Re: [EXTERNAL] RE: Creation of removable false-bottomed coal/gravel loads.

Gatwood, Elden J SAD


I have made hundreds of loads over many years, and the ones I like best for hoppers and gons are removable loads based on a "bed" of either resin, styrene sheet or foam, that can be lifted out quickly with either a magnet (hoppers) or hook (gons). I have done over a hundred hopper loads using a foam base with a magnet in it, that is carved to shape, spray painted (latex) black or grey or red, then covered with a thin layer of coal, coke, limestone, etc. They are quite economical and look good. I did them maybe twenty at a time, depending on my mood. I have similarly done over a hundred gon loads using my own or commercial loads as a base, to which I add, in the case of scrap, detail castings I also did in a mold, to enhance the loads and also to provide a "hook placement" so I can get them out of the gon easily. All of the loads have a name on the base that indicates what car it fits into, or in the case of gons, what length car. They are stored in trays, upside down, so I can read the car name or gon length, and drop it right in when I am loading cars.

I also have fishing tackle boxes from Wal Mart that I store my "live" load materials. I have bins for scrap, trash like empty drums and old parts, dunnage, "hot" and "cold" coil, pre-made slab loads, refractory loads, banded pipe, lumber, structural steel shapes, you name it, so I can create those "one of a kind" loads you want to see coming on and off the layout.

I also have "live" material like ore and minerals, that I put in hoppers and jennies that are bound for the steel mill complexes, generally where you have two piles, one over each truck. I store that material in jars.

I have many gons that have glued-in dunnage for loads, or other things, so I can run that back-haul with an "empty" car that has trash, debris, dunnage, cut banding, cinder to prevent hot coil damage, etc., you always saw in gons in my area.

I like the effects, so the time and effort was worth it.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 9:38 PM
To: Era Freight Car List Steam <>
Subject: [STMFC] Creation of removable false-bottomed coal/gravel loads.

How have listers commonly gone about creating their own coal/gravel/crushed
rock, etc. loads without filling the entire car with a fortune of model
commodity materials, or creating a weight sink hard to actually be pulled
down the rails? Removable is far to be preferred.

Personally, I have used shaped balsa blocks,wadded paper, styrofoam, and
fabricated boxes of styrene, etc., all of which have their challenges.
Although my question is aimed at a myriad of open cars, my particular
challenge at the moment is a brass tender with deep coal space and rolled
upper sides. This tender was designed to be used with, and will only be used
to lead not only just one Steam Era freight car, but in fact, in serial
fashion probably thousands.


Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento, CA 95864

Posted by: Anspach Denny <>


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