Microtrains 89' TOFC flat car re-assembly

James Fitch Aug 12, 2019

  1. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

    BTW, I have quoted Trailer Train reporting mark definitions from an RMC magazine article dated August 1990. Keep in mind that there have been changes since then, but that article works for me because I am not concerned with post 1990 anyway.

    ATTX - 75' all purpose flatcar (center and side tiedowns)
    BTTX - 89' flatcar equipped with bi-level auto rack)
    CTTX - 89' low level flatcar equipped with partially enclosed autorack
    DTTX - 265' Five platform, articulated well-type COFC car capable of carrying double stack containers
    ETTX 89'4" low level flatcar equipped with totally enclosed tri-level autorack
    FTTX 89'4" flatcar equipped with tie down devices for loading automobile or truck frames
    GTTX 85' and 89' General American built flat car equipped with collapsible hitches and bridge plates for transportation of trailers
    HTTX 60' Flatcar equipped with 38 heavy duty chains, snubbers and turnbuckles for carrying earthmoving equipment
    ITTX 89'4" flatcar equipped with special fold away pedestals and 62 tie down winches with chains and bridge plates for carrying trailer tractors saddle back style.
    JTTX 50 - 89'4" flatcar with misc devices applied for lessor special service
    KTTX 89'4" "Twin-45" standard level flat car with fixed hitches at both ends for handling two 45' trailers back to back (over head loading only)
    LTTX 89' Low level flatcar equipped with collapsible hitches and bridge plates.
    MTTX 60-85' 60 foot flatcar with stake pockets for gen service or 85' flatcar with 16 stake pockets, 8 per side for tansporting long pipe.
    NTTX 249' 5-unit articulated COFC car for transporting containers (spine car)
    OTTX 60' Flat car equipped with 36 chains, with snubbers each secured to movable and retractable tie down winches in for longitudinal channels for transporting agricultural equipment
    PTTX 60' flat car equipped with bulkheads space 48'6" apart for transporting plywood and wallboard etc.
    RTTX 89'4" "Twin-45/Tripple 28" standard level flatcar with fixed hitches on ends of car and retractable hitch at center of car. For handling two 45' or three 28' trailers (overhead loading)
    STTX 89'4" "Twin-45" standard level flat car for handling two 45' trailers, equipped with sliding bridge plates for circus style loading
    TTAX 89'4" Standard level flat car equipped with foldaway container pedestals and hitches for TOFC and/or COFC service.
    TTBX 89'4" flat car equipped with bi-level auto rack, rack can be either open or shielded on the sides but does not have roof or doors.
    TTCX 60' and 89' flat car equipped with container pedestals for COFC service.
    TTDX 89'4" flatcar equipped with 16 tie down winches with chains and bridge plates for transporting military vehicles
    TTEX 181'9" two unit TOFC car for hauling four 45' trailers or three 57' trailers (over head loading only)
    TTFX 187'6" four platform TOFC car capable of carrying four 45-trailers
    TTGX 89'4" flatcar equipped with totally enclosed bi-level auto racks
    TTHX 60' 60-foot flat car equipped with 18 heavy duty chains anchored to stake picket castings
    TTJX 68' 68-foot 100-ton flatcar equipped with 22 screw type tie-down devices and stake pockets.
    TTKX 89' flatcar equipped with hinged "B" deck tri-level auto rack. Rack can be either open or shielded on the sides but doesn not have roof or end doors
    TTLX 89' "Twin-45" low level flatcar specially equipped by participant railroads with container pedestals or fixed hitches for assigned corridor.
    TTMX 68' 68-foot 100-ton flatcar equipped with stake pockets and lading strap anchors for general service
    TTNX 89'4" flat car equipped with bi-level auto rack without end doors but with sides and roof panels.
    TTPX 68' 68-foot flat car equipped with bulkheads spaced 62 feet apart and 34 transverse tied down anchors with chains used for transporting plywood etc.
    TTRX 89'4" flatcar equipped with fixed tri-level rack without a hinged "B" deck. Rack can be either open or shielded on the sides but does not have roof or door.
    TTSX 89'4" flat car equipped with coverless enclosed bi-level autorack.
    TTUX 50'6" Single platform TOFC car with single axle trucks capable of carrying one trailer 40-48 foot and up to 102-inches wide w/ nose mounted revering unit over head loading only.
    TTVX 89'4" Low level flatcar equipped with tri-level auto rack with shielded sides without end doors and without or without roofs
    TTWX 89'4" Twin-45 standard level flat car equipped with fold away container pedestals and hitches for TOFC and/or COFC service.
    TTX 50'-89' flatcar equipped with one or two hitches for TOFC service.
    TTZX 64' to 76' 100-ton bulkhead car equipped with center partition and winch type tie down system for carrying lumber products.
    UTTX 256' Five platform articulated TOFC car capable of carrying one trailer per plat forum 40-48 feet and up to 102 inches wide w/ front mounted refridge unit, over head loading only
    VTTX 60' and 85' flatcar equipped with fixed container pedestals for COFC service only
    WTTX 89'4" "Twin-45" standard level flat car with two hitches for TOFC service
    XTTX 89'4" flat car equipped with 4 hitches for TOFC service
    ZTTX 85' flat car equipped with 30 stake pockets for transporting long poles or pipes

