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A question of boxcars


GWR88

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Hi all,

With me hopping my layouts time frame to modern day UP and BNSF operations, i still want to keep the layout as a boxcar sorting yard so....

Can anyone tell me the sorts of boxcars that are still in use today with bNSF and UP that are about 50'?

Cheers guys your help will be very much appreciated!

Lloyd

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How far forward are you moving the time frame, if only a couple of decades most of your existing stock may carry over. Nearly all of the current 50ft offerings from Atlas etc would work work on a contemporary layout. Plenty of scope for fallen flag cars as well, BN/ SF pre merger SP NW SOU etc . MOW cars can be even older.

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Lloyd,

 

Useful sites are: www.rrpicturearchives.net (you can find boxcars under rolling stock) and also www.railcarphotos.com

 

Boxcars get all over the North American system, so you would expect to see US, Canadian and some Mexican roads boxcars in most manifest trains. Leased boxcars - typically those with a reporting mark ending in "X" are also very common.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Chris

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How far forward are you moving the time frame, if only a couple of decades most of your existing stock may carry over. Nearly all of the current 50ft offerings from Atlas etc would work work on a contemporary layout. Plenty of scope for fallen flag cars as well, BN/ SF pre merger SP NW SOU etc . MOW cars can be even older.

Bob,

My layout was based in the 1970s but i hadn't bought any stock for it as i couldn't find the ones i needed for sale in the UK :O . Due to this, i'm sort os starting fresh and just getting new info :sungum:

Cheers

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Would any of these be acceptable (I don't care if there maybe a few years out as i'm not a rivetcounter!):

NACC 50FT BOX CAR

SIECO 50FT BOX CAR

50FT FMC PLUG DOOR BOX CAR

50FT ACF PRECISION DESIGN BOX CAR

50' FGE BOX CAR

EVANS 53' DOUBLE PLUG DOOR BOX CAR

Sorry for the long list but my lirary can't get any books in about US railroads...just BR blue! :nono:

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The Trainman box car is a good starting point, add http://www.hitechdetails.com/ rubber air hoses and a coupler cut lever for a nice reasonable price freight car, similar for Accurail. Don't dismiss old bluebox Athearn via Ebay, moulded on grab rails are not ( in my opinion) a no no, its the small amount of detail you add plus a good weathering job which makes the car look good. The problem with high end models is you need you need to consider the whole fleet, even with just a shunting plank and a dozen cars if there all Tangent/ Exactrail/Genesis thats a fair investment(in very delicate models), takes a fair bit of nerve to weather a £30plus car for the first time, not a big deal on a Ebay purchase at a £10ner!

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Thanks guys,

I looked at doing an intermodal (I can feel a few eyes burning into me :jester: ) but the wagons all looked so drab plus the models were made to run as a block and not be shunted! Thanks for your advice bob, i'm doing my layout for DofE so cost is a premium. Strange that seeing as i just ordered a FVM GP60M in that lovely orange colour :scratchhead:

Cheers

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Hi Lloyd,

If you look carefully along the cars various data inscriptions, you should see something like "BLT 6-85" which simply means built in June 1985. US railroads generally follow the "40 year rule'' which means that any car that is for interchange service i.e. sent to neighbouring railroads, then it can only remain in service for up to forty years (provided it is maintained correctly!).

This means you can legitimately run my illustrated car above until June 2025!

As you seem to be aware, such cars would probably require repainting, patching, repairing and new/replacement reporting marks through this time. Not to mention graffiti!

I said 'generally', exceptions can be MoW (Maintenance of Way!) cars - definitely repainted and maybe other cars that are permanently ''home road" cars - the only example I personally know of were/are some giant gondolas on the KCS. These were made of high quality steel and should last for 100 years!!!

There may well be other examples of this kind of thing on other roads.

So, you see - you can get away with quite a lot in US practice - if you know the various little work arounds that can put the rivet counter in his place!

Cheers,

John E.

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They will be 50-60 cars with no roof walks.  By now most cars with the "Dreadnought" or "Improved Dreadnought" ends are gone.  There will be a lot of Railbox boxcars.  US roads don't typically have yards that switch just boxcars unless by some unusual situation all the industries in the area use just boxcars.  So don't feel limited on just boxcars.  Throw in a covered hopper, gon or tank car.

