Engine Terminal

Engine Terminal
CX 351 westbound at Summit Springs. August 1976

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Tool Car 91094

The shops have been busy. The most recent addition to the roster is tool car 91094. I had planned to convert a couple of passenger and/or baggage cars for wreck train service ever since I read an article on kit-bashing them in Model Railroad back in the late 1970's. There's just something about MofW equipment and wreck trains that appeals to just about anyone interested in railroading.

The original plan was to modify a couple of Athearn Blue Box passenger cars. These cars measure a scale 74' over the coupler faces and are right at the limit of what will operate on the railroad given the tight tunnel clearances and 30" minimum radius curves. At some point, I started looking at shorter cars. Most of these have 4-wheel trucks, and I'm preferential to the look of 6-wheel trucks under passenger equipment. Fortunately, I found a Rivarossi 60' baggage car on eBay and it was reasonably priced. In addition, it came with wire grabs and some great looking underbody detail.

A trip through the paint shop followed by decals and weathering resulted in Tool Car 91094.

The sides were painted UP Armor Yellow and the roof was painted Vallejo aluminum. I studied a number of photos of various baggage cars in MW and wreck train service and was surprised at the lack of dimensional data and lettering. I had planned to add small "MofW" lettering or "Tool Car" on either side, but passed for the simplicity of what you see here. I am absolutely certain that I have never put so few decals on a piece of rolling stock.

The grab irons were painted white per the standard paint scheme for MW equipment and the ends of the diaphragms were heavily weathered with oil paints. The sides and roof were weathered lightly using artist's acrylics to represent a car that had recently been repainted.

This last shot shows the car in wreck consist. It will be joined soon by the Tichy 120-ton Brownhoist crane that's about to go into the paint shop.

When the wreck train is finished, it will occasionally make an appearance during an op session. It may also be stored temporarily on one of the RIP tracks at North Pierce.


  1. Tom that is perfect. The stout proportions on those Rivarossi cars are great, esp with the 6-wheel trucks on the baggage-mail cars. Add to that the outstanding weathering and detailing, and the MoW consist looks *exactly* right.

  2. Replies
    1. Nice- your name even includes the SNR herald! Maybe I should change mine now that I have an official herald...

  3. Good point! All the cool kids are doing it.

  4. If you would like an excuse to add some more decals, the WM placed repacking dates and location stencils on the trucks of their passenger cars in MOW service. Here is an example: https://flickr.com/photos/railphotoart/15478765001/in/photolist-pzNHyD

    1. Thanks for the link- that's a great photo and something worth considering.