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  • Topic: Lettering Streamline Passenger Cars

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    • February 3, 2016 4:03 PM EST
      • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Lettering Streamline Passenger Cars

      I spent too long working on one project and hit the wall. The Christmas to New Year’s break didn’t help, so I decided to try a small project to get the creative juices flowing again.

       

       

      There were 5 Aristo-Craft streamline passenger cars sitting in their boxes gathering dust on the top shelves of my train storage bays. They were bought over a period of years as I found each one I wanted at a discounted price. Unfortunately they were lettered for several different railways which meant that I had to re-letter them, a project I never seemed to get around to. As I recently sold all my track and switches for a shelf layout I intended to build for years, I knew these cars and my CNR E-8 would suffer the same fate if I didn’t get my butt in gear.

       

       

      My favourite railway is the CNR, as both my dad and grandfather worked for it. However my friend Doug quickly pointed out that CNR never had E-8s in regular service, they were only used to haul the CN executive train. I bet they never hauled aluminium streamlined cars either, but who cares. If I like it, I run it.

       

       

      First step was to peel off the road name plaques above the windows. I was able to slip an X-Acto knife blade under a corner and lift it enough to get a finger nail under it so I could peel them off. They came off easier than I thought, but left a strip of glue in the lettering trough. Nothing that WD-40, rubbing alcohol and bit of elbow grease couldn’t handle.

       

       

      Over the years I considered a number of different lettering techniques. But my P-Touch labeller seemed to be the easiest and most robust way I could think of. I bought a couple of 1/2 inch tapes of gold on black when they were on sale. Set the labeller up for a large, bold, double width font and cranked out a couple of labels. Aligning a tape with the top of the lettering trough was easy, but to my dismay the tape was a silly millimeter too wide. Fortunately it was easy to press down tight into the bottom corner of the trough. The bottom side of the trough was then used as a guide for a sharp box knife, and the tape trimmed cleanly.

       

       

      Passenger Car Lettering

      Sorry about the poor picture. But there is an ice rain falling today and I didn’t feel like going outside.

       

      Next task was the name boards under the windows. In the spring and fall of each of my teenage years I would ride in the van (caboose) with my dad through Algonquin Park to Brent, the interchange point for the east and westbound crews. There we would fish for trout on Cedar Lake. So my favourite place names are the lakes we passed by on the train.

       

       

      The boards are wide enough, so the only need was to trim the tapes for length. I put a small screwdriver under the board and the left tab slide free. Tried the same with the right tab and it broke. Every project seems to have a moment like this. I got up a walked away for a break. Once back, I applied the tape and trimmed the ends. Applied a little Super Glue on the broken tab and fastened the board back on the car. I was pleased with the results.

       

       

      Flipped the car over and followed the same procedure for the other side, including breaking the right tab on the name board. It’s like blowing a fuse. You never believe there’s a problem until you blow the second one, right? A little more Super Glue and on to the next car. This time I trimmed the ends with the boards on the car.

       

       

      Hopefully now that this done, I can get on with the business at hand. At least my CNR E-8 is safe for the moment.

       

      This post was edited by Paul Norton at February 3, 2016 8:33 PM EST
    • February 3, 2016 5:33 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Cool, I like that. And, I have a darn P touch somewhere in my desk drawers. I never thought of using it to letter cars.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • February 3, 2016 8:15 PM EST
      • South Central , PA
         
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      looks good !

    • February 3, 2016 9:46 PM EST
      • Obviously, A Fictitious Name
         
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      Very cool.  I've got some streamliners that I wanted to re-name, as well.  I was gonna use decals, but I like your idea better!!!  I don't own a "P Touch."  I'll have to find someone that does.

       

      -Kevin.

      BTW- I used to do some canoeing near Brent.  We used to put in at Kiosk, just west of there.  Beautiful area.

      ____________________________________
      IF YOU ARE READING THIS, STEP ONE OF MY EVIL PLAN IS COMPLETE.
    • February 3, 2016 10:37 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      That looks great Paul. Hopefully you won't be storing these cars outside, or indoors in a sunny place. The PTouch tapes don't hold up well under constant sunlight. I tried using them on the outside of our RV to label things and the print faded to nothing in one season.

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • February 4, 2016 3:08 AM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         That looks really good, Paul. P-Touch labels...I never knew there was such a thing. It seems they don't cost a lot; maybe I'll try it, keeping in mind John's warning that the lettering fades in direct sunlight.

       

         p.s. I'm still waiting to see a you tube video of those modern extruded aluminum tank cars running!

       

       

       

      ____________________________________

    • February 4, 2016 9:42 AM EST
      • East Brunswick, N J RRR#22
         
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      Good attitude, Paul. "Run what you like."

      ____________________________________

      "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with." - L. Frank Baum

    • February 4, 2016 12:51 PM EST
      • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
         
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      dieseldude . said: I used to do some canoeing near Brent.  We used to put in at Kiosk, just west of there.  Beautiful area.

