CNR 3737 :: Piping

A muscular face

For many sessions now, the work on CNR 3737 – my S-3-a Mikado – has involved removing piping from the boiler, to the point where it was starting to look like a tube. On Friday, Andy Malette and I started adding piping – and already it’s a definite change for the better.

CNR 3737 Piping

CNR 3737 Piping

We started by removing the rest of the handrails (but keeping the stanchions in place), so they’d be out of the way. Then I bent up and added the exhaust pipes from the Elesco Feedwater Heater. This required a fair bit of trial and fit to get the pipes to hug the smokebox. We then installed the cold water supply pipe from the feed water pump. Next, we added the Hancock check valve on the top of the boiler, then fitted the hot water pipe from it.

I still have to add the condensate pipe, which runs from the side opposite the water supplies, down the smokebox, under the boiler, and back along the length of the locomotive towards the tender.

Before wrapping up the session, we managed to add the four sand lines, too.

While there’s a lot to do – and still some stuff to remove/reshape – it feels like we’ve turned a corner in this project. Thanks in part to its piping, this model is going to have a lot of character – and a very different look than it did when I bought it.

(Thanks for another great work session, Andy!)

10 thoughts on “CNR 3737 :: Piping

    • Thanks Jim!

      For “before” photos, follow the “CNR 3737” category link and scroll through the previous posts about this project.

      You’ll find category links at the bottom of all posts and in the Categories menu on my blog’s home page.


  1. Trevor,

    The progress you’ve made is impressive. As you stated, the piping completely changes the character of the model. Please share with us what materials and sizes that you used for piping for the following: Exhaust from the cylinders, cold water, hot water and sand piping.

    Great series. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

    • Thanks Mike.

      I used brass rod for everything, and we’ve been referring to Andy’s instructions for the S scale CNR 4-6-2 kit he released several years ago. Those instructions call for 1/8″ diameter rod for the large steam exhaust pipes, but 1/8″ did not fit in the connections on the feed water heater so I used the next size down – 3/32″ diameter.

      The cold water (in) and hot water (out) pipes are 3/64″ diameter. If I recall, the sand lines are 0.032″ diameter. All are for an S scale locomotive, of course…

      As an aside, at our last work session Andy mentioned that he learned about prototype appliances and piping practices from The Locomotive Cyclopedia, published by Kalmbach and now out of print. I’ve ordered a copy via ABE Books.


      • Another source of prototype information about appliances etc is the series “Straight Talk about Bent Pipes” in the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette magazine in the 1970’s and 1980’s, now available on the double CD set “50 Years of the Gazette”.


  2. Trevor,

    Thank you for your previous answer.

    Great job of bending the rod to meet with the feedwater heater and to conform to the engine boiler shell. I assume that you tempered the rod to make it more bendable without cracking.


    • We did temper the rod a bit, yes. I was able to bend most of it without any problems, but to get it tight against the boiler Andy used his resistance soldering unit to heat the metal, then we’d push it into place with pliers. And I learned about tempering…

  3. Looks great, Trevor. A great opportunity to work with Andy who has great brass-bashing skills as evidenced by his wonderful Consolidation.

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