Author Topic: Railbox Overload!  (Read 16352 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Railbox Overload!
« on: October 04, 2007, 10:13:42 AM »
So in the past, the most common of modern US boxcars (The Railbox 50' car) was virtually unavailable.

Recently, three seperate manufacturers have come out with them:

1. Athearn released the MDC tooling as both single door cars and combo door cars.
2. Atlas Trainman released the 50' single door cars
3. Fox Valley is releasing the 50' single door cars

So, now that I have choices, and they're all priced sanely (although, it IS tough to argue with the $7 trainman cars...), I need to make some decisions.

Modeling the 80s, I know I need a bunch of these cars. They seemed to be everywhere, but I'm soon going to be overloading the collection with them. I currently have 6 modern era cars (2 Athearn single doors, 2 athearn double doors, 2 Trainman single doors), and while I'm thinking I'm going to grab some more on the next run, I want to be sane about it (as 4 more numbers will be available in the next few months), so I'm looking to make some sense out of what I should buy.

How accurate are the Trainman cars? I know that the Trainman line are designed not to be super detailed, but knowing the crew behind them, I don't think they're stretching it too far roadname wise.

I know the FV cars will be accurate, but are they worth twice the price of the Trainman boxes (even though it's still sane)?

What do you all think? I'd love to hear from our resident freight car fiends.

David K. Smith

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 10:42:56 AM »
I'm not a freight car fiend (let alone a modeler of modern stuff), but I can speak to the issue of having "too much." The notion of having more cars than we can run on a layout is often considered excess accumulation. I'm certainly guilty of same, and yet I don't consider myself an accumulator in the sense that I have cases and cases of stuff squirreled away that may never see the light of day. I rationalize my surplus as a means to be able to vary the consists on my layouts.

Those of us with minimal layout real estate need to find ways of expanding their virtual borders, and I believe one way is to "rotate" our stock of rolling stock. Think of it as a non-dynamic staging yard. Bottom line, if the budget can stand the strain, and you have some storage space in a corner somewhere, get some of each. If the Trainman cars need a little TLC to bring them up to standards, then you'll have some rainy-day projects at hand. Meanwhile, you've got other stuff to run. And if you change your mind down the road, there's always that auction site.

Sorry for hijacking the thread. Perhaps the subject of accumulation deserves more attention in another venue.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2007, 10:50:22 AM »
Yes, I think it does.

Basically, what I'm running into is a lack of storage space.

I have three cases that I keep stuff in, and I'm really butting up against the upper limit of what will fit.

I think I should just get another case...

But what I also think is causing me some pause is that I'll have 8 cars that SHOULD be very similar in appearance, but there will be three subtle variations in there. Maybe that's right in paint and weathering patterns, but I don't think it is in car styles.

Unless there WAS much variation in RBOX car styles, as in different builders, etc.

ljudice

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2007, 10:51:02 AM »
Well, the Railbox fleet included cars from a number of builders, so most of the cars are probably as accurate as the model itself is. I for one am snatching these up...

A lot of the original fleet was then divided among the owners of Railbox/TTX - so there was a time when a lot of them were in new reporting marks/old paint. There was also a time in the 1990's when a lot went to GE or other leasing companies and ended up with HS, etc. shortline marks.

I think the key is to build a fleet of the cars and then weather/grafitti them together, since all of these cars seemed to be in sad cosmetic shape...

BTW, You forgot IM and their PS version...

Lou

up1950s

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2007, 11:00:00 AM »
Put some on a display shelf and rotate them once in a while for a change .

Pomperaugrr

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2007, 11:01:22 AM »
I have some older run Trainman Railbox cars.  They are of typical Atlas quality.  The paint is crisp and detail is good.  I had a chance to closely examine the FVM box cars that were at the NSC, in Famrmington this year.  The detail on these is awesome, and the price point is reasonable.  I don't think you can go wrong with either of these.  I ordered all four road numbers on the FVM's.  They will definitely help fill out my roster.

Eric

TiVoPrince

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2007, 11:45:33 AM »
You deserve
some of the FVM cars. 

Placing one or two behind the detailed locos will allow the less detailed cars to follow along and work as filler.  Just having highly detailed cars available for photography should be enough to get you motivated...
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Mark5

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2007, 01:42:31 PM »
Since my loosely defined "era" ends around 1975 I targeted one of the early RBOX styles.

