MP depot scene

The lead photo is from my collection.  It was taken in Mineral Point, WI around 1954.  This town was modeled by the late Paul Larson as a destination on his HO Mineral Point and Northern.  This was an early example of what is now called a Layout Design Element (LDE) by modelers.   I would guess Paul probably didn’t think of it in the same context. It was a interesting scene worthy of modeling.

GARX Build

The modeling being describe is the work of Robert Leners.  He has generously shared his work with us.   I want to build the model so he is doing all the hard work of figuring things out in the build.  It will save me time along the way.  We are fortunate that Protocraft has us covered with two version of this vintage car.   One set covers the original as-built style and the second covers the post-rebuild configuration (see below)


The photo below shows how far Robert has gone with construction.   The safety hardware has been modernized with two side grab irons.


The GARX car has many similarities to the PFE R-30-9 class.  They both use the Bettendorf “I-Beam” underframe.  The body height is different as was the later roof material.

Robert has reached a point of adding the brake equipment to the car.  Like much of what we do, this car project requires some guesswork since drawings for the rebuild weren’t available. The as-built configuration drawings can be found in reprints of Car Builders Cyclopedia like the 1931.  You can also find an excellent of drawings and article in the April, 1999 Mainline Modeler.

The brake equipment installation was accomplished using photos of a PFE R-30-9 wood reefer preserved in a museum.   Comparing a later GARX photo to the PFE car showed significant similarities as to placement of the brake cylinder and control valve.  The reservoir is not obvious in the GARX photos.   I have included two photos of the prototype and Robert’s initial installation.




We hope to give you another update to Robert’s build soon.

Happy Trails,



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