All Flat Cars
Shake, Rattle and Roll!

Restoring An Old Railroad Flat Car
And Phase #3 of Our Track Layout

This is the old flat car that Melvin Harris lent me along with his little gas speeder to put in my track ballast under the rails in our phase #1 of our 15" gauge railroad about 8-9 years ago. I recently purchased it from him and we added new bearings and new wood Dave Moeller and I scrounged from Melvin's wood pile that he cut on his 1890's era steam saw mill. Dave Moeller and I just finished getting this car back together today 6/17/06 ... here are some photos. There are more photos of us using this in our phase #1 section off our main train page.

Also below you will see the simple utilitarian set of trucks Melvin Built for this work car. They work perfectly with all loads.

A couple of weeks ago I repainted the flat car with our B.A.D. railroad logo and new numbers. The old AMP of Melvins stood for Almost Perfect R.R.

Below see our Miller welder generator mounted on our flat car. Now we simply run this to the end of our line where we are building and weld or lift the welder off to haul track, steel and wood ties, tools, etc.
6/28/06 .... Last evening I welded this entire 30' section into place. These photos below also show how we clamp the steel ties into place and use our many gauge bars to keep everything perfect. Again, green (15 1/8") for straight areas and red (15 3/8") for the curves. The come-along on the tree was Dave's idea ... usually I use the tractor to move and hold the track in place. The arc we are showing here is a 56 to 70' radius that will continue smoothly over to our next straight back leading into our phase #2 loop at the entrance to our tunnel/train barn.

If we count the total trackage of all the 3 separate loops we can take plus the new Y we will build next we will have over one mile of track on the upper level at our place. On the lower level we have room to expand into another mile or two of additional track if I live long enough to lay it all. Just dropping down the 15' to 20' elevation change necessary to get there will take a lot of track! Dave Moeller and I both enjoy using the train as more of an actual working railroad to build, etc. than just running the train for the running's sake.
We now actually use this railroad for weed control and to move everything like tables, chairs, umbrellas, whole roasted pigs, cases of drinks, tents, people and what ever from the main house out 15 acres away. When we continue building more of our Western town next summer we will move lumber to the different building areas. This has really become a lot of fun ... throwing switches to load and unload, add and drop cars, etc.

Above you can also see how I painted all the tools ... got tired of trying to find them hidden in the brown dried grass where I happened to drop them previously. We are still missing a pry bar that is laying out there somewhere that went missing 2 summers ago (; ? )

5/1/07 - Update .... Last weekend I bought some 2x4 rectangular steel tubing that a 2x4 piece of Doug Fir fits perfectly into and welded 4 sections to each end .. 2 on the sides and 2 on the rear ... and designed and built these removable passenger seats and I bolted this little fire engine pedal car onto the flat car. In a few minutes I can turn it back into our work car by lifting the seats off and out of the stake bed type pockets. Photos below

Now back to the old Phase #3 of our track laying project

I did all the grading with our tractor "Big Blue"

We have about 4 more rails to complete this curve and into our straight. This will connect into the train barn you can see way down the line. The other end of the loop going into the tunnel/train barn already we will move over 8' and run it parallel to the existing barn and add another outside wall. We will build another switch for it to connect back into the main loop again on the far side of the barn/tunnels.

7/15/06 Today we have finished the full curve and added our first 30' straight section ... it will move fast now! I figure I can build an entire straight in 45 minutes over in the shade and then move it over via our flat car ... we moved our afore mentioned straight that way .... works great!!

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