Modeling Pennsylvania Railroad N5

March 2, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: N/A
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Modeling Pennsylvania Railroad N5-N5c Cabin Cars in the 1940’s By Matthew Hurst

Modeling the PRR’s N5 through N5c class cabin cars in the 1940’s can be challenging at times when you consider that at this period in time most photographers were training their cameras on steam as it made its last stand against the diesel onslaught. We are fortunate that our founding members of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society sought to preserve photographs, correspondences, and most importantly the engineering drawings from Altoona. With this information, we can now model these cars more accurately.

N5 As built (circa 1952)

The PRR’s most recognized and modeled cabin car. Built 1914-1918, these cars were pretty much unchanged until the 1940’s when most of the class was rebuilt with crash beams. Some though, like 477365 (above), kept their as built end arrangement. These cars have been produced by most manufactures of brass in multiple scales, as well as plastic manufactures, (mostly in HO and N scales). The REA variation shown below is the most elusive car to model. This variation was featured in The Keystone summer 1996, with a large amount of data on this conversion.

Passenger/REA service


If the PRR’s N5 may be the most modeled cabin car, then the N5b is the most under modeled cabin car. Built in 1941, they were almost an exact copy of the N5. The differences included: relocated smoke jack closer to the cupola, side and end grabs that extended to the belt rail, a relocated toilet, Alan Wood steel roof walks and a re-orientated AB brake system. A latter addition to a sizable amount of the N5b fleet was the Inductive Trainphone system.


The PRR’s N5c was the first real deviation from the original design of the N5. With its porthole windows and streamlined cupola, it was the look of something modern on the PRR. Built in 1942, only one year after the N5b s were completed, the N5c retained a lot of features of the N5b, but added a fully enclosed cupola with inside mounted sliding windows and hinged roof facing windows. This feature designed to keep more of the element out. This class was mostly seen with the Trainphone system attached.

Air Reservoir

Brake Cylinder

Toilet chute

Triple Valve

On N5 class (toilet chute opposite air reservoir)

Under frame and AB brake arrangement N5 - N5c

Inductive Trainphone components crucial for models

Conduit lines and clamps Antenna masts

Conduit line to Receiving coils

(Note: Alan Wood Steel Roof walks used on N5b and N5c)

Battery box

Electrical plug-in Generator

Receiving coils

Detail variations - N5 and N5b (Left) Window sashes scratch built from .020x.010 styrene with wing windows (Detail Assoc.)

(Above Left) N5 bathroom vent location

(Above Right) N5 (w/Trainphone) and N5b bathroom vent location

(Left) N5 with original style side and end grabs.

(Right) N5b with grabs that extend to belt rail.

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