Coil Car PC 752614

What is a coil car?

If you live in a steel producing state like West Virginia, New
York, or Pennsylvania, or live in an automotive manufacturing state
like Michigan or South Carolina you will probably know the answer.

Coil cars are used to carry rolls of flat steel sheet from the
rolling mills to the manufacturing facilities that use them.
Special cars are needed because steel coils are awkward, heavy,
and must be kept out of the weather so they don't rust.

Precision Steel Car Company makes a model of this car in 1.5" scale.

Generally speaking, the kit instructions (shown above) are quite
good. But I suggest following them to the letter to avoid problems.
In my case, I decided to build the car first and the hoods last.
December 29, 2006

Start by welding the sides, ends, and deck together.
You need a really straight table. My table saw is the
only thing I have that meets the requirement.

Next the belly pans are inserted in the car, but not welded in place
because they will need to be shuttled from end to end during assembly.

The pans are 3 sides of an octagon that will completely contain the
coils of steel. The hoods will be the other 5 sides of the octagon.

Building the spine frame is actually an earlier step, and in fact,
I did build it first. It is shown here because it gets installed next.

A bottom plate is added to the frame and the frame is
inserted in the car and welded in place.

Four additional framing members are added, and two
bottom strips are added to turn the sides into "I" beams.
March 21, 2007 (First Spring Day?)

The kit is furnished with stirrup steps, grab irons and this brake
wheel. Also included is the perforated walkway encircling the car.

Welded to the deck are the "hood guides" which keep the hoods in
place in transit and help the crane position them in the works.
I have researched this car and found the location of the detail
parts to be very accurate.

These are the assembled hoods. The gadget in the center is the
crane pick. The other four objects allow the hoods to be stacked.

And here they are primed and stacked.
But what about paint and lettering? Here's the plan...


Penn Central was not very well liked. Let's just say it was
the single most hated railroad ever. Why? Because you take
two class I roads that were very well loved by thousands of
railfans - the mighty Pennsylvania, and the "Standard" New
York Central, merge them and then turn them into one bankrupt
railroad with numerous derailments and accidents, only to be
bailed out by congress in the form of "Consolidated Rail".

As a result, there just weren't alot of photos taken during
the Penn Central era. For one thing, it was short lived. For
another, railfans hated it. But some photos were taken and
some pieces of PC equiipment were still rolling around many
years after the demise. So it's a little piece of history.

So - What's the CNW hood for?

Hoods are always getting swapped around in
the works. One railfan gave some statistics.

"There's a 50% chance that a given coil car will have both hoods
matching the car, A 30% chance that one hood will be from the wrong
road, and a 20% chance that both hoods will be from a wrong road."

Did anyone notice the top photo of MP 99071 with the MKT hood?

My plan is to paint and letter the car as Penn Central #752614,
paint and decal one hood Penn Central and the other Chicago and
North Western. Similar but different shades of green. That way
I don't need to worry about hoods getting swapped in the works.

So far I know of two other car owners - one CSX and one CNW.


Here is the coil loading flatcar, painted and lettered.
It took two trys to get the color to look right.


This is the "B" end. (as in "Brakewheel") The walkways look nice
but I really have to be careful with them as they bend easily.


Now here's a photo with the hoods on - on the high grade. I remember always
looking up at trains when I was much younger. In this scale and gauge one
has to get on the ground to look up at the trains.