Thursday, December 26, 2019

Project #1 - ATSF Bx-11, 12, and 13 rebuilds

Merry Day After Christmas!

We continue our look at our first project. More cars!

The Santa Fe Bx-11, 12 and 13 classes continued in service as built until the early '40s, when some alterations were made to many, but not all, of the cars.

Bx-11 and -12 Rebuilding Begins - 8" Height Increase

ATSF Bx-11 124528 with 8" extended roof in New Britain, CT.
Kent Cochrane photo c1946/7

In 1941, the Santa Fe started a program to increase the interior capacity of the Bx-11 class and some Bx-12 box cars. This involved spacers on the sides of the cars, and extending the end (with a flat steel panel) by 8" resulting in an increasing the interior height to 10'0". The roof was replaced with a Murphy Rectangular Panel roof. Cars also received AB brakes if they hadn't already.

About half the class was modified in this way, along with 39 of the Bx-12 cars.

The difference in height is subtle, particularly in photos from a low angle. It's clearly recognizable from the end, however, due to the extended end panel.

Bx-11 and -12 Rebuilding - 12" Height Increase

ATSF Bx-12 212708 with 12" extension. Courtesy Bob's photos.

In 1943, they altered the modifications to raise the roof a full 12" to a 10'6" interior height. In addition to the larger spacers, the extra panel at the top of the side now included an extra corrugation. Usually this was another indented Dreadnaught corrugation, but in some cases it was a standard Dreadnaught panel, where the corrugation juts out from the steel panel.

Due to the height of the new extensions at the eave, five hat-section stiffeners were applied. All of the remaining Bx-11 cars, and most of the Bx-12 cars received these modifications. In 1944 the project was phased out as it became clear that the war restrictions were being lifted, so not all Bx-12s received the modifications, and none of the Bx-13 class cars did.

Starting in 1945, the Santa Fe started renumbering the cars with the 12" extended roofs into the 210000-211049 series (Bx-11) and 211051-214549 series (Bx-12). The original series for these classes retained both the cars with the 8" extended roofs, and those cars that had not been modified.

211050 was a Bx-12 with the 12" roof extension but with plywood sides applied.

There is no mistaking a Bx-11 or -12 with the 12" height extension. It makes for an interesting car in a consist, visible even when looking down the length of a train, much like picking out B&O wagontop cars or Milwaukee rib side cars.

Steel Rebuilds

ATSF Bx-11 19938 rebuilt with steel sides.
Courtesy of Santa Fe Railroad Historical and Modeling Society.

The Santa Fe rebuilt thousands of older box cars with steel sides, and it meant they remained in service much longer than similar cars on other roads.

From the side the steel rebuilds resemble any other Modified 1937 AAR Standard or Postwar AAR Standard box car with a quick glance. With a closer look, the notched end and the narrow underframe gives it away as a rebuilt car. But it's the end that really gives away their heritage, with the indented Dreadnaught ends of the original cars, plus the top panel with the extra corrugation making it clear that this was once a rebuilt Bx-11 or -12 box car.

These cars carried the more modern Santa Fe schemes, with many serving in revenue until the mid-'70s, nearly 60 years after their introduction.


Project #1 includes all of these cars too.
  1. ATSF 124000-125999 Bx-11 class
  2. ATSF 126000-129499 Bx-12 class
  3. ATSF 135000-135999 Bx-13 class
  4. RI 141000-142999 series tall Pratt truss box cars
  5. ATSF Bx-11/12 classes with 8" extended roof
  6. ATSF Bx-11/12 classes with 12" extended roof
  7. ATSF Bx-11/12/13 classes rebuilt with steel sides
Don't forget, these will be injection-molded plastic models, available RTR or as kits. Parts too.


More info on the web:
Ted Culotta featured some slides given to him by Jack Burgess of a Bx-12 on his blog.

If you are modeling in O-scale, decals (along with some information and nice photos) are available at the Protocraft site. As they note, Southern Car & Foundry makes O-scale resin kits, but they have been out of stock for a while. Here's Gene Deimling's description of building one, also with some more great prototype photos.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Project #1 - ATSF Bx-11, 12, and 13 classes...and RI

It should be obvious by now where we are starting with this project. As we noted in some earlier posts, in 1950 box cars using single sheathed construction were still an important part of the national fleet.

In 1924, a standard design for single sheathed box cars was approved by the ARA, and in 1925 the two designs were designated 4C-XM-1 (40-ton) and 4D-XM-1 (50-ton).

The design incorporated the ARA center sill (approved 1922) with a external bracing using pressed hat- (or U-) section steel in a Pratt truss configured with two diagonals on either side of the door. They are often referred to as "7-panel" cars. Cars of this standard design were built for a number of eastern and midwestern roads. These cars had an interior height and width of 8'6".

ATSF Bx-11

As the decade progressed, many roads were building cars with larger dimensions than the ARA standard, particularly western roads. In 1929, ATSF adopted the basic ARA standard design, but increased the interior width to 9'2" and the height to 9'6" for 2,000 box cars in their Bx-11 class.

The cars had "indented" Dreadnaught ends with 3 corrugations above and 4 below a center corrugation where the two halfs of the ends were riveted together. They had radial roofs with wood running boards, Youngstown steel doors, and Ajax powered handbrakes. They were equipped with KC-brake systems, and rode on ASF Dalman Two-Level trucks.

A unique spotting feature is the use of tension rods at the corners of the sides, instead of flat steel strapping that was usually used on single sheathed cars. Over the years many of these tension rods were removed, and photos often document cars with only one rod on a side, instead of two. In some cases a horizontal brace is added to the final panel about halfway up the car, in others the rod is simply removed, and no additional bracing was added.

