New to n scale, first project; Tex Mex Rail yard

marc1kim Aug 9, 2013

  1. marc1kim

    marc1kim TrainBoard Member

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    Here's a pic of the sun setting behind the silos. i took this pic on saturday 8-10-13
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    you may notice the row of 2 bay hoppers. They are filled with oilfield frac sand. Frac sand has replaced agriculture in our rail yards here in town. The old TM yard, the new small Weatherford yard on the far east side of town, and even across the street from my house on the west side, a 40+ acre rail yard with humongous sand silos has popped up. It's very common now to see KCS locos switching out hoppers on a daily basis.
     
  2. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Many small layouts consist of a loop of track and a small yard. Operators run layouts by putting together a train in the yard, or using a train already stored there, running it around the track and then back to the yard.
    I don’t think trains usually originated or terminated in the small yard at Alice. (Small by real railroad standards, fair sized for a small layout...) Back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the Texas Mexican usually ran one train a day in each direction between Corpus Christi and Laredo that handled everything in between. Sometimes those trains carried as many as 150 cars or more. They went through Alice, switched there and continued on.
    Texas Mexican Railway official Bob Cope described operations and traffic in a lecture to the South Texas Railroad Historical Society back in the 1970s. He said a train left Corpus Christi about 10pm and arrived in Laredo about 6am. They would be going through Laredo in the middle of the night. I remember a brakeman who described one of those nights. There was a drunk individual walking straight down the middle of the track, oblivious to the train. The engineer sounded his horn, slowed to a crawl. He sent the brakeman out to shoo the individual off the tracks. The brakeman took a heavy wrench in case some convincing proved necessary. The drunk got off the tracks. But as soon as the brakeman returned to the cab and the train moved forward again, the drunk darted back in front of the locomotive. The brakeman went out again but the drunk was nowhere to be seen. Either he had crossed the tracks and disappeared on the other side, or.... When the brakeman cut cars for the first switch, he noticed a body on the tracks where the string of cars had just passed. It looked like the train had run over the drunk, and they would have to fill out accident paperwork. Closer examination showed the drunk had simply passed out and fallen between the rails where the train passed over him without making contact. The brakeman rolled him off the tracks and he stumbled away.
    Returning to Bob Cope’s information, the eastbound train left Laredo about 4 or 5 AM and arrived in Corpus Christi about noon. Obviously the two trains needed to meet each other somewhere, and the times put that meet point closer to Laredo. The usual meet point, and the only passing track long enough to accommodate two trains running at their maximum lengths was at REALITOS. I thought that unique siding was “the reality factor” of the railroad, and “Realitos” was the Spanish word for “reality.” Turns out that the place name Realitos was from the Spanish “real” meaning “royal,” and it was a royal encampment in Spanish colonial times.
    At any rate, the “reality” of the little yard at Alice was that it would not accommodate a 150-car train pulling in onto yard tracks to be shuffled in the yard for local switching. So how was local switching handled when only one train a day ran in each direction?
    I think I saw how it happened not at Alice but at Robstown. I was out exploring the railroad in the early 1970s and found what I thought was an eastbound train “parked” just west of Robstown, well beyond the built-up part of the town.

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    In the distance you can see the Robstown municipal water tower. Only now when I study this photo do I notice a railroad sign post two or three cars forward of the caboose with a diagonal board, making something like a letter “Y” but with only one arm. That is a Yard Limit sign, located almost two miles west of the center of town, and the Missouri Pacific crossing. That doesn’t mean that “yard tracks,” sidings, spurs etc extend that far. Rather it means that trains within yard limits must travel at a reduced speed, expecting track to be occupied, and that trains within the limits may switch without getting dispatcher clearance for each move. I drove on up and found almost a mile of cars- but no locomotive at the head of the “train.” However I could see the locomotive units and cars almost a mile ahead, working in Robstown.