A long time ago MDC did them, and when Athearn re-released them with better paint I snatched one. And unloaded the MDC.

I'm good now.

Wait, maybe I should grab one to run with my SD70M ... ::)

cv_acr

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2007, 02:56:13 PM »
There's no such thing as a specific "50' Railbox car." The Railbox cars were all generally the same size (although some of the early ones may have been shorter plate "b" as opposed to plate "c" cars.)

First and most obviously, there are the combination door (ABOX) and single door (RBOX) cars.

The ABOX cars seem to be mostly (exclusively?) built by FMC and Pacific Car & Foundry.
The Athearn combo-door boxcar is the FMC version.

The RBOX cars are all 50' cars with a 10' sliding (no plug) door. These specs were followed by several builders: FMC, ACF, Pullman-Standard, Berwick Forge & Fabricating and Pacific Car & Foundry. Pullman-Standard and FMC seem to be definately the most common.

The Atlas Trainman car represents an ACF car.
The Fox Valley car would appear to be an FMC.
Athearn also has the FMC car in N.

Athearn advertises a "Berwick" car in N scale, but this is a blend of mostly Pullman-Standard and PC&F features. Not accurate for anything. The SIECO car is nice, but Railbox didn't have any of these AFAIK.

The Athearn (ex-MDC) double door car is an FMC car of the same generation/design, but Railbox specifically didn't have double door cars. Same goes for the plug door FMC boxcar.

In HO, Athearn also has the three FMC cars (single, double, combo door), an ex-MDC pullman-standard car (5277 cuft, not to be confused with the rounded-eave 5344 cuft) and the really old "50' Railbox" car which is also an ACF like the trainman (go with the Trainman over athearn on this one. This is really old athearn). (These last ones don't appear to be in their N scale listings)

Branchline Trains has a proper (and very nice) Berwick car in HO, no N scale.

Intermountain also has a Pullman-Standard car in HO which is much nicer than the x-MDC tooling. Do they have it in N as well?

cv_acr

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« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 10:33:34 AM by cv_acr »

Allentown Hump

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2007, 03:05:52 PM »
The next trick is for Intermountain to get the yellow right on their first RBOX cars they did. The early and later RBOX cars had two different shades of yellow. Their early version had the late shade of yellow...
A-Town Hump

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2007, 03:12:07 PM »
Thanks Chris, that was EXACTLY what I was looking for.

Would you mind if I quoted you on my website, in case others are someday looking for that same info?

justTRAINcRaZy

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2007, 03:19:00 PM »
I had starting putting together a list some time ago. Here's what I found thus far. All may no longer be available.

KB

______________________________________________
MakerPart#Road#
______________________________________________
Athearn10951
Athearn109522091
Athearn1114751235
Athearn1114851057
Athearn1114951103
Athearn1115051072
Fox Valley8011
Intermountain67502-130828
Intermountain67502-232624
Intermountain67502-333849
Intermountain67502-434281
Intermountain67502-534925
Intermountain67502-637244
Intermountain67509-131279
Intermountain67509-2
Intermountain67509-3
Intermountain67509-4
Intermountain67509-5
Intermountain67509-6
Micro Trains25005Mo Pac 357372
Micro Trains2501017787
Atlas39937A33604
Atlas39937B33633
Atlas39938A33677
Atlas39938B33657
Atlas39945A30309
Atlas39946A30254
« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 05:02:07 PM by justTRAINcRaZy »

Mark5

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2007, 03:23:27 PM »
Oh, BTW:

http://freight.railfan.ca/cgi-bin/search.pl?car_owner=ttx&car_type=boxcar&builder=all&&display=full

Great stuff, mostly recent pix it seems. One from ole Jim Sands in there from 1975:

http://freight.railfan.ca/ttx/rbox11272.jpg

Maybe I'll grab a trainman one too.  ;D

cv_acr

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Re: Railbox Overload!
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2007, 03:56:15 PM »
Oh, BTW:

http://freight.railfan.ca/cgi-bin/search.pl?car_owner=ttx&car_type=boxcar&builder=all&&display=full

Great stuff, mostly recent pix it seems.

If people want more older pics on the site, they need to start sending them in! :)

Or a time machine, I'll take that too... :) :)

(Seriously, most of my sources are recent photos, and I wasn't around in the '70s, much less taking photos then. I'm always happy to get submissions of good older photos.)