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.
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.
From scrap to stone to finished steel, gondolas carry a wide array of products.
Machinery, tractors, steel shapes – flatcars are an open stage for the most interesting loads.
Heavy Duty Flatcars
Special loads make great modeling projects and operating challenges.
The Load that Was: Even empty cars aren't always empty.
Not-so-open Open Loads
An open door on a boxcar can lead to many possibilities.
Open Load Gallery
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.