Removable gondola load ideas?

BoxcabE50 Aug 24, 2022

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just curious as to what others have done here. I want to create several (coal) loads for some of my HOn30 gondolas. I want then easily removable, hopefully while still leaving those cars on the rails. But I want nothing obviously visible. How have you folks done this?

    My thought is to embed either a small magnetic object within the load, or a small magnet itself.

    What has worked best for you? :)
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  2. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I haven't tried it, but some folks use a magnetic setup. A small piece of ferrous metal in the load and a magnet to remove it. A base of styrene or balsa wood cut slightly smaller than the car interior would hold the load together.

    If you build a form for the load slightly smaller than the intended car, in theory the load will slip in and out easily. Having multiple footprints/types of cars makes this a bit more work, though.
     
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  3. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Hemi's idea works well, depending on your definition of "nothing obvious". In order to make it work reliably, you need to make the load fit fairly loose in the car, which usually leaves an obvious gap along the edge. Weathered interiors and protruding coal bits increase the drag. All my coal loads (except a few plastic "factory" loads) are done with foam and fit fairly snug in the car. By making them just slightly larger than the car, when inserted, they push out and fill any gap, and they also stay in place in case of a derailment which is important to me running a lot of NTRAK stuff. But to remove the loads, I need to insert a pin at one end and they will pop out. Not quite what you are wanting.
     
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  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oops. When I said "nothing obvious", I was thinking of any device added to aid load removal. As noted above, I am hoping that I can leave the car on the rails.
     
  5. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    I have some small magnets that are shaped like a small rod (1mm round X 2mm tall) that are pretty powerful. One magnet will pick up a 5/16X 3 inch bolt with no problem......they'd be pretty easy to hide in a load.
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  6. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I don't think he'd want the magnet in the load. Track and wheel cleaning is tough enough as it is.
     
  7. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry.....you lost me. Why would a magnet in the load affect track and wheel cleaning? I get that it's sort of backwards, but having a magnet in the load vs a washer/nut/chunk of metal would minimize the size. Not trying to argue, just curious about why?
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The reason I thought of embedding the magnet is just that it adds a little weight.
     
  9. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    The magnets I'm talking about are very small and very light. They wouldn't add much weight, but since they are magnetic they would boost the "pickup power" of whatever you were using to extract the load. You could easily use a larger magnet, but at that point, it would be cheaper to just put a couple of nuts in the bottom of the load. I have a bunch of "magic wands" that are designed to turn on the lights in passenger cars that would work to pull the loads as long as they aren't buried too deep in the load.
     

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