prices that Sharon usually charges at shows, this is not all the expensive!

My plan is shown in the attached photos. Cutting begins tonight! Be aware that the underframe has bolts on the end so aligning it in the True Sander will require shims. The underframe needs to be 3.995" long (yeah, 4"), so making that out of 2 pieces will be perfect. The truck centers are 5' from the ends, just like the NDA frame, so we only need to gain length in the middle. The roof basically needs an additional section, and I have yet to figure the precise amount of side to add, but by cutting the very end off the side and then adding back a longer piece should get what we need.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

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