       

      I always enjoyed my time in Algonquin fishing with the my dad. We explored a good part of the park, but never went to Kiosk. Lots of history on the lumber mill and town if you Google it. Like many places in the park, the authorities wanted to get rid of it and finally succeeded when the mill burnt down.

       

      The original villagers (CNR Employees) in Brent were treated the same way. When they died, any surviving family members had two weeks to take what they wanted before their cabins were knocked down. I remember being in Annie Petrov's cabin on one fishing trip. She told us that her husband Pete and her were the first to settle there. Her cabin is long gone.

       

      When I last went back to scatter my dad's ashes on Cedar Lake as he requested, Brent had a number of new cottages built by local area squatters. I asked the gate attendant about it, and she said they had been given a deadline to remove them. But if you use the satellite view in Google maps you can see they are still there. I guest one of the squatters must have some heavy political clout.

       

      This post was edited by Paul Norton at February 4, 2016 12:56 PM EST
    • February 4, 2016 1:17 PM EST
      • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Daktah John said:

      That looks great Paul. Hopefully you won't be storing these cars outside, or indoors in a sunny place. The PTouch tapes don't hold up well under constant sunlight. I tried using them on the outside of our RV to label things and the print faded to nothing in one season.

      We have good luck with the labels here, but we live in a much cooler climate. Our cars are stored away after each railway operating session, and for six long months of winter. The labels that I installed on buildings have also held up well. The seem more resistant to fading than the plastic or paint. What really surprizes me are the ones on the deck boards in some of the yards to mark track locations. They endure the sun and rain in summer, and the snow in winter.

    • February 4, 2016 5:38 PM EST
      • Edison, New Jersey
         
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      Nice Job Paul

      I have one in the shop getting the same treatment, just need get the Tuscan red paint for the letter board. Making it  PENN

      was  SF, had to remove that goo under the sticker. The P touch can be handy. (Do they have gold/Tuscan tape?)

      Kevin

    • February 4, 2016 6:07 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Kevin, I hope they do. I have a undecorated diner that I need to make PRR

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • February 6, 2016 2:12 PM EST
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      I recently did a new letterboard on a USAT streamliner to convert it from SF to NYC.

       

       

      I used regular glossy photo paper cut to fit and with the edges blackened with a felt tip pen.  The lettering was done with a 20s Deco font in MS Word, and then saved as a a JPG and photo-shopped to stretch it to fit.

      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • February 6, 2016 2:57 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      The "Label maker" that Gord uses is a "Brother" product. He has made lettering for all of the Aristo "Bud" type cars, that covered the whole letter board, covering over the old Canadian Pacific maroon paint and lettering.

      I don't know if this label maker that Paul is using, is the same as Gord's or not. We use it for renumbering freight cars, and just about everything.

         So far we have not had any problems with fading, due to UV rays.

      Now that the subject has come up.....I have to get Gord to bring the thing over to renumber at least three cars that are ready to go into service.

    • February 6, 2016 5:48 PM EST
      • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Fred Mills, BSc, BS, SD (Hons) said:

      The "Label maker" that Gord uses is a "Brother" product. He has made lettering for all of the Aristo "Bud" type cars, that covered the whole letter board, covering over the old Canadian Pacific maroon paint and lettering.

      I don't know if this label maker that Paul is using, is the same as Gord's or not. We use it for renumbering freight cars, and just about everything.

      So far we have not had any problems with fading, due to UV rays.

      Now that the subject has come up.....I have to get Gord to bring the thing over to renumber at least three cars that are ready to go into service.

      I also use the Brother labeller. As these labels are $1 @ foot in Canada, I have no intention of using 5 feet of per car. I will remove the Chinese Pathetic Railway's Tuscan Red paint before labelling the one CPR car I have left to do. Did I mention my grandfather and dad worked for the Canadian National Railways? Hard to tell huh?

       

      I used to buy my tapes from Ptouch Direct in Maine until the currency exchange rose to 43%. Good people to buy from.

       

      BTW: I just noticed you can chose to have a link open in another window so the reader can find his way back to LDC easily.

    • February 6, 2016 6:31 PM EST
      • Amesbury, Massachusetts
         
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      Here are some pointers I learned from lettering Passenger cars.

      Set up your staging next to the track careful to allow for enough clearence.  Have a portable radio to talk to the engineer.

      Staging for lettering passenger cars

      do all your measuring from the ground and tape paper patterns on the car.  

      Have the yard switcher pull the cars past you - saves moving a ladder for every letter.

      lettering passenger cars

      Do every car on the same side then have the engineer turn around and bring the other sides by your staging.

      Lettered passenger cars

      Berkshire Scenic Passenger cars.

       

       

      This post was edited by Scott Suleski at February 9, 2016 12:20 PM EST
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