Thanks for your description of your techniques. I use similar methods sometimes -
but I also often just accept the added cost and weight and the fact that the car is
permanently loaded - which is what I did for this sand load. Choices are a major
part of model railroading - or should I have said "compromises"? *G*
I like a little extra weight (I usually target "NMRA + 1 oz). - but, yes, this
car is on the high side even for my cars. Extra weight just makes the car
track better (at the cost of the number of cars on the ruling grade?).
I have a few cars that are probably twice NMRA ... guys complain about
how heavy they are ... when they pick them up ... but you know what?
Those cars never derail except for when there truly is a track problem or
when someone pushes/pulls them thru a turnout set in the wrong direction
or thrown under the train.
My observation is that although I see many guys running removable loads -
their practice/tendency is by far to never remove/change the load in any one
car. What they do is to reuse the same cars for the same service from run
to run (which is not necessarily a bad thing - especially if your crew is
large or the members change frequently).
I know one layout that uses LIVE loads - sand/gravel for MOW - and
actually dumps the load out of the cars into a bucket and 'recycles' the
load material into different cars (of the same type/markings). When
there is a derailment (RARE on this particular layout) you can almost
guarantee that some of the live load will get dumped on the layout/carpet.
It is also quite common to see a 'finger depression' in the loads ... which
is easily fixed by carefully picking the car up and taping the side gently to
cause the material to re-distribute itself.
I don't remember ever knowing of a layout that changed the load type in
a car - say a GS gon that is loaded with coal this run and machinery the
next time ... but then "how would I know?" ... *G*
- Jim B.