What is planned

The wagons discussed here appeared in the 1970s. While still retaining many of the defects of their predecessors (huge wheels, bogies a little coarse and without braking equipment, atrophied buffers), they began to look good concerning the respect of the scale: their chassis length was accurate to within 0.5 mm. So I figured they could deserve an upgrade.

These are the following:

Wagon Plat Res Jouef
Wagon Plat Rloos Jouef
Wagon Couvert Habiss Jouef
Wagon Couvert Iaehss Jouef

Here is what this lifting will consist in:


If this operation does not pose any difficulty for covered wagons, it is different for flat wagons, which are already ballasted, but not enough. My goal is to achieve the mass recommended by NEM 302, namely 0.4 g × overall length, which can be increased by 30%. This gives a mass to be reached of between 90 and 120 g approximately for an initial value ranging from 60 to 65 g, that is to say a ballast of 30 to 60 g.

Habiss and Iaehss

The only possible difficulty is the dismantling of the roof without breakage:

The ballasts are rectangular, taken from 1.5 mm steel sheet, stuck with thin double-sided adhesive. Their width takes into account possible obstacles (reinforcements) inside the bodies.

Res and Rloos

There is very little space under the wagons, and the ballast must not be visible. There are places on either side of the 120 × 7 mm “fishbone” reinforcement, but this is not enough. By milling this reinforcement, which is removable, 1.5 mm deep and 6.5 mm wide, a central plate of 120 × 6 mm can be added. The maximum added mass is about 28 g.

Of course, if a loading is planned, the ballast can be reduced accordingly — in particular, do not install the central plate which requires a lot of work, that is what I did on the Res for which I intend a loading of ISO containers.

Wagon Ballast
Type Initial mass
Resulting mass
(g) 1
Habiss 60 112 173 19 39
Iaehss 60 103 120 25 35
Res 65  90 120 2 × 7 20
Rloos 60 100 120 2 × 7 + 6 28
  1. Taking into account the other additions: wheels, couplers.

Theoretical calculation of ballast weight

The density of the mild steel is about 7.85 g/cm3. To obtain the ballast mass, it is enough to multiply this value by the thickness, the width and the length of the ballast plate (yes, it gives its volume!), these three dimensions being expressed in cm. Example for Habiss (e = 0.15 cm, L = 17.3 cm, l = 1.9 cm):

7,85 × 0,15 × 17,3 × 1,9 ≈ 39 g