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South Jersey S Scale Modelers



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 the cargo.


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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.


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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.


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2D-F32 Trucks

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General Steel Drawing

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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.

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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.

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On the car on 12-8-19

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Added 2-2-20

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.

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Added 12-24-20

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.


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Updated 12-24-20

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