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    The crew left most of their train “out in the country” clear of town street crossings, and pulled just the cars they needed to switch into Robstown. After they finished their work in Robstown, they backed up to pick up the rest of their train and then ran through Robstown on their way to Corpus Christi. Apparently the train was arranged when it was made up at the yard in Laredo to allow this switching pattern.
    I saw a similar operation on the Southern Pacific Llano Branch outside Burnet about 1978. The crew of a westbound train approaching Burnet left most of their cars “out in the country” while they took a handful of cars into Burnet for switching. After switching, they backed up to pick up the end of the train and proceeded west past Burnet.
    This can work on a railroad or branch that runs only one or two trains a day, like the Texas Mexican was operated in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Operations changed to several or many trains a day in the 1990s with the coming of NAFTA and the takeover by KCS. I’m not sure how local switching by through trains in handled now. I imagine local traffic may be handled by a train that handles only those cars, without a long string of through traffic. But I don’t know for sure.
    Here is an example of how that kind of operation could be modeled on the Alice layout I sketched out. It looks like the longest staging track (as drawn) would hold 8 40-foot freight cars, a diesel and caboose. The second one would hold 5 freight cars, diesel and caboose. And a Texas Mexican Express passenger train on the third staging track would need to be limited to a diesel and three “shorty” (60-scale-foot) passenger cars. Almost a foot of extra length could be added to each staging track by beginning them right off the end curve at the right end of the plan. Extending the entire layout at the dotted yellow line would add even more to train lengths in staging, and more critically, to the stubby little “yard tracks” at Alice.

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    In the diagram, an eastbound through freight train has run counterclockwise from its staging track and the train has been cut at a point about halfway through the left end curve, leaving the through cars “out in the country: and pulling the cars to be switched at Alice into town. I made the “cut” on the train to leave several cars lengths left of the passing track/ runaround turnout, so the diesel has room to make runarounds, and to pull cars from the cotton oil mill track and the “yard tracks”. The cut point is a compromise, so it is not too far back to reach by hand, and close enough that the cars left “out in the country” can be seen. After switching, the diesel can pick up the rest of its train and run counterclockwise through Alice and around the layout to terminate at its staging track, in “Corpus Christi.” The whole operation, a little complicated and indirect, is part of the “drama” of the scenario. The same procedure can be in more or less mirror on the right end of the layout by the westbound train.
    However, there will differences between the switching operations of the two trains because what is a trailing point movement for one diesel, where it can back in and out to work a spur, will be a facing point movement for the other diesel, requiring a runaround move. This will add to the variety and “play value” of the layout.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2013
  3. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    A passenger train, the Texas Mexican Express. Ran through the Alice scene three days a week 1986 through 1989. It had an interesting mix of heavyweight and streamlined cars, visually tied together by a common paint scheme in green, white, orange and light gray.

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    Here’s the train at Laredo in 1986.

    Marc1kim has already modeled a diesel that would be just right on the point of the train.
    link: http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h51/fjlpfaded/20130709_182032_zpsbee2eed2.jpg

    I would not recommend using full-length passenger cars on a hollow core door sized layout. The beginning of the end of my East Texas layout with its “hollow-core-door-layout-standard” curves occurred when in discovered I could not run a medium length passenger train with full-length cars. I had planned the layout as a freight-only branch and lacked staging tracks for a regular passenger service, but wanted occasionally to run some of the passenger equipment I was acquiring for my “big future layout.” That turned me off to long-term expectations for the layout, though I kept it up for several years while planning a replacement.

    As it turns out, passenger cars with some resemblance to the TexMexExpress cars exists in both shorty 60-scale-foot versions and full length 80-scale-foot versions.

    The easiest cars to model would be TM coaches #1 and 3 ex-PRR P70BR. They have clerestory-roof heavyweight construction, passenger doors at each end of the car, with 8 paired windows each side plus 1 single window each end, blank from the vestibule both side just short of the inside axle of the 4-wheel trucks.

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    The shorty “stand-in” for this car would be Bachmann’s shorty heavyweight coach. It is no longer made/ distributed by Bachmann but is widely available on after-market, such as “That Auction Site” and possibly that dealers with slow turnover. The heavyweight shortys often came in sets of three with a combine, coach and observation car. Fred ¤¤¤¤¤’s passenger car model/ prototype information website, http://www.trainweb.org/fredatsf/protopass1.htm, describes the coach as resembling Chicago & Northwestern, and SOO coaches, and Bachmann’s shorty heavyweight combine as similar to C&NW combines. The observation car just looks like a coach with the vestibule end replaced with an observation platform.


