New dual ear car on the LCN

By B. Smith

The new Arrowhead Models car is excellent.  I decided to create a dual era car to toggle between my 1990 and late 1960s/early 1970s eras.

Here is the 1967 version:


No ACI (The installers haven’t caught up to this car yet.), no COTS and lightly weathered.  It is roughly based off the photo of  DRGW #14638 which can be found on Fallen Flags site at —

Flip it over to the other side and here is the 1990s version–


Heavily weathered, two panel COTS, numbers freshened up.

It is roughly based off the photo of  DRGW #14608 which can be found on Railcar Photos site at —

I am happy I am able to use this great car in both eras of my layout.

LCN logo 7 with n tighter







Livestock traffic comes to Sanderson!

By B. Smith:
In the mid to late 1960’s the LCN was still moving some livestock by rail.  In the Spring the Lazy W Ranch would move sheep from their low ranch to the upper ranch for the summer, then back to the low ranch in the Autumn for the winter.  Since the LCN’s track ran by both ranches the sheep were moved by rail.  The LCN would also spot cars of cattle from west Texas for the Lazy W feedlot.
Sheep being loaded in the Spring for relocation to the high country as the Sanderson local gets the days train together.
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Not an easy task but they seem to be cooperating today.  Maybe they know green grass awaits.
Trying to get the sheep up a ramp and into a stock car didn’t work.  So the local sheepman got the LCN to spot a cattle car and he loaded them from his truck.  Worked much better!  Sheep normally are loaded into double deck stock cars but the absence of a loading ramp required just a single deck car.
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Two cars of sheep bound for the high country.
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Cattle bound for the feedlot.
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Another view of the MP stock car.
The stock car is an Athearn Blue Box that I’ve had since the early 60’s!  I never ran it as I never had any cattle loading/unloading operations on any of my previous layouts.  I added better couplers, air hoses, pin lifters and stirrups.  I also cut off the Athearn door hinges .  The cu ft stenciled on the side and it being built by UPRR are incorrect, but surprisingly, the car number is correct for the MP.
MP had almost 300 cars pretty much just like this Athearn car in October of 1969.  This car number was from 100 originally built for the International-Great Northern Railway, a Texas railroad that became part of the MP.  By 1976 MP no longer had any stock cars listed, so this scene is 60’s/early 70’s.
LCN logo 7 with n tighter

Arrowhead Models’ new hopper


Per Arrowhead Models’ website, there are 141 separate parts to this outstanding model.  It shows.  It truly is ready to roll.  Scale wheels and, since I want this car to represent a late-1960s to mid-1970s, ACI tags are the only things I could think to add.  If you were modeling a later era, a COTS would be in order.

It is a masterpiece.  I pretty much love everything about this car.


The model looks like a prototype that was magically shrunk to 1/87 scale!  There are really no angles where the model does not hold up to fine scrutiny.  The ends and gates level of detail is extraordinary.



I like how they are compact and look really great on the layout.  Having a long string would not take up a huge stretch of track.


Arrowhead Models really filled an important void with this offering.


There are only two very minor things I’d change.  One, I’d make the fine coal load just a bit easier to remove. Two, I’d suggest the interior could be just a hair more detailed.  However, those are quibbles and the fact the load is snug makes it look very realistic.  And, as you can tell if you click on the photos, there is actually a good level of detail on interior.  Note the rivets.

Congratulations to Arrowhead for such a fine initial offering!  If this suggests what is to come, Arrowhead is positioning itself to be a true leader in the industry.

I have more work to do if I am going to have a long string of these beauties…