I came across a thread on another forum about trains that modelers wish were available in the hobby. A few people mentioned the Trough Train, so here it is. The intermediate units are almost done, and I'm about to start on the end units. I had thought about making this car before, but finally felt inspired to do it now. Here are a few intermediate cars rounding a hypothetical 22" radius curve. The trucks under the articulation joints are just regular freight trucks, so I won't make a printable file for these them. It would probably be easier and cheaper to buy Kadee or Intermountain trucks. These are just stand-in dummys to check clearances. The articulation joint is kind of strange on the prototype. It looks like the bolster of one end fits inside the adjacent car and the truck kingpin links them. While it's possible to model that on the computer, I wanted the cars to assemble like well car models (Think Athearn or Intermountain). Instead of an inside and outside bolster, there is an upper and lower. That allows for easy assembly and storage by simply lifting the last car off the tracks. The ends of the car are partially open to allow the 'trough' to fill in one pass. The side profile on my model is pretty close to the prototype. Each car has a sheet of metal that overlaps the next car's, and when the car rounds a curve, they slide past each other to expand or contract. I'm not sure that the floor of the articulation joint is totally correct though. Our models of course have tighter radii, so I needed a way to keep coal from falling through the bottom when the car flexes. It is a bit chunkier than I would like, but it keeps the car relatively sealed. However, I had to leave a bit of a gap between the 'male' and 'female' ends to allow for some error in printing and to keep the cars from binding on our imperfect model trackwork. It is most evident in the top view. Now you can experience the same problems the prototype did on your own model railroad If you guys have any suggestions on how to improve the articulation joint, or you have more references for this car, don't be afraid to leave a reply on this thread. The door detail is kind of proto-guessed. The prototype underbody is painted black, so it is hard to see everything. I'm pretty sure the door's cross-sectional profile is accurate, but the hardware and hinge detail is just based off some basic car schematics. Who knows if I included everything.