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    As is, the Bachmann shorty coach captures much of the look of Tex Mex coaches #1 and #1, except of course for being short. It has the heavyweight steel construction, clerestory roof, passenger doors at each end of the side, four-wheel trucks, paired narrow-windows. If you stop to count the windows, you can see a difference. The model has 9 pairs of windows, the Tex Mex coach has 8 pairs plus a single window at each end, plus a blank side at each end that extends just past the middle of each 4-wheel truck. The number of windows aren’t that noticeable but the blank portion is, since that’s where the TexMex put their full-color herald. This would probablyt make it worth the trouble to blank out three windows on each end. The number of remaining windows would not be numerically correct, but the car would look generally right.

    Those who want full length cars, and have the broad curves to accommodate them can go with the Lima/ Model Power coach. Currently available from Model Power as items 88619-88623 (coaches). These heavyweight cars come in combine, coach and observation versions in a set of 3 or 4 cars, and separately. The coach is a model of Pennsylvania Railroad type P70.

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    This model has most of the same characteristics as the Bachmann shorty except that it is full length and has six-wheel trucks, and the number of windows. The model has 10 pairs of windows each side plus a single window at each end. Blanking two windows at each end and changing the trucks would yield almost an exact replica of TexMex #1 and #3.
     
  4. marc1kim

    marc1kim TrainBoard Member

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    I remember those long trains. They'd come in from Laredo and often stop near my house and uncouple the locos (close to where the 281 bypass and 40+ acre Carbo Ceramics railyard currently are). The locos would run into town to switch out cars. Then back to couple with the train before resuming eastward travel to Corpus.

    Since KCS aquisition the trains have been shortened in length, but pass frequently. I havent timed the passing trains but it seems that they pass every hour to hour and a half.
    With the exception of the locomotives that bring the 2 bay hoppers into town, the Locomotives and cars on the TM/ KCS rail have increased in size. Most of the freight nowdays seems to be Autoracks (full of vehicles coming in from mexico), Stack trains, and 4 & 5 bay hoppers, Long Tank cars, (not as frequent: coal cars, gondolas and boxcars)

    Smaller GP-60s? switching out two-bay hoppers at the Carbo Ceramics yard. These locomotives seem dedicated to hauling the hoppers in and out of Alice as I havent seen them haul anything else.
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    Here's a photo taken today train of empty 2-bay hoppers that left the Carbo yard parked on a siding waiting for a passing train before proceding east.
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    from the east side of the train station looking west (taken today)
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    This is what the typical rolling stock looks like today on the TM rails. (filmed by my buddy Oskar in Alice TX)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qs9Avx5j8M

    Since the KCS trains have shortened, they've been using a siding just east of San Diego to allow trains to pass each other, though I think this train is a longer one, and is parked for reasons other than to allow a train to pass:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyYSrPgIjB4
     
  5. marc1kim

    marc1kim TrainBoard Member

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    Kenneth, my friend Oskar and I have talked before of modeling the Tex Mex Express, and you made things easier for us. Thanks very much for the information.


    Here's a pic of my current rolling stock. It's a small collection so far, but I'm literally starting from the ground up with this layout. I have four more FVM Tex Mex boxcars that should be arriving soon (all 4 different road #s), any duplicate road numbers will get assigned a new number. The bay window caboose is a CN caboose, but it will be painted later to match the TM paint scheme. TM gondolas and such will have to be made from undecorated rolling stock.
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    My loco is DCC equipped. I do have some Atlas snap track on hand and more on order. It's a slow process, and I wish my layout was moving along quicker (work and familiy time take precedence). But hopefully soon I'll have a nice layout, and I'll have all you guys to thank.
     
  6. squirrelhunter

    squirrelhunter New Member

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    This is an awesome thread. I love seeing people model the Tex Mex. My first and second (and only!) cab rides came on the Tex Mex. Rode on GP18 854 and GP38 858. Once switching at the yard on 44 in Corpus and once over of the port tracks down by the big port owned (at the time) grain elevator.

