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Restored 70' McKeen Motor Car
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 Posted: Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 03:27 am
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HollywoodFoundry
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A number of McKeen cars were imported into Australia. Two went to the Victorian Railways and I think 3 went to the Queensland Railways. The VR ones were 5' 3" gauge, and the Queensland ones were 3' 6" gauge.

The Victorian ones were a little different because the VR used platforms at all its stations, not ground level access as in the USA, so the centre door had to be raised with a corresponding 'bump' in the roofline to give enough height.

This web site has an on-line copy of the operating manual for the McKeen car, and also shows photos of the cars in VR service. They did not last long with the engines installed as they were horrendously unreliable. The VR removed the motors and used them as locomotive hauled cars in suburban service

http://www.hobbiesplus.com.au/temppics/mckeen.htm

Oh, and Hello to Bill, I seem to encounter you whereever I go...:)

Geoff

Last edited on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 03:29 am by HollywoodFoundry

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 Posted: Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 05:19 am
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Bill Fornshell
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HollywoodFoundry wrote:

Oh, and Hello to Bill, I seem to encounter you whereever I go...:)
Geoff


Hi Geoff,

Nice to see you on this forum. I do belong to a few Train Forums and a bunch of yahoo groups.

If their is a McKeen Motor Car section on a site I am sure to join.

I even noticed a McKeen Motor Car with a Passenger Trailer in the gallery part of your web site tonight. I think the picture must be sort of new as I was looking there not long ago and don't remember seeing it.

I have plans to build at least 4 HOn3 McKeen Motor Cars and have been looking at your power units that are available in HOn3. The company that casts the resin McKeen Motor Cars are going to try and modify a mold to turn the HO McKeen into a few HOn3 McKeens for me.

I have been working on "Kit Bashing" two K27 Steam Engines and have been working on a Slope Back Tender for one of them. I have the Tender about finished and now I am waiting for detail parts that I have on order.

Tomorrow I start taking my Illinois Terminal Class C apart. I need to workout a new chassis and how to install a new motor drive system. All the original parts get sent off to be used as a casting masters next week. We will make a Resin Kit for the Class C and then use the main cab part and make a Resin Kit for the Class B. The Master will also be used for at least two other kits for a total of 4 new Resin Kits based on the Class C. The kits I build will all need chassis and power drives. Have you done any work on your Class C yet?

1.


2.

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 Posted: Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 05:24 am
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HollywoodFoundry
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No Bill, I am just trying to keep my head above water with orders at present. But I have received back the brass etch that will make up the 'Spring Belt Drive Replacement' trucks. It is those trucks I will be using to replace the inner ones on the IT Class C. Then I will use a pair of LoBoys as the outer trucks, coupled to the inner ones.

Time, I need more of it......

Geoff

 

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 Posted: Tue Apr 27th, 2010 07:38 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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The Nevada State Railroad Museum has created a page of pictures showing highlights of the restoration of the #22 V&T McKeen Motor Car.

http://dca.nevadaculture.org/pressgallery/mckeen/

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 Posted: Mon May 10th, 2010 04:16 am
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Bill Fornshell
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Today was the day. Check out the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=267bRZRgv08

This video shows the McKeen during restoration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kV6Dv5pw0w&NR=1

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 Posted: Mon May 10th, 2010 07:27 am
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HollywoodFoundry
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That looks superb. I would have given up one of the family jewels to be there on the day and see that!

Geoff

 

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 Posted: Mon May 10th, 2010 01:11 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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A few more:

1a.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw-ws6UtW5Y

1b.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0H6UF78_ec

1c. Toward the end of the pictures. McKeen on the new TT.
http://www.nsrm-friends.org/gallery_turntable/index.html

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 Posted: Mon May 10th, 2010 03:35 pm
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Herb Kephart
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For anyone wanting to build a gallows frame turntable, that last link has many valuable detail shots of how the real one is built

Thanks, Bill


Herb :old dude:



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 Posted: Mon May 10th, 2010 06:39 pm
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rich
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Great info and thanks for posting. Need to get to Reno and check it out this summer.

rich

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 Posted: Tue Jul 12th, 2011 06:17 am
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CMmodeler
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I just thought that I would share some information about the McKeen cars.  A few years ago, I researched McKeen cars for a presentation to the Northern Colorado Model Railroad Club.  I  also had an opportunity to see and photograph V&T #22 in 2008 during its restoration.  I have purchased several books on McKeen cars including "McKeen Motor Car #22 Restoration Feasibility Investigation".  All of these books shed a lot of light on V&T #22 and McKeen cars in general.

First, the front truck, engine and drive system were extremely unique.  W.R. McKeen Jr. insisted on a mechanical drive system and would not even discuss hydraulic or electric drive.  Gasoline engine technology was in its infancy at this time.  The engine was a marine style distilate engine complete with exposed connecting rods and an open oil pan.  It was actually two 3 cylinder engines that shared a common drive shaft.  One half of the engine would be run with compressed air while the other half of the engine would be fed fuel and started.  Once one half of the engine was running on fuel, the other half would be switched over to fuel and started.  The engine did not have a carburetor but used a fine screen to atomize the fuel.  It was often necessary to heat the screen in a gasoline fire to red hot, replace the screen on the engine and then the engine might start.  It is no wonder that railroads that owned McKeen cars were forced to store them in heated car barns in the winter. 

The drive system was a drive chain to the front axle only.  There was no reverse gear.  In order to reverse the direction of travel of a McKeen car, the engine had to be stopped and re-started running in the opposite direction.  Since it was a one axle drive, it didn't do well on steep grades.

Most railroads bought one or two McKeen cars to try them and never made a repeat purchase.  Due to the unreliable engine and drive system, most McKeens were converted to some other engine/drive by the railroads that owned them.  V&T #22 was very rare in that the original engine and drive were retained throughout its entire operational life.  It was retired in 1945, and sold in 1946.  According to restoration study, the master mechanic's last entry in the maintenance and repair book states "Sold to Mr. Deniss of Carson City, Nev.  Made a restaurant out of it.  Sold for $1000.  Motor car #22 was scrap and sold Aug. 26, 1946.  Ought to have been sold 30 years ago".  When V&T 22 was sold, both trucks and the engine were scrapped.

By the time V&T #22 was being considered for restoration, no original trucks, motors or drives were known to exist anywhere in the world.  An excerpt out of the Sage Headlight, newsletter of the Friend's of the Nevada State Railroad Museum, explains the use of a modern engine and drive for the restoration "It was suggested by more than one person that an old, or period, prime mover be used.  This was rejected out of hand.  If, for example, a 1936 Cadillac was being restored and a non-Cadillac replacement engine was installed, regardless of the year of manufacture, it would not be a Cadillac engine."  Basically, if you can't find the correct drive system, some other old drive system will not be accurate anyway so you might as well use a modern engine and drive system that works well.

Here are some pictures that I took of the drive truck as it was being fabricated.  Note that the final drive system is still a chain drive to the front axle only.  Bill Fornshell included a link that show the completed truck.





Darrel Ellis



Last edited on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 03:44 pm by CMmodeler



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