The Lone Wolf and Santa Fe has been collecting freight cars since the Tyco train set days of the late 1970's. Some of the original Tyco, AHM and Roco cars are still in service today. Covered hoppers, flat cars, and tankers, have survived. The Tyco cars have had their hornhook couplers replaced with body mounted #5 Kadee couplers. A record tab from a VHS video tape makes the prefect shim for proper coupler height as compared to the kadee coupler gauge. These old cars have been weathered by hand. Boxcars with their roof top walk ways have been replaced with modern cars from Athearn, Roundhouse MDC and Walthers.
The roster has been expanded greatly with all purpose flat cars, articulated piggybacks and double stacks, mechanical refrigerated cars, centerbeam and bulkhead flatcars, as well as many more hoppers, gondolas and tankers, from Accurail, McKean, and the previously mentioned brands.
When shopping for new freight cars, a list of currently owned cars with their road names and numbers is compared to potential new cars. This avoids duplication of numbers. When will they learn that the more numbers they give us, the more cars we'll buy.
Road names are selected mostly for their proximity to the line. The majority of the cars are Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, Burlington Northern, and Trailer Train with several Pacific Fruit Express refers to boot. Others include Cotton Belt, Rio Grande, Railbox and Golden West Service. Also there are the occasional mid west and east coast road names. It's a west coast railroad so most of the cars should give that feeling.
San Bernardino ie mid west and east coast road names etc.
New cars seem to be bought in groups of two to up to a dozen and similar cars are often assembled on the same day but only one at a time. I enjoy bnd but they are not the strongest. Now that I've tried the other brands I've decided that I like Kadee couplers the best. If you don't know which couplers to get, check this handy guide.
The finished car is placed on a test track and adjustments of air hoses and wheel sets etc. is done. New cars are not weathered yet. They get to spend some time on the line as new, washed or freshly painted cars. More on weathering later.
While still on the test track information about the car is entered into the data base. This is the list that goes to the store and is also used as an inventory list and as the source for information which will be printed on the car cards. The data base includes the: railroad name, reporting marks, number, type of car, return when empty destination, date when built, mahe layout and begin as east or west bound cars with freight bound for a local business. Before you know it the new cars mix right in and are hauling loads everywhere. Read more about operation.
Since this page has grown to be far too long, it has been split up into the following sections:
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Copyright 2000 Updated 11/22/2016
Sunset West Productions