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Adding Loads to Open Freight Cars

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Every model railroad has freight cars that can show off their loads. Modelers often call these open loads. Open loads can be as simple as a pile of coal to detailed models of machinery and everything in between. There are lots of commercial products available in every scale to recreate loads, or you can make many of them yourself.

Hopper Cars

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Hoppers are usually associated with coal. Stone, ore and woodchip loads are also common loads and all can be made with the same simple techniques.

Gondolas

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From scrap to stone to finished steel, gondolas carry a wide array of products.

Flatcars

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Machinery, tractors, steel shapes – flatcars are an open stage for the most interesting loads.

Heavy Duty Flatcars

®2010 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Special loads make great modeling projects and operating challenges.

Empty Loads

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The Load that Was: Even empty cars aren't always empty.

Not-so-open Open Loads

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An open door on a boxcar can lead to many possibilities.

From Trash to Treasure - Finding Loads for Your Models in the Strangest Places

junk loads
©2012 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Where do you find the loads for your models? Save a trip to the hobby shop and use your imagination. Some of the most interesting loads can be found laying about the house.

Make Removable Loads

loads
©2012 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Get even more use out of your loads by building them to take in and out. These simple techniques can be used on several different types of cars.

Open Load Gallery

®2008 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Sometimes the hardest part of modeling an open load is choosing one. The gallery has lots of prototype and model photos to get you started.

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