Re: Gun Flats


Hi Paul,

Funny you should ask about these cars. They too are on my list of
patterns to make.

I'll spare you a long history of my research on the FMs, F22s, and F23s,
which BTW are all related, by saying that the MDC 30 foot flatcar is a
good stand-in for the F22. The F23 is whole 'nuther ball game. I think
that converting any model of the F22 to an F23 will be a rather difficult
proposition. The top deck of the F22s was wood boards, like most flat
cars. These cars were not considered gun cars but were used as typical
flats, only shorter. One common use was as idler cars next to mill
gondolas with loads hanging out beyond their dropped doors. The F23s
were the gun cars and had a flat riveted plate steel surface which was
tucked under the rolled top edge of the car sides. Loads on these cars
were either bolted thru the deck or welded to it. I haven't been able to
come up with a way to model it yet, even if I had an F-22 to start with,
which I won't have until RailWorks or Sunshine or Bowser or I make a
model of it.

Rich Burg has several photos of the F22/23s in service. I don't have his
address handy but I'm sure some good soul reading this does and will pass
it on. Rich does NOT have email although he does have a computer, a 386
machine I believe. I have a couple of detail and loading drawings for
all these flats that I got from the Pennsylvania (both state and
railroad) Archives in Harrisburg, a place definitely worth visiting for a
real serious Pennsy freight car modeler. There are some neat pix of
these cars carrying some really interesting loads; anchors, bridge
components, cannons, etc., etc. Also 2 or 3 cars being used to carry
long loads that would be put on an 85' flat today. Heck, 3 F22s at 33'
per would give them 5 more feet of load capacity.

And I don't recall seeing any photos of them in service with arch bar
trucks. But I'll check my photo file ASAP. Some of those photos online
are not builders photos, at least those taken in 1940. Use caution on
that web site, a lot of it is wishful thinking and guesswork.

I'm glad to hear that there is one of these still extant. I may have to
make a pilgrimage this summer. Can you tell me what and where the MC&CL

And remember that you can't put a trolley pole on a Pennsy flat, you have
to use a pantograph.

Byron Rose

On Sat, 13 Jan 2001 13:29:57 "Paul Kattner" <>
I am currently researching the PRR's F23/F22 Gun flats. I plan to
three of them. One will be the one that the MC&CL acquired and
into a snowplow/line car (an F23, the last gun flat in existance as
far as I
have been able to find out-should be in a museum) and the other two
will be
carrying a large naval cannon. It looks to me like there isn't a
whole lot
else needed to create a layout quality basically accurate model from
kit other than replacing the trucks, adding a new deck, and
reshaping the
side sills. Should be and excellent opertunity to learn how to make
Does anyone know what would be the appropriate Arch bar trucks for
car? I think that Tichy's 100 ton arch bars would be the closest
but am
not 100% sure. What type of H-O scale trucks would be most suitable
these flats after Archbars were outlawed for the F23? Also what is
closest availible trucks to the ones used on the -22. According to
prr.railfan.nets page on the F22, they were equipped with a 2F-F2
truck on
the -23 and a 2F-F1 on the -22.

Also, does any one know of any photos on line or have published
that show
these cars loaded with cannon? I have found builders photos at

I know that Railworks is coming out with brass versions of these
cars, but I
am on a bit of a budget and would rather spend that kind of money on
that have trolley poles.

Thanks in Advance
Paul Kattner
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