Missouri Pacific Flat Car 50043

Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 with its latest paint scheme, May 2016

When you think about railroads, you probably first think about locomotives and cabooses. Then maybe the tracks and depots. Passenger and dining cars might come next, followed by box cars and then you'd run out of ideas, even if you got that far. But moving freight is the real purpose of railroads, and there are many different kinds of cars designed to move different products. The simplest of these is the humble flat car. But this one is not so humble anymore! TTM volunteers have turned it into a show piece and it is in constant service allowing people to ride in the open air but still with some shade from the Texas sun. And we built a ramp so folks with all kinds of disabilities can enjoy the fun too.
Collecting Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 from the old MOPAC tracks.
Positioning a loading ramp to get Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 onto a truck.
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 is useful to move a lot of supplies at once.
Ballast, ties, rails and tools, it all fits on the Missouri Pacific flat car 50043.
Flat cars are perhaps the most ubiquitous, least glamorous and most utilitarian form of freight car in railroad service. They provide an unobstructed flat surface for any kind of load that does not require a more specialized type of rail car. Such cars are still in frequent use today on all the major railroads. A slightly evolved type carries standard sized metal containers which revolutionized freight transportation, allowing the same container to be moved from truck to train to ship without its load being disturbed. If you look carefully you will see that some container cars have decks well below the level of the frame, allowing the double stacking of containers under almost all bridges.
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 framed but waiting for its new roof.
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 being converted for passenger use.
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 fully converted for passenger use.
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 converted for passenger use at TTM.
The 50043 was acquired by the museum in the early 1980s and proved to be of great use during the construction of our main line. After that it was only used to spray the tracks for weeds. As our visitor numbers soared and we introduced major public events such as "Santa's Railroad Wonderland" it was decided to convert it for passenger use in 2006. Following the replacement of its original wooden floor, seats were added. It soon became obvious that it needed a roof as well. Our first attempt to allow persons in wheel chairs or with limited mobility to be able to ride the train by installing a battery powered lift did not work out so well but the construction of a ramp has done the trick and now everyone is able to fully enjoy the Longhorn & Western Railroad.
All aboard!! George Gervin Academy students on the Missouri Pacific flat car 50043, April 2011.
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 converted for passenger use at TTM.
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 converted for passenger use at TTM.
Museum visitors riding on ex-Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 on a rainy day, March 2014
Night time events
Santa's Railroad Wonderland 2007. Passengers on Missouri Pacific flat car 50043.
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 during a night time event in 2012
New paint scheme in 2016
Missouri Pacific flat car 50043, April 2016
Ex-Missouri Pacific flat car 50043, April 2016
Museum visitors riding on ex-Missouri Pacific flat car 50043 in 2016

 

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