In earlier posts I told of my frustration in not being able to find an S scale "pup" trailer of a length short enough to fit a pair of them on an SHS/MTH 53' TOFC flatcar.
Well I solved the problem and the answer was or should have been easy to figure out.
AHL (American Highway Legends) has made many, many examples of tractors with matching pup trailers for years. Every train show I have attended had had at least a few examples of them from S scale vendors and I never bought any. Go figure.
They come in many domestic product variations and also Railroad specific and trucking company names. The colors and graphics of the trailers is fantastic. And best of all a pair of them fit perfectly on SHS/MTH TOFC flatcars. For me this is like a prayer answered. As a billboard reefer collector It was tough to lose the SHS offerings and the lack of new offerings from MTH has been frustrating. But now I have another "billboard" so to speak with these colorful trailers and I'm going to acquire quite a few.
Back in the early days of TOFC traffic short (pup) trailers were a solution to shipping LCL (less than carload) traffic for shippers who didn't want to pay carload rates for short quantities of items to ship. They also allowed railroads to maximize their hauls. Putting a pair of pup sized trailers on a flatcar was to become a common practice:
The US mail service also shipped a lot of mail in trailers like these to distant locations for non-priority mail.
The AHL trailers are perfectly sized for the job. They scale out in S scale to: 22' Long, 8' wide and 12' high. I used an MTH 53' car which already had the 5th wheel stand moved forward (to accommodate the 45' trailers loaded on them) and liberated another stand from an American Models flatcar I had. The AM 5th wheel stand is identical to the SHS/MTH stand.
Here's how it worked out:
You could reposition the pair of stands to make the trailers exactly balanced on the flats but for now I'll say they look "good enough" the way I have them placed with the rear trailer placed slightly closer to the end of the car than the front trailer.
I declined to purchase additional stands from AM as $10.00 each was too steep for me. I have located some Lionel O27 stands that are the perfect height. The width needs a little trimming but they will work nicely. I plan to remove and reinstall my current MTH stands on as many cars as I need and then add the O27 stands to the donor cars so that they will be a matching pair on each car. I'll post pics when I get them.
Here's a couple of time warp videos showing The Frisco Meteor being pressed into service delivering some express service TOFC cars carrying some special cargo...baked goods and chewing gum! Looks like Krispy Kreme may be getting some competition for their doughnuts...