    I have a TM timetable from the 80's that says the meeting point between the daily eastbound freight and the westbound Tex Mex Express was Alice. So you could model a meet in Alice too!

    A long wile back I emailed back and forth with some guys on the Railspot list including Rollin Brendenberg, who worked for the SP in the early 80's, about the SP between Alice and Falfurrias. The SP gave up on Beeville-Skidmore-Mathis-Alice and Falfurrias-McAllen/Edinburg in 1979, and Falfurrias-Alice in 1983or 84. Apparently there was an oil dealer and gypsum loadout in Falfurrias that kept that part of the line going. I was told SP has an NW2 assigned to Alice and they sent a crew out 3 times a week to make the trip south and to work the industries in Alice.

    If you have enough space, you could make the layout more of an "L" shape and model the SP's side of the crossing too. Then you could have 3 trains on the layout- TM freight, Tex Mex express, and SP switcher.
     
  7. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Texas Mexican coach #2 on the Tex Mex Express was almost identical to #1 and #3 except that it had an arched roof.

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    Everything except the roof could be modeled either with the Bachmann shorty coach or the Lima/Model Power 80-foot coach. I don’t know about a source for the roof.

    Wheels of Time once had an N-scale 60 foot shorty coach with an arched Harriman roof, but they are out of stock. Moreover, the Wheels of Time coach had wide windows, not the narrow paired windows found on the Tex Mex and PRR prototypes, so it wouldn’t like much like them, even if you didn’t get close enough to count windows, or rivets. I saw no indication that Wheels of Time ever offered the roof as a separate piece.

    Then there were the streamlined cars...
     
  8. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    The Tex Mex Express had a streamlined air-conditioned coach, their #4. #4 was a 54-seat coach, blt by Budd in 1946. Ex-Amtrak 5415, ex-Seaboard Coast Line 5415,
    ex-Atlantic Coast Line 226. Stainless steel.

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    It had fluted sides (corrugated), corrugated roof, big wide windows. 6 wide windows centered on the car + 1 narrow/ 2 small windows near each end. Side passenger doors at only one end of car.

    To model this car in a “shorty” version for a layout with tight curves, the only shorty streamlined coach I know of in N scale was made by Arnold Rapido back in 1970. It has not been made in almost 40 years, but I found one or two old cars offered on That Auction Site. (Don’t confuse it with the full length Rivarossi streamlined cars offered under the Arnold Rapido name ca late 1980s-early 90s.)

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    I copied this picture from a 1972 Arnold Rapido catalog. The model has the corrugated sides and roof of the prototype, four-wheel trucks, side passenger door in only one end, wide windows. It has too many of the wide windows, but it would be a fair approximation of the TexMex car with just a little orange, white and green paint. More fastidious modelers could blank some windows to make it closer, and to provide a clear spot to place a TexMex herald.

    For a full length N model?

    Candidate Model:
    One of the Budd coaches from Kato’s Silver Streak Zephyr set (not sold separately). These have the corrugated Budd roof etc. Window arrangement not quite the same as the TexMex car.

    Link:
    https://www.katousa.com/N/SilverStreak/pics/SSZ-4_t.jpg



    Concor#420101 A Budd coach, but with 9 wide windows left side, 8 wide windows right. Perhaps 2 or 3 windows could be filled each side and smaller windows cut. I can’t tell for sure from the photos whether or not this has the corrugated Budd roof.


    Link:
    http://www.con-cor.com/NBuddpix/41255.jpg


    Less-conforming Model (but I have several surplus): old Atlas/ Rivarrossi #2671
    Windows similar, corrugated side but smooth roof, model of a Pullman-Standard proto.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. squirrelhunter

    squirrelhunter New Member

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    Sadly Walters makes the right car in HO for he corrugated side coach, but haven't released it in N. I even looked at the major brass car side makers to see if anyone makes the right sides, but came up empty.

    Kenneth, was coach #2 ex PPR as well?
     
  10. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, TM #2 came from PRR, ex-PRR 88-seat coach #3324.

