Author Topic: Suggestion for next ESM freight car  (Read 2206 times)

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nkalanaga

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Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« on: April 25, 2021, 12:44:55 AM »
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In a recent topic, Bryan Bussey of ESM said that he probably wouldn't make 100-ton trucks until he made a car that needed them.  For his next project, I would like to suggest such a car:  The trailer Train/TTX F68AH bulhead flatcar, built in 1969 by Bethlehem Steel.  According to "Canadian Freight Car Gallery" 
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/displayrailway.pl?o=ttx#flatcar
there were at least two series, built in 1969, TTPX 80000-80100 and TTPX 80101-80200.  Photos show these were delivered in the old red scheme, and have been repainted into most of the newer yellow schemes.  Photos also show that they were in service as recently as April 2015, and are probably still out there.

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/ttx/ttx.htm
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/ttx/ttpx80020gga.jpg  TTPX 80020 on 01/13/2014 {Gary Everhart Photo}
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/ttx/ttpx80084akg.jpg  TTPX 80054 in 1980, still red {Karl Geffchen Photo}

These cars were seen literally across the continent, so would be appropriate for any model railroad of the last 50 years, depending on the schemes chosen.

These are very common cars, and except for the Exact Rail model, a 2005 prototype (according to them), has never been available ready-to-run.  The MT car, while a good model of the BN/MILW 56' 8" IL cars, seems to have been much less common outside the Northwest.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 12:52:15 AM by nkalanaga »
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bbussey

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2021, 01:07:02 AM »
+5
How many roads?  How many big name roads specifically?  How many schemes?  All of those are driving factors.

We have a number of N scale cars in the pipeline.  Mid-20th century though.  It's getting crowded in the modern era.  But all of them coming to market are contingent on how well the HO XIH does.  The increase in the wheels popularity is helping though.
Bryan Busséy
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nkalanaga

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2021, 02:02:01 AM »
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Only one big road name that I know of - Trailer Train/TTX.  But those run on every major, and most minor, lines in the US and Canada.
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2021, 05:01:02 AM »
+1
How many roads?  How many big name roads specifically?  How many schemes?  All of those are driving factors.

We have a number of N scale cars in the pipeline.  Mid-20th century though.  It's getting crowded in the modern era.  But all of them coming to market are contingent on how well the HO XIH does.  The increase in the wheels popularity is helping though.

Is the HO car that much of a make-or-break item for ESM?

I would love to see some early ACF cylinder centerflows, a good 5250 (early, modernized and late) or a Flexi-Flo. Rapido seems to be very hesitant on making the Flexi Flo in N.

All would require a 100 truck. I would love to see a Barber S2 made the same way as the BLMA trucks for more variety.
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Mark5

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2021, 07:50:28 AM »
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I would love to see the F68AH bulkheads - though I was thinking Scale Trains would be the ones to make 'em.

https://www.scaletrains.com/product-category/rivet-counter-ho-scale-bsc-f68ah-bulkhead-flat-car/

bbussey

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2021, 09:11:42 AM »
+2
Is the HO car that much of a make-or-break item for ESM?

Yes. All of the other smaller manufacturers that started in N added HO quickly. We resisted, which was a mistake. HO revenue generally subsidizes N scale production. How well the HO model does will determine our N scale direction. We have five new N scale models ready to be tooled, and another three in various stages of design.  We also have wheel variations and an additional three 50t-70t truck frames (two of them never done in N) ready to go.  When or if they all come to market depends on the success of the HO model. The potential HO reward is great, but so is the investment.

That said, we plan on focusing on mid 20th century prototypes for the time being. Less chance of manufacturers duplicating efforts there. The other manufacturers for the most part have been concentrating on post-merger and 21st century prototypes, or mid-century regional prototypes that are outside of our general region.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 09:22:37 AM by bbussey »
Bryan Busséy
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bbussey

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2021, 09:19:05 AM »
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I would love to see the F68AH bulkheads - though I was thinking Scale Trains would be the ones to make 'em.

https://www.scaletrains.com/product-category/rivet-counter-ho-scale-bsc-f68ah-bulkhead-flat-car/

That’s the other thing. We almost certainly wouldn’t touch a prototype that an active multi-scale manufacturer already has released in HO. That’s just asking for trouble. For all of our N models that didn’t have an HO counterpart until later, as it turned out, all of the manufacturers asked if we had HO plans before proceeding. But that’s a courtesy rather than a rule. We had three enquiries about the XIH alone.
Bryan Busséy
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2021, 10:10:21 AM »
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...We have five new N scale models ready to be tooled, and another three in various stages of design.  We also have wheel variations and an additional three 50t-70t truck frames (two of them never done in N) ready to go....

That said, we plan on focusing on mid 20th century prototypes for the time being. Less chance of manufacturers duplicating efforts there. The other manufacturers for the most part have been concentrating on post-merger and 21st century prototypes, or mid-century regional prototypes that are outside of our general region.

