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AMERICAN RAILROADS BOXCARS

The boxcar is the most common type of freight car used since the beginning of the american railroads. Thousands and thousands of boxcar were built by many industries to put in service on the tracks the better way for carrying every kind of goods.
There are many types of boxcar, built using wood or metal frame, with different lenght and capacity. The classification of those freight cars type has been done following the main characteristics and taking names and different classes, within each railway company. About Pennsylvania Railroad, that classified its boxcars identifying the individual classes with the letter X (X26, X29, X31, X48 etc.), were employed many classes of boxcars, until the coming of the Penn Central, successor railroad company created by the merger with the New York Central in 1968, February 1. Other railroads sort its class of cars using letter X (Chicago Burlington & Quincy XM class), but also B (Norfolk & Western B class) or M (Baltimore & Ohio M "wagontop" class).
In the United States there are some important manufacturing company that built boxcar, and primary classification is made by themselves, using builder acronym as USRA (United States Railroads Association), PS (Pullman Standard), ACF (American Car & Foundry company). Further classification
is about design of the boxcar: AAR type, for example, in pre-war or post-war variant.

 
An AAR 40' steel boxcar Central of New Jersey Railroad (left) and a PS-1 40' steel boxcar of ERIE Railroad (right).

Here below, a gallery with selection of some boxcar types in service with Pennsylvania Railroad (click on thumb to larger photo).



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BOXCARS ROSTER

Total AT Collection ho scale models: 18 .
Note: railroad, type with class and serial number (built date), general informations, manufacturer model and notes.
Click on thumbs to view each single photo in large format.
All models are modified and weathered as the prototypes by ATF.

Part 1 - "Steam era" Redstone Branch layout (PRR Pittsburgh Division 1957)

Pennsylvania Railroad
40' single sheathed USRA wood boxcar X26 class #564543 (1919)
The PRR X26 class of wood boxcar was derivated by a model designed by USRA (United States Railroad Administration) since 1910. The "Pennsy" acquires its first variant of this boxcar beetwen 1919-1920, following the X25 class that was the first series of this boxcar type.

Tichy Train Group (RTR series) - Weathered.

USRA steel rebuilt boxcar X26c class #105808, #105530 (1919)
By the beginning of WWII, the majority of the classic USRA double-sheathed box cars and their clones were rebuilt with steel sides. More rebuilds followed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. By late 1948, close 14,000 of the original 24,500 USRA double-sheathed cars had been rebuilt with quite a degree of variation including the end, door and underframe. These steel side rebuilds were far more popular than their single-sheathed counterparts and make a great addition to the Atlas HO scale product line.
Atlas Master Line - Weathered and improved.

50' post-war single door boxcar PRR X44 class #604419 (1951)
At the end of World War II, railroads ordered large numbers of 50' AAR boxcars with a standard design that was first widely used in the late 1940s. This design was based on the original 1937 AAR design but was modified in the post-war era to include: improved dreadnaught end and diagonal panel roofs with standard or overhanging design. These 50' boxcars were a common sight on American railroads well into the 1970s and 1980s. Pennsylvania Railroad called this 50' boxcar X44 class.

Atlas Master Line - Weathered.

40' PS-1 boxcar X48 class #47012 (1954)
Pullman-Standard built thousands of ARA and AAR boxcars through the mid-1940s, but in 1947 P.S. began producing its PS-1 line of boxcars. Basically, these new boxcars were further developments of 1944 AAR design, built in 40- and 50-foot lenghts. The PS-1 proved immensely popular with over 75.000 cars produced for 79 railroads and private owners. In the "pennsy" fleet this boxcar type has been called X48 class.

Intermountain Railway Co. - Weathered.

40' 50ton all steel boxcar X29 class #100467, #100554, #101801(1934)
In 1923, the ARA (American Railway Association) proposed a standard design all-steel box car for the american railroads. The largest fleet of these freight cars, was undoubtedly purchased by the Pennsylvania Railroad. PRR assigned to this car the designation X29 class (sub-classes were developed). In 1957 remain in service over 30,000 cars, used throughout the huge PRR network, used for the transport of any goods not perishable.
   
Red Caboose - Weathered and improved (air-hoses and whisker couplers).
New York Central
40' modified AAR boxcar #159616 (1944)
The 1944 AAR boxcar is an evolution of 1937 design. The primary variations are the updated ends, known as "dreadnaught ends". Other changes have involved many exterior details as ladders, the panel roof and about only some units, the new doors (Superior model door and Youngstown door with different sizes). The New York Central has repainted a few hundred of its units with an aquamarine green color livery.

Intermountain Railway Co. - Weathered.

50' automobile "double door" boxcar #64474 (1941)
Originating in the 1890, 50' boxcars were adapted to the needs of the automotive industry early in the 20th century with double side doors for easy loading at docks and ramps. In 1942, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) adopted a new standard all-steel design that included the latest pressed steel ends and doors.

Walthers Proto-2000 (Life-Like) - Weathered and modified (air-hoses, whisker couplers and correct side steps).
ERIE Railroad

40' modified AAR boxcar #80268 (1941)
The 1944 AAR boxcar is an evolution of 1937 design. The primary variations are the updated ends, known as "dreadnaught ends". Other changes have involved many exterior details as ladders, the panel roof and about only some units, the new doors (Superior model door and Youngstown door with different sizes). ERIE Railroad sold many hundreds of this boxcar type, put in service to carry not perishables goods.