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Thanks guys for your info about the cars!

Dave, i have a few GATX shorty tank cars and other cars about to spice it up a bit.

John, thanks for your information! In theory i could have very late 1970s stock just coming to the end of its life then! Patch jobs and graffiti galore soon on my railroad! :sungum:

Anyone know how UP and BNSF patch their wagons i.e: What parts they patch up and what parts they leave?

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For patching I would recommend Microscale Trim Film.  It comes in a variety of colours.  It's easy to cut into rectangles to suit the area to be covered.  When used with the Microscale solutions it can be flushed over rivets etc.  If you then change your mind in the future you can just soak if off. 

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Anyone know how UP and BNSF patch their wagons i.e: What parts they patch up and what parts they leave?

 

Personal opinion here, but I think you're coming at this from the wrong end, my suggestion would be to look at photo's first, don't buy lots of random freightcars that "might" fit a modern layout, don't look for generic changes and guess what happenned to each car in a 40 year life, there's huge amounts of real prototype info of the railroads as they are now, so why not look and use that to model those cars, as they really are.

 

I appreciate that gets you a different problem, where to start with such a big subject. My suggestion would be that as you're starting with RTR cars, before you buy it, bang the reporting marks and number into the sites that Chris (Dalesman) suggested up thread, also worth a go is trying it on Flickr, there's a pretty good chance that if the real freightcar is still running then someone will have photographed it, and you will get a good idea of whether the condition the model is being sold in is anything like the real thing.

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Cheers NSE

Thats the reason i never bought any stock for the layout originally as i couldn't find photos of stock that was used in the area. I will look on flickr and such as you suggested. Will the photos on flickr tell me what stock it is or will i have to try and work it out?  as im naff at recognising cars!!

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The last two sheets of Microscale trim film I've attempted to use both suffered from hair line cracks invisible on the sheet, but causing the cut item to break up as soon as you slid it off the backing. Same fault with SP nose wing decals and the red strip for Iowa Interstate. I just paint the patch outs, either masking the existing number/reporting mark or very careful freehand. I've also invented reporting marks ***X any combo of three letters or **LX. It all adds to the variety, my rivet counting "OO" dodgy coupling, narrow gauge(16.5mm) days are over.   

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Thats the reason i never bought any stock for the layout originally as i couldn't find photos of stock that was used in the area. I will look on flickr and such as you suggested. Will the photos on flickr tell me what stock it is or will i have to try and work it out?  as im naff at recognising cars!!

 

What's your area?

 

If you're searching by the road number on the model, you won't need to know what it is, just make a judgement call on whether it looks enough like the real thing for you.

 

So for instance...  

 

Atlas SRN1212: http://www.modeljunction.info/estore/product_info.php?cPath=25_29_70_81&products_id=38422

Real SRN1212, in Utah, 2006: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=316687

 

Atlas GTW598031: http://www.modeljunction.info/estore/product_info.php?cPath=25_29_70_81&products_id=38415

Real GTW598031, in Pennsylvania, 2008: http://freightcars.midatlanticrr.com/index.php/Reporting-Marks-G-L/GTW/GTW-598031

 

Intermountain SSAM41518: http://www.modeljunction.info/estore/product_info.php?cPath=25_29_70_81&products_id=33378

Real SSAM41518, Michigan, 2008: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1285528

 

RRpicturearchives in particular lets you search in many, many ways, by location, by railroad, by car type, and so on and so forth. And it's huge...there's 94152 photo's of just boxcars!

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Cheers for your help guys,

I,ve decided (I think) upon

50' FMC PLUG DOOR BOX CAR - SANTA FE 

50' FMC PLUG DOOR BOX CAR - BURLINGTON NORTHERN X2

And....

BETHGON COALPORTER - BNSF (Athearns VERY nice 5pk of them)

I thought i could do the layout as a short re-arranging yard for coalporters and boxcar trains. I will update my layout as and when i get the wagons and about how i patch them(If i muster the courage!!)

Thanks for your help guys!

Lloyd

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NSE,

Thats rather a coincidence about your first photo as i model Utah! The problem with looking at photos and then seeing the model of them is most of the models i cannot buy here cos my model shop i eastleigh cannot easily buy them in from the US as her keeps getting stung with import taxes! Damn conservatives!! :nono:

Lloyd

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