MT autorack height

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by randgust, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    What started this was the crash of the loaded MT autorack car into my signal bridge, started looking up real clearance plates (see 'clearance diagram' thread).

    Man, no wonder everybody goes crazy over this stuff, real and N scale.

    First of all, the 'standard' 89'6" TTX flatcar has a real DECK HEIGHT of 3' 3". We knew they were high, they are. MT's scales out to about 4'. So there's 9". We knew that, and there's at least partial solutions out there.

    But what blew my mind was my 1975 Official Railway Equipment Register that shows the 89360-class of autoracks (trilevel, as shown in "ATSF Color Guide to Freight & Passenger Equipment" book on page 64) as having a TOP DECK HEIGHT of 13' 11". Whoa... Yeah, I know the MT probably isn't that exact car, just lettered and numbered for it. But 13' 11"?

    The MT car top deck scales in at 15' 6". No kidding. So even if you deduct the deck height 9", it is way high, at least to ATSF dimensions.

    Now my veteran 1969-ish Trix and Atlas autoracks - top deck height actually scales out to 14'. With cars on the top decks it clears 18' 6". The MT car loaded on the top deck with somewhat undersized Bachmann cars hits 19' 9" - BANG - 1' 3" higher. Surprise!

    I'm replacing the old signal bridges anyway, but I've got deep hidden track wth vertical clearances about the same - no more than 19'. Those old autoracks I have are the highest cars I had, until this issue came along.

    I'm planning on side-shields on the racks anyway (1972, remember) with only the top level of cars visible, so I assume its possible to cut out the bottom floor and recess it into the frame, and then cut loose the top deck and drop it as well to hit the 14' deck height target. The MT cars are made in such a way that 'could' actually be done. But wow, what a project.

    So that car, fully loaded with good intentions if not cars, goes literally in to the 'punt' pile of stalled projects. And its got a lot of competition to ever get out of that pile!

    So if you've ever looked at those cars and gone, wow...they look high....yeah.


    What really blew my mind was how dead-on the vertical dimensions were of the OLDER car.

    I'm sure that someone will produce a diagram showing the MT car, at least above the deck, is right-on. Which is why I was trying to find out just exactly how high WAS Plate J (which appears to be the 70's TTX autorack standard), and I'm still digging for it.

    Meanwhile, I've got this effect:

    That would make a cool model...
  2. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter


    Let us know what happens with this, especially if you conclude that part of the resolution
    is to lower the MT Autoracks.

    Like many MT cars, lowering the ride height may involve some Dremel-ing....

    (case in point:

    Lowering an N scale Micro-Trains Hi-Cube Boxcar

    Let us know what you find out or decide to do. :)
  3. Jeff B

    Jeff B TrainBoard Member

    I lowered some of the MT enclosed auto racks. The problem I ran into was I body mounted the couplers ,MT 2004 and the coupler height was too low. Another possibility is the using the new truck from BLMA.

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