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    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 51

    Once the purest of "enemies" of rail transportation; the trucking industry is now one of the biggest dollar earners for full-size railroads. Most of the larger railroads own all or part of a major trucking company to keep the transportation field in their own pockets as much as possible. These company trucks often haul their detachable semi-trailers to the rail siding where the trailers are loaded onto specially-built "Trailer-Train" flat cars for cross-country transportation. At their destination the trailers are picked up by other, trucks for delivery of the goods to the customer. The railroads are also selling their cross-country transportation of loaded and empty trailers to competitor trucking companies - the railroads are able to move the trailers long distances at much less expense than having a truck and driver for each trailer. This form of "integrated" railroad/trucking transportation is one of the most common sights on today's railroads and at least a few of these "Trailer-Train" cars and a few extra trailers and trucks belong on any modern model railroad.

    Scale models of these "Trailer Train" flat cars are available in kit form from Quality Craft in both HO and 0 scale. Rapido has an extra length (most of the real cars are about 85-feet long) container flat car that can be loaded with the lMC-brand ready-to-roll plastic trailers. Walthers/Ulrich makes four different trucks and trailers in kit form for HO scale modelers. Shorter flat cars with trailers a bit shorter than the scale 40-footers used on the "Trailer-Train" flat cars are sold in N scale by Bachmann and Trix and in HO by Athern and Tyco. Micro-Scale has two sheets of decals, in both N and HO scales; one for trailers with railroad markings and the other for private trucking companies like P.I.E . and Republic. Quality Craft has kits for 0 scale 40-foot trailers and U.S. Hobbies has offered ready-to-roll imported brass trailers in both 24- and 32-foot lengths. Walthers and Champion have 0 scale decals for both the trailers and the flat cars.

    The "Trailer-Train" loading and unloading facilities are one of the most active points on the real railroads and, as such, make excellent sources of switching movements on a model railroad. The trailer loading platform is one of the simplest models you can make; all it takes is a dirt ramp with dirt, wood, or concrete walls leading up to the stub end of one or two sidings. The track end of the ramp is equipped with one ramp for each track (the second ramp is an integral part of each of the "Trailer-Train" flat cars). A bit of plaster, some scrap wood, paint, and flocking for "weeds" will produce a traffic-generating "industry" in one evening's work. Some of the railroads use giant overhead cranes of the type JMC/ Heljan and Vollmer offer in HO scale or special forklift-style trucks capable of lifting an entire van -- these "fork lifts" would have to be fabricated from plastic sheets and shapes with wheels from a larger scale truck - all either type of trailer unloading facility requires is a flat portion of your yard with enough room to store a spare van or few.

    1. The most active "Piggyback" loading and unloading yards use giant fork lift trucks to snap up a complete 40-foot trailer from the "Trailer-Train" flat car. Southern Pacific Railroad photograph.

      2. The Burlington Railroad uses several of these rubber tired overhead cranes to unload container cars and "Trailer Train" trailer cars in its major industrial yards. Burlington Railroad photograph.

    3. Most of the trailers on "Trailer-Train" flat cars are loaded and unloaded by truck. Often the truck that delivers the trailer merely leaves it in a holding yard until the flat car is ready to be loaded by one of the railroad's own trucks. Southern Pacific photograph.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 52 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 53

    4. 5. 6. & 7. This interesting trailer loading ramp is used by the Western Pacific near Reno, Nevada. The ends of the ramp are cast concrete with wood bumpers bolted in place. The left hand steel ramp is hinged from the loading dock - the right hand ramp is an integral part of each of the "Trailer Train" flat cars. The sides of the ramp are covered with sandbags to prevent erosion - such bags can be cut from thick lead solder with diagonal cutters or carved from soft balsa wood for a model of the ramp. This one serves two tracks and has enough room on its black-topped surface to park a dozen waiting trailers.

    8. 9. & 10. JMC makes an entire line of pre-painted trailers in N scale. Santa Fe, Pennsylvania RR, Great Northern, and Southern Pacific markings are also available. $1.29 a pair from your dealer.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 54 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 55

    11. Athern offers these shorter trailers as part of a loaded 50-foot flat car kit in HO scale. Micro-Scale's decals can be used to mark vans for other railroad or trucking companies after the trailer is repainted.

    12. Walthers/Ulrich HO scale trailer kits are available with a variety of trucking company markings. It's easy enough to remove the kit decals and paint to re-letter the trailers with different Micro-Scale decals.

    14. The Walthers/Ulrich trailer body can now be sprayed to match the colors of the full-size trucking company - if in doubt spray with flat silver - almost all of the real trucking and railroad companies have at least a few unpainted aluminum trailers.

    13. Sand the sides of the Walthers/Ulrich van body to remove all traces of the stock lettering before the trailer kit is fully assembled.

    15. Trim the Micro-Scale decal as close as you can to the lettering. Dip the cut decal in water and set aside on a piece of tissue while the water dissolves the glue decal backing through the paper.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 56 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 57

    16. Use a dull-pointed stick or piece of plastic to hold the soaked decal in position with one hand while you pull the paper backing from beneath it with the other hand. Gently blot away any excess water.

    17. The Micro-Scale decal sheet includes correct markings for the sides and both ends of the trailer. Exact location of lettering will vary from trailer to trailer of the same owner.

    18. You'll want to have a half-dozen or so vans for every truck. Walthers/Ulrich has a choice of this Kenworth or a Mack cab-over-engine truck kit in HO scale. These kits are precisely detailed and all metal.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 58

    Article Details

    • Source 1001 Model Railroading Ideas
    • Publication Date Sumer 1971

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