    I note that after the initial year of the TexMex Express, I have some pictures of the train running WITHOUT #2. And with a CABOOSE!

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    I don't know whether the car was left out because the passenger load could be handled with four cars, or whether there was some problem with #2. It was one of the older cars. For modeling purposes, since it may be hard to model, or if layout/siding space required shortening the train, one would be photographically justified in leaving it off.

    As for the caboose, I understand the TexMex found it needed some way to carry baggage, and didn't want to spend the money to buy a baggage car. However, it was using cabooses either less or not at all on freight trains, and had a surplus bay-window caboose. Model it this way and one is sure to get a know-it-all who laughs and says, passenger trains never have cabooses.

    I remember riding the Naciones de Mexico Regiomontana all-first-class train out of Mexico City to Monterrey in 1974. It had a caboose after the round-end observation car for part of the trip.
     
  11. squirrelhunter

    squirrelhunter New Member

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    Ken, in the photo in your last post was that the road power for the train? I have only seen pictures of one of the GP38-2's leading over the road. Also, what is the 3rd car in the consist? I looks like a stream styled heavyweight, but that looks like an off window arrangement.

    Thanks!

    David
     
  12. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    That was the road power. I usually shot the train from the south side of the tracks so the sun would be at my back and bright and shiny on the train. Pitcher-postcard lighting. But I switched and shot from the north side as the train pulled out of Corpus Christi that time, to see if I would get other side of some of the cars. I don't know post-1960 diesels very well so I am not sure what unit that was.
    When the TexMex first started running the Express, it had two locomotives, back to back.
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    That is Tex Mex #5. the last car I was going to discuss in my "consist of the Tex Mex Express" ongoing blogenstein.

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    #5 bar-dormitory-lounge. Blt ACF 1949. Smooth side, originally Union Pacific #6105. Kitchen installed in part of dorm space by TexMex.
    I cannot find ANYTHING remotely resembling this car in an N shorty version.
    For full-length cars, a Concor smooth-side diner might be closest.
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    That would give it smooth sides, the big wide windows in the lounge section, smaller windows in the other half of the car, the lack of passenger boarding doors. The small door for provision loading would not be inn the same place. Not exact but the closest thing I can find.
     
  13. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    How about using a car sides kit? http://unionstationproducts.com/_3034_9.html
     
  14. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Doggone- that about nails it. Now I'm going to have to buy one of those...

    Here is the interior of the lounge, looking from near the bar back toward the other end of the car.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Just a few more pictures I tracked down from the Texas Mexican Express.
    This is the opposite angle view of the interior of lounge car #5 looking toward the serving counter. First season the train ran.
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    Another interior of the lounge car, looking toward serving counter. This was a Sunday morning on the westbound Corpus Christi to Laredo train in 1988. They had a light WB load- the lounge was decorated for a "Fiesta Party" for a tour group coming back to Corpus Christi on the EB return trip.
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    Interior of one of the heavyweight coaches, with members of Corpus Christi Model Railroad Club on a sample-the-train trip, 1986.
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    Now this one better shows that the Texas Mexican Express was sometimes pulled by two locomotives. This is pulling away from the Corpus Christi depot in 1986.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. squirrelhunter

    squirrelhunter New Member

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    Those are some really interesting photos of the Tex Mex Express Kenneth! Making me want to model it...
     
  17. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    More TexMex Express

    I previously showed interiors of the bar-lounge-dormitory #5 and one of the heavyweight coaches. Here is the interior of air-conditioned lightweight coach #4.

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    Besides the cars owned by the Texas Mexican Railway, the Tex Mex Express also occasionally pulled a private car. One I saw repeatedly was the former Santa Fe “Regal Creek”, a 4-4-2 sleeper (4 compartment-4 double bedroom-2 drawing room) built 1948 by Pullman Standard.