    Of the 40,260 cars in service in 1978, the number of cars per reporting mark were as follows:
    GTTX 2260 (6%) General American design
    LTTX 1840 (5%) Low Flats
    TTAX 5750 (14%) All purpose flats
    TTCX 700 (2%) container flats
    TTX 29000 (72%) trailer only flats
    XTTX 710 (2%) four-hitch Triple-28s

    July 1982 ORER:

    TTX - 18,831 (AAR Type F877)
    WTTX - 66 (Type F877)
    TTAX - 11,416 (Type F077)
    TTWX - 0
    RTTX - 44 (Type V681 & V682) << Autoracks
    KTTX - 44 (Type V681) << Autoracks
    STTX - 359 (Type F877)
    TTCX - 686 (Type F977)
    TTEX - 0

    April 1985 totals:

    TTX - 17,492 (AAR Type P712 & P812)
    WTTX - 943 (Type P824)
    TTAX - 903 (Type P818)
    TTWX - 13,496 (Type P829)
    RTTX - 0
    KTTX - 1,364 (Type P833)
    STTX - 738 (Type P814)
    TTCX - 674 (Type P736)
    TTEX - 0

    October 1988 ORER (corrected date)

    TTX: 9,367 (includes some 85' and 50' as well)
    TTWX: 14,500
    RTTX: 5,400 (all types, including channel side)
    KTTX: 2,750 (all types, including channel side)
    TTAX: 0
    WTTX: 2,180 (all types, including channel side)
    STTX: 649
    TTCX: 944 (only 445 are 89' cars)
    TTEX: 129 (all types, including channel side)

    October 1991 ORER

    TTX: 2,112 (includes a few 85' and prototype cars)
    TTWX: 14,035
    RTTX: 5,099 (all types, including channel side)
    KTTX: 2,352 (all types, including channel side)
    TTAX: 2,201 (5 unit articulated all-purpose spine car)
    WTTX: 1,283 (all types, including channel side)
    STTX: 166
    TTCX: 665 (only 171 are 89' cars)
    TTEX: 197 (all types, including channel side)

    Posted at MRH forums:

    Sun, 2017-06-04 12:49 — ctown2gn19
    So after crunching some numbers I figured out the percentage of 85' flats to total flats owned by TTX. This includes 60', 87' 89', 48', 75'. Of the 53339 cars that TTX owned, 12891 of them were 85' flats as of April 1970. Now this number is sure to change after April, as the ORER's are published quarterly. So 10 years later in 1980, the numbers maybe completely different. That said, here's the complete listing of all 85' flat road numbers according to the ORER. This does not mean that all of these 85' flats were used in container/trailer service either.
  2. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    Quite the list! They really should have had cabooses marked TTFN to really round it out.
  3. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    When you're modeling these - two things immediately come to mind.

