Re: odd US military depressed center flat car


The Transportation Supply and Maintenance Command in St. Louis closed down 20 years ago or thereabouts.  I would guess that its activities are now handled at Hill AFB or Tooele (sic?) Army Depot in Utah.

I can assure one and all that US Army rail equipment was present in and used regularly in Korea, Alaska and Germany.  (Alaska at least was an overseas assignment back in my day (1960-1987).

To get this discussion back well within the STMFC time period, there are a couple of loads we might occasionally used on our model railroads.  After WWII the planners were convinced there'd be another war in Europe.  Part of preparedness was a set of 5 freight car "kits" intended to be assembled in theater with unskilled troop or indiginous labor and use scrounged trucks & couplers.   See Dept of Army Technical Manual 55-2220-201-35.  My issue is dated December 1958.

Four of the kits were packed in wooden crates but the tank car was already assembled and placed on a flat car.  There were two such loaded flats at Fort Bliss until 1982.  The flats were built in 1953, sent to the tank car assembly plant and loaded.  These flats, and others similarly loaded, were shifted around from installation to installation as missions and planning changed. What we have here is a 53-6 flat (the Life-Like P2K model in HO) that was     loaded in 1953, traveled around from time to time, and was finally unloaded in 1982 - almost 30 years.

The TM refered to above has assembly instructions and drawings for all 5 cars.

Gene Green

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