Moving cars …(without a locomotive) — Part III

In Part I and Part II of this series, we looked at prototype methods of moving cars without locomotives.

In this post, we are going check out some HO scale car pulling operations on B. Smith’s LCN RR.

The scoria operation has a car puller winch pictured below.

See small orange "light house-shaped" object with cabling.

See small orange “light house-shaped” object with cabling.

The cables are attached to the car, and the winch is employed to shuttle to car to the correct loading position.

The cables are attached to the car, and the winch is employed to shuttle to car to the correct loading position.

Let’s head down the track to a different system.

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Max-Flo Frac Sand company. (The car puller just right of the red shack was made with parts from the scrap box. including a reel from an old ship model.)

Max-Flow Frac Sand has a car puller cable and reel system to position covered hopper outlet gates over the auger hole.  A tractor is still used to move the cars across the road crossing.  The car puller was made with parts from the scrap box.  I found a reel from an old ship model.

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Another view at Max-Flo.

All right, let’s go check some “simpler” operations.

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The tractor at Hirschfeld shoves a load out of the fabrication building so another car can be spotted for loading.

Hirschfeld Steel uses a modified John Deere tractor whose wheels are wide enough to fit outside of the rails.

John Deere moving cars at Hirshfield Steel.

John Deere moving cars at Hirshfield Steel.

A steel plate has been welded to the front of the tractor to protect the radiator

A steel plate has been welded to the front of the tractor to protect the radiator

The Burnt Biscuit Bakery uses an old Chevy pickup whose bed has been removed and a railroad coupler attached to move tank cars of corn syrup and airslides of flour.

The bakery has an old truck fitted with a coupler to move cars around.  

The bakery has an old truck fitted with a coupler to move cars around.

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Close-up of interesting approach to moving cars.

Indeed, there are many ways to move cars around without a locomotive.  For a one car scenarios even man-powered solutions may work.  Thinking about how the customers on your layout function in the real word with the challenges offered by grates, spouts, etc., makes for richer, more realistic operations.

 

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NP Boxcars, one of my favorite schemes…

Towards the end, the Northern Pacific had some beautiful boxcars.  Surprisingly, there has not been many of their cars available from the high-quality manufacturers.  My favorite scheme that I wish to highlight, is their pine tree green scheme.

NP #1953 in Poughkeepsie, New York May 29, 1978,  Photo by  William Rogerson, courtesy www.rrpicturesarchive.net

NP #1953 in Poughkeepsie, New York May 29, 1978, Photo by William Rogerson, courtesy http://www.rrpicturesarchive.net

NP #2901 in Vidalia,  Georgia on April 29, 1993.  ©photo  F. Will Martin, courtesy http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/

NP #2901 in Vidalia, Georgia on April 29, 1993. ©photo F. Will Martin, courtesy http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/

It is really one of the classic boxcar schemes from the 1960s.  Many of these cars survived well into the BN era.

NP #5304 in Cajon California on March 25 1978 ©photo by Ron Hawkins

NP #5304 in Cajon California on March 25 1978 ©photo by Ron Hawkins, courtesy http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/

NP #2901 in Pocatello, Idaho.  Photo by Dave Krumenacker, courtesy http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/

Once again, NP #2901 in Pocatello, Idaho. Photo by Dave Krumenacker, courtesy http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/

I hope a company like Exactrail or Tangent takes notice of this glaring void.

The power of buildings and organic commerce…

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More on Delaware in coming posts.  

See that light gray building to the left?  I was recently in Alexandria, VA.  I knew this area on the Potomac waterfront was slated for substantial “tourist and quality of life” changes.  I figured that building’s days were numbered so I had to check it out.

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Alexandria Marine Service and Sales has been in business for 64 years. The locally-owned store sells new and used boat engine parts and also fixes outboard engines. The shop is located right on the Old Town waterfront. The Potomac river flows right behind the building.   A beautiful and rustic setting.

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Check out the width of those walls.  I hope they continue to use this building with the waterfront development.  It would be tragic to see this solid structure come down.

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I wish we could learn to re-develop neat areas like this without losing places like this.  It is so organic.

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Service yard where motors are (or perhaps sadly were) brought in.  It will likely be a great project that Alexandria has planned with cool restaurants and a boutique hotel, but can’t we leave a little room for authentic businesses that have nothing to do with tourism?

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I know, I know, the real estate is too valuable.  OK.  Just saying.  However, a business like this gives the area a sense of authenticity that is missing with many re-developments.

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Enjoy this “organic” business structure while you can and try to capture them when you see a little jewel like this.  Sadly, I think a warehouse a couple of blocks away that still receives boxcars off the CSX is also slated to be “re-developed.”

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The three green dots show boxcars in 2014 in downtown Alexandria just a couple of blocks from Alexandria Marine.

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Street view.  Green dot shows box car spotted at Robinson Terminal #1.  Again, the waterfront redevelopment will likely be a very popular project with many benefits.  I just wish we could save a little of the organic quality of our living spaces.  Buildings that help people make a living unrelated to tourism can be special in their own way.  We need to get development professionals to be more sensitive to this.

 

 

A seventies slug in Carlsbad…(Photo of the week)

Here is a picture of an F7B in Carlsbad, New Mexico in 1978.

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F7B slug in Carlsbad, 1978 ©B Smith photo

On a “slug” unit, the prime movers have been removed and replaced with heavy weight, such as blocks of cement.   Just the traction motors remain and they get power from another locomotive.  They increase the tractive capacity of the accompanying locomotive.

These slugs would have passed thorough Roswell prior to the 1990s.  F units slugs were no longer used by the 1990s.