Ken Garber's Road Railer
Photo and text by Ken Garber

Road Railer

   Building up the roster of rolling stock and the like for my new scale of choice, I saw and purchased a couple of the American Models Roadrailer trailers. The intent was to just set them somewhere on the pike along with the other trailers.   But my brain started to work (which can be a dangerous thing), and since I previously had a 10-unit set of them in HO (Bowser), I decided to try a running set in S.

   Changes to the trailer included cutting off and replacing the bumper
on the rear, and moving the tire bogie up a few 'feet' or so. A major change was adding a bolster mount for the rail truck (SHS with 33"
scale wheels in this case).

   Relying on mostly small photos and using the Bowser trailer for comparison, a new bumper was attached and a bolster was built up immediately behind it. A hole was drilled and tapped for 2-56 for the truck and to accept the tongue from the trailing trailer.

   A note here: The underfloor of the AM trailer was not flush with the frame so a styrene pad was cemented at the front to bring it up to the trailer wall. The floor at the rear was not flat but instead curved up into the trailer. This floor was cemented in place and could not be adjusted. Varying sizes of block styrene were used to build up the bolster pad.

   In assembling the tongue, I had great difficulty lining it up with the next trailer until I discovered that the rear doors on the AM trailers extend BELOW the frame line. Adding a block of styrene for the tongue to attach to solved that problem. The tongue is attached to the block with a screw so that if it should break, it can be easily replaced. The tongue is two pieces of thin styrene (.010 and .030?) sandwiched for strength. Everything was painted black.

   The “adaptarailer” (the leading truck assembly) was built on a longer tongue and sized approximately to the Bowser version. In watching some photos and seeing the odd Roadrailer pass through town, I found a few variations in platform size. Thus the S platform is about half the size of the Bowser platform in scale length. The Kadee was partially screwed on to allow change between #5's (which I use) and the 802's for show purposes.

   Except for painting the new bumpers white and adding some dabs of red paint for the taillights, the project is complete.

   I have this strong urge to add more trailers, but I'm forcing myself to stop at 3. I can imagine a long string would be very impressive but......