    1) Maybe they got white antiskid or yellow decks when built, but whatever color it was, it didn't last long. The more you look at photos, the more you'll notice that they weathered HARD from service, not from rust, but from grime and dust buildup.
    2) At least on ATSF in the 70's, where fast service and basalt ballast threw up a lot of finer dust at speed - it was hard to tell the brown ones from the yellow ones, it all kind of ran together. Your typical group was kind of indescribably dusty and grimy ballast color, and every now and then you'd have a new car, still relatively fresh, but many of the cars settled into the background rather rapidly.

    Good example of what I mean, although it's 1988: One relatively clean car up front, the rest...you have to study to even determine what cars are yellow and there's one or two brown ones...I think...but generally it's a dusty, weathered grime even if the trailers on top are a lot cleaner.

    I see so few modelers that actually weather their piggyback flats as heavily as they actually should be...yet will dwell on deck height and other details when the overall 'feel' of the trains reflecting their use is lost. It's just as obvious as a string of pristine looking coal hoppers, just didn't really happen very often.
    mtntrainman likes this.
  4. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

    I agree, surely the decks were weathered in short order. Speaking of ATSF, here is GA flat car built in 1960captured in 1977. Not terribly grubby.


    Here is a ATSF 89' from a 11/74-1/75 order photographed in 1980 pretty clean looking and bright white deck. You'd think a couple years of service and it would be pretty dirty.


    Another ATSF, this time P-S built in 59 and photographed in 1978, light road grime looking pretty decent:


    Others of course were dirtier:



    Here is a year old COER TOFC flat car looking pretty clean.


    All of the above photo's represent TOFC during my period of interest.

    It's true many modelers don't weather cars appropriately. I've seen so many awful weathering jobs I want to take my time (when I finally get some time and a paint booth set up) and do it right.

    Anyway, I agree 100%, but weathering needs to be done right or it can be just as bad or worse than a new clean model.

    By the way, here is a link to a photo that is a nice late 1970's D&RGW TOFC train with a nice mix of 89' TT flat cars, GA 85' flat cars and P-S F85B flat cars and 40' trailers. This is a good example of the type of train I am interested in modeling. If you click on the picture it toggles between a low res and a large hi res photo so you can see an enlargement.


    Trailers I can ID from front to back are RI, C&NW, two I can't make out, L&N, 2 PC, and a couple of 40 UPS drop frame trailers. From what I can tell there are 4 85' flats and 2 89' flats visible in the photo.

    Here is another very cool D&RGW freight photo where you can see a LOT of the consist - especially TOFC:


    I can't make out the flat cars real well but some of them are bright and semi clean TT yellow. Trailers I can ID appear to be IC pig, Burlington, MP, Budd, Reading.

    Here is one from Railpictures.net showing TOFC at the head end. One fairly clean TT yellow flat car, the rest dirty. Trailers I can ID: CLIPPER, MoPac eagle, ICG orange pig drop frame, Reading blue diamond, Southern and Santa Fe drop frame.

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  5. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

    If I find it necessary to glue the underframe to the deck, I would use Krystal-Kleer. It will hold but isn't permanent.
  6. jimfitch

    jimfitch TrainBoard Member

    Is that like canopy glue?
  7. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    I don't know what Kyrstal Kleer is but it sounds like something like Aileen's Tacky glue. 99 cents a bottle at your local craft store.
  8. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    Krystal Kleer is basically slightly diluted white glue, was designed to be used to make windows
  9. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

    It is pretty much the same as canopy glue. Any of those alternatives could be used, I just don't like the alternatives that are permanant. If I wanted permanent, I wouldn't use CA, I'd use JB weld.
  10. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

    Update on the 89' Microtrains flat car. I was able to re-assemble it and press the parts together so the frame, stirrup pieces and body are altogether. The appeared to stay in one piece but I don't know how secure they are - might be a little canopy clue might make it more solid.

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