MODELING: Door Opening and Closing Mechanism

Steam era boxcars used a number of door opening and closing mechanisms during the wood and steel construction period. The most common was made by Camel. There are a number of other mechanism such as the Union Duplex and Creco.

The picture shown above is the common Camel type. The railroad worker is in the process of attaching a seal the door hasp. The picture below is of the same application but from a different angle.

As a modeler we are fortunate to have these parts available from Chooch Enterprises.

You can find the Camel door opening and closing mechanism on the #215 sprue. You can purchased the parts via the Chooch website. They are only available direct from them.

The 1932 ARA boxcar shown above had a Union Duplex door and opening closing mechanism. This is a type that had not been produced commercially. I did a set of patterns for a Union mechanism for a 1932 boxcar kit that never made it to prime time. The Youngstown door has to be modified on the lower corners. Also a door lock and tracks were made for the door.

From time to time, I will touch upon other topics on freight car details. Proto48 is about the getting the details right.



7 thoughts on “MODELING: Door Opening and Closing Mechanism

  1. I tell ya Gene, these posts are great. Really appreciate the time you take to pass this attention to detail of modeling along. My early kits I’m doing are so crude compared to these. But they are great inspiration to where I aim to take myself some day. Your sort of the mentor I’ve never met. Happy New Year to you and yours. Him in Milwaukee.

  2. Gene, this post was prescient as I am waiting for packages of Chooch #215 to arrive by mail in order to finish two boxcars. I was always confused on how to assemble the Chooch components. I now realize that one sprue is required for one door (single or double) or two sprues per car with parts left over. Thanks to this post I have the single door hardware figured out. The sprue appears to have two styles for lower door guides (rollers?) which is a nice feature to make the kit more universally applicable.

    While the detail on these Chooch parts is nothing short of fantastic, a simple diagram showing the assembly on Chooch’s website would have been more than useful. Perhaps, you can post one when you find the time.

    I agree with James on your mentoring.
    Bill Bear

  3. Hi Gene,
    Nice timing, was just talking with my Dad about door details / latches.
    Always enjoy reading your blog.

    I’m just starting out in P48, looking at doing a very small switching layout set in the 50’s, British Columbia, and had to say that Canadian Pacific Boxcar is a superb model. What is the origin ? Scratchbuilt / Intermountain / Resin kit ?

    Looking forward to future education reading your posts.

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