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vehicles Vehicles...
Almost every model railroad built has roads, work areas and parking lots.  With those areas comes a need for railroad and non-railroad related vehicles.  These areas of the layout deserve as much attention as the railroad track, freight cars, locomotives and buildings.  Vehicles come in many types.  I think model railroaders tend to over produce railroad related vehicles and neglect the non-railroad related ones.  Make sure you represent both on your layout.

When it comes to 1970's era car models, Trident and Fresh Cherries make very good ones.  Tridents are more expensive but have very good pick up trucks, vans and work trucks.  Fresh Cherries has good regular highway cars.  You can find others too by manufacturers such as Viking, Atlas and Brekina.

Below are some little projects to make interesting vehicles for your Chessie or 70-80's era layout.  
Easy Kind of Easy So-So More Difficult Advanced

45 foot Trailers

40 foot Trailers

Vehicle Gallery:
Below are a few shots of two Trident work trucks in Chessie markings.  Chessie work trucks came in two paint schemes.  This is the more common yellow with black logo.  They also came in a medium blue with yellow logo.  I painted them, added custom decals, detailed and weathered them.  Based on prototype photos the stake bed had black grill, bumpers and wheels.  The other truck had silver in those same places.  Each has a typical load, as well.

Below is a shot of my Chessie System hi-rail truck.  Details West makes the metal kit for the front and rear bumpers.  I painted them and added them to a Trident Utility Truck.

Below is a shot of my collection of Trident vans, Trident Utility truck and Fresh Cherries Ford Escort decorated with custom decals for C&P Telphone Company.  These are vehicles that were very common on the road in the early 1980's, but are not available on the market.

Below is a shot of a common over the road semi-trailer from the early 80's.  This trailer would not travel on the railroad (note lack of reporting marks to do so), it is therefore listed here in the vehicles section.  I believe it is an old Athearn trailer.  I painted the silver trim and weathered it lightly.  Don't forget to add this sort of common non-railroad trailer on your highways.  Modelers tend to forget about other-than-railroad vehicles when the do train layouts.

Below is a pic of a pulpwood loader I plan on having at the Berkley Springs pulpwood yard.  It is a GHQ IT18F Log Loader metal kit and it weighs a ton.  It sells for about $20.  Non-railroad industrial vehicles are a must on any model train layout.  In particular the vehicles used at your on line industries add great detail.

Below is a pic of 5 semi trucks I have finished.  The two on the left are Athearn's new trucks.  They are very nice and have very 70's sort of striped paint jobs.  The other three are rather old models and I don't know the manufacturer, but are 70's era vehicles.  I added license plate decals and weathered them with a black wash and dull coat.

Below is a pic of 9 Trident vechicles I have completed.  Each has been weathered lightly and detailed with colored lights, wipers, wheels, etc.

Below is another truck I bought for about $2 and have yet to do anything with.  What you need to remember when buying vehicles is to buy ones in the right era.  For the Chessie Era (1972-1986) buy about 90% vehicles from the late 60's up to the mid 80's.  Only buy about 10% vehicles from the 50's.  Basically there should be no Model Ts on a modern layout.  This is one of those trucks that is on the fringe of the time period I model.  It is a late 50's truck.  I will need to weather it to make it look older.  I have discovered that there are very few 70's vehicles offered, so it may take some looking.

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