Live loads

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kjd

Go make something!
#1
Has anyone tried or seen live loads in a club or modular show setting? How did it go? I wasn't thinking livestock as much as coal or gravel. I'm curious about your experiences.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#2
Has anyone tried or seen live loads in a club or modular show setting? How did it go? I wasn't thinking livestock as much as coal or gravel. I'm curious about your experiences.
Haven't seen it in the flesh (I often go to train shows naked) but there was a thread long ago of a fellow that built a working tower loader and Walthers rotary dumper. He used dyed crushed Walnut shells for his coal, because it flowed well. He had also modified #5 kadees so they rotated, 1 per hopper. That worked, so long as they were all at the same end of each car.
 

Rico

BN Modeller
#4
I was at a train show where a club train ran live coal, the train derailed and it took half an hour for them to clean up!
I run on a friends layout with live loads, coal, wood chips (sawdust) and pulpwood.
There have been some interesting derailments!
I have a rotary dumper and will be running woodchip cars but using something else for wood hips but not sure what.

Toot, where do you pin your ID tag at trainshows, or do you just hang it? ;)
 
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kjd

Go make something!
#5
I've seen the rotary dumper videos, I may have even made a couple myself. I was wondering about setting it up for a show though, wondering how it would go over.

Toot, if you don't get arrested, I bet you can check out the deals with ease, I know I wouldn't get too close. Model Railroaders are about the last group of people I'd want to see nekid.
 

cv_acr

Active Member
#6
We run "live" coal, rock, woodchip loads at the club layout. The rock loads are Woodland scenics ballast which is lightweight.

Other open flatcar/gondola loads like steel, lumber, pulpwood etc. are usually one-piece removable loads that set into place.
 

CambriaArea51

Well-Known Member
#7
I do live loads for freight cars anytime I can. The club I belong to one guy has the rotary dumper and I have the coal loader. I'll run 50-60 loaded cars with pushers.
I also look at anything I can make a load. My neighbor has a machine shop and got some milled aluminum chips for a gondola load.
Working for the water dept. old meters that get replaced as they wear or age, get taken apart for recycling. The small turbo's make great water generator turbine loads.
The old meter readers that get replaced with radio read have a nice copper coil that make for nice steel cable loads.
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kjd

Go make something!
#8
Thanks for the response, Tom. I recognize the Somerset dumper, I made my rotary couplers after reading Doug's description of them about 15 years ago. It looks like you are set up at a show. Have you had derailments to deal with? I have been running live coal loads on my own track for about 9 years and have never had a derailment spill coal. I've had cars come off the track but none that spilled their loads. Mishaps at the loadout on the other hand.... I actually buried a car once.

How is the loadout and dumper received at shows? They tend to be be slow processes and without understanding what it takes to make it happen might not always be appreciated in that context.

I have seen the dumper before but not your loadout. I like how you have the different elements. I think your truckers are being paid by the trip and not by the ton. I like the turbines too. The fan in some hair dryers looks similar. I've also used mill swarf to load scrap gondolas.
 

CambriaArea51

Well-Known Member
#9
Paul, Thanks I had a car pick a switch one time and rolled over. We have a small shop vac to cleanup any problems but haven't had any since we replaced the switch.
The dumper and the loader draws a crowd every show. I'm always looking at stuff to makeup loads. The hard part is finding the gondolas and flat cars to load. Not many make them and when they do they sell out fast.
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
#11
All it takes is ONE derail to change your mind. I watched a 40 hopper string all flip over on a club layout years ago. (Club gone now) Took them 10 minutes to shop-vac the coal off the layout. The layout was designed that all the area around the tipple and dumpers had all scenery sealed so they wouldn't vacuum up the scenery with the coal.
 

JazzDad

Gandy Dancer
#12
I run live O scale cattle. Run 'em up little chutes into the stock cars.

And being O scale, they only smell about 1/48 as bad a real cows.
 

CambriaArea51

Well-Known Member
#14
All it takes is ONE derail to change your mind. I watched a 40 hopper string all flip over on a club layout years ago. (Club gone now) Took them 10 minutes to shop-vac the coal off the layout. The layout was designed that all the area around the tipple and dumpers had all scenery sealed so they wouldn't vacuum up the scenery with the coal.
Nope, run those coal cars as much as possible. All the trucks are tuned with the same metal wheels.
 

bnsf971

AKA Gomez Addams
Staff member
#15
I swore off live loads many years ago when I lost an entire 140 car unit coal train and5 SD40-2s on my home layout. I won't bore y'all with the details, but I was cleaning up coal and train parts for two days.

I do occasionally wonder what a unit train of oil tankers would behave like, but I am not curious enough to try to find out.
 

kjd

Go make something!
#16
Terry, you can't drop that punchline and not tell the story. That makes the 40 car derailment mentioned earlier sound like it was done by amateurs and Tom's single car spill the work of a mere beginner.

Did you have handling facilities to load and unload the train as well?
 
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bnsf971

AKA Gomez Addams
Staff member
#18
Terry, you can't drop that punchline and not tell the story. That makes the 40 car derailment mentioned earlier sound like it was done by amateurs and Tom's single car spill the work of a mere beginner.

Did you have handling facilities to load and unload the train as well?
If you insist...
I had loading at the mine at the top of the layout, about 6 feet up. Unloading was at the bottom, about 35" off the (concrete/terrazo) floor. Around several curves on the way down, roughly 3% grade. One of the mid-train helpers shut down, stringlining the train around a curve, and the weight of the cars pulled the engines off the rails. Everything ended up on the floor. I think my cockatiel learned some new words that day...
 

kjd

Go make something!
#19
Terry, it sounds like a tragic wreck that would have made the national news or at least a wreck worthy of your AKA. I think scenery before trying an oil train. It must be quite the layout to handle 140 car trains.

Toot, I'm not sure what we're looking at. To me it looks like some sort of closed loop double filtered particulate collection system.
 





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