Microtrains 89' TOFC flat car re-assembly

James Fitch Aug 12, 2019 at 2:06 PM

  1. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Hi,

    I purchased a Microtrains 89' TOFC flat car - it was shipped in it's jewel case but the main body parts were separated and loose when the case was opened.

    Basically the flat car deck was loose from the under-frame and there were two pieces at each end which has the stirrups which came loose.

    Nothing appears to be broken however. Are these flat cars held together with adhesive of some sort? This is my first Microtrains 89' flatcar and I wanted some advice from those experienced with them. If they are held together with adhesive, and come apart, what is recommended to re-assemble them to stay together? Some sort of gap filling adhesive like Walther goo?

    Thanks, Jim
     
  2. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    I have dozens and dozens of those cars and never had one ever arrive like that. Contact Microtrains and they will make it right for you!
     
  3. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    This one was from a collection being sold on the secondary market. I doubt Microtrains would provide support in this case.

    The seller has asked me to send it back for a refund but I'm not sure he he is refunding me the cost of the model and shipping or just the model. Checking right now.

    If I just get the model refunded and have to pay shipping back, I might as well figure out how to re-assemble it or glue it back together.

    No parts appear to be broken per-se, unless there are parts that held it together like tabs and I didn't notice them. It appears getting the model back in one-piece may be a simple matter of some adhesive in certain locations - and hold it together until it cures.

    Some adhesive options could be gap filling super glue or maybe Walther Goo or equivelent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019 at 3:40 PM
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  4. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    It's all just snap-together and unless something is broken, no cause for alarm. I've got about a dozen of them.

    There's a couple of odd features on those, one is the 'yoke' the couplers are on that has pins that engage the truck bolsters as they turn.

    But there's really nothing much there to get wrong. The only really fragile part is the wire that connects to the handbrake casting on the body.

    If you study it, you can see how it all goes back together, and if you really gets stuck, ask for more help.

    If you got a good price, consider yourself fortunate and just snap it back together. I still think that the MT flats are the most 'roadworthy' of all the piggyback flats out there in terms of performance and they are my favorites. Now, if you have trouble with them uncoupling or hanging pins, that's another issue and fixable.
     
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  5. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    I seem to have vague recall that some of these came this way (in kit form). Could be wrong but it seems familiar.
     
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  6. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    Confirm that, I think that I got 6 of mine that way - I think there were 3 per kit box or something like that. Again, just all snap-together, nothing had to be glued.
     
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  7. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    This one appears to be RTR.

    It's at home right now but here are photo's. The bridge plate I'm not worried about, it the main body.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've tried pressing the deck onto the underframe but it didn't seem to "snap" into placed, which I why I wondered if it needed adhesive.
     
  8. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

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    double check the orientation of the deck when you are putting it back on the underframe. There are recessed areas on the underframe for the two hitch mounting pins on the middle location as well as a recessed area for the circular peg on the underside of the deck. This is what it should look like going back together. Microtrains also sells replacement parts for the hitches and bridge plates. The hitches both upright and collapsed are a package and the bridge plates are another package.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

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    Everything is press-fit, but I did have a Micro Trains autorack that had the same underframe separation (they are pretty much identical models below the deck anyway), you can use a thin amount of Walthers Goo or plastic cement to attach the underframe onto the body.
     
  10. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    I had one of these apart several years ago for painting. No evidence or use of adhesives at all. Another option would be to give up on it and send it to me. I just can't have enough of these cars and I "only" have about 60 of them !!!
    The only one I've had apart was an older "Pepsi" car. There were a few different shells for these. Some had trailers facing each other, facing away from each other, and facing the same direction. Don't really know if it makes a difference in assembly, but maybe the shell got swapped somehow. Only idea I got !!!
     
  11. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Brian and Metro, thanks for the feedback. I'll take a closer look when I get home from work. No parts appear to be broken so it may be a matter of correct orientation and press fit. Might need a tiny dab of adhesive. The seller has agreed to refund, but I haven't seen a lot of the brown TT and being into 70's, these were sill quite common.
     
  12. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    I've had to ca a couple back together in the past.
     
  13. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    I'm guessing this flat car can be CA'd and made whole again. Thanks for any/all feedback.
     
  14. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know if this is real, or just me, but I've never seen a MT car that wasn't snap together. Sometimes a little bit fall apart too. I would be reluctant to glue stuff back permanently, in case you need to repaint or something later. That reminds me of glued in windows on undecs.
     
  15. jimfitch

    jimfitch TrainBoard Member

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    I'd prefer to snap together too if at all possible. I'll have some time to look at it this weekend.
     
  16. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

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    MT only has one style of piggy back flat, its the trailer/container flat with both trailers facing the same direction.

