D&RGW #04013, 04022 MoW Cars

During the Summer of 2004, I built two D&RGW Maintenance of Way (MOW) cars as styrene masters in On3 for some new Cimarron Works resin kits.

The prototypes were #04013 (Kitchen car) and #04022 Commissary (or Dining car). In the prototype, both cars started life as regular 24' D&RG boxcars but were rebuilt as 27' cars around 1884-1894. They were then converted for use as MOW cars by adding sliding windows and changing out the side doors during the 1920's.

You might be wondering how a 24' car could be modified to become a 27' or a 28' car. The answer is really quite simple. In those days wood was cheap, iron was valuable and RR's could realize substantial tax breaks from "rebuilds". Back then, when a car was rebuilt typically the metal parts were reused and any usable sections of wood were cut into shorter lengths. I suspect most of the wood was simply discarded (burnt). How attitudes have changed... In the final analysis, a re-build was a mostly new car with recycled metal parts.

The cars were used when work had to be performed by a work crew where it was impractical to "commute" back and forth every day. After all, the work site might have been 100 miles or more from the nearest depot and someone had to feed the hungry crew.

The photos opposite show the Commissary car under construction. The construction technique was similar to the Caboose but with a three layer sandwich for the walls. In the second photo, note the door knob. This was turned from some styrene rod using a cheap 3/8" electric drill and a needle file. Who needs a lathe?

Click here for photos of the first-off resin parts.

 Styrene master of the D&RGW Commissary Car 04022
D&RGW Commissary Car floor, detachable roof and body.

D&RGW Commissary Car temporarily "perched" on its trucks for the photograph.
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Last updated: March 2007