Gunderson Twin-Stack – Part 1

Three of five cars have been completed on the A-Line Gunderson Twin-Stack set I’m building. Clearly I need a bigger photo backdrop…

I was looking back through my old posts and realized that I’d never written about the intermodal cars I’ve been building off-and-on for the last few years.  I recently started working on them again and though I’ve posted a lot of grab shots to Facebook, I figured it was about time I wrote a little something as well.

These are being built from the old A-Line kit.  I’m detailing them with the add-on parts that A-Line sells as well as some homemade parts and bits from Precision Scale and Plano.  The kit provides basic instructions, but I found Jim Mansfield’s article “Gunderson Double-Stack Container Car” in the August 1992 Model Railroading to be invaluable when trying to determine where to place certain components.

The wells will be mounted on Exact Rail 70 ton trucks with 33″ wheels on the ends and 100 ton trucks with 36″ wheels on the shared bolsters (as per the prototype).  The trucks are modified to accept P:87 wheel sets from the Proto87 Stores.  I’ve done my best to include all brake and train-line equipment, though there are a few details that connect the individual platforms that I’ll add once I have a permanent layout and won’t need to disassemble the cars for storage or transport.

So far I’ve completed the B, C & D platforms.  I’m doing some layout work at the moment, but once I’m done with that I hope to finish the E & A platforms as well as detail and weather the trucks in time for the New England/Northeast RPM meet at the end of May.  I’ll probably paint, decal and weather the entire unit over the summer.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed this project.  The A-Line kit requires some cleanup, but with a bit of patience it goes together well.  The key is to do the major assembly on a perfectly flat surface to ensure that everything ends up square.  I found my 1-2-3 blocks to be invaluable.

More to come…

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