How To Projects Kitbash a pulpwood load

Kitbash a pulpwood load

By Bill Barnwell | May 15, 2024

Harvested weeds make an appropriate load

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

Since I own the P.T. Tubifo Lumber Co. engine for my railroads’ lumber company, I thought I’d add a pulpwood car for it to haul. I started the project with Kalamazoo flatcar and added bulkheads made from Evergreen styrene.

model pulpwood car with load
The dog fennel makes a nice load for the car. Bill Barnwell photo

During my work travels, I saw some weeds on the side of the road and initially picked some to make logs for a locomotive tender. The plant is called dog fennel. [Dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium) is native to many areas in the United States but can be an aggressive plant. — Ed.] They grow about 3 to 4 feet tall and have straight stalks with fan-shaped tops. After drying and removing the tops, I cut them into irregular lengths about half the width of the car.

I stacked them into a load and added diluted wood glue between the cracks of the “logs.” That worked great, everything was solid, but the car was so heavy that the engine struggled up a 2% grade! I removed the load and hollowed out the center with a motor tool to lighten the load. It’s still pretty heavy, but the train will now climb the grade.

After everything was dry, I briefly applied a torch to the ends of the dog fennel to get rid of the glue strings. It left a nice log-like detail to the ends.

model steam locomotive with car behind it
P.T. Tubifo’s No. 2 now has a car to haul pulpwood loads. Bill Barnwell photo

This was a fun build, though a little time consuming, and a nice addition to my P.T. Tubifo Lumber Co train. Now the train has two log cars, a pulpwood car, water tank car, a small log car, and a work caboose.

More on lumber operations

Learn more about how lumber is shipped on the railroad.

Garden railroader Eric Schade shared a video of his live steam engine with a pulp train.

You must login to submit a comment