What is all this stuff??

What is all this stuff?

What is this crap?

When Jason was only three feet tall and standing on the platform at Guildwood Station, the mess of underbody plumbing was what he noticed the most as it stared him in the face whenever a train pulled up.

He hasn’t been the same since!

We have tried to recreate this seeming jumble of details as accurately as possible in HO scale. Our Superior Stainless passenger cars have complete underbody detail, including all of the air, steam and electrical conduits. Have a look.

Rapido Underbody 1
Superior Stainless Coach Underbody: Power Collection

In the photo above you see the underbody detail towards the “A” end of our Budd Coach. The Safety Car Heating and Lighting Company Genemotor (1) is an axle-driven generator that creates electricity from the movement of the wheels. The power cables (2) extend from the Genemotor to a “pull box” or junction box (3). We have tooled three different cable runs so that they go to the correct junction box, depending on the car style – either to the right, to the left, or straight out of the back of the Genemotor.

Conduits run between this pull box and the Pyle DC battery charging receptacle (9) as well as the nearest battery box (7). A large conduit can be seen crossing the centre sill to reach another pull box (4), from which the two other battery boxes receive their power. It is also connected to the DC battery charging receptacle on that side of the car. From that pull box, you can see two large conduits returning across the sill to a third pull box (5) which contains both AC and DC junctions. On the front of this pull box is an access door to the AC starter switch.

Connected to the pull box (5) is the alternator (6) to provide AC (alternating current) power for the fluorescent lights, as well as the Pyle AC standby receptacle (8) and a long conduit leading to the air conditioning equipment towards the centre of the car. You generally only have an alternator on cars with fluorescent lights and/or cooking appliances. On cars with incandescent lighting, all of the power in the car is usually DC (direct current) only.

We can’t forget the Rolokron Control Box (10). This monitors the wheels for wheel slip and, if detected, reduces the braking applied to that axle. Pretty neat stuff, eh?

Rapido Underbody 2
Superior Stainless Coach Underbody: Air Brakes

Continuing on the air brake theme, this photo shows the heart of the car’s Westinghouse D22 air brake system. The Combined Reservoir (1) features the displacement reservoir, which regulates the rate that air pressure is developed, as well as the auxiliary and emergency reservoirs. The Control Valve (2) ensures the brakes operate in sync and correctly. The Quick Service Valve (3) ensures that all the cars in the train brake at about the same time, and the Relay Valve (4) ensures that all the brake cylinders on this particular car respond at the same time.

Most obvious is all of the air pipes between the valves and the reservoir. We included many of them, but some are simply too small to reproduce in plastic.

Rapido Underbody 3
Superior Stainless Coach Underbody: Air Conditioning and Heating

On the opposite side of the Budd Coach from the D22 system, we find the air conditioning equipment. The AC compressor (1) and the AC condenser unit (2) are the heart of the system, but the AC filter dryer (3) is a vital component as it removes moisture from the air before it is cooled. Beside the AC equipment you can see a tangle of insulated steam pipes (4) . These are not just pretty; they are an essential part of the steam heat system. The pipes shown include shut-off and drain valves and Vapor Heating Corporation steam regulators and pressure regulators: these ensure that enough steam is available when needed, and that the pressure does not build up beyond safety limits and blow up the car. Such an occurence would negatively affect the passenger experience…

Rapido Underbody 4
Superior Stainless Coach Underbody: Water-Raising Reservoir

The little cylinder is a vital component of the passenger car. It is the water-raising resevoir (1), and without it you would not have any running water in the car. Beside it can be seen a typical steam trap (2). You can find these throughout the car heating system. They remove crud (condensation) that would otherwise clog your steam lines and are great at freezing in winter and causing no end of headaches.

Now compare our Budd Coach underbody to a typical underbody produced by our competitors:

Typical Model Underbody
Typical Passenger Car Underbody. Enough said.




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