85' Trash Flat Car
Item: 20 001 517
Roadname & number: Florida East Coast 37111
IntroductionAn increased use of shipping containers during the 1970s led to new designs of railway cars for carrying them. The standard cars used at the time were full plate-deck 85’ and 89’ flat cars with 70-ton trucks. However, each 20-foot international shipping container of the era could gross some 25 tons – thus a flat car carrying four at maximum gross would be 100 tons. In an effort to address this weight issue, new flat cars with open decks and 100 ton trucks were placed in service and eventually used for a new railroad commodity – trash containers.
Atlas’ new 85’ model follows the open-deck flat design commonly seen in trash trains around the United States. The model also follows the prototypes used in international container service.
Atlas packs this model in their black Trainman box. It is securely held in a clamshell-opening form-fitted plastic cradle, the model protected from scuffing by a soft plastic sheet. Included is a packet of 16 optional styrene lugs for the flat car. A single page sheet is included describing the model and using the plastic lugs. According to Atlas it features:
- Open deck design
- Container pedestals
- True scale dimensions with accurate details
- Weighted, detailed underframes
- 100-ton trucks equipped with free-rolling wheels
- Accurate painting and printing
My first thoughts upon removing the model from its cradle were 'this model is heavy' and 'this model looks sharp.' It is a single-piece body crisply cast in metal.
Topside is the brake post. Underneath is a air brake system including piping connecting the components, although no train line is included. Individual grabs are attached to the corners. It is also equipped with Accumate knuckle couplers.
Sixteen plastic container pedestals are provided. You have to remove them them from their sprue. Note that each has a peg on one side - this side faces outward. However, while there are sixteen holes for the lugs cast into the body, they are too small to accept the pedestal mounting pegs. I suggest reaming them out a tad.
The nicely detailed trucks have metal wheels. Although chemically blackened they still have a sheen.
The model is 85 HO-feet from end sill to sill. It is sufficiently heavy that the free-rolling metal wheels should stay on the track over turnouts and around corners.
Paint and markings
Very impressive! I will allow the close-up photographs allow the printing to speak for itself.
This model comes in eight roadnames, with three car numbers per roadname:
CIT Group (Yellow/Black)
Canadian National (Black/White)
Canadian Pacific (Red/White)
Florida East Coast (Yellow/Blue)
Allied Waste (Black/White)
ECDC Environmental (Black/White)
East Carbon-DSEX (Orange/White)
USA Waste (Black/White)
This 85' trash flat car looks like an impressive model. My only real squawk is that the holes the pedestals mount into seem fouled by the otherwise very good paint.
Modern-era modelers should have a few of these in their roster. I happily recommend it.
Please remember to tell Atlas and retailers that you saw this review here - on RailRoadModeling.