    TMXeqpt/RegalCrk
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    Scale drawings of this car are available in Model Railroader magazine, August 1993 p.78-80, and in Pullman-Standard Library,Vol.1 p.114, and XIV.
    According to N Scale Varnish Passenger Car User’s Guide (http://n-scalevarnish.info/index/varnish/UsersGuide), N scale models that match Santa Fe’s Regal series are available in the Kato Super Chief set, from M&R car sides, and the Union Station car side kit.
    I already have a car that could be a so-so stand-in model, an old Rowa/MRC 10-6 (10 Roomette-6 Double Bedroom) acquired about 1980. The model lacks the fluting found above the windows on the prototype. On the side of the car with the boarding door on the left end, the model has 8 windows compared to the prototype’s 9. On the other side of the car, with the boarding door on the right, the model has 12 windows, to the prototype’s 13.

    Two other private cars were also stored behind a chain-link fence near the Corpus Christi Tex Mex depot, apparently for occasional private use on the Express, the Ex-Atlantic Coast Line, ex-Seaboard Coast Line “Coconut Grove” observation lounge; and the ex-Northern Pacific “Travelers Rest.”
     
  18. marc1kim

    marc1kim TrainBoard Member

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    I'm already loaded up with tex mex boxcars, and I'm currently painting a TM caboose, but it's proven to be hard as the paint bleeds through the masking tape where the rivets are.

    I'm planning on doing on a TM frieght train, and a the Tex Mex Express. I've seen the N scale cars that Kenneth suggested for modeling the Tex Mex on ebay, though I've also seen some Kato and other brands that come pretty close, though I'm no expert on passenger train cars. I'm still learning new things everyday.
     
  19. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Texas Mexican Freight Cars- GONDOLAS

    Series TM #901-930, AAR Mechanical designation GB, fixed end. 54'6" outside length, 52’6” internal length. blt 1952. 13-rib, 14 panel. Listed in 1954 and 1971 Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER). Shown in Corpus Christi Port Book June57 p.35; June59 p.2. Photographed 1988 at Corpus Christi TexMex Joint Yard.
    [​IMG]


    Note that the gondola has a “fishbelly” side. The bottom of the side drops down below the floor level toward the middle of the car, to make it a thicker girder, hence stronger, to resist sagging. However also note the ribs, which help resist the outward push of the load, only extend down to about the level of the floor, not below it.
    MODEL: MicroTrainsLines 46000 series looks close. It is a 14 panel gon with fishbelly side, and with ribs that don’t extend below the floor line. The MTL car measures only 50 feet while the prototype is 2 ½ feet longer. It is a drop-end design while the prototype 901-930 series has fixed ends. However, according to the 1954 and 1971 ORERs, TexMex also had a 931-950 series with drop ends. I don’t have a photo but all the dimensions are identical to 901-930 so they must have looked about the same.

    One small detail: the MicroTrains model has ribs that seem to be a structural T-section while the prototype cars seem to have hat section ribs. Or maybe a cross section that is like a square box. This is a visual I made to illustrate what a hat section is and I compared it to a Z-section brace.

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    This is so small it passes the infamous “2 foot rule.” If you can’t tell the difference from 2 feet... In fact, it even passes the ONE foot rule.

    Here is another gondola, #1019, a 13-rib, 14 panel car, blt 1951 per markings taken from the car. I photographed it in 1988 but it is not in the 1954 or the 1971 ORER so I don’t know number series.
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    MODEL: Looks the same as the 913.

    One more, just a little different. #1060, 14-rib, 15 panel blt 1957, photographed 1988. Since it wasn’t built until 1957, it wasn’t around for the 1954 ORER and it wasn’t listed in the 1971 ORER so it must have come used from another owner. Besides the difference in number of ribs and panels, it has ribs that extend all the way down to the bottom of the fishbelly side. A subtle difference, but one that provides a little variety.

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    MODEL: Either a Concor covered gondola with the cover removed, or an AHM (manufactured late 1970s?) covered gondola with cover removed.

    Fortunately the cars a lettered only with TM, the number and dimensional data, which can be decaled with alphabet, number and data sets. Besides the paint and the lettering, there is the question of EXTREME weathering, the kind that goes far beyond what is done with paint and wash and powders. I have heard of people deforming cars with a soldering iron to get this effect, but have not tried it yet. I would probably want to try it on a bargain bin car before anything else...