Well, with fingers crossed that the HO project goes well, I am all in favor of this as the N scale future.  As a modeler of the mid 50s (and I am hoping that falls into Bryan's definition of "mid 20th century"), I've note that we haven't seen much lately in terms of new product from large manufacturers, beyond a few welcome upgrades of stuff that has been out there for 30 years.  And I can't imagine that if 3 new "50t-70t" trucks become available, that I won't need some, no matter what they are (enough PRR, etc cars roll over my tracks...well, if I ever build this layout and have tracks again).

Life was easier when the choices were Arch Bar, Bettendorf and Roller Bearing- and no one made anything else- but it wasn't as much fun.

As to ESM making some HO models- well, if you can produce an HO model and make money doing it, more power to you....When I had my scenery/display business in Chicago, I was occasionally asked by theatre friends why I "wasted" 50% of my time doing mundane offices and kitchens and such for TV commercials, instead of doing 100% "artistic" projects.  The answer, of course, was that the 50% of the time spent on those "mundane" projects provided 75% of the total revenue and 100% of the profits.

The question "why are you in the hobby business?" is just like "why are you in the theatre business?"  It is really 2 questions with 2 answers- "why are you in the hobby?" because we enjoy the hobby....."why are you in business?" to make a living.
Tom D.

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bbussey

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2021, 10:56:47 AM »
+2
“Mid-20th century” translates to 1930 through 1965. Other than the X72 (barely outside of that range), every model we’ve released falls inside of that 35-year window.
Bryan Busséy
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Mark5

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2021, 11:11:37 AM »
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Life was easier when the choices were Arch Bar, Bettendorf and Roller Bearing- and no one made anything else- but it wasn't as much fun.

Or like the early 70s, when you could get any freight truck you wanted - as long as it was Bettendorf*  :D

*leaving aside the Atlas/Roco 6 axle Buckeye from the center depressed flat

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2021, 12:07:24 PM »
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Well, best of luck with your HO venture Bryan, so we can get our new  “mid-century” prototypes.  8)
With more new steam becoming available, there’s been little in the way of late steam era appropriate freight cars...
Otto

PS: I’d kill for some 36’ Fowlers. Mid-century, cca 1950, there were as many 36 (or so) foot house cars as there were fifty footers...
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 05:36:54 PM by Cajonpassfan »

MetroRedLine

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2021, 10:13:54 PM »
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Centerbeam flats. They use 100T trucks, right?
The prices of the Red Caboose centerbeams on the secondhand market are ridiculous, especially the TTX version.
Plus, I'm sure ESM could do a better job than Red Caboose, who made their centerbeams with a ridiculously high ride height, truck-mounted couplers and truck bolsters in the wrong positions. Don't get me wrong, RC made an excellent model for the time it was released, but N scale rolling stock has evolved since then.
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nkalanaga

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2021, 12:30:05 AM »
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I looked at the Scale Trains site, and that is exactly what I was looking for.  They even make it in red, so I could have both colors.  If there's a chance they'll do it in N, then no, duplicating their efforts wouldn't be a good use of time or money.

And, if you plan on the "mid 20th Century", that will still mean a lot of cars I can use, as most of the cars from that period were still in service in 1974.  We might even get a good 1944 AAR boxcar, which will actually be available on a regular basis.

MetroRedLine:  I'm afraid that, if the TTX flats are out of his preferred era, so are centerbeams.  As far as I know, the first "mass produced" centerbeam flats were five cars built by Thrall for the NP, in 1969.  Even living in Pasco, on the NP/BN, until 1978, I never saw one.  The next such cars that the BN bought were in 1977(?), and the MT car is a good match for them.  Lower it, add 100-ton trucks, and body mount the couplers, and it's ready to use.  Mine is lettered for the 1983 order, but renumbering it wouldn't be hard.
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basementcalling

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2021, 02:02:11 AM »
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That said, we plan on focusing on mid 20th century prototypes for the time being. Less chance of manufacturers duplicating efforts there. The other manufacturers for the most part have been concentrating on post-merger and 21st century prototypes, or mid-century regional prototypes that are outside of our general region.

Then get to HO HO HOing.
Peter Pfotenhauer

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Suggestion for next ESM freight car
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 09:48:05 AM »
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We might even get a good 1944 AAR boxcar, which will actually be available on a regular basis.
Granted, it hasn't been available on a regular basis for a decade, but I've always liked the Deluxe 1944 AAR car- at least compared to other "premium" cars on the market.  I am sure the underframe is off (like almost everything tooled before about 2015), but they weighted the cars and they track well (at least the ones I have- .9 ounce, which is what I aim for now when weighting a box or reefer),  and I thought their solution to a scale thickness door was ingenious.  And it would be interchange-able, if alternate door styles were tooled to fit.

All that said, I am by no means an expert on freight cars- and I haven't compared the model to drawings - and for that matter, the distinctions between various AAR boxcars are mostly lost on me, other than the number of side panels and "modified" 6" height variation- so I can't tick off the things that would distinguish it from a 1937 "modified". Does the Deluxe car have major issues (other than noted)?

From what's on Spookshow's website, the tooling went to Fox Valley a few years ago.  But that might mean nothing more than a worker in a warehouse in China crossed out "Deluxe" on a box on a shelf, and wrote in "Fox Valley."
Tom D.

Dear manufacturers,
If you don't make it, I can't buy it.