Intermountain Railway Co. - Weathered.
Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railroad
Milwaukee Road Rib-Side boxcar #23548 (1945)

Intermountain Railway Co. - Weathered.
Illinois Terminal Company (I.C.)
AAR modif. 40' boxcar #6459 (1944)

Intermountain Railway Co. - Weathered.
Canadian Pacific Int.l (Maine Division)
40' PS-1 boxcar #269352 (1953)

Kadee - Weathered.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
M-53 wagon-top boxcar #380934, #1924 R.E.A. (1937)
The design of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad wagontop boxcars was one of the true innovations in boxcar production during the entire history of american railroading. The B&O created express boxcars from the M-53 class wagontop to meet the increased demand for mail storage and Railway Express Agency movements surrounding World War II. The production of new C-16 class beginning in 1937. The first 25 M-53s were re-equipped with steam and signal lines and additional vertical and lateral grab irons on the ends. From 1937 the B&O also constructed 2,000 additional Wagontops, classed M-53, numbers 380000-381999. In 1953 an additional 1,000 cars were built as class M-53A and numbered 385000-385999. Following, a total of 125 were converted from 1941 to 1945.
 
Fox Valley Models - Weathered.
Chicago & Eastern Illinois
40' PS-1 boxcar #65507 (1951)

Intermountain Railway Co. - Weathered.
MONON CIL Railway
40' PS-1 boxcar with 7' 5-Panel Superior Door #859 (1953)
Pullman-Standard built thousands of ARA and AAR boxcars through the mid-1940s, but in 1947 P.S. began producing its PS-1 line of boxcars. Basically, these new boxcars were further developments of 1944 AAR design, built in 40- and 50-foot lenghts. The PS-1 proved immensely popular with over 75.000 cars produced for 79 railroads and private owners. In the "pennsy" fleet this boxcar type has been called X48 class.

Kadee - Weathered.
Wabash
USRA steel rebuilt boxcar #82144 (1923)
By the beginning of WWII, the majority of the classic USRA double-sheathed box cars and their clones were rebuilt with steel sides. More rebuilds followed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. By late 1948, close 14,000 of the original 24,500 USRA double-sheathed cars had been rebuilt with quite a degree of variation including the end, door and underframe. These steel side rebuilds were far more popular than their single-sheathed counterparts and make a great addition to the Atlas HO scale product line.

Atlas Master Line - Weathered and improved.

1937 ARA double-door boxcar #8246 (1950)
In 1937, the AAR approved a new standard box car. The design itself was an update of the 1932 ARA box car design, with increased height and width, and newer components. The 1937 AAR box car and its subsequent iterations represent the first voluntary and mass adoption of a box car design by the railroads. While the 1932 ARA car received some acceptance by the railroads, the 1937 AAR design was the first standard steel box car built in large quantities by many railroads.

Red Caboose - Weathered.
Norfolk & Western
40' PS-1 single door 8' Youngstown boxcar #44263 (1951)

Kadee - Weathered.
Louisville & Nashville RR
36' wood boxcar #8546 (1921)

Accurail - Weathered and improved.
Illinois Northern
40' Mather Boxcar #2023 (1948)
From the 1920s through the 1950s, when freight car manufacturing and leasing were largely the province of big corporations like General American and American Car & Foundry, the Mather Company remained relatively small, privately owned and presided over by its namesake, Alonzo C. Mather. Using proven designs and off-the-shelf components, his company cranked out utilitarian cars using a minimum of specialized components or machine tools. The hand-built cars were cheap to build and maintain, so the company flourished because its cars could be leased at very competitive rates. Because railroads couldn't afford new cars from the major builders, the Mather Company's shops built or rebuilt many box cars for lease during the Depression. These cars remained in service through World War II and, updated with AB air brakes and more modern trucks, many of them lasted through the 1950's and into the 1960's, by which time the Mather Company had been acquired by the North American Car Company. With their distinctive Mather construction and sheet metal Mather Patent roofs, they could be seen all across the North American railroad network.

Walthers Proto - Weathered and improved.
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Part 2 - Conrail era "First Ten Years diorama" (CR Pittsburgh Division 1978)

CONRAIL
50' ACF Precision-Design boxcar X71 class #208092 (1967)

Atlas Master Line - Weathered and improved.
Railbox
50' single-door boxcar FMC-5077 type #18407 (1975)

Atlas Master Line - Weathered and improved.
Great Northern Railway
40' PS1 single door boxcar #39402 (1954)

Intermountain Railway Co. - Weathered and improved.
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe

7-Post Boxcar with Diagonal Panel Roof #727082 (1972)

Fox Valley Models - Weathered and improved.
Illinois Central
1937 AAR Double Door Box Car #137483 (rebuilt 1967)

Red Caboose - Weathered and improved.
Pennsylvania Railroad
50' plug door boxcar X58 class #112358 (1961)

Mantua HO scale Model - Weathered and improved.
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