    I recall a Texas Mexican official telling a railroad historical meeting in the late 1970s that scrap metal to Mexico made up the largest single category of traffic on the railroad, so these cars could certainly help create the railroad’s image. Also, gondolas made up 60% of the railroad’s freight car roster, per the 1971 ORER. For an Alice layout, gondolas of scrap would be moving through town west toward Laredo in through trains, and also at local scrap yards in Alice to be picked up to head for Mexico. It would be unusual for a scrap load to be moving east.

    To mark1kim: Doing a 2-tone TexMex caboose? Wow!
     
  20. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Texas Mexican Freight Cars- Boxcars

    Mark1kim said he had boxcars. I recall seeing some MODELS of 50’ green and orange TexMex boxcars in magazines and stores but I didn’t note the information because they are way too late my mid to late 1950s layout. And I can’t find information on them now. I think these are models of prototypes that came out in 1980s. Maybe from Roundhouse/ MDC.
    GoogleImages found me some pictures of 1980s-era green and orange TM boxcars from a site called Vistadome.
    Link to TM boxcar #3224 image http://www.vistadome.com/trains/rs/texmex_rr.jpg
    Link to Vistadome page http://www.vistadome.com/trains/rs/

    Texas Mexican also had 40-foot PS-1 boxcars, possibly from the late 1950s. They are NOT in the 1954 ORER, but I photographed TMMW #75 in Hebronville in 1988, a PS-1 built in 1957 and with the number 8015 faintly visible. Sorry, can’t find the photo now. The 1971 ORER lists 24 TM boxcars which seem to be PS-1s with 8 foot doors. (The ORER doesn’t identify the cars as PS-1s but their dimensions suggest they were.)
    MODEL: Atlas made N scale models of these cars in two car numbers.
    Photo on Atlas site:
    http://www.atlasrr.com/Images/NFreightCars/nps1/100605/34552.jpg

    I have one of these for my 1957 layout based on ATSF at Galveston. I may want to soak off the little white rectangles along the floor line of the car since I never saw these on any 1950s car.

    I found an interesting relic at the Industrial Metals scrap metal yard in 1986, and the nice people there kindly allowed me to take a photo or two. I couldn’t get back far enough to get the angle I wanted all in one shot, so I cobbled this image together.

    [​IMG]

    Believe it or don’t, this car, #8943 and a sister were still active per the 1971 ORER. Listed as single-sheath 40’6” IL, 10’IH. 12’6” double doors. There were five in the class in the 1954 ORER. This type of car construction dates from the middle 1920s, so it may have been in service 50 years.
    MODEL: start with the Concor single-sheathed boxcar
    [​IMG]

    Remove the wooden door and replace with 2 Youngstown steel doors. (available as parts from MTL).
    There are other 6-panel single-sheathed boxcars out there from Atlas, Rocco and Arnold, but the diagonal braces slant the wrong way for the TM prototype. And do not confuse the 6-panel single-sheath boxcars with the 8-panel USRA single-sheathed boxes from MTL and Atlas.

    How far back do you want to go on the Tex Mex in our WAY-BACK machine? Decades ago, Jess Patton gave me this print of a TexMex boxcar with a corrugated tin roof. Like the tin sheet used on barns and shed roofs. The “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” kind of corrugated tin.
    [​IMG]



    I was surprised to find this listed in the 1954 ORER. 36’1” IL 37’3” XL 12’10” XH door 6’1” x 7’3”. The trucks appear to be Andrews truck, still legal. They have an outline similar to arch-bar, but are cast rather than being bolted together. I don’t see any truss rods so the car must have a shallow steel underframe.
    MODEL: Roundhouse/ MDC 36-foot “Old Time” boxcar kit. I have such a kit which has been relegated to my “movie train” box, but this photo and info gives me an excuse to run this unusual car. Assemble the kit leaving off the truss rods, with kit’s arch-bar trucks replaced with Andrews trucks, corrugated tin roof added, board added over door track. The kit’s roofwalk snaps in place, so it looks like holes could easily be opened in thin corrugated roof to add the roofwalk.
    I will also need a photo or a lot of nerve to get critics to believe this car.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2013

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