The past week and a half has been spent modeling the various parts of the freight truck assembly from field measurements made last year at Maine Narrow Gauge Museum.


I’m considering this a first pass as there are a few tweaks that need to be made to the models. The modeling software I am using, Alibre, is good, but not as advanced as the programs used at work. I needed to use a few cheats and work arounds to compensate for the lack of some functions available in more advanced software, which has resulted in a few errors.

The hardware–nuts, bolts & rivets–are still absent and will be added on the next pass, as will be the brake shoes and harnessing. There are a few guide plate between the spring box and the main stretchers that will be modeled next time as well. It was great to see all of the field measurements work out in CAD and the overall design impresses me in the thought that went into it for the manufacturing capabilities of the time.


Alibre is still good software, and has served me well for the last six years, but it may be time for an upgrade. The new version, now under the 3DS brand, provides features which will be beneficial in setting these up for rapid manufacturing, such as flat pattern generation and mirrored bodies for opposite hand items.

The next project will be the flat car frames and deck, followed by the boxcars, as these are built on identical platforms. I can knock these out in the current Alibre software before transferring to AutoCAD for generation of laser cutting patterns.