Modeling ACL Modernized A-15 Coaches : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread


Here is my next question. Has anyone tried to model the modernized A-15 coaches built in Rocky Mount? I need to model both the early versions done in the late 40s and the others done in 53-55, 1070s - 1080s.

It seems as common as these were for secondary ACL trains, someone (NKP would be nice) wuld have made sides for these.


Larry Neal Modeling the ACL deep in Southern RR territory

-- Larry Neal (, January 23, 2004



Follow-up information re the ACL modernized coaches. If you can get your hands on a copy of the book "Louisville and Nashville Passenger Trains" by Castner, Chapman, and Dorin, take a look at the last chapter of the book that deals with the modeling of L&N passenger equipment. There are photos of models (incl. modernized L&N coaches) and a brief description of what modifications were made. While not ACL cars, the same techniques can be used. The authors also provided references to more detailed articles on modeling modernized coaches: "Kitbashing L&N's modernized coaches by Bob Chapman - 1997 RMC (month?)" and "Modeling L&N's 2550 Series Coaches in HO by Bob Chapman - Feb 96 issue of The Dixie Line (L&NHS society). Hope this helps.

In regard to using the forthcoming Branchline coach to model an ACL A-15, a comparison of photos of ACL A-15s with the Branchline model shows the ACL car has 22 windows per side compared to 20 windows for the Branchline Car. The Branchline car will obviously have to be lengthened. Still need a window count on the F&C N&W coach to determine if it can be used.

-- Buddy Hill (, January 26, 2004.

Double amen regarding the need for ACL and SAL heavyweight equipment. I seem to recall we had a member from the Jacksonville area that always brought models of modernized heavyweight coaches to the annual meetings - I think his last name was Staymie(?). If I recall correctly, he used a commercially available model and replaced the window strip with clear acetate. He would mask the window locations on the replacement strip with appropriately sized tape. Once painted and the tape was removed, the insert gave the appearance of the large, sealed picture windows used on the modernized ACL coaches. He had a website at one time and was selling his custom built models. Hopefully someone else reading this may be able to give you his full name/website and confirm that he is still doing custom model work should you chose to go that route.

In regard to possible kits, IMHO, other than available development $$ and demand by the members, there is no reason why the same principle currently used to model the ACL&SAL lightweight cars could not be applied to the heavyweight cars. Seems all that has been lacking to date is a suitable core kit. Cast urethane may be a more cost effective route than the styrene/brass replacement sides - definitely needs exploring.

With that in mind, the recently announced Rivarrossi 60' RPO and Baggage cars would be a great starting points for models of the ACL's 60' heavyweight RPOs and baggage cars.

Finally, as far as coaches go, one possibility may be the F&C urethane kit of the N&W coach. We had a chance to look at the referenced coach last year in Atlanta and with some modifications (insert four arched lavatory windows and move a rivet batten a couple of inches here or there and you basically have a pre- modernized ACL A-15. Not sure if the forthcoming Branchline coach could serve the same purpose with similar modifications. Anyway, hope some of this proves useful.

-- Buddy Hill (, January 25, 2004.

Amen to that, Larry! The A-15's (A-16's would be nice too) are near the top of my want list. Accurate car sides would be a big help although I know of no one who's ever produced anything reasonably workable to date. I hear we may be seeing a new line of heavyweight passengers cars (the correct lenght this time) from some company, not sure who. Perhaps they'll offer something do-able. The frustrating thing is that, by their very nature, rebuild heavyweights don't lend themselves to mass-production models due to their hown-grown designs. Let's hope the new cheaper technology can work in our favor.

-- Bob Venditti (, January 24, 2004.

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