March 31, 2005
NHRHTA TECHNICAL COMMITTEE REVIEW:
Railworks HO Scale New Haven Snow Flangers
SERIES S-51 to S-56
SERIES S-57 to S-84
Railworks (now Crown Custom Products) has produced two versions of each series of the New Haven Railroad’s wood snow flangers. In addition to plows and spreaders, these unique pieces of snow fighting equipment, used to clear snow from between the rails, played a very important part in keeping the railroad clear for revenue traffic.
Rostered in two series, the New Haven’s flangers were of two distinct styles. Flangers numbered S-51 to S-56 (renumbered from 514539-514544 in 1930) were built by the Russell Snow Plow Co. Having car bodies built of wood, some S-51 series flangers, with their cupolas resembling large cabooses, survived (although not on the roster) well into the 1960’s.
Series S-57 to S-84 (renumbered from 514545-514572 in 1930), also with wood car bodies, were built at the railroad’s East Hartford Shops in 1928-29 utilizing boxcar frames salvaged from the major rebuilding program of those cars that was occurring at the same time. A large number of these flangers were rebuilt by Penn Central and made it into the Conrail era.
Versions for both series come factory painted freight car red with road names applied. For the S-51 series, which has never been produced before, stock number R-422 features the railroad name scheme (“NEW HAVEN”) applied and stock number R-422-1 features the famous New Haven Railroad script herald scheme. For the S-57 series, stock number R-423 features the railroad name scheme, while stock number R-423-1 features the script scheme. All applied lettering is very sharp and opaque and the modeler or collector has to apply the cars’ weights, reweigh dates or scheme variants with the provided sheet of “film-less” decals.
Various dimensions checked were consistent with data sheets NHRTI 7.S-51, NHRTI 7.S-57 and New Haven Railroad diagram 24915. The Bettendorf style trucks, applied to some of the flangers to replace the arch bar style trucks, have very good detail. Brake rigging and air brake systems are also included. The cars come with Kadee #58 couplers installed.
Fidelity to the prototype has been very well captured and while not used that much, even on the railroads, these flanger models will make an interesting “snow extra” train for the modelers’ operating sessions or an excellent showpiece for the collector.