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Model Railroading > NP Center Beam cars


Date: 01/11/22 03:42
NP Center Beam cars
Author: Corpach

Morning, once the house move is complete I can finally start constructing the model railroad that has been in the planning stage for a good while. It'll be based on an former NP main line in the Pacific NW with GN/Milwaukee trackage rights. There'll be a lumber yard & paper mill but would like to know when those three RR's started using center beam flat cars which'll help me set the timeframe. Many thanks

Posted from Android



Date: 01/11/22 04:33
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: SPDRGWfan

I am not a subject matter expert on the NP or former BN, but IIRC, Centerbeam flatcars didn't really come into use until the early/mid 1970's (early prototypes) and the more common 63' Thrall Centerbeams (ExactRail offers them in HO) were 1977 and later IIRC.  So they would post date the NP since BN was created in 1970 from memory.  The longer 73' Centerbeams, from memory started going into service in 1986 (Walthers offers the 73' Centerbeams.

Hope that helps.
Jim Fitch



Date: 01/11/22 05:35
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: Corpach

Thanks for that, much appreciated.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/11/22 08:35
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: TCnR

Agree with those general times, just to add that the early center beams were just uprights in the middle of the car without end bulkheads and were used by Columbia and Cowlitz RR ( a Weyerhaeuser Company in Longview, Wa ) into the late 70's, maybe early 80's. Memory says there were a few experimental cars on the NP but that may just be a couple of cars.

Didn't funnelfan do a recent post on the early center beam story?

Before the center beams the idea of the all door car was common but plagued with sliding door maintenance, which explains all those unusual all door cars that Walthers made for a while.



Date: 01/11/22 09:18
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: trackplanner

IIRC, the NP cars were the first centerbeams and came out around 1967-68. There was an article on them in a Mainline Modeler magazine article you might want to look for. 



Date: 01/11/22 09:47
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: grahamline

MRH ran a review of the Exactrail model some years back that included some informayion on the center beam car's development. Look in November 2013 under "MRHmag Exactrail Centerbeam."



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/22 15:21 by grahamline.



Date: 01/11/22 11:22
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: CPR_4000

Apparently the NP centerbeams didn't have the "windows;" https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/first-look-exactrail-ho-63-centerbeam-flat-12195024



Date: 01/11/22 12:06
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: SPDRGWfan

Well if Corpatch wants to use off the shelf models, the choices are somewhat limited.  AFAIK, the Exactrail Thrall Centerbeams are the earliest commerically made models.



Date: 01/12/22 13:39
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: funnelfan

CPR_4000 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Apparently the NP centerbeams didn't have the
> "windows;"

The NP cars were among the first true centerbeam cars. They did have "window" cutouts, just not the oval "opera windows". The hexagon shaped windows suffered from cracks at the corners of the cutouts, and the reason later cars have the ovals to eliminate stress points. The NP cars were nothing like the 60' Thrall built centerbeams of the mid 1970's.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA




Date: 01/12/22 13:58
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: funnelfan

This article I wrote about the history of the A-Frame will be of interest to many of you. Shows how NP was intregal to the develpment of the centerbeam.

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,4706480,4706480#msg-4706480

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 01/12/22 15:51
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: grahamline

The McKean/Front Range centerbeams, for better or worse, were the first commercial venture involving this car type.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/74312783@N00/4233931061/in/album-72157623115283234/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/22 17:03 by grahamline.



Date: 01/12/22 18:21
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: CPR_4000

funnelfan Wrote:

> The NP cars . . . did have "window" cutouts, just not the oval "opera windows".
> The hexagon shaped windows suffered from cracks at the corners of the
> cutouts, and the reason later cars have the ovals to eliminate stress points.

Interesting. Cracks at the corners of square window frames due to compression/decompression stresses are what caused a couple of catastrophic crashes of the early De Havilland Comet jetliner.



Date: 01/14/22 02:40
Re: NP Center Beam cars
Author: Corpach

The replies on the Center Beam car question are very much appreciated & helps with setting the timeline on the layout. However there may just be an appearance of something in freshly painted BN green ;-)
Sharing of information like this makes the TO subscription worthwhile Many thanks.

Posted from Android



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