What N Scale Model Factory Is Suitable for Serving Coil Cars?

Kisatchie Oct 31, 2022

  1. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    I'm looking at buying some N scale coil cars. I was wondering which kind of factory kit I could buy that would be suitable for serving the cars?

    I'd like to get a Walthers Cornerstone kit if possible.

    Thanks for any help.

    Hmm... Kiz, you need
    more help than anyone
    here can give you...
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. zophia

    zophia TrainBoard Member

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    Any plant that uses sheet metal, cars, washers, dryers, computers, snow shovels, grills....
     
  3. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    This would have to be a somewhat sizeable industry as special equipment to handle and process the coils would be necessary. Coils can come in different weights but usually they are in the 10-15 ton range. At least the ones we shipped from J&L Steel were. These were usually shipped via truck although we did do some rail car loading. Back in the day we used gondolas. The coil cars came later.
     
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  4. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    The Cornerstone Atlas Crane & Shovel would be useful, Allied Rail Rebuilders and the Northern Light and Power would both be good. My Dad was a Machinist and I grew up in the Job Shop he worked at. They had a inside rail dock for loading and unloading of flat cars to protect the steel from the Chicago weather.
     
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  5. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    I have the Allied Rail Builders kit already, so I'll try that first. Looks like I'll have to assemble my kit this weekend to see how it looks assembled.

    Now, to find the right coil cars. I found one type online that looks good, so maybe I'll order a couple.
     
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  6. MetraMan01

    MetraMan01 TrainBoard Member

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    I bought a couple each of the 3 new kits Walthers put out recently. Modern steel warehouse and modern trans load have arrived, waiting on the pole barn kits. Got them for “some day in the future” and the ones that arrived look like they have good kitbash potential too.

    I think the modern trans load might be good for this if you’re looking for something modern-ish. I was thinking the same, maybe kitbash two end to end. I’d Defer to someone who works in the industry to see if it’s tall enough. Looks like excess height boxes would roll in easily but not sure if it’s tall enough for a crane to lift covers or the coils.


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  7. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    Hmm... if Kiz assembles
    it, you won't want to see
    it.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Vulcan Manufacturing would be a good one.
     
  9. spyder62

    spyder62 TrainBoard Member

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    Any building could use them for a rolling mill for metal siding. They use lots of coils, and the building only needs to be like 50 by 100 feet and use a few sheds for coil storage and outside racks or an open shed for the siding storage.
     
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  10. MetraMan01

    MetraMan01 TrainBoard Member

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    This is great info-the Walthers Modern Transload kit would be ~140’x ~84’ in real life. And using open racks with some corrugated evergreen styrene or something would be a neat detail. Thanks [mention]spyder62 [/mention] !


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  11. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    Isn't the modern transload kit one story high? How could they unload the coils (weighing 5 to 15 tons each) without a crane? I'm not familiar with any one-story high cranes. Please educate me if I appear ignorant.
     
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  12. MetraMan01

    MetraMan01 TrainBoard Member

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    It is-that’s why I said I’d defer to someone who works in the industry if they are around in my earlier post. The kit Looks like it would take an excess height boxcar. I spent the first half of my Army career on tanks, which are a lot lower to the ground, so I’ve seen overhead lifts pull tank engines (okay, only 1.25 tons) at about a story and a half about a million times and figured maybe a gondola would be low enough that height wouldn’t be an issue if I was dealing with the smaller coils. So I got excited when Spyder said the footprint would be okay and didn’t mention the height so I assumed the ~33.33 ft or so might be okay. If it’s too low, then maybe some kitbashing to make it taller is required.

    But like I said before-happy to defer to anyone with experience in the industry.


