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Load ideas for a 65' mill gon that's not steel or pipe?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Huntsville, Alabama
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Load ideas for a 65' mill gon that's not steel or pipe?
Posted by jimnorton on Monday, March 19, 2018 9:45 PM

I have a couple of E&B Valley mill gons that I have lowered and detailed.  These vintage kits included no weights or provisions to add.  I'd like to use a load for weight but don't want to have the typical long pipe or steel shape loads.  Does anybody have any photos or insight on alternative loads?  I have thought about a scrap load but wondered if a 65' gon would ever be used for such?  Thanks.    

Jim Norton

Huntsville, AL

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, March 19, 2018 10:02 PM

Jim,They still haul electric poles in 65' gons, new crane booms,scrap aluminum,crushed glass, slag and other commodities.

Larry

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, March 19, 2018 10:10 PM

jimnorton
I'd like to use a load for weight but don't want to have the typical long pipe or steel shape loads. 

Maybe some panel track sections?

 

http://conrailphotos.thecrhs.org/node/14015

 

Just a thought... Ed

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, March 19, 2018 10:30 PM

I haven't confirmed the length, but I see gons moving marble blocks all the time.  I assume they're coming from somewhere like Georgia moving north to companies making grave monuments, countertops, and the like.

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Posted by NHTX on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:49 AM

   Electrical transmission line poles often exceed the length of the 65 foot car, necessitating the use of idler flatcars to handle the overhang.  Depending on the railroad involved, there will be handling restrictions on placement in a train, as well as speed.  Southern Pacific restricted empty 65 foot mill gons to 45MPH because their narrow width made them unstable above that speed.

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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 1:24 AM

I put a marble floor in one of our bathrooms and when I finished cut some scraps up for gondola loads. They are the best looking loads I have and they are heavy.

There is a company a few KMs from where I live that gets massive blocks of various rock for counter tops and whatever else by train. 

Brent

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 7:16 AM

I would think a scrap load would work.  The WC used gondolas for pulp wood. They had pulp logs standing on end as bulk heads, latter, they added heavy steel beams.  I'am not sure if they were actuall 65' mill gons.

I've see some loaded with wood ties.  I've seen mysterious covered loads, like maybe some type of machinery?

I see a lot of gons with steel coils, and on the train going back to the mill, there's usually a couple loaded with scrap steel coils, that are partly unrolled, and bent up.

I like Ed's idea of the panel track.  I've seen panel turn outs on gondolas, too, on the CN.

Maybe try a Google image search.

Mike.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 7:32 AM

How about a load of 15 or 20 axle and wheel sets? Lined up and stacked like so many dumbbells.

The beauty is that if you've recently changed out plastic for metal you probably have a box of the plastic ones just laying around. Like I do.

Robert 

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 7:59 AM

NHTX

   Electrical transmission line poles often exceed the length of the 65 foot car, necessitating the use of idler flatcars to handle the overhang.  Depending on the railroad involved, there will be handling restrictions on placement in a train, as well as speed.  Southern Pacific restricted empty 65 foot mill gons to 45MPH because their narrow width made them unstable above that speed.

 

I haven't seen that for years..I wish I could so I could take some photos.

What I'm seeing is  untreated round poles that barely fits in 65' gons. I can only assume they are going to a treatment plant..

Any ideas what these poles may be used for?

Larry

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 10:41 AM

In Galesburg IL there is a bridge which offers great views of the BNSF yard, and you often see Caterpillar and Komatsu loads of large machinery, farm and construction, mounted and secured on flatcars.  To avoid oversize loads they often remove many of the parts including tires and dozer blades and ship them in gondolas including the long mill gondolas.

The Bucyrus Erie factory in South Milwaukee WI on the C&NW would ship its shovels and draglines -- someones one such shovel or dragline would account for 300 loads! -- on both flatcars with idler cars and mill gons.  

Chooch and American Model Builders offer any number of items which would make good open loads for such gons.  Motrack has some stuff although the Walthers catalog online says discontinued when sold out.  And the time honored Atlas girder bridge load is still available from them, although it is often fun to imagineer your own machinery load out of scrap plastic and other available materials.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 10:45 AM

jimnorton

I have a couple of E&B Valley mill gons that I have lowered and detailed.  These vintage kits included no weights or provisions to add.  I'd like to use a load for weight but don't want to have the typical long pipe or steel shape loads.  Does anybody have any photos or insight on alternative loads?  I have thought about a scrap load but wondered if a 65' gon would ever be used for such?  Thanks.    

