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Quick Look: Wheels of Time HO 62-foot bulkhead flatcar

Read this review from the May 2017 Model Railroader
RELATED TOPICS: HO SCALE | FREIGHT CARS | CARS - FREIGHT
Wheels of Time HO 62-foot bulkhead flatcar
Wheels of Time HO 62-foot bulkhead flatcar

Price: Bulkhead flat: $38.95; 3-pack, $116.85; 12-pack, $467.40. Plain deck (no bulkheads): $35.95; 3-pack, $107.85; 6-pack, $215.70.

Manufacturer
Wheels of Time
P.O. Box 846
Mountain View, CA 94042
www.wheelsotime.com

Era: 1966 to 1998 (as decorated)

Road names: With bulkheads: Southern Pacific, Golden West Service, St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt). Plain deck: CP Rail (6 numbers), Kansas City Southern (6 numbers), St. Louis Southwestern (also available painted brown but unlettered and data only). Twelve road numbers per scheme unless noted.

Comments: Long strings of bulkhead flatcars loaded with finished lumber were once a common sight snaking their way out of the Pacific Northwest and over the Rockies. Wheels of Time’s new HO scale body style reproduces those cars with considerable fidelity, excellent printing, and fine details.

Wheels Of Time’s model is molded plastic, with separately applied bulkheads, ladders, grab irons, uncoupling levers, and brake gear. A sheet steel weight is sandwiched between the underframe and the deck. The car weighs 4.1 ounces, which is 1.15 ounces light based on the National Model Railroad Association’s Recommended Practice 20.1. A load would be the easiest way to bring it up to recommended weight.

The parts are well tooled, with well defined molded detail, open stake pockets, and three rows of nail holes down the center of the deck. The wire grab irons and metal brake platform are well made, and the ladders are close to scale thickness.

Our sample’s Oxide Red paint was smooth and even, as was the brown paint on the deck and bulkhead planking. The white printing is crisp and opaque, and even the smallest type is legible under magnification.

All the dimensions I measured matched those on a drawing I found in the 1974 Car Builder’s Cyclopedia (Simmons-Boardman). The model is equipped with Kadee magnetic knuckle couplers, which were mounted at the correct height. The car’s blackened metal wheelsets were in gauge. It handled the 18" curves and no. 4 turnouts of our Beer Line layout well.

A unit train of these beauties hauling dressed lumber out of the Pacific Northwest would be impressive. A well-weathered model would be a great addition to a work train on a more modern layout, too.

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