rebuilding a tyco

Discussion in 'Freight Equipment' started by Iantha_Branch, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I discovered that I have one of the Tyco frisco auto racks. problem is It doesn't have a rack. So I decided to rebuild it. But I have a few questions.

    1. Should I use stryreen I beams for the collums?
    2. how much space is there between the first and second levels?
    3. What should I use for the floor of the 2nd level?
    4. How can I put KD trucks on it?
    5. Is the Orange color on it correct? or is it susposed to be a yellow?
  2. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    No advice?
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Ethan -
    Years ago I think I had the same Frisco auto rack to which you refer.

    I don't believe that any Frisco racks were ever the hunter orange of the Tyco model.

    For my money, Doug Hughes built a spectacular model of a 60s-era auto rack...

    I'm not sure if he has written an article on it's construction in one of the old FMIG newsletters? I'm trying to index the newsletters (albeit at a plate-tectonic pace) but have not gotten that far yet.

    Best Regards,
  4. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    Does someone have a photo of the car in question? I am vaguely familiar with the model but not the prototype. A prototype photo can tell us what types of materials to use.

    Plate-tectonic pace? Sounds pretty slow . . .

    Ship IT on the Frisco!

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2009
  5. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Ok, I will paint it that color. I have seen a post somewhere on here that has a pic of a small auto rack.
  6. craigh

    craigh Member

    i have one of those tyco frisco auto racks brand new i will get photos and measurements on here saturday aug 30th
  7. craigh

    craigh Member

    here are the measurements and photos hope they help
    im useing a standard ruler to measure
    H= 1 1/4" from top of black base
    L= 6 7/8" end to end
    W= 1 1/4" from slot on base to slot on base
    the center beam has a slight taper from top to bottom from 9/16" to 3/8"
    the end beams are tapered from top 7/16" to bottom 5/16"
    the base of the top rack is 1/4" lower than the top of the rail
    and the base of the top rack is 15/16" from the top of the bottom rack.
    if you need more info just let me know

    Attached Files:

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    • 002.JPG
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    • 003.JPG
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    • 004.JPG
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  8. mark

    mark Member

    From the prior post entitled "60' auto racks?",, please see the following photograph.

    The lettering on the flat car indicates a length of 42' 6".

    My Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) dated 4/1969 indicated the following for SLSF 95844:
    Car type FMS, multi-level, portable ramp, with dimensions:
    Width at eves or top of sides or platforms - 9' 0"
    Extreme width - 10' 0"
    Heigth from rail to extreme width - 3' 10"
    Height from to eves or top side of sides or platform - 15' 7"
    Height from rail to extreme height 15' 7".

    Note EEE indicates several cars including SLSF 95844 exceed Plate C dimensions.

    Hope this helps.


    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2009
  9. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year


    That photo of SLSF 95844 cracks me up. I guess we have to start somewhere but that is amazing. Only four autos !! That would be an interesting kit bash of one of the Red Caboose flats.

    Any photos of the Tyco rack available?

    Ship IT on the Frisco!

  10. craigh

    craigh Member

    you can laugh all you want but it was my dads so im not "STARTING SOMEWHERE" at least i dont have to beg a wife to spend mega money on something that isnt any better ! Frisco haha thats something to laugh about they couldnt even last as a company haha they look much better in BNSF colors anyway :p
  11. craigh

    craigh Member

    it has more value to me then any of your high dollar china stuff
  12. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    To Craigh.

    Please note that SLSF 95844 (my previous post) is the car in the prototype photo dating back to the 1950s, I believe. I was not talking about the model photos. I was talking about the beginnings of the auto rack business in the 1950s.

    Ship IT on the Frisco!

  13. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    I think Mr. Grayson had some interesting comments on getting some of that business from the truckers back in the early 60's that was included in the interview published in FMIG LINES issue 116. He and some of the VPs were riding one of the business cars through Alabama or somewhere down south when they saw some auto carrier truckers on the adjacent highway. Mr. Grayson asked "how can we get some of that business?" The first trials with the short racks were successful leading the the prototype car 3000 (Pullman Std or ACF?) that's now in the St. Louis Museum of Transport.

