Modern Freight Cars



Type Tri-Level and Bi-Level auto racks

Description These cars were developed in the '70s, to protect vehicles from vandalism while in transit. Nearly identical cars are still in use all over North America. Tri-level auto racks are used to transport automobiles, while larger vehicles, such as vans and light trucks, are carried in Bi-level racks.

Available here are tri-level cars from Conrail and Union Pacific, and bi-levels from CSX and Burlington Northern.

The Union Pacific tri-level rack won the September 2001 Claudioscar for Best Freight Car. Thanks Claudio!


Type LPG tank cars

Description Cars like these carry Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) throughout North America. The first car is lettered for Union Tank Car Line (reporting mark UTLX), which was once part of the massive Standard Oil conglomerate. Next is a car form Procor, a Canadian affiliate of Union Tank Car, which is also one of the major tank car builders in North America.



Type Coal Gondolas
Description The majority of the coal in North America is transported in these 100 ton, high volume, coal gondolas. Unlike hopper cars, they require a rotary dumper for unloading. Each car is presented in empty and loaded configuration.

Johnstown America's "Coalporters" (first row) were rebuilt as gondolas using older, lower capacity hopper cars. The Conrail cars on the left have fixed couplers. Each of the privately owned cars on the right (many electric generating plants have their own fleets of coal carriers) has one rotary coupler, indicated by the yellow end. That way the cars don't need to be uncoupled as they move though the dumper.

Norfolk Southern's "Top Gon"(second row), in Early and Late configurations, differentiated by the five ribs on the troughs under the car. Like the Coalporters, they were rebuilt from older hopper cars from NS predecessor railroads, N&W and Southern.


Type Center Beam Flat Car
Description Used mainly for transporting "rough" lumber products. This particular image represents a car owned by TTX (formerly Trailer Train) loaded with plywood.

Download a zip file containing all of these modern freight carsWinzip Icon
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