Custom Painted P-2000 units

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A.H.M. NYC 499043 Heavy Duty Flatcar

Greetings All,

Another beat the heat train project is in the books! An A.H.M 8 axle heavy duty boxcar with a plastic log load held on with copper wire has been rescued from the bottom of the box. I've owned this car for over twenty years and at some point I did convert it talgo mounted Kadee Couplers. I ran it a few times here and there but it has languished in the bottom of that train box we all seem to have for the 'lesser' or not in service model trains we own. This was a great bang for buck project as everything needed was already owned and no further expenditures were required. A win-win all the way!

 A.H.M. Heavy Duty Flatcar with log load from the purgatory box
With logs removed it's not a bad looking car
After a visit to the mechanical shop and getting better wheels and replacing the pins holding the truck in place with screws the car was heavily weathered.

A Chooch Enterprises Heavy Cable Spools load. Cast resin and quite heavy. The load to the left has been weathered and it made a big difference.

A heavy duty flatcar with a heavy duty load

Both Spools are now weathered and sit atop the car. Kadee long underset shank couplers like the # 21 or #31 were used and also weathered. The car has been tested both loaded and empty and it is running very well through both of my yard ladders. With 8 axles just getting it on the tracks is tough enough. Having it derail is a PAIN in the neck.

During a long shove test I used this Athearn BB P&LE #312 bay window caboose. Newly minted conductor 1/87th scale PC Ralph is solo and protecting the shove move. Here he is getting orders and congratulations from Bedford Tower Operator 1/87th scale John B.

With a heavy duty Caterpillar load at Empire City Caterpillar

Two Baldwin S12s from Terminal Yard are also being tested and are the power for this operation.
The second unit was in need of some TLC which it has received and is now running very well. 
Both units will be seeing a lot more service in the weeks to come. 

Now for some even better modeling news! I researched this car through the Canada Southern website;

Much to my surprise this old A.H.M. car is actually a pretty correct prototypical model! Number and build date match prototype. This project is even now more rewarding. According to the research the car was built in 1951 by DSI (Despatch Shops Inc) and was in service until 1977. It was a single car order, #796-F. It has a weight capacity of 250.5 tons and was termed a 44'4" Cast Steel Special Flat.

Check links below for further prototype information;

A better photo, #499042 built 9 years earlier and about two feet longer in length; It had a 198 ton capacity.

 Thanks For Reading!!


  1. That was a great find! Now I'll have to keep an eye out for one of these at the swaps. I'm wondering if the bodies were a standard product of GSC, because a number of railroads had very similar cars, which of course works well for model manufacturers.

  2. Thanks John. To say I was totally shocked that this car was close to prototypical would be an understatement. It made my day after finding that out. Hope you liked the picture of the BB P&LE bay window caboose!

  3. Excellent rehab on that interesting car...and how cool is it that there is an actual prototype!? The cable spool loads are eye catching.

  4. Nice research and work on the flat car. My personal preference for loads would be the Chooch Enterprises cable load. Congratulations to 1/87th Ralph and your completion of conductor training. You know the 'rookie' status will remain with you until the N.Y.C.T.L. hires someone else!

  5. Thank you 1:1 Sir Neal! It'll be up to you as the senior 1/87th scale trainman to keep 1/87th scale PC Ralph on the straight and narrow. I know you had your 1/87th scale hands full with 1/87th scale Engineer Ed. As the owner and C.E.O. of the A.P.R.R. I'm sure you can testify to the difficulties in finding good 1/87th scale employees!

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  7. Nice to see a veteran car find a new purpose on the layout. I'm with Neal on the choice of loads. But either load looks great. I've seen the prototypes like it in action moving big transformers and nuclear waste in big canisters to storage sites out west. It should be a good source of new revenue for the line.

  8. Thanks Brian! I'm partial to the Chooch heavy duty cable spools as well. Thanks for the transformer load info. I would definitely like to add a big transformer load for this car.