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  13. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    When I worked in a stripmill we took steel slabs about 6-8 inches thick then heated them to a couple of thousand degrees then fed them through a series of reducing mills where they would be continually reduced to the desired thickness then cooled under sprays of water and then fed into a coiling machine. It was a continuous process. The coils would then go to the annealing ovens. After that they would be either shipped to a customer or sent to the production floor where the coils would be cut into sheets of desired size. We had giant battery powered Towmotors that resembled a forklift on steroids with a single large (10-12inch diameter) prong on the front. These could pick up the coil and load it onto the shear where the coil would be cut into sheets. However, usually this was done with an overhead crane. Removing the sheets was also done by crane although a large forklift could also have done it. We used the cranes because there was insufficient room for the forklifts to maneuver. We shipped a lot of product to the automobile and appliance industries. That is when cars were made of steel and car bumpers were made of high carbon armor plate. One would need to utilize a very high degree of selective compression to represent the coils in/sheets out operation. It was, by necessity, a high volume operation with a significant workforce producing hundreds of tons of final product per day. Definitely not a mom and pop operation. A better choice might be a steel or aluminum fabrication operation making custom truck bodies such as used on utility tucks or dump trucks or possibly trailers. These tend to be smaller operations but I doubt if they would receive coils.
     
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  14. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    WALTHERS 933-3250 Rolling Mill.
    upload_2022-11-2_9-48-15.png
    Good luck finding one... it is discontinued and not too likely to be re-issued. Originally priced at $54.99... figure it to be much higher if run again. BTW... it is huge building that would overwhelm most N scale layouts.
    Just my .02 cents worth.
     
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  15. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Early this Spring while watching the Great Lakes Marine shipping channel I was able the watch loading of steel coils into a ship. The coils were moved from the steel mill down to the docks by tractor trailer, each trailer load was 2 or 3 coils due to weight. The coils were removed from the trailers by very big fork lifts that had a rig like a pole that slid into the center of the coil, and then moved to the dock where the ships cranes lifted them into the holds. The ships cranes were fitted with an L shaped hook that fitted in the center of each coil for lifting.

    So for a similar operation you would need a crane fitted with the special hook to lift the coils out of the car. And a big forklift modified to move the coils into the facility. This is a Tomix forklift used to lift 14 to 20 foot containers off of a flatcar. Ideal size and just needs to be fitted with a steel pole rather than the forks.


    A large tracked backhoe could be modified to unload the coil cars.
     
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  16. southernman

    southernman TrainBoard Member

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    6160785F-1953-4376-B229-AB3FE437F844.png How about this? You can see that it’s actually being switched in this image. This is a stamping operation for AO Smith water heaters.
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    Hmm... that's more like
    $20.00 worth...!
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    A factory that is manufacturing items from sheet steel could also generate a great deal of scrap. So an industry like this could be supporting 3 different car types - coil cars in, box cars and gondolas out.
     
  19. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would think any nondescript building would work. Who knows what happens inside a private business...JMO :whistle:
     
  20. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    IINM, Allied Rail Rebuilders was a diesel engine rebuilder, not a railcar rebuilder. Doesn't it come with a prime mover (diesel engine model)?

    Diesel engine rebuilding does not use much sheet metal at all, and certainly not enough quantity to justify purchasing sheet metal coils delivered on coil cars.

    Coils would only be used in high volume manufacturing using lots of sheet metal. Large manufacturers of major kitchen appliances, cars, trucks, trailers, farm and off-road equipment, siding, gutters, lite duty pipe, etc. would need such quantities of sheet metal. Unfortunately, much of that is gone from US now, in search of cost-effective labor and more reasonable environmental regulations.

    I worked a summer in 1981 in the Whirlpool plant in Ft Smith AR, making Kenmore refrigerators on 3rd shift, to fill a big contract for Sears. It paid my share of my college expenses my first year in college (and then some,) and motivated me to study better, so I wouldn't have to do that for a living. Hat's off to those who do/did.

    Come to think of it, my next summer job in college was similarly motivating (at a chemical plant in Houston). I actually took a cut in pay as an engineering intern the last two summers in college, but it was more than worth it!
     
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