From forest to mill to printer, the paper industry is a huge
traffic source for railroads. Unique structures, widely used
rolling stock and plenty of opportunities for detailing are a few
reasons I suggest modeling the paper industry to HO
At its most basic, paper production starts in the forest and ends
at a paper mill. Pulpwood and wood chips are the main sources for
production. Pulpwood usually moves on flatcars like
WalthersProto(R) 50' CC&F Bulkhead and 50' Sieco Pulpwood
Flatcars. Shippers who prefer gondolas use cars like
WalthersMainline(R) 1940s-1970s era 40' 50-Ton Drop-Bottom
Gondolas, and WalthersProto 53' and 65' Thrall Mill Gondolas.
Wood chips move in cars like WalthersMainline 61' Wood Chip
Gondolas and 36' Wood Chip Hoppers.
Walthers makes a large line of paper mill structures based on
late-1950s and later prototypes. On layouts a paper
mill can be an impressive addition. If you like realistic
operations it can keep a switch crew busy for hours. It generates
traffic for the railroad and it can generate lots of structures and
rolling stock for the layout.
At the mill, pulpwood and wood chip cars mix with other common
cars such as 40' UTLX 16,000-Gallon Funnel Flow Tank Cars
carrying kaolin clay slurry for gloss paper coating. Some mills
receive 53' Thrall Gondolas carrying kaolin clay powder. These
cars are switched on the in-plant railroad using diesels like the
WalthersProto EMD SW900 or WalthersMainline SW1. The SW900 is
available painted yellow with safety striping (920-41496) but
unlettered - if wishing to personalize it with
your own paper company lettering.
Outbound paper moves in boxcars and trucks. Typical 1960s and
later paper roll-hauling boxcar models include WalthersProto 50'
AAR Boxcars and WalthersMainline 50' Sliding-Door Boxcar and 50'
Waffle-Side Boxcars. Budget-minded customers can use
WalthersTrainline(R) 50' Plug-Door Boxcars. Paper pulp bales and
rolls are hauled in various Gunderson and Pullman-Standard 60'
cars, some of which are just like those used for auto parts.
Walthers SceneMaster(R) highway semi trailers include Stoughton
45' and 48' trailers for modern mills, plus 32' and 40' trailers
for 1960s scenes.
There are many end points for paper. In HO Scale, businesses like
the George Roberts Printing Company are typical end users. Other
businesses called paper converters, usually housed in warehouse-
style factory buildings, transform it into bags, packaging,
packaged papers, cardboard and other products.
As you can see, there are many ways you can add paper
traffic to your railroads. From a few kaolin tank cars on a
through freight to an entire factory complex, there are many ways
you can model paper industry-related products .