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June 1996 - Page 20


b y Bob Bou d rea u
Photos by the author

OFF- no, the article title does not refer to an i llegal substance! Railroaders have called refrigerated cars "reefers" for a long time, and this title is now being applied to refrigerated containers. Most of these con tainers have electrically operated refrigeration units mounted on one end. To power these units when they are on railcars, railroads have devel oped diesel-generator-equipped containers. These generator containers, or "power packs" are able to keep many reefers in operation by means of cables strung between cars. The subject of this article is power packs used by CP Rail System. Local CP Rail staff referred to them as "gen sets," for "generator sets," but I ' l l call them "power packs" in the fol lowing. I modeled a 20' custom unit that contains one diesel generator and a modified 40' con tainer that contains two electrical plants. Either one looks great on a double-stack car, supply ing "reefer power" !
The D rawi n g s - Please Note
I b ecame i n terested in b u i l d i n g my H O scale versions only a fter C P Rail had left m y home town. Their local line has become a privately owned shortline, with no more CP Rail traffic. I had taken quite a few photos of the prototype but no mea surements. The drawings were made from dimensions derived from photos. S ince I knew the major dimensions of prototype containers, it was a simple matter to derive other dimensions. The dimensions I derived and estimated are close enough for model building purposes but are not necessarily totally accurate.


T he Side Wa l l s
T he diesel-generator enclosure wal l s were cut from .0 1 0 sheet styrene, with openings and other detail s marked on each side with a pencil, from the drawing measurements. Panel joints were scribed with a hobby knife. Note the side walls are higher than the end wal l s . There are many louvers in each of the four walls, and these were simulated by scribing fine lines with a new # 1 1 blade in a hobby knife. These scribed lines tend to warp the thin styrene sheet, so I had to glue some pieces of heavier sheet styrene on the inside of the walls in places. The intake opening in the side was cut out and framed with 2 " x 6 " strip styrene on the inside. The grille was made from a piece of Scale Scenics Micro Mesh and glued on the inside of the opening. One of the prototypes had a louvered panel i nstead of this grilled opening; I l i ke the more functional look of the opening which I modeled . The end wall has a cut-out in the lower right-hand corner with a cir cular power-cable holder. The opening was framed with strip styrene; a piece of sheet styrene was used for the interior wall. The cable holder is

I s uspect both sizes of power packs are made in-house by CP Rail, as there appear to be detail differences between every one I have seen (see prototype photos). I started from the ground up, making the 8 ' x 2 0 ' floor from . 020 sheet styre n e . Pieces of 2 " x 1 0 " strip styrene were g l ued around the edges of the floor piece, keeping one edge flush with one side of the floor.

B u i l d i ng the 2 0' Power Pack


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Added February 2, 2011 - Share