Re: Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern flat car

Rob Adams


Your conclusion that the Varney car could be a starting point assumes the prototype car to be a 40-ish footer.

The WCF&N flat in this photo is one of 25 cars in listed in the ORER as of October 1949 in series 4000-4024 (there was not a 400-series of flats on the road). The register entries list them as 47' 10" in length and 10' wide, considerably larger than the Varney flat. I've not yet been able to determine the origins of these cars, but based on the construction features and the fact that this series of flats were not listed on the WCF&N roster in the either 1928 or 1937 ORER entries, they were very likely second hand cars (the case for much of the Cedar Valley Road's equipment).

Perhaps just as interesting as the car is the lading. That it is loaded with tractors is predictable, but the color of them is what strikes me as ironic. The Waterloo, Iowa John Deere tractor plant was a major on-line customer of the WCF&N, and the road hauled many, many flat cars of John Deere tractors over the years. For this car to be carrying a load of Farmall tractors (Model H?) is almost sacrilege.

Kind regards,

Rob Adams
Wellman, IA

On 6/17/15 11:06 PM, Clark Cooper [STMFC] wrote:
A good compromise might be to take the plastic Varney flat and build new side and end sills, keeping the deck and underframe as they are. In the photo it looks like there might be a center sill that hangs down a bit lower than the side sills, but it's hard to tell.

WCF&N was relatively small, about 81 miles of mainline. I wonder if this was a second-hand car.

-Clark Cooper

On Jun 17, 2015, at 10:04 PM, Tim O'Connor [STMFC] wrote:


I would not call it a "match" but I had to look it up as I'd never seen one of these
before. Anyway the sill depth over the bolsters is good but the fishbelly is too shallow
and would have to be deepened. But if the stake pockets are a match this Varney car could
be a good starting point for a kitbash. Also the Varney car has the deck overhang like the
prototype, often seen on farm equipment flats.

Tim O'

It does match the Varney Flatcars, both plastic and metal ones. Spotted on eBay�.. I don't
know how much rework you might do on one. You might end up sanding all details off and
using the blanked car to properly detail.
Mike Bauers




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