Category Archives: Gondola

Site seeing – February 11 – The load of scrap edition

Update and explanation

There has been  a shortage of posts on Andrew’s Trains during February, due to a couple of factors. First and most importantly my eldest is moving to another city and beginning at University. Mum and I have put in a lot of work to get her ready for the transition during January and so far in February. This has included multiple trips back and forth looking for accommodation, signing of leases, paying rent, bond and the government related tasks that need to be done to get your adult life underway. The second reason in my output has been extreme heat events we’ve suffered in regional Victoria over the last couple of weeks. Most homes in town don’t have air conditioning. Ballarat’s climate (being nearly 1500 feet above sea level with usually low humidity) means that apart from a few days each year we don’t need it. However, when the air temperature gets over 35 degrees Celsius (this week over the 40 degree Celsius mark) there is simply nowhere to hide from the heat. February is Victoria’s hottest month and the most dangerous. Enough of all of that for now – on to the modelling.

Site 1: The Design Build Op Blog – Scrap Steel Loads

Image courtesy of designbuildop.hansmanns.org

Mike Weiss, one of the Wheeling Freight Terminal crew members has a very clever method of creating scrap steel loads for gondolas. His approach takes on industry standards, rather than the usual articles in model railroad magazines about making scrap steel loads. Often these articles don’t provide an easy way to remove the loads without a wire loop or hidden magnet. In this article Mike addresses both issues. There is a lot of great information on the blog beyond this post. Take the time to look around. Very well worth the effort.

Site seeing: 02 October – the pigs ear from a silk purse edition

EDIT: Not sure what happened to all the text in this post, the problem was on my end obviously! Here’s take two of this post.

Site 1: Athearn BlueBox Gondola Build

I posted back on August 30th about the new models I bought at the Caulfield Exhibition – found in the bargains bin. I found going through the three models that one of them had, after being stored poorly, suffered some pretty nasty damage. There was a wicked bend throughout one side of the casting, and the other side had been sheared fromthe base along most of its length.

But for $10.00AU I am not complaining and aimed to instead see what could be made from the remains of the kit, or if it could be saved (somewhat) and made serviceable.

If you head on over to the build’s main page tomorrow (AEST time) you’ll be able to see part 1 of the build process.

New models – Athearn Blue Box 50′ Gondola

At the recent Caulfield model railway exhibition I managed to find three Athearn 50′ Gondolas (undecorated) for $10.00 each. They came from Casula Hobbies‘ back room clear out pile. These kits may have sat there for a week or ten years; apart from the covered tops being missing they were complete.

My understanding is that these kits are completely freelance, designed by Irv Athearn to fit in the same box as the 40′ box car and use the frame from the 50’ flat car.  This frame also causes a problem in the side of the Gondola should be straight if you use the drop frame.

For my purposes – I really don’t care. They were 10 bucks each, look interesting and will fit in nicely on the layout as end of life cars, specifically in use for scrap loading. Besides which as a mid to late 1970s layout, a riveted car with a worn wooden floor, full of rusty scrap will look really nice.

The interior of the car at the moment is the standard riveted plastic with horrible ejector pin marks (photos will be forthcoming). I do have some wood siding that I’ll use to replace it though.

For this model I’ll make the following changes:

  • Kadee 70-ton Friction bearing trucks with 33″ wheels
  • Metal grabs, stirrups, coupler release lever
  • Extra weight
  • Kadee #58 couplers

The paint scheme: boxcar red with HVL markings. These cars are considered to at the end of their usable life, and as home road cars.