Walthers - Flexi-Van Trailer Kit - Seaboard Air Line - HO Scale (933-1686)
NOTE... This is a KIT.
Seaboard Air Line (silver, red, US Mail Markings)
Flexi-Vans Traveled In Freight & Passenger Consists
* Perfect for Flexi Van Flats (932-3920 Series sold separately)
* Use as Highway, Dock or Car Detail
* Includes Trailer Bogie
As trailer-on-flat-car (TOFC) service evolved in the late 50s, many roads began trying to cut costs, opening the door to new ideas. Among these was the Flexi Van system, first tested by the New York Central in 1957. Designed to speed loading and unloading, the system used special cars fitted with turntables and 36' trailers with removable wheel assemblies (bogie). As 40' was rapidly becoming the standard length for highway trailers, later cars carried a 36 and a 40' unit; cars built from 1961 to 1968 carried two 40' units. Although intended for most types of freight, the system eventually proved quite popular for handling mail and the cars (which can be modeled with Walthers #932-3920 series Flexi-Van Flat Cars, sold separately) were also run in passenger service. While it was successful, there were limits. Specially equipped tractors were needed for loading, and the removable bogies had to be kept ready anywhere units were off-loaded. The rapid rise of containers and the acceptance of industry-wide methods for moving trailers on flat cars soon pushed Flexi Van cars into the pages of history, but existing trailers were simply used as standard TOFC equipment with the bogies locked in place.