2019 Construction Blog

October - Working on flatcars, cabooses & loads

Finished the large Allis Chalmers generator load for the 16 axle KWUX 10 depressed flat car. The generator started as a large power resistor with the mounting lugs cut off, and used a master for a resin mold. Custom decals were created and printed on a laser printer.

Completed AC generator load

Loaded and ready to move

Updated a genenerator load with additional decals. Saw a photo where the end of then generator was painted yellow and was labeled in red "Turbine End".

Updated generator load

Loaded and ready to move

Completed a Canadian General Electric well flat. This car was built using the ends from an Atheran Heavy Weight flat car.

CGEX 10000

Adding some more private road name cabooses to the fleet, Air Products and Specialized Rail Transport. More custom decals were needed for these cabooses. Still more work is needed to finish these two cabooses.

Air Products caboose

Specialized Rail Transport caboose

August - Finishing flat, well cars & cabooses

Working to complete more 8 axle flat cars. Also finished the 20' long L&N spacer car.

Seaboard Coast Line HD flats

Savannah River Plant HD flats

L&N 20' spacer flat car

Completed a couple of Allis Chalmers well car. Not quite complete, the still need brake wheels.

ACMX 401

ACMX 418

Adding some private road name cabooses to the fleet. First, a couple of Kasgro cabooses.

KRL 75

KRL 79

July - Custom decals and generator loads

I have a lot of undecorated cars, and a couple of custom cars, that will need decals. Also, there are a bunch of completed cars that are waiting on custom decals. About a year ago I had a page of decals custom printed, and just completed a second page. This page has enough decals to finish 50 cars, also there are also some logos for loads. This sheet was created using Inkscape a free vector graphics program. I worked hard to get as much into the single page before I sent the file to Precision Design Company for printing. Bill was very helpful through the process with the graphics, and did an excellent job in printing the decal sheet. I have started the next decal project.

Decals ready for printing

First car almost done

CN well flat completed

Two PC well and two PC flat cars

Continue to work on the modified Athearn HD flatcar generator load. The ends have been removed and are now ready for the Shapeways ends. Custom decals have been created with the Westinghouse logo, do not hump sign and mounts for the lifting lugs.

First generator cut down to size

Cast copy

Painted, ready for decals

Decals added

Decals added

Ready for shipment

June - Southern Railway track panel cars & more loads

These unique cars were developed and built by the Southern Railway. They were used to take track panels that were created at the track assembly plant at Inman Yard in Atlanta to take pre-fabricated track panel out across the system for use. These cars had the ability to unload and lower a panel to the roadbed. Over 10 years ago, I created sides for these cars. For a long time, I could not figure out how to create a car from these sides that was sturdy. Finally realize that I could take a 53' gondola, and cut then sand the ribs off the sides.

Being loaded in Atlanta

Self unloading

Panel side

Sides on a modified gondola

Need a couple more flatcar loads. The ready to run version of the Athearn Heavy Duty flat car has a nice generator. It is not made anymore, and not available from the Athearn parts department. So, some resin parts were cast. There will be two versions of this generator, one as is, and one where both ends are cut off the generator, and replaced with new ends from Shapeways. Before the ends from Shapeways can be added, the alignment pieces need to be sanded off.

Original load

Cast copy

Cutting plan with new ends

May - Idler cars and a visit to Caboose Hobbies

Idler or spacer cars are used to connect two flatcars when a long load was shipped. I have found two idler cars and are modeling them.

  • L&N 24999
  • Southern Pacific 599900

There are two photos of the L&N idler car on RRPictureArchives: one, two. The car is just over 20 feet long. Besides the photo below of the SP idler car below, the only other ones that I have seen are in the book Southern Pacific Freight Cars - Volume 3 - Automobile Cars and Flat Cars. This car is very short, only 10 feet long and had one fixed truck. Both cars start Roundhouse as 30' flatcars that are cut in half and connected back together again. My first try on the L&N car was a huge mistake. Did not follow my father's message of measure twice, then cut once. Did not notice the mistake, until trucks were added and they would not pivot. The car is braced with styrene and the cavity is filled with lead shot.

After I realized my mistake when building the L&N car, I was able to carefully take the car apart, and then use it as a starting point to make the Southern Pacific idler car.

SP 10' spacer car

Too short and correct size car

Too short and correct size car

Almost done

Ready for paint

Passed through Denver on a business trip and stopped by Caboose Hobbies. As usual, my wallet was a little lighter when I left. Great train store!

Hard to miss it as you drive up


April - Pile Driver flat car & KWUX caboose

Found a pile driver on Shapeways that will look great on a Southern MOW flatcar connected to the Walthers American crane.

Pile driver assembled

Painted and ready for the flat

Allis Chalmers never had a caboose, but I want one to go with the KWUX 10 16 axle depressed flatcar. Forgot to get all of the custom decals on the first run, waiting on the second round to complete the caboose.

Almost done

February - More cars and loads

Purchased the photo below on EBay. The load appears to be on four, 20' flat cars. Looks like the steam generator load is on platforms. These flat cars have RTRX reporting marks. There are two ways to make these cars, either two 40' cars or four 20' cars, then add the platforms on top. Had some 60' Roundhouse flat cars in my stash, and decide to take two of them and cut a scale 15' section out of the center. Span bolsters from the Athearn heavy duty flat cars turned out to be almost the exact spacing as the photo. The platform will be built on the top of the cars.

RTRX 20' flatcars

60' Roundhouse flat

Cut down to size

The next car is CGEX (Canadian General Electric) 10000, a six axle well hole flat car. The cars measurements are close to the Athearn heavy duty flat car, so is another kitbash. Trim off the sill at the bottom, and then remove the inside of what becomes the well.

Strenghten the well part of the car

Adding the weights

Ready for paint and decals

January - Working on some new cars

The first of these new cars will become USNX 12002 & 12005. These cars are used to carry 5"/54-caliber Mk-42 gun turrets. The flat cars are used to move the guns from destroyers in for repair at the naval base, back to be rebuilt. I first saw this load in Henry Maywald's book, Classic Freight Cars – Loaded flats and gons, then I saw the photo below on Ebay (sold for much higher than my bid). Then the article, "U.S. Navy Gun Deck Transport Car" by Mont Switzer appeared in the October 2018, Railroad Model Craftsman. Mont's article gave a source for the gun turrets, they are made in resin by Chad Boas (chadboas at yahoo.com). Just like Mont's article, the car is built on a Central Valley Model Works flat car kit. The turret is hollow, so three weights from the Athearn Heavy Duty flat car were added.

Car with load

Turret and flatcar

Just about ready for paint and decals

The next car is CAPX 1001, a twenty axle depressed flat car. This is another resin kit from Concept Models.

Early view of the car

The last two cars are DODX 41000 series 100 ton, four axles flatcars by Alkem Scale Models. This is definitely a craftsman kit, with an excellent set of instructions to guide the build. The core is a piece of laser cut plexiglass with etched brass components.

DODX cars - starting the cars

DODX cars - work in progress