Peter Ness


This is my first post to this group, so I hope I abide by the
netiquette rules...

First, hosam never did recieve much of an actual reply to his


Your question probably received mixed responses in part because your
subject was "TOFC", which actually drew me to read the entire
thread. TOFC by definition is "Trailer on Flat Car", so your subject
combined with your question about trucks on flat cars is a bit
misleading. having said that...

Very briefly, C&NW is generally attributed with the first regularly
scheduled TOFC service ca. 1932. The New Haven began regular TOFC
service between Boston and NYC (Harlem River Yard) ca. 1937. Both
railroads used flat cars specically modified to carry trailers ( a
variety of jack stands, chocks and tie-down chains) in transit
between loading docks built specifically for the "circus-style"
loading and unloading trailers. Other railroads may have used
limited service this early but these two had trains in regularly
scheduled year-round service, hence are attributed as "early
intermodal" operations.

Jumping to hosam's original question about "trucks", which I am
interpreting to mean tractors - the motorized vehicle that hauls a
trailer - in addition to circus trains (which were special
movements), during the period surrounding WWII, military vehicles,
including trucks, were transported around the country on a regular
basis. Usually, the vehicles were loaded and secured to standard
flats, not flats specifically designed for TOFC use, the movements
fit the description of "trucks" moved on flatcars. In the post-WWII
era, in preparation for Civil Defense in the infancy of the Nuclear
Age, there were also special movements of trucks - fire fighting
apparatus in particular - that were loaded on general service flats
for movements during drills. In one case, the New Haven ran such a
train in CT, with the submarine base in Groton being the
reported "disaster site". Other than those times, in the contiguous
US, loading of tractor and trailer together on a flat would not fit
the regularly accepted definition of a TOFC operation, although I am
sure there is much photographic evidence to show the movement of
tractor-trailers on flat cars for specific reasons. In fact, some
early (pre-TOFC?) movements did include tractors with trailers when
trailer length rarely exceeded 24'.

Back to TOFC history; in the 1950's Piggy Back Inc. began operations,
the Pennsy began TrucTrain operations, and later the Trailer Train
consortium began operations. The ACF standard hitches were developed
and led to standization in TOFC operations to support rail car
interchange among railroads. That, in general takes us to the end of
the time period of interest to this group.

Joel, I am sorry I cannot provide specific information to answer your
question. To the best of my knowledge, B&M was possibly the only
railroad to provide TOFC operations to Maine. I do know the B&M had
trailers. It is possible there was interchange of TOFC cars from New
Haven to B&M via trains M-6 and M-7 (Maine Bullet) in Worcester, MA.
Also possible for such interchange at Worcester with Train N-1. I
have no knowldege of possible TOFC operations on MEC or BAR. You
might check the B&M Railroad Historical Society web site for possible
information regarding TOFC movements in ME.

The best stab I can take at an answer to RTR TOFC would be some of
the older (OOP?) Walthers TOFC cars. By the early-mid '60's, the 85'
and longer TOFC cars were making inroads in New England, and were
already in much more prevalent use in the rest of the contiguous US.


--- In STMFC@..., "joel norman" <mec-bml@...> wrote:

GENTLEMAN: For our modeling time frame(my own railroad is set in
1960))which of the ready to run(bad hands and weak eyes)in HO would
the best 50 ft(or 60ft)flat car for TOFC use...
Joel Norman... Eastern Maine Rly

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