impack spine cars...

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wongsing

Member
Hey everyone...I found some TTX spine cars for the intermodal unit train I've been building up, and had some questions...
1.Just how many types of spine (piggyback) cars are there?

2.Is there a direct color match for Athearn's TTX impack cars? What is the closest match before I start to make a custom color match?

3.I see that Plano makes end platforms for these cars...After I add these, just how accurate is the rest of the model?

4.Does anyone have any pictures of weathered model spine cars?

Any info on these types of cars would be helpful! Thanks guys!

-Rich
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
Hi Rich,

I had a whole box full of the Athearn impack car kits, but I sold most of them on eBay and just kept the undecorated kits (to eventually paint in TTX colors). Floquil makes a "TTX Yellow" but I'm not sure how close it is to the Athearn color. I've also heard of others using "CP Yellow" for Trailer Train cars, but again I don't have anything to do a side-by-side comparison.

Besides the Athearn impack cars, the only other spine cars on the market are 5-car 263' sets made by Walthers, 5-car 53' All-Purpose brass kits made by Alan Curtis, and 5-car container-only sets also by AC. All are out of production. The AC kits are pretty rare to see on eBay (and expensive when they do show up, $100+), the Walthers cars show up quite often in the $30 - $70 range depending on the road name (TTX being the most expensive).
 

ThoroughBreed

Dcc~detail~diesel freak
How hard would it be to kitbash the athearn cars to make them into container-only cars? I have seen those more often now, instead trailers on the cars. Do you think they are converting those older spine cars to container only cars?
Sorry, didn't mean to hi-jack your thread, but felt it was along the same thoughts.
 

CP9302

Member
How hard would it be to kitbash the athearn cars to make them into container-only cars? I have seen those more often now, instead trailers on the cars. Do you think they are converting those older spine cars to container only cars?
Sorry, didn't mean to hi-jack your thread, but felt it was along the same thoughts.
I think details west made a kit to do that. I can't seem to find it now, so it may be out of production. You could always cast the container support from the walthers kit and add it to the athearn one.

Details west also makes a nice details kit for spine cars.

Most spine cars are now dual purpose. Very few are container only. TTX has some container only ones (the Alan Curtis model) and CP has some (similar to the AC model) Well cars are a more efficient way to move containers because they can be stacked, so very few container only spine cars exist.
 

wongsing

Member
How hard would it be to kitbash the athearn cars to make them into container-only cars? I have seen those more often now, instead trailers on the cars. Do you think they are converting those older spine cars to container only cars?
Sorry, didn't mean to hi-jack your thread, but felt it was along the same thoughts.
hey man, thanks for the apology, but no issues! ;) I really was beginning to wonder the same thing! Anyone having any info about spine cars and/or pics of models (especially those that have been weathered) I really want them! Thanks guys!

-Rich
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Personally I'd skip the Athearn models, and spend the extra cash to buy the Walthers ones. Even if you buy other railroads & re-paint into TTX, they're much better, and they're already AP spines.
 

wongsing

Member
Yeah Josh, but I heard that Walthers produced the version (just learned that there was different eras) that is more modern than the era that I am modelling. Although the Athearn kit that I bought is a bluebox model, they are VERY nice IMHO! The printing is very clear and there are many different roads to choose from. The Walthers kit is not only harder to find, but they are more expensive. Of course this is just my honest opinion. I have never seen the Walthers kit in real life...just in the box. On the other hand, doesn't the Walthers kit come as a 5 unit set in the same box? I'm still looking for the ends for a TTX set....:( Still looking for any weathered models...Or at least some prototypical detail shots of the tops...I need to see how to weather them....TOFC cars too...Anyone....Anyone....Bueller...Bueller....LOL!

-Rich
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Some spine cars have posts on them so they can carry trailers or containers. On the CSX, I don't see that many containers on spine cars. Not that many on flat cars either.

How long are the Athearn Impack cars? Does a 40' container fit on them? I can't remember if I've seen a spine car up close in real life, but I'm thinking the main thing is to put the posts with the locking pin at all four corners. And, if that means a crosspiece on one end of the car, so be it.

