post war period in U.S., there was a remarkable housing boom especially
in Southern California. Getting lumber from the lumber mills in
the Pacific Northwest* to the lumber yards across the nation became
a little bit of a challenge due to a shortage of usable equipment.
Solid trains of lumber and large cuts of lumber-carrying flat
cars were the norm. A common sight in the west were witnessing
solid Southern Pacific (SP) trains of lumber crawling up the Tehachapi
grade at a snails pace with engines whining at run 8 - or just
empty strings of flat cars returning from southern California
winding through the mountain passes on their way back to the Willamette
Valley. These solid empty trains were designated by SP as 'XMUG'
for the abbreviation for Empty Eugene (Eugene, OR). Further, solid
cuts of lumber cars from the Willamette Valley headed east with
SP partner roads like Northern Pacific - Great Northern - Burlington
Northern and Union Pacific to name a few.
The Prototypes -
Pacific Equipment Co. in 1953 and 1954 build over 1000 70-ton
all-welded fish-belly flatcars for SP based on their previous
successful riveted 70-ton flat car design.** They were classified
as F-70-10. We will bring you both the original as-built car numbers
as well when SP renumbered their fleet sometime in the late '50's.
A decade later, Gunderson Brothers Engineering Corp. (GBEC) build
over 1100 cars of similar design as SP class F-70-12. In 1964,
SP purchased another 400 cars from Gunderson with "stepped"
bulkheads as class F-70-26. These bulkhead flats were the first
in the series to have bulkheads originally installed by the builder
and not retrofitted later. They were built to carry plaster board
needed in housing construction, but were also used widely in carrying
The Alaska Railroad (ARR) also ordered copies of "SP"
Gunderson cars for loads such as: ocean cargo containers, vehicles
& tractors, military equipment and log & lumber loads.
The ARR purchased both the standard flat as well as the "stepped"
bulkhead flat cars for their operations. Wheels of Time will bring
you these ARR cars too.
Other similar designed 53'-5" welded fish-belly steel flats
were used by other roads including those build Pullman-Standard
and Bethlehem Steel. We will bring you these cars as well.
Since we are modelers ourselves, we really want to bring you the
very best historically authentic cars that you would enjoy having
in your collection.
Some features include: Realistic design adhering to the prototypes.
Proper prototype ride height. Multiple car numbers with sharp
Lumber loads - appropriate for the 1950s era railroading, and
ones good for the 1960s until now.
Perfect accessories for you to add to your fleet to make your
flatcars come alive and put those locos to work.
Wheels of Time is excited to bring you these classic prototypes
that plied the rails.