Tuesday, September 22, 2015

More Richard Hendrickson open-car loads

In the period since Richard Hendrickson passed away last summer, I have posted a few descriptions of some of his interesting open-car loads. One of these posts was about the several multi-car loads he had built (you can see it at this link: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2015/03/richard-hendricksons-multi-car-loads.html ). Another post showed four different lumber loads he had built (and one load of creosoted poles); that one can be found at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2015/06/richard-hendricksons-lumber-loads.html . All those loads, and the ones in this post also, were ones Richard carefully built after study of the AAR loading diagrams for each type of load.
     In the present post, I want to show a few more of his loads in open-top cars. I will begin with a recent example, one I know he completed just two years ago, which is a Proto2000 Illinois Terminal flat car (no. 1133) with a load of Army trucks, perhaps surplus ones, as they carry no lettering or emblems.

Like the other photos in this post, this image is among the photographs I took of nearly every freight car in Richard’s fleet, though quite a few, more than 75 cars, have now gone to a variety of new owners.
     A relatively simple load, but an effective and realistic one, is pipe, whatever the diameter. Richard completed three gondolas with essentially identical pipe loads. to model something often seen in prototype photos: a cut of cars all going the same place with the same loads. Here is one of them.

     Another classic load, though not often modeled well, is auto frames, from the days before “unibody” car construction. Based on a prototype photo, here is a correctly loaded car of frames, with racks modeled from the prototype photo, shown in Pere Marquette no. 10209.

     A Tichy flat car was modified for this next load, a pressure vessel of some kind, marked for its builder, on Texas & Pacific flat car 5048. It is tied down with cables to the stake pockets. In a number of his models, Richard “kit mingled” as well as changed and replaced kit parts, so I can’t always tell the entire origin, but I do recognize a few cars which he built pretty much straight from kits.

     One of my all-time favorites among his freight cars is this load of crates, all correctly tied down to the car, all marked with red “up” arrows and stenciled with destination labels for each crate, on NYC 499372. The tie-downs are chart tape, representing steel banding, run through the stake pockets and doubled back to be fastened above the pocket.

     The purpose in showing these is not only to illustrate some of Richard’s accomplishments, but also to provide, possibly, some inspiration to other modelers as to the scope of loads that can be built, and ways to tie them down to the car.
Tony Thompson


  1. As a WWII vehicle collector I can offer some info on vehicle loads: WWII vehicle technical manuals like TM 9-803 (jeep driver's maintenance manual) have a short chapter on rail transport, giving instructions on how to load and secure the vehicle, as well as the designs and dimensions for the wheel blocks. If you're looking to accurately portray wartime loads, those manuals are the go-to.

  2. Thanks, Paul, useful to know. I saw Richard Hendrickson's collection of Loading Manuals, including vehicles, so I am sure he arranged the blocking and tie-downs in accord with that info. He modeled 1947, so that is partly why I guessed the Army truck loads were intended to represent surplus sales, rather than active military vehicles.
    Tony Thompson