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Traveling near Bakersfield last week I past a long train of gravel filled gondolas. On both ends of each car was a small mast with a couple solar panels mounted. Any ideas what these would be used for? Freeway traffic did not allow for pictures.
 

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Put that remote control in the locomotive, and you got a 1:1 scale model train!!

wonder if it comes with Tsunami sound, or Airwire;)


sounds like a cool idea for emptying cars.​
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Like this?

I was intrigued so I googled and found this thread on trains.com:
http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/p/217459/2395168.aspx
which explains that
"Each ballast car can be opened with a remote control system. The pneumatic system is controlled by an electric valve in the car. Each car has a number stenciled on the side to identify it to the remote control system. "
Not quite. The gons I saw were not as tall. The solar panels were mounted on a short mast, tent like on each end of the cars. They were oriented 90 degrees from the other end.

The thought of them powering some type of opener is interesting. From my vantage point, I could not see the bottoms of the cars. I could not tell if they had bottom dumps or not.
 
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