Walthers Rolling Stock Mark III Flexi-Van Flatcar w/Two Trailers - Ready to Run - Gold Line(TM)
Walthers Rolling Stock #3920 UPC: 616374057771
Walthers Part # 932-3920, p. 122 Walthers 2014 HO Scale Reference
HO scale, $59.98, currently in stock at Walthers but is scheduled to be Phased Out
Flexi-Vans Traveled In Freight & Passenger Consists
* All-New Tooling
* Includes Two Road-Specific Trailers
* Use on Freight or Passenger Trains
* Ready to Run
* Metal RP-25 Wheels
* Knuckle Couplers
* Razor-Sharp Paint and Lettering
* Modeler-Installed Grab Irons Included
As trailer-on-flat-car (TOFC) service evolved in the late 50s, many roads
began trying to cut costs, opening the door to new ideas. Among these was
the Flexi Van system, first tested by the New York Central in 1957.
Designed to speed loading and unloading, the design used a special
turntable (mounted on a standard flat car for testing), and a 36' trailer
with a removable wheel assembly (bogie). In operation, the trailer was
first aligned with the turntable and backed into place. The bogie was then
unlocked and the trailer slid aboard. Once in position, a pin locked the
trailer to the turntable, which was turned to the loaded position using the
on-board hydraulics. The successful test car paved the way for the first
production models in 1958. These were low profile skeleton cars, designed
to meet clearance restriction on the NYC and carry two trailer units.
Simple pivoting turntables replaced the complex and expensive hydraulic
units. Early cars handled only 36' units, but as 40' was quickly becoming
the standard length for highway trailers, later models carried a 36 and a
40' unit; cars built from 1961 to 1968 carried two 40' units. On later cars
designed to handle 40' bodies, the turntables were moved to the ends and
required the services of a specialized terminal tractor. These short
wheelbase rigs had a retractable front wheel to simplify lining the truck
and trailer with the turntable, and a large push pole provided the extra
reach needed to spin the trailer into place. Lighter and lower than
standard TOFC cars, the unique design proved well suited for high-speed
operation and many cars were rebuilt so they could be moved in both freight
and passenger service. Other roads showed some interest in the system,
including ATSF, CB&Q, IC, MILW, WP and more. Although intended for most
types of freight, the system eventually proved quite popular for handling
mail. Although successful, the system had its limits. Snow and ice caused
turntable problems during winter months, and the special bogies had to be
available at any point where units were off-loaded. The rapid rise of
containers and the acceptance of industry-wide methods for moving trailers
on flat cars soon pushed Flexi Van service into the pages of history.
Regular hours are Monday-Friday 10-6, Saturday 9-1. Closed Sunday & all major holidays.
Summer hours (Memorial Day - Labor Day) Tues-Fri 11-6, Sat 9-1. Closed Sun, Mon & all major holidays.
5619 West Florist Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53218
- Get directions.