Kennedy
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
How early of an era are you modeling? 48' spines came into existence in the 80's if I remember correct. You might be able to get away with just sticking containers on flat cars.
 

wongsing

Member
well, actually, due to facts I'm hearing from another board that I am a part of, I am now going to start modelling just from about 1980-89. I remember seeing all of these fallen flags that I speak of from then. As far as 48' spins go, I just put some 45' trailers on my new Athearn spines and they look great! The pup trailers fit too! On the other hand, I don't know if a 48' trailer will fit or not. I'll have to test fit one. If it does it will be VERY close. What I really need is just a good run down on the history of intermodal, especially TOFC spines, fuel foilers, and container flats....Thanks for the help so far though guys!

-Rich
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
A 48 should fit, they fit on the impacks I had when I was younger, though they were tight.
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
You may want to look at this: http://www.robl.w1.com/im-bk/index.htm

Also, I think Dave Casdorph published an Intermodal car guide on a CD at one time. I know I have a copy at home somewhere.

There's some other intermodal books out there; a new one on piggybacks and containers that I just ordered, but I don't know if it has cars in it or not.

Have you joined the Model Intermodal list?

Kennedy
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
OOOOH I want that book! I've got the two Model Railroading published ones, and a one from Kalmach so far. Amazon has a new book on Intermodal too, but its about $50!
 

Grande Guy

grande guy
List,

The Athearn Impack cars are a good prototype for the first Spine cars designed by the AT&SF. I believe that Impack bought the design from the Santa Fe and sold cars to BN,SSW, SP and others. I have some undecs stashed so I can do a set of 10pack FuelFoilers for the Santa Fe. They are a good fit for a 1980s era session.

Regards, Dave
 

wongsing

Member
Does anyone have any good pics of the platforms on spine cars? I'd like to see how they weather so I can make mine look alittle less like toys! LOL! Also, any pics good pics of early TTX cars...Preferably the "red" colored ones...I'd really appreciate that! Thanks!

-Rich
 

CP9302

Member
Does anyone have any good pics of the platforms on spine cars? I'd like to see how they weather so I can make mine look alittle less like toys! LOL! Also, any pics good pics of early TTX cars...Preferably the "red" colored ones...I'd really appreciate that! Thanks!

-Rich
Sorry I don't have any pics of the Red cars, but I hope these help. From my trip to Marion Ohio on Saturday (11-03-07)
 

Grande Guy

grande guy
Hello,

The spine cars were not done in a Trailer Train brown as far as I have seen in my research:confused: . If you want a brown spine SP or SSW are your best bet.
 

wongsing

Member
oops! What I meant to say (just reviewed this post) was the 89' early flat cars in TTX brown. I have several that need to be weathered and I am not sure how they look on the decks. Any pics would be helpful! Oh, BTW: Thanks for the helpful pics of the spines CP9302...Great shots that were certainly what I was looking for! Also Grande Guy...Thanks for mentioning the mistake! No wonder nobody has added any pics! LOL!

-Rich
 

dougcnup

Member
53' spines

head ups here guys

While at Trainfest last saturday, I noticed at the Athearn booth on a table they had a 5 car set it appeared to be 53' Spine car set. Hitches at each endof each car. Were black with no road name on them... but they did look awesome. Wish now I took a pic, didn't think of it at time

Also Tower 55 had shells to there SD70ACE's, Fed Exed to them on friday unpainted of course... They look great

doug
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
head ups here guys

While at Trainfest last saturday, I noticed at the Athearn booth on a table they had a 5 car set it appeared to be 53' Spine car set. Hitches at each endof each car. Were black with no road name on them... but they did look awesome. Wish now I took a pic, didn't think of it at time

Also Tower 55 had shells to there SD70ACE's, Fed Exed to them on friday unpainted of course... They look great

doug
You didn't happen to get any pictures did you?

I've been searching all over for the ACe & M-2 shots. I've found thumbnails on train orders, but I'm not paying to see a picture.

I hope Athearn DOES release a spine. Those Maxi-I cars are SWEET, so I'd guess the spines will be too!
 




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