~ Latest Update Monday, February 26, 2007 ~
~ The D&RGW's "6500" Series "Fishbelly" Flat Cars ~


The "6500" Flat Cars were the largest flats used on the narrow gauge.. They were conjured up by the Grande's engineering department in the late thirties.. (The actual date on the erection drawings is 1/10/40..) The idea was to take "bad ordered" 28000 series Standard Gauge "Coal Cars", (Gondolas) and convert them into flatcars big enough to move tractors and other machinery over the narrow gauge on...

The method they used to do it was perhaps a bit unusual, but the end results, still around to this day, attest to the soundness of the plan, which was to

  • De-Rivet the Side Sills;
  • Cut the Bolsters and the cross members shorter;
  • And put the side sills back in place, narrower than before..
The only flaw to this plan was that a car of this weight couldn't ride on the flimsy little 3'7" trucks the narrow gauge had used for so long, and there were no others available.. They had to design a new truck!

They called on their long time (Standard Gauge) supplier, the American Steel Foundry (ASF) to make them up some new trucks that would be up to the task... The date on the Truck Drawings was 4/40... It was to have a 4'11" Wheelbase, and be all cast steel, with non-removable journals...

Meanwhile, the shops were busy cranking out the modified "Coal Cars", now great long beasts of Narrow Gauge Flatcars.. And the trucks began to arrive just in time to hold these monstrosities up off the track.. A whopping 3'6" or so high to the tops of their decks!

By July of 1942, there were 20 of these cars in service, and the remainder of the early "6000" flats had completely disappeared from the roster... ( Some may have gone to Alaska and Hawaii for the wartime madness, but that is not at all clear...) But it is clear that the D&RGW made a smart move when they built these cars, and for modeling purposes, they're just another reason why "Narrow Gauge Modeling" is so appealing, aren't they?

Like all of our kits, this one has complete underbody detailing, with mostly brass "piping" and "hand grabs". ( "Mostly", because some of the brake rigging is also moulded as it makes some "interesting" turns on the prototype...)

Special "ASF" "Cast Steel" trucks were created for this model, as can be seen by clicking here. . . These trucks are moulded in an engineering plastic bearing the trade name "Celcon ®", and of course equipped with the now Standard-of-the-Industry P-B-L Nickel Plated Brass Wheelsets.

Decals and Genuine Kadee ® Couplers are included, of course, along with comprehensive instructions and "hints" to ensure that your model will end up looking like the one shown here...


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