Forget about your cares,
it is time to relax,
at the junction...
Petticoat Junction is a ground breaking American situation comedy that originally aired on the CBS Network from September 1963 to April 1970. Recognizing the then huge popularity of the TV show, in 1966/1967 Tyco produced four slightly different Petticoat Junction C&FW Railroad train sets all featuring the show’s famous “Hooterville Cannonball” locomotive. (What the C&FW designation actually stood for remains shrouded in mystery. Even Paul Henning, creator of the show, doesn't remember the inspiration behind them.) Each of the four train sets included a beautiful 4-6-0 Dixie Bell Locomotive, an Overton Combine Car and two Overton Passenger Coaches. The sets were offered both with and without track and power supply.
Obviously, 50 years after their introduction, mint examples of these historic trains are very hard to find. We were fortunate, as will be the individual lucky enough to acquire our one-of-a-kind very special custom Petticoat Junction set, to find not just the loco, combine and two passenger coaches but an additional two passenger coaches as well. That was the hard part. Of course the locomotive was MRCHQ Locomotive Works serviced, tested and certified and restored to better than new condition as we do with all of our vintage steamers. What follows is the story of the much-more-involved-than-you-might-think upgrade process which resulted in the finest C&FW Coaches ever offered.
→ Let’s start at the bottom. Image#1 below is a before and after of the original trucks/wheel sets which were retained. Sort of.
- The original trucks came stock with NMRA Hook Couplers and riveted metal coupler caps. We removed the caps and couplers, drilled out the rivets, replaced the NMRA couplers with McHenry Knuckle Couplers and reattached the modified coupler caps with screws.
- The trucks were painted Southern Green to accent the green trim of the coaches.
- The stock wheelsets were replaced with insulated Intermountain all-metal RP25 wheel sets.
→Moving to the top, Image #2 Above shows four steps of the lighting installation.
- The top image is of an original coach bottom with stock weight, trucks and couplers.
- Next, the weights had to be cut in half with each half electrically isolated.
- Third is a bottom view with the modified wheel sets and pickup wipers installed.
- Last is a top view with our Custom Soft White LED Lighting Module installed using a bridge rectifier to negate track polarity. (The lights work regardless of train direction.)
→Image #3 below illustrates three steps in optimizing the coaches for lighting.
- At the top is an inside view of a coach with our remastered Passenger Silhouettes installed. More about that in image #4.
- The middle is a top view showing the holes created allowing the lighting system to also illuminate the clerestory windows.
- The bottom shows the coach roof with tinted acetate custom installed in the otherwise open clerestory windows and the black-out strip to contain the interior light.
→Image #4 above shows:
- The C&FW Combine with our Custom Remastered Passenger Silhouettes installed.
- The original faded and blurry stock passenger silhouettes.
- Our Custom Remastered Passenger Silhouettes. To honor and preserve the original look and feel of these classic vintage cars we scanned and enhanced the original silhouettes to dramatically increase their sharpness, contrast and clarity at the same time adding black-outs to reduce interior lighting bleed through of the coach bodies. The remastered images were then printed at 9600dpi on premium semi-gloss photo paper.
→Image #5: Renumbering the Passenger Coaches.
- Every original C&FW Passenger Coach was numbered #93. When creating the finest C&FW set ever offered, that simply won’t do.
- Mixing paint to match the original color we painted over the original road numbers.
- Using Woodland Scenics rub-on numbers, we renumbered the cars from 93 to 96.
Image #6: The completed set with fully restored locomotive and reassembled cars all ready to roll in their custom foam padded gift box.