This page is dedicated to my great friend of over 25 years, the
late Ken Davis who passed 5-28-19. We had many adventures and great
conversations in that time. He was an S Scale modeler forever collecting
parts for some project he was building. I called him Mr. Rex because he liked
building Rex locomotives. Ken found out about the X42 for sale from Larry
Sokol before I did and bought it knowing he could drive me crazy with
literally dangling it in front of me and NOT selling it to me for many years.
That is just what he did. It brought him great pleasure. I finally bought the
first X42 from Ken, probably at a huge profit to him.
The PRR X42 was not quite a 1 of a kind car but only 10 were
made, not many by usual PRR standards. It was a “mail storage” car. There was
no letter sorting performed when the car was moving. Sealed mail sacks were
This car is yet another of my projects worked on and put away
many times over many years. I started collecting Builders photos in 2006. Much
of the procrastination was because I wanted the correct General Steel BX
trucks. In 2008 when I took Solidworks I paid my then teacher to do the
designing. It was (and still is) a bit beyond my Solidworks designing skills. I
gave him a real General Steel drawing, (see below) another S Scale express
truck as a “sort of like this” example, and builders photos of the truck. What
I got back was absolutely horrible - not even close to what I needed. It was
not usable at all. I did not get my money back either. That proved to me that
you MUST be a capable 3D designer and advanced model railroader to know what is
important in designing model train parts.
I got a bit obsessive in the collection of data, photos and
drawings. Real PRR drawings bought from the PRR T&HS drawing service came
in microfilm panels that had to be patchworked
together making some drawings 7 feet long. I not only got the October 1999
issue of Railroad Model Craftsman, but I got the author’s CAD drawings. I took
an O Scale brass model to get the dreadnaught ends 3D scanned on a real MILLION
dollar 3D scanner. That did not go well. Trying to convert a 3D scan into
something usable was not what I expected. I visited the last existing X42 in
Cooperstown Junction New York and took 100 detail photos.
The years long wait is finally over. I
got the truck castings on 12-6-19 and assembled 1 set. The shock absorber and
brake shoes are not on them yet. Photographing bare brass is always difficult.
One of the cars has been stripped for years. I kept the other 1
painted to run sometimes. These are the trucks made by my friend Rusty
Rustermier until I got the new trucks made.
the car on 12-8-19
On 2-1-20 I added the shock absorber and brake shoes. I think it looks
MUCH better. Up next is finding some suitable springs to build the 2nd
set of trucks. I am not in a hurry though.
In the fall of 2020 I had a significant upgrade to my layout. I
got out a group of REA, express and milk cars to run. This X42 needed the
trucks painted. Good to go until I redo and upgrade both cars.
photos and content © Lanes Trains 2005-2021