Remembering the Rutland - Forums
The opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily of the editor.


Railworks Forum

Thanks to Railworks and the efforts of a handful of researchers,  we have recently enjoyed an unprecedented influx of HO scale brass models of Rutland rolling stock.  One direct result of this has been quite a bit of discussion among Rutland modelers and collectors.  I thought it would be helpful to condense some of the comments and questions that I have received here at Remembering the Rutland on these cars and the prototypes on which they are based.  In this way we can hopefully enjoy these models to their fullest and perhaps, with a bit of luck and persuasion, enjoy more of the same in the future.

The majority of the messages that I received consisted of high praise for Railworks and the Railworks cars along with minor concerns and questions regarding the accuracy of some specific feature.  In particular the truss rods on the model of the Rutland 303-327 series cars caused a lot of concern.  The model's version of this feature is apparently not supported by photographic evidence. That is not to say that car building practice of the time is not depicted by the model.  I would suspect from the responses however that modelers (including myself) would prefer a model that reflects what the photographic evidence supports over any other research source.

Some of us thought that it was only fair to allow Charlie Lehmann of Railworks an opportunity to respond to the issues raised before posting them.   Charlie has graciously done so and his responses follow the particular comments to which he was responding.

At the bottom of this page is a list of publications where photos of the prototypes of these cars can be found.

If you would like to add your two cents you can reach me at the mail link below.  Cheers!

-Jim Dufour


Water Decals and their Application

Notice that the car number is missing in the above photo.  A decal sheet provided with the model allows for the application of any number that the modeler desires.  Here, courtesy of Railworks, is the recommended method for applying it:

The lettering on the models was not pad printed. A Korean-type water decal was used by the builder. The number decals supplied with the cars are of the same type. They will match the factory applied lettering and no overspray is necessary. TO APPLY - Simply select the number group you wish to use and cut it from the sheet.  DO NOT remove the film that appears on top of the lettering. This film holds the decal together until applied to the model. Soak the decal (including the film) as you would a Champ or Micro-Scale decal. Position it, blot dry and let dry overnight.  Next day peel off the film and the result is a number that appears painted on.


Need a number?  [Click here] to view rosters of Rutland milk cars.


Warning! (10/12/99) I just want to pass on to you a problem that I had with the [undecorated] Railworks Rutland milk cars.  For around 30 years, I've been baking the finish on brass models because I find that it gives a more durable finish.  I bake at 200 degrees F for an hour and have never had problems with this procedure.  I also have read of others using similar temperatures and times (I'm one of them -jrd).

However, when I did this after painting two of the Railworks cars, on one of the cars the solder joint where the roof attaches to the sides came undone on both sides of the car.   Interestingly, both cars were in the oven together.  The manufacturer must use an EXTREMELY low temperature solder because even TIX solder, considered a low melting point solder, doesn't melt until it reaches 275F.

I know it's fairly common to bake the finish on brass models so it might be helpful to pass my experience on to others who have purchased the unpainted version of these cars.


More on those water decals (10/12/99)  I first tried to apply the numbers (302) to my f/p Rutland truss rod milk car, using the new type decals that came with the car, and I read the new instructions, too. I soaked the decal in water, briefly, then added a small drop of water to the location on the car where I applied the decal. I then blotted the decal and set it aside to dry overnight. The next day one decal fell off the car, the other disintegrated when I tried to lift off the film.   Goodbye #302.

Next I turned to #305. This time I followed the same procedure, except that I added a small drop of SolvaSet instead of water to the side of the car just prior to placing and blotting the decal. I let dry overnight and this time I was able to carefully lift off the film. The numbers look painted on!

So say hello to my Rutland #305!


I have received my Rutland f.p. truss rod car. Overall, I am pleased with it, it is a definite improvement over the Laconia kit car I have been running for the past 40 years. Also a great improvement over the Funaro kit that sits unbuilt on my shelf.

However, I find a bit of fault with the following: The truss rods are too deep. In the photos of the prototype cars the truss rod comes down to about midway between the middle step and the bottom step of the door steps. In the model the rod comes along below the bottom step.  In the prototype photos the underframe cross members show below the side sheathing, on the model the cross members are flush with the side sheathing.

In the photos of the prototype the "Route of the Whippet" logo seems to have been placed farther to the left from the end of the car body. Also, in photos, the logo seems to be evenly spaced between the fascia board and the trim board above the vents. On my model the logo appears in the upper half of the distance between the boards. However, it may be that the logo appeared at different locations on the prototypes, perhaps depending upon which shopman held the stencil in place on that particular car.

An excellent plan for NYC car 6427 appeared in the "Model Railroader", July 1953 issue.

Photo sources of the Rutland truss rod cars: J. Shaughnessy's "Rutland Road" first edition, page 139. Three cars are lying on their sides at Proctor after the flood of 1927.

Nimke's Rutland Vol. I, page 168. Two photos of truss rod cars. The top photo also shows in RMC's Feb-Mar 1986 issue, page 93.

[See below for other photo sources --jrd]


The Railworks cars are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! I have purchased three of the New York Central cars and they seem to be right on the money!  The only disappointment to me was the fact that the lettering is what I call "pre-war". While this is not a show stopper, I wonder if this lettering scheme actually lasted into the late fifties? Any suggestions or comments? Also, were the roof walks painted Pullman green or black as done on the model?  This is always a tough one isn't it?


CL:  The NYC began to change their lettering style sometime in 1939. Official NYC lettering diagrams tell us this. However the lettering on all cars did not change overnight. Most likely on an overhaul or rebuilding of a car. Therefore given the priorities of WW II it would [be] reasonable to assume that the Roman lettering on some cars lasted through WW II and beyond. Some cars may never have been changed.

