Car loads can be imagined or they can be real accessories. Box cars with sealed doors, covered hoppers and tanker cars can all have imagined freight onboard. Flat cars, gondolas and hoppers have open payloads and look better if they are actually hauling something part of the time. These real loads can be removed and replaced at will yet must be secure enough not to fall off in transit.
Truck trailers and containers are loaded and unloaded at their destinations according to their way bills. I take the same care and attention to detail on my trailers and containers that I do on my rolling stock and locomotives. It is a good idea to have some space on the layout to store them and also have a storage box for more of them under the staging yard.
Every day a train comes down from the northwest hauling car after car of lumber products. Most of this lumber is loaded on bulkhead and centerbeam flat cars which keep the load from shifting. These loads are placed on the cars in the staging yard and removed at the lumber yard. The empties go back up north for the next load. For the bulkhead flat cars I use a wood block wrapped in a sheet of paper which is covered in clear plastic. For the centerbeams I use Walthers' plastic two piece load which snaps together. For shorter length cars I just cut the plastic loads down to size using an exatco knife.
Gondola loads are the plaster type which adds a lot of weight. They are steel rebar for the Foothill steel distributor. Hopper loads are the plaster insert type which have been painted as minerals instead of coal. Johnson Tractor receives farm and construction equipment loaded onto flat cars.
Some box cars have doors which open. I like to open the door on one sided and add detail to the interior with the proper load for the type of box car. I just finished this Railbox box car with palletized boxes and two matching Longview Portland and Northern box cars filled with lumber.
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Sunset West Productions