 

Sure, but if a 65' gon is in a use where a 40' gon could be used, it can't be used for anything long.  'Cause it's already loaded.  So I think that such gons were, and are, used for "common" purposes, but that the design use was for long items:

 

Pre-fab wood roof trusses

Glue-lam beams

Overhead crane

Various steel truss shapes (for both spans and towers)

Pre-cast concrete shapes

Airplane wings

Long strange shapes covered with tarps

 

Ed

 

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Posted by NHTX on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:34 PM

     Brakie, I did photograph some of those shipments of peeled poles on the SP's Sunset Route between El Paso and San Antonio TX back in the 1980s.  They were eastbound, probably heading for a treatment plant and then to a utility company somewhere.  Here in Texas, a lot of the distribution lines have had their wood poles replaced with steel.  Remember hurricanes Harvey and Irma?  Also a lot of these lines are in remote country prone to wildfires, so steel is less vulnerable to disaster.  At one time, the poles could have been used by railroads for trestle construction or repair or, for piers along a waterfront.  Now, due to wood's vulnerability to damage from fire, wind, rot and pests, steel and concrete are the materials of choice.  SP/UP has replaced almost all of their timber structures with concrete in this region.  Back to the OP's topic, another load he may consider would be flattened motor vehicle bodies headed for a shredder some where.  CNW had a bunch of 65 foot mill gons with extended height bulkhead ends that carried these flattened vehicles standing on end.  Or how about rebar?  After all, the 65 foot mill gon was developed to haul lenghty STEEL products and, proved useful for many other loads. For those looking for more info on open car loads, the NMRA pulished a book entitled "Modeling Open Loads" ISBN:0-9647050-7-9 in 2004.  I don't know if it is still available from them but there is some interesting stuff in there.

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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 1:06 PM

Jim did mention he was looking for weightier loads. How about making some concrete septic tanks filled with birdshot or sand. You can stack them double or triple high in the gons. There is a massive cement plant that ships everything made of concrete out by rail, including septic tanks.

Brent

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Posted by jimnorton on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 1:20 PM

Thanks for the ideas!  In an effort to keep things prototypical I didn't want to load a 65' gon with something a conventional gon would carry.  That had me shying away from scrap.  While 65' scale feet of scrap would look neat, I just could'nt justify that as I have not seen such trackside.  Thanks again and keep the ideas coming!  

Jim Norton

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 2:15 PM

Hello all,

Think about any commodity that would be shipped by flatcar; cable spools, billets of metals: aluminum, steel, solid rocket boosters, transformers, and these examples.

Hope this helps. 

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 4:00 PM

jimnorton
...In an effort to keep things prototypical I didn't want to load a 65' gon with something a conventional gon would carry. That had me shying away from scrap. While 65' scale feet of scrap would look neat, I just could'nt justify that as I have not seen such trackside....

Jim, I don't know what the weight capacity of those 65' gondolas might have been, but I doubt very much that it would have been high enough to accommodate a full load of scrap, scrap often being one of those loads which is piled in cars.  Even if that capacity were 100 or even 120 tons, a full load of steel scrap would be way too heavy.
If I'm not mistaken, the original 65' gons were intend primarily for structural steel products - H-columns, I-beams, etc., pipe, and perhaps the pole loads mentioned earlier - basically long, but not overly heavy lading.
When steel ingots are shipped, it's normally in regular gondolas, and depending on the size of the ingots, either one at each end over the trucks, or two smaller ones at each end, and again, over the trucks.
I have seen regular 50'/52' gondolas loaded with ingots in excess of 200 tons, and that's in addition to the 20 tons-or-so of scrap and gravel already laying in the bottom of the car.  However, such cars were for in-plant service only - low speeds and short distances on very heavy-duty track.

An appropriate load for your 65' car would be long but not likely too heavy - structural steel or poles, for which they were designed, or bulky (but not overly high) things like pressure vessels for a refinery, or pre-fabbed heavy-duty ductwork for a pollution control facility at some manufacturing plant. 