We have seen nothing in print nor is it evident on photos we have seen that the roof walks were in fact Pullman Green.


The Rutland milk car is outstanding! Check out the underbody detail!! Can't wait to see Railworks do the B&M wood milk cars with the Brookside plaques.


Does anyone know which of the several orders of NYC-style truss rod milk cars is represented by the new Railworks HO Rutland model (R-319)?  Are there any photos of these?  Probably the most widely seen photos of the Rutland truss rod cars are the two in Nimke Vol. 1 and the many shots of the milk train stranded at Proctor by the 1927 flood.  The Proctor photos include some views of the milk car truss rod underframes.   The Railworks model underframe appears to be a different configuration.  The truss rods on the model seem too low and the queen posts seem too far apart to represent the cars in the Nimke or Proctor photos.


CL: The Rutland truss rod cars were numbered 300-327. One roster we have seen shows the numbering 303-327. The Rutland cars with the fishbelly side sills were 340-349.


What type of research did Railworks do before the pilot model was produced?  This is always difficult with very old equipment...but perhaps actual drawings do exist? I also question the truss rod underbody details on the Rutland car. They look awesome but seemed very HEAVY!  Another point to make about the paint..it is beautiful..BUT... I only wish that they did pre-number the NYC cars because you will never get the "pad-printed" effect with decals [importers can't win! -jrd].  I can hide them pretty well but this also dictates spraying the entire car to blend in the finish. But, I will more than  likely overspray to slightly weather anyway.

You just have to wonder if the NYC cars (after re-painting and upgrading to the newer lettering) had their fishbelly underframes and trucks painted black. The only photos that I have are B&W and seem to hint that they were! Any suggestions?


CL: The drawings that were made for the truss rod cars were developed using old photos, some measurements gleaned from similar NYC cars, but mostly from Car Builder's Cyclopedias of the early 1900's thereby following recommended practices of the period. To the best of our knowledge no drawings exist and a good deal of time was spent searching.

We sent a copy of our painting plans to the NYC Society prior to sending to Korea and received no negative comments from them. Hence the black side sills.

Decal Application Instructions: The lettering on the models was not pad printed. A Korean-type water decal was used by the builder. The number decals supplied with the cars are of the same type. They will match the factory applied lettering and no overspray is necessary. TO APPLY - Simply select the number group you wish to use, cut it from the sheet. DO NOT remove the film that appears on top of the lettering. This film holds the decal together until applied to the model. Soak the decal (including the film) as you would a Champ or Micro-Scale decal. Position it, blot dry and let dry overnight. Next day peel off the film and the result is a number that appears painted on.


Received my Rutland fishbelly milk car......I'm in awe of Railworks.....how do they keep getting better!!!!!!


As for the Railworks milk car, I bought the fishbelly version and it is exquisite!!   The underbody detail is incredible and where did he get screening that fine to back up the vent openings?!?!?!? Man... hats off to Charlie, he plays a mean tune. Can't wait to see the 337!


I just got my Railworks truss rod Rutland Milk Car. I think I want a few more.   She is a beauty from the trucks-up, but the trucks are really not up to par. The journals stick WAY out, I mean WAY out.  Compared to photos, the trucks don't represent the prototype very well.  The question is, does anyone make a better representation of the milk car trucks in HO, and where can I get them?


I am totally impressed with the type of decals provided with the Railworks factory painted cars!  I applied them yesterday to a NYC express car with much success!  WOW it came out beautiful!!!  You have to wonder why this type of decal is NOT offered by other manufacturers? (or are they and I just don't know about them?) I've been decaling over 25 years and have never been this impressed regarding lack of any decal film!!! just LOVE the railworks decal application. Charlie really knew what we needed!!! GREAT JOB!!!!!


Where to find photographs of the prototype cars:


Rutland 303-335 series milk car
Railworks stock #319 & 319P

Car No. Publication Comments
304 New England States Limited
Summer, 1977. p12.
Nice side view by taken Bob Adams at Bellows Falls.
??? Nimke's Rutland 60 Years of Trying
Volume 1, page 168.
3/4 wedge shot of end & side.  Same lettering as the Railworks' model.
303 Nimke's Rutland 60 Years of Trying
Volume 1, page 168.
Photo taken at Rutland shops.

Rutland 340-348 series milk car
Railworks stock #323 & 323P

Car No. Publication Comments
340 Nimke's Rutland 60 Years of Trying
Volume 1, page 170.
3/4 wedge shot of end & side. Nice!
349 Nimke's Rutland 60 Years of Trying
Volume 1, page 170.
side view. In "yellow band" scheme.
342 Nimke's Rutland 60 Years of Trying
Volume 7, page 11.
Side and end in good light.
344 Nimke's Rutland 60 Years of Trying
Volume 5, part 1, page 110.
Same picture (only grainier) is in Rails beyond the Rutland, p.25
347 Nimke's Rutland 60 Years of Trying
Volume 1, page 201.
Ex-347 as Ice Storage Car X629 in 1962.

New York Central "fishbelly" milk car
Railworks stock #317 & 317P

Car No. Publication Comments
? The Deleware & Ulster
by Gerald M. Best, page 176.
Full page photo of two cars in a train.
6576 Thoroughbreds by A. Staufer & E. May, page 264. Probably a builder's photo, includes end, side and roof (!).  Features Roman-style lettering as used on Railworks' model.
6651 NYC Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment by D. Sweetland and R. Yanosey, page 9. Weather-beaten and shifted transparency color. 1962.
(same page: one of the converted baggage-express (ex-milk) cars as modeled by Railworks)

Copyright 1998-2003 Remembering the Rutland
Welcome  History  Rosters  Modeling  RRHS  Save the Rutland  Photo Gallery  Milk Trains
Latest Revision Date: 07 Dec 2003