    Atlas and BLMA have done the RTTX which allows you to run 2 45' back to back. The MT one without any modifications can only carry a single 45' and a 40'

    I've tweeked a bunch of mine so I can run 2 45' trailers on the same flat, but all mine still have them facing the same direction
     
  17. jimfitch

    jimfitch TrainBoard Member

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    I've always been interested in TOFC flatcars. During the 70s when 40' trailers were the norm, TTX were trailer only (2x40', or 1 45' + 1 40'). TTAX had container pedistal tracks and trailer hitches and could carry either.

    Around 1982 45' trailers became the new norm so 89' flats were modified to make them capable of carrying 2x45' trailers. TTX were rebadged WTTX and TTAX were rebadged TTWX

    Around 1985, 89' flats were modified to carry two 45' trailers back to back, which made it difficult for thieves to break in and steal mechandise. IIRC, 1987 saw the introduction of RTTX, which could carry two back to back 45' trailers or three short trailers.

    I used to be interested in modeling late 80s thru early 90s but really dislike running trains with no caboose so I've back dated ten years to approx 1977 thru 1983, which captures both 40' and early 45' trailer piggy back service.
     
  18. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    I will dig through my MT cars this weekend. IIRC, the trailers that faced different directions were the brown TTX that Jim showed !!! If need be, I will supply part numbers. All my piggybacks are MT, except 2 CRI&P flats that were actually recalled because they were incorrect. I kept mine !!! Jim, I LOVE that you use cabeese !!! I insist on them. NOTHING leaves the yard without a caboose !!!
     
  19. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

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    A brown TTX flat would have the trailers loaded circus style. That paint scheme lasted until 1970 when the yellow Trailer Train was introduced. It was 1980 or 1981 when the 45' trailer was accepted nationwide. The TTWX flat with a hitch at each end for back to back 45' trailers appeared around 1982 from info I've read. And I've only seen the one 89' flat body style from MT as well. FWIW there's a great article on converting the MT flat into several of the hitch configurations and different body styles in the book, "Intermodal Modler's Guide Vol. 2" I'm currently working on a dozen. But I'm kinda lazy and not getting much done on them atm.
     
  20. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Rim8Racing. Around 25 years ago I was still trying to model "modern" but over the past 10-15 years, there has been a lot of stuff that fills in models for caboose era (pre-1985) so it wasn't hard to convince myself to backdate ten years to the 77-83 time frame. D&RGW began plating over caboose windows as early as 1982 IIRC so I wouldn't have many of those. Speaking of cabeese, Trainworx is going to be offering correct D&RGW shop built cabooses. Unfortunately they are delayed due to last years Chinese factory closure so won't be out until summer 2020 from what I understand.

    Anyway, trains don't look right without a caboose at the end. The hard part in the past has been finding cabeese that match those used by the real railroad. Trainworx will be fixing that for D&RGW fans and Athearn and Blueford are doing the bay windows for RR's that used those.

    As bman pointed out, brown TTX flat cars would have loaded circus style. But keep in mind that some brown painted TT flat cars lasted well into 1980's and a few even past 1990. So depending on time frame, you might see a brown TT flat converted for 2x45' trailers in photo's.

    Yes, newly delivered TT flat cars began being painted yellow in 1970, so new flat cars were no longer painted brown/mineral red after 1970. However, the those already in the brown/mineral red scheme, many remained in the old paint for years. The more I researched, the more I realized in the late 1970's, lots of brown TT flat cars were still roaming the rails; some even lasted in brown paint well after 1990.

    This site has some good info on TTX dates:

    https://www.ttx.com/about/our-history/

    I don't have a reference on when officially 45' trailers were approved for piggy back service, but some of my research indicates that in 1982, Preferred Pool went through a major project to stretch 40' trailers to 45', and flat cars were being reconfigured for 2 x 45' trailer service by re-configuring the hitches. TTX (trailer only) flat cars reporting marks were changed to WTTX and "all purpose" TTAX flat cars received TTWX reporting marks.

    As the TTX Company site indicates:

    "1981 - Modification of over 20,000 cars to handle two 45-ft trailers (Twin-45) begins."

    Of course it could have been late 1981, I don't know the month, so it may have taken a while before large scale 2 x 45' piggy back service was common. If you note in the following post, there is ORER data which shows 0 TTWX in July 1982 and only 66 WTTX, so if that data is indicative, there was only a small fraction of the fleet converted to twin 45' trailer service by mid-1982. But likely it mushroomed over the next 12 months.

    "1985 - Modification of 89-ft and 89-ft 4-inch hitch cars to Twin-45/Triple-28 configuration begins."

    I believe it started with the back to back KTTX followed by "triple 28" RTTX with option of carrying two back to back 45's or 3 x 28' trailers.

    Here is a photo from railpictures.net with five TOFC flats on the head end. one clean and the rest dirty. Trailers I see a CLIPPER, MP eagle, ICG orange pig drop frame, Reading blue diamond, Southern and a Santa Fe drop frame.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 7:19 PM

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