LGB Center Flow Hopper Car Lowered with Kadee Body Mount Couplers

LGB Center Flow Hopper Car Lowered with Kadee Body Mount Couplers
Ted Doskaris
October 10, 2016
Rev GE-A

October 12, 2016
Rev GE-A1  Added link to prototype car image

February 20, 2017
Rev GE-B  Added car length, width and outlet door info. and dedicated LGB truck link. 




Car Height from Railhead
Truck Options to Lower Car
Spacer Plate
Installation & Results



The German company, Lehman Gross Bahn (LGB), 3 bay covered hopper car is a 1/29 scale replica of a "modern" standard gauge American Car & Foundry (ACF) prototype.  

To be described is an example Baltimore and Ohio (B & O) New Old Stock (NOS) made in China car obtained on sale from Trainworld.  This sale car is now sold out.

The car's packaging includes an Automatic Car Identification (ACI, aka KarTrak) color bar code label decal set for customer installation.  Prototype cars with ACI were prevalent in the 1970s; however, in later years the ACI system was replaced by an Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) electronic transponder.

The particular B & O example car has factory trucks with plastic wheels; however, LGB has reintroduce the 3 bay hopper car, albeit at greater cost, in new road names that have its factory trucks fitted with metal clad wheels.

This car can be easily fitted with body mounted Kadee center set type couplers.  Either the Kadee wide box 906 or narrow box 907 can be used.

The example B & O car is now shown below fitted with Aristo Barber trucks to lower it.

With the car lowered, it is shown fitted with the wide box Kadee 906.

To compare both Kadee 906 & 907 type couplers, I chose to use a "universal" spacer plate needed for body mounting couplers.  


Car Height from Railhead

To realistically body mount couplers, it happens that lowering the car to a more prototypical height is behooving.  (In concert with lowering the car, body mounting Kadees requires a spacer plate affixed to the under side of the car body - to be described later.)



Car Length & Width Measurements

Length and width is measured for the LGB car fitted with body mount Kadee 906 couplers as described herein.  If body mounting Kadee 907s, the length measurement is expected to be the same.



Truck Options to Lower Car

The car can be refitted with a different brand truck, or its factory truck can be modified to lower the car.

Lowering the car is easily done by replacing the LGB factory trucks with Aristo-Craft Barber roller bearing trucks.  Another option is to fit Kadee #973 Barber roller bearing trucks, though I did not try this.

Note:  If using the Kadee truck, it's likely that the adaptor kit's parts that comes with the truck to mount it for the LGB car should not be used since it would raise the car from the railhead.  Some of the parts meant for other brands along with eliminating the base plate may work best.  This is how I dealt with AML and USA Trains cars as described in Vignette, title:
Kadee Body Mount Considerations.

Alternatively, the LGB factory roller bearing trucks can be modified and fitted with slightly smaller diameter Aristo metal wheels to lower the car, however, this requires much more time and effort to do.


Modifying the LGB truck is described in vignette, LGB's American Standard Gauge 1/29 Scale Trucks & Mods for Car Lowering.

The car, when equipped with trucks having metal wheels, is of benefit since it adds more weight at a low center of gravity, particularly useful when operating the car in a long or heavy train traversing curve track.


Spacer Plate

To compare both Kadee 906 & 907 type couplers, I chose to use a "universal" spacer plate needed for  body mounting couplers.  

The spacer plate material is ABS plastic.  This material can be obtained at low cost from TAP Plastics with one side textured.

From my experience with TAP Plastics, the minimum width they will cut is 1 inch wide, therefore, they can typically cut a 3 to 4 foot long strip to the width shown in the dimensional drawing that follows.

A razor saw and file are used to cut and trim the draft gear box.


Installation & Results

Fitting the spacer plate and trucks are illustrated below.


Car Outlet Doors

The car's bottom doors are mechanically functional; however, if left open during car operation in a train on a layout, they can get stuck in the track resulting in derailment and possible part breakage.