PVC Flatcars

At its peak, the Pajaro Valley Consolidated had around 24 flatcars, plus 4 flatcars-turned-tankcars, and 1 flatcar turned MOW weedsprayer. These cars made up approximately 15% of the total fleet. To get the same ratio of cars on the layout, I would to make 4 flatcars, 1 or 2 tankcars, and 1 MOW flatcar. 


To do this, I started with the Fine N-Scale 38' truss rod flatcar. I like the company's
36' truss rod boxcar kits, and the flatcars go together just as nicely. 


The middle 8 scale feet bring removed

I made some slight changes to the model during the assembly process. I removed approximately 8 scale feet from the center of the car, bringing the length to 30 scale feet. Doing this made the flatcars slightly shorter than the boxcars (36 scale feet long), which felt more appropriate for the railroad. 

I added 15" grab irons from BLMA Models on each corner or the car, and sanded away the molded on ones. 

I built new cross braces (?) from stripwood. I didn't worry too much about the underbody details. 

I used EZ Line from Berkshire Junction to model the tension wires on the underside. I had used metal wire on the boxcars. The metal looks nice, however it continually gets bent. The EZ Line is flexible, and looks just as good. 

After joining the two halves of the deck together, I removed the seven stake pockets along the sides, and reinstalled six of them evenly spaced out. I didn't plan on doing this until it came time to apply the decals, and I realized that the numbers on the car fell right on one of the original stake pockets. Removing and reinstalling them allowed me to place the car numbers in the center, without worrying about the details getting in the way. 


The lettering on the prototype wasn't the straightest, which fortunately was easy to replicate 

The cars were painted with Tru-Color Paint - PRR 1948 Passenger Car Tuscan, and the decks were painted with various browns/tans. True Scale Couplers from Micro-Trains were installed, as were Micro-Trains Arch Bar trucks. 

An old postcard showing the prototype grain loads

To keep the car on track, I've made a load of grain sacks to cover 1/2 oz. of added weight. The grain sacks are also from Fine N-Scale. 


I'm working on a tankcar load, and will need to make a few more grain loads. The cars are too light without a load, unfortunately, though understandably. 

The start of a tankcar, made from 1/35 scale barrels

In service, the cars will be used primarily to haul sacks of grain the warehouse at Spreckels, to the Pacific Steamship Co.'s warehouse in Moss Landing. 

The same models will be used as a base for the 20 or so sugar beet gondolas I'll need to model. They go together rather quickly with an assembly line, so the 20 models isn't as daunting as it could have been. 

Products Used
Fine N-Scale - 38' Truss Rod Flatcar
Fine N-Scale - Stacks O' Sacks O' Stuff
BLMA Models  - N scale grab irons 
Berkshire Junction - EZ Line - Rust Colored "Fine" (0.25 mm diameter)
Micro-TrainsTrue Scale Couplers #1300 and Arch Bar trucks #1011-10
Tru-Color Paint PRR 1948 Passenger Car Tuscan

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