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Friday, December 21, 2012

New Flexi Van Flat Car

Greetings Blog Followers,

The newest acquisition for my New York Central layout is a Flexi Van car with two Milwaukee Road 40'0 trailers. Just in time for the holiday rush....

N.I.F.X. #7030 with two 40' trailers minus their bogies (wheel assemblies). N.I.F.X. is the reporting marks of General Electric Rail Services.

The current Flexi Van fleet, new car is in the middle of the consist. Flexi Van service was first tested by the New York Central in 1957 as a way to cut costs over regular trailer on flatcar (TOFC) service. Production models arrived on the system in 1958 and handled only 36' trailers. As 40' was becoming the standard length for highway trailers later models carried a 36' and 40' trailer. Cars built from 1961 to 1968 carried 2 40' trailers. The low profile skeleton cars were designed for the clearance restrictions on the N.Y.C. Lighter and lower than standard TOFC cars they proved well suited for high speed operation and many cars were rebuilt so they could move in both passenger and freight  service. Although intended for most types of freight the Flexi-Vans proved very popular for handling mail. Although successful the rapid rise of containers and industry standards for moving trailers on flat cars pushed Flexi Van service into the pages of history.  

Car on left (new addition) is a Mark III Flexi Van car and the Car on the right is a Mark IV

The Flexi Van Fleet await motive power


  1. Any thoughts on the N Scale flexi-van trailers being offered now by Trainworx? There mostly sold out but I wonder if they are prototypical trailers for flexi-van service. I assume that only purpose-built trailers could be used, but I don't know. Thanks

    1. The Trainworx models look good. The NYC are the Mark II version that have the trucks placed closer to the ends. These work better on curves than the the Merchants Despatch Mark IV models. The Mark IV was designed for service in passenger trains although you can use either as you see fit. Trainworx offers suitable trailers. The Flexi-Van trailers had removable bogies so any trailer where you can slide that assembly off should work out OK. Good luck!