Re: Flatcar planking - size of boards? 2x6 seems small

Bruce Smith

On Aug 18, 2008, at 11:19 PM, Rob & Bev Manley wrote:

I am building a Westrail A.A.R. Fifty Ton, 53'6" flatcar resin kit. The deck was originally scribed styrene. I decided that since I wasn't going to build the scale underframe, I will use Kappler lumber for a board by board deck. The kit's fact sheet says the boards were 2 3/8" x 7 3/4" planks and were creosoted.

On the subject of creosoted lumber for flat car decks. We've learned here previously some railroads did precisely that (e.g. AT&SF), and that others (e.g. PRR) did not (Pennsy used oak, which was considered a "junk" hardwood at the time). It may have been related to the availability of different types of lumber in different locations, or to differing cost-benefit analysis. I have no idea which the NP used, although I modeled my Northern Specific car with an uncreosoted deck.

In addition, in looking at the specs for the PRR's F30A flat cars, the lumber width varied between about 6" and 9".

I too have used scale lumber to build decks and I REALLY like the way they look. When I do that, I start at each end and work towards the middle. With a few boards to go, you should test the fit of the remaining boards, as you may need to sand down several to make them fit. This small adjustment in several boards will look much better than having a half board in the middle of the car.


Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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