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Summer 1971 - Page 51

O nce the purest of "enemies'.' o f rail transportation ; the trucking ind us try is now one of the biggest dollar earners for full-size railroa ds. Most of the larger railroads own all or part o f a major trucking comp any to keep the transportation field in their own pockets as much a s possible. These company trucks often ha ul their de tachable semi-trailers to the rail siding where the trailers are l oa d e d onto specially-built "Trailer-Train" flat cars for cross-co untry transportation. At their destination the trailers are picked up by ot her, trucks for delivery of the goods to the cust o mer. The railroads are a lso selling their cross-co un try transportation of loaded a n d empty trailers to competitor trucking co m panies - the railroads are able to move the trailers long dista nces at m uch less expense than having a truck and driver for each trailer. ' This form of "in te grated" railroad/trucking transporta tion is one of the mo st com'm o n sights o n today's railroads a nd at least a few of these "Trailer-Train" cars a nd a few extra trailers and trucks belong 0 n a ny modern model railroa d . Scale mo dels o f t hese "Trailer Train" flat cars are available in kit form from Quality Craft in both H O a n d 0 s cale. Rapido has a n extra length ( most of the real cars are about 8 5 -feet long) container flat car that can b e loaded with the l MC-bra n d ready-to-roll plastic trailers. Walthers/ Ulrich makes four different trucks a nd t railers in k it 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 a nd Trix and in HO by Athern and Tyco. Micro-Scale has two sheets of decals, in bot h 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 s cale 40-foot trailers a nd U . S . Hobbies has offered ready-to-roll import ed brass trailers in both 24- a nd 3 2-foot lengths. Walthers and Cham pion have 0 s cale decals for bo th the t railers and the flat cars. The "Trailer-Train" load ing and unl oa ding facilities are one of the most a ct ive points on the real railroads and , as such, make e xcellent sources of switching movements on a model rail roa d . The t ra iler loading platform is 'o ne of the sim plest models you can ma k e ; all it takes is a dirt ramp with dirt , wood, or co ncrete walls leading u p to the stub end of one or two sidings. The track end of the ra mp is equipped with one ramp for each track (the second ra mp is an int egral part of each of the "Trailer-Train" flat cars). A bit of plaster, some scra p wood , paint, and flocking for "weeds" will produce a traffic-generating "indus try" in one evening's work. So me of the railroads use giant overhead cranes of 'the type l M C/ Helj a n and Vollmer offer in HO scale o r special forklift. style trucks capable of lifting an entire van - t hese "fork lifts" wo uld have to be fabricated from plastic sheets and sha pes with wheels from a larger scale truck - all either type of trailer unloading facility r equires is a flat portion o f your yard w ith enough roo m to store a spare van or few .



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