This past week after painting the handrails on my Bachmann 89' Tri-Level Auto Racks I turned my attention to the two 72' Center Beam Flats that I own. The models are from Walthers and I purchased them in used but very good condition from fellow modeler Rick P of TrainLife. The cars look great running empty but to be in revenue service they must be loaded at some point. Seeing loads for the cars being sold for about $10.00 per I decided to try and get away a little cheaper. A long time ago I bookmarked the July 2011 Model Railroad Hobbyist E-Magazine for an article by Steve Piroko that detailed how he made his own home made lumber loads. Steve provided a link for modelers to be able to print out their own sheets of "wrapped lumber loads" from various shippers. I printed out two such sheets and put them in a safe place until I was ready to use them. After a fruitful search of all my safe places I found them and got started on the project. I could not believe how easy this was and how good the printed loads actually look in the car from normal viewing distance. Here is a link to MRH July 2011 - Issue 17.
Anyone who reads this blog already knows that Neal's Lumber and Hardware is a favored rail customer for the amount of rail traffic N.L.& H. produces. As Neal's business grows the demand for more and more lumber and other products grows. Enter the 72' Center Beam Flat. Today is the first day these extra long cars are being spotted at N.L.& H. Follow along as we visit with 1/87th Scale Sir Neal and check out the action in and around N.L.& H.