    The 3001-series autoracks were the first in the industry and what I modeled using styrene racks on Athearn 80' flats. The space between decks was the hardest part. My first few racks had too much spacing and didn't meet the NMRA height clearance gauge. I hit the tops of tunnels at the Severna Park C&A layout. Later racks had the proper spacings. The freight car diagram books includes dimensions for both the 3001-series tripple deckers and the 3300-series double deckers. I built some models of them too. They were used to haul trucks. The late-afternoon wb train through Dixon, MO (my home town) was mostly loaded autoracks from the Chrysler plant in Valley Park. Remember when Chrysler actually sold cars? Their engineering staff levels are back to what they were in the 1930's. Their test track is about 15 miles from where I live.

    I did the artwork (AutoCad) for Tom Stolte, and he produced a fantastic OddBalls decal set for these autoracks.

    That was back when I had energy for modeling and before old age and poor eyesight took over.

    Modelers - build while you are young and can see.

  14. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Doug -

    The NMOT collection guide lists SLSF 3000 as being built (in 21 days!) by Pullman Standard in early 1960 from a design created by the SLSF engineering department. It was the very first triple-level auto-rack. It's initial success in testing prompted the Frisco to order 129 more. SLSF 3000 was donated to NMOT by the Frisco in 1977.

    Length was 88ft-5in. Height was 16ft-11in empty, 18ft-4in loaded. The SLSF company pic is attached, no doubt loaded with some of the Chrysler Fenton plant's finest 1960 beauties.


    ps - BTW, nice work on those OddBall SLSF autorack decals!

    Attached Files:

  15. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I echo Doug's comment. Yesterday I scheduled cataract surgery for my right eye for early November. Hopefully, I'll then be able to put black grabirons into black holes on black Red Caboose and Intermountain tank car kits again! I've done very little modeling work since last winter.

    Getting old is bad, but it beats all known alternatives! ;)

  16. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year


    I know what you mean about the cataract surgery. I need the same thing. Until I can afford it, the Wal-Mart readers are keeping me in the game. The most difficult parts to attach are the black parts on a black car going into a black hole. Pretty tough.

    With today's ready-to-run cars I don't assemble near as many cars although I find a good kit now and then. I have several resin kits I need to tackle and a lot of buildings, so I need to be able to see.

    I agree with Doug, build while you are young because your eyes will start loosing their ability to zoom in close after age 40 or so.

    Build IT on the Frisco!

  17. bob_wintle

    bob_wintle Member Supporter

    YOu fellows are correct build when you are younger. Then you can have more time to just run the trains. I too have trouble with black on black. Even putting a black shoe string through a black shoe is difficult for me. I have very poor vision but can see up close very well. For some reason though when the color is either black or dark blue everything meshes together even up close. Combine that with the tips of my fingers not having any feeling makes modeling tougher each year. So yes do it while your young.
    Bob Wintle
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2009
  18. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    That is why I went up to "O" Scale.
    Now I am considering "G" around the yard.

    Maybe I shyould skip all the in betweens and just go play with the real thing. :D Except they have no Frisco stuff. :mad:
  19. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    That would be great. Only you couldn't build your buildings in less than 1 hour. WEll, if you wanted to go 1:1 scale, you could always repaint.
  20. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Doug, Ken, Rick, El Bobo and All -
    OT, but thanks for the warning. I say the clock is probably ticking on me; I swear my night vision is not what it used to be. Frankly my hearing is more of an issue than eyesight these days.

    Doug-your auto rack and the story from Mr. Grayson are both priceless! My thanks for sharing.

    Ken, good luck with your surgery. It's amazing what they can do nowadays - I think my one of my kindfolk called her eye surgery some 20 years ago her "eye butchering." I dare hope that yours is much easier! :)

    Best Regards,

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