Wheelset loads are for shorter cars, 41'6" or 52'6" gondolas, and the set available from Tichy is far better looking than a load of discarded plastic wheelsets, and not expensive, either...

I have a pole load in a Proto 52'6" gondola, but it needs an idler flat to handle the overhang...

Here's a couple of tanks for an industry somewhere - not sure what they're for, only that they're passing through from somewhere, on their way to somewhere else...

They were made from plastic rolls for paper, from some type of office machine.  Add some styrene ends and perhaps some lettering to denote its location for assembly when it arrives at its destination...the cost is almost nothing.

Here's a real gondola (looks longer than 52'6", but can't say for sure if it's a 65'-er).  The load is several sheets of steel plate, too wide for a normal gondola or flatcar, so it's propped-up on a fabricated stand, which may or may not be parts required for assembly when it reaches its destination...

Another suitable load, as mentioned earlier, would be the major components of an overhead crane.  Mine travels in 52'6" Proto gons, with the help of idler flatcars...

Wayne

 

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Posted by yankee flyer on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 8:43 AM

Hey Jim

I can't find a picture right now but I took a bunch of plastic wheel/axels and cut the wheels off. I sprayed the wheels with rust paint. Then painted the axel stub silver so you could tell the wheels had been torched off. I placed the gon on the stub track by the foundry. Works for me.

Just a thought.

Lee

Edit:

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 4:01 PM

I saw a photo of a D&RGW 65' mill gon with a load of 2 speeders.  That was unusual.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 6:00 PM

Railcar Photos has a pretty good search.  I entered "gondola" and "65" in the appropriate boxes, and came up with a LOT of photos.  Interestingly, it looked like they were mostly empty.  Which ain't earning money.

I started rolling the photos, but then recalled that I'm not the one searching for loads.  

One could follow the implications from there.

 

Ed

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 8:38 PM

7j43k

Railcar Photos has a pretty good search.  I entered "gondola" and "65" in the appropriate boxes, and came up with a LOT of photos.  Interestingly, it looked like they were mostly empty.  Which ain't earning money.

There's a bit of a logic to it though: an unloaded car is more likely to not be moving and that increases the chances of a photographer coming across it.

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Friday, March 23, 2018 4:48 PM

Concentrated copper ore.

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Posted by cedarwoodron on Monday, March 26, 2018 10:35 PM

I just came across an old E&C Shops 65' mill gondola, black with CNW markings. I found it in my garage where I store all my inbuilt kits. While thinking about a plausible load, I spied a bag of concrete paver base material I use underneath landscape blocks to provide a stable footing. Aha! I thought- old concrete is often recycled for use in building causeway bases out into shallow water, and is used for other fill purposes as well. There's my load for that mill gondola. A foam or balsa wood base painted a concrete color, on top of which I will spread Goop or a similar adhesive, followed by the paver base material. Some advice- this material is something I already have on hand- a 20 # bag runs about $4-5 at Home Depot and there is usually moisture in the bag when you buy it. If going that route, I suggest taking the amount you need for the model and letting it air dry for a few days - also, there is some amount of small particles you may want to filter out from the more sizeable pieces. 

And on another note- check out decorative plant fill material at Michaels Crafts- some types of materials they sell can be used to simulate gravel loads - also a candidate for a mill gondola.

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 1:37 AM

I don't know what the capacity of those cars was, but I'd guess most likely 70 tons.  Even broken concrete, with some air space between the lumps, would max out on weight, likely before the car was half-filled.
The long cars were designed for long, but not necessarily heavy loads, and using such a car for a load for which it wasn't designed is wasting it.  Just because it will fit doesn't make it appropriate for that car.  Broken cement would fit in a boxcar, too, but wouldn't likely be used. 
A more appropriate car would be a general service gondola, or perhaps one with drop doors or even a side-dump gondola.

Since the 65' cars were designed for loads not suitable for shorter cars, I don't see any logic in wanting to load it with something that doesn't take advantage of its unique properties:  they were purpose-built cars, and especially when they first appeared, not all that common.

Wayne

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Posted by JoeUmp on Monday, April 09, 2018 7:16 PM

I don't know how long the gons are but the Indiana Railroad carried loads of tie plates.

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