Rolling Stock

Flat Car

This is a 7-wide flatcar in gray. I also have a version of this in blue with tan plates on top. Both were built in early 2002.

The design was modeled after an HO-scale railcar I had growing up. I went with 7-wide because it was easier to build a custom deck like I wanted (instead of using one of the large purpose-made train plates from LEGO), and I just liked how 7-wide looked :-)

I still have both flatcars assembled and use them (May 2009).


This is a roughly 7-wide gondola I built in early 2002. It is modeled after an HO-scale railcar I had growing up.

The model railcar looks to be an old style design that used plated rivited together and with stiffeners. I went for the rivited look by making the sides of the LEGO car with plate (studs out).

It's a very simple design, yet slightly delicate. I still use this (May 2009) although I have to hide it from my son as it tends to disintegrate when he handles it.

Tank Car

This is a modern tank car that uses 16 quarter panels (it's 8-wide). This is a recent build (as of May 2009).

I first built a tank car using the same panels early in 2002, but the design was relatively delicate and it kept coming apart as the car was used. Fast forward seven years, and this new design is robust- capable of being handled by my 4-year old (although he still rips off the flex tubing).

The innards of the car contain a series of Technic beams pinned together. These beams capture the quarter-round plates that exist between the quarter-panels. The attachment of the trucks to the car is strong, much stronger than the original design in 2002.

I'm pretty happy with it except for the trucks. The car sits too high on them and that's something I will modify in the near future. Also, the side-ladders (that are made of flex-tubing) tend to creep back to their "natural" state of being straight, so I might have to insert a heavy paper-clip wire to form them and keep them curved (and that would be the only non-LEGO component used).

Thomas J. Avery 2009