USRA Style Tube Pilot

Even one of those days when things don’t go as planned can inspire a new idea. I was running my good friend Ron Wilkerson’s 1.6″ scale USRA Heavy Mikado at Riverside Live Steamers with a good load of twenty-something cars behind when, due to a minor switch issue, the engine derailed. With all that weight even at low speed the cast iron tube pilot as originally provided by Railroad Supply Corp. became the only victim of the incident. This was pilot casting number three that had fallen in the line of duty and as I considered how to repair the five pieces it had become, I thought of doing a 3D printed pilot that would look like cast iron but be strong and slightly flexible in the unlikely event we’d have a similar derailment someday (Okay its inevitable but we like to at least think it won’t happen for a while).

This is the USRA type tube pilot that we’ve developed in 3D printed black nylon. Its strong, flexible, and has a few minor improvements making it an easy replacement for the RRSC casting or perhaps a solution for your next project. The pilot is 9.5″ w. x 2.5″h. x 2.5″d. (2.75″ overall depth with added mounting material on the bottom frame). The pilot comes in a satin stained black finish that emulates cast iron. It can be painted if you decide to do so.

Black 3D Printed Nylon $105