ATSF Bx-12

In 1930, the ATSF added 3,500 Bx-12 class cars to the roster. These were virtually identical to the Bx-11 class, except for the use of Dalman One-Level trucks, which have never been offered in HO scale.

In later years, the Bx-11 and Bx-12 classes are grouped together in the ORER.

ATSF Bx-12 class builder's photo
Note the radial roof and tension rods.

ATSF Bx-13

In 1931, and additional 1,000 cars were added as the Bx-13 class, but used Murphy Solidsteel roofs, a precursor to their familiar rectangular panel roof, but without the raised rectangular panels.

ATSF Bx-13 class in 1/1/52 at Fayatteville, NC. Courtesy of Bob's Photos
Note the peaked Murphy Solidsteel roofs instead of radial roofs of earlier classes.
Note that the B-end tension rod on the is no longer present on this side.
This car has also received AB Brakes.

All three classes, accounting for 6,500 cars, were very long lived, although not without alterations. The less common Pratt truss along with the tension rods unique to these cars and the 500 Fe-U 50' automobile cars making them easy to spot in photos and on your layout.

Looking back at our previous posts, 22% of the ATSF box car fleet in 1949 were single sheathed box cars. In 1950, there were 6359 of the Bx-11, 12, and 13 classes in service, accounting for more than 21% of their entire 40' box car fleet, and nearly 97% of their single sheathed cars. This is an important class for modelers of this era, of 5 out of every 20 Santa Fe 40' box cars. Although as we'll see in the next post, that they weren't all in the original configuration.


RI 141000-142999 series tall Pratt truss single sheathed box cars

The Rock Island owned 1,000 ARA standard XM-1 box cars. In 1930 they continued using this design, but with the larger dimensions used by the Santa Fe. These 2,000 cars had 4/4 Dreadnaught ends, Hutchins Dry Lading roofs, Youngstown steel doors, power assist horizontal brake wheels and Morton brake steps, KC brakes, and ASF Dalman Two-Level trucks with Barber Lateral Motion devices.

RI 142798 builder's photo
Note the flat strap steel stiffeners in the lower corners
as opposed to the tension rods on the ATSF Bx-class cars

The RI rostered a lot of single sheathed cars, and in 1949 nearly half of their box cars were of that type of construction. Of their 40' box cars, these accounted for almost 12% of them, and they accounted for 23% of their 40' single sheathed box car fleet. Like the Santa Fe cars, they were long-lived, with only 19 fewer cars in 1956, and 316 still in revenue service in 1965.


These are the first four cars of this project:
  1. ATSF 124000-125999 Bx-11 class
  2. ATSF 126000-129499 Bx-12 class
  3. ATSF 135000-135999 Bx-13 class
  4. RI 141000-142999 series tall Pratt truss box cars
Each car will be available with either KC or AB brakes, accurate painting and lettering as appropriate for the era, and correct details for each class including roofs, strapping or tension rods applied as per prototype photos, but for those with fewer than 4 applied the remainders will be provided in the box for the modeler to apply, if desired.

As noted previously, these will be HO scale injection-molded plastic models, available ready-to-run or as kits, and parts available separately.

An old MDC model superficially resembles the Bx-13, with lots of inaccuracies, and only the Bx-11, 12, 13 class cars have been produced as excellent resin kits by Westerfield. The RI cars were produced as resin kits by Sunshine. Otherwise, no plastic, or even brass models to our knowledge, have been produced in HO scale of these important prototypes.

We should also mention that we are working with the Santa Fe Railway and Historical Society to ensure that the models are as accurate as possible. But we also know that there are lots of experts out there that love to talk about their passion. We love freight cars, but we certainly don't know everything. If you think you have information or photos that will help make these models better, then contact us. We love talking trains and freight cars. And come see us in person at Cocoa Beach and Springfield.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Project #1

OK, it's time to get to some announcements.

We're fans of the Sunshine Models approach, where Martin would select a given prototype and produce many variations of the cars. Westerfield also takes this approach, and just announced a bunch of cars I like - Santa Fe Fe-Q/R/V Channel Side Automobile Cars (although I think they were off the road before my era...have to do some checking).

Most companies producing RTR plastic cars will do one specific car, or maybe a couple of variations. They'll add another variation or two for a second run, and continue to do that as long as sales are good.

However, there's a downside to this approach. Sometimes the sales aren't strong enough to warrant a second run, so those variations don't get produced. Because of the cost of tooling, it's also not uncommon for more obscure variations to not be offered.

We are approaching this with the intention of doing all of the variations we can in a single run. There is no intention to do a second run, as we'd prefer to work on new projects going forward. This will be a now-or-never (or find it on eBay) release.

Furthermore, we're producing these with modelers in mind. So you will be able to purchase these as RTR, undecorated kits, and also parts. We are even investigating the feasibility of decorated kits. Undecorated kits will come with all of the parts for a particular body core.

To give you an idea of the scope of the project, we'll start with a list of some of the major parts we think you'll be excited about. All of these will be available for purchase separately:


  • Dreadnaught: 3/4 (indented) plus extended height variations with a blank panel, or an extra corrugation; and 4/5 
  • Hutchins: 4+1 rib; and probably a 4-rib variation too

40' Roofs

  • Hutchins Dry Lading
  • Murphy Outside Metal
  • Murphy Rectangular Panel
  • Murphy Solidsteel

Although some of these parts (such as the brake appliances sprue) will most likely be used for future models, there is no guarantee of a re-run of any of these parts either. In general, the factories don't like to pull one piece of tooling from a project to run some extra parts. The preference is to do an entire run of models, plus some parts.

And for the first of several prototypes that will be part of this project, I'd suggest that you take a closer look at my last post. If you haven't already figured it out...

Thursday, December 5, 2019

NH I-2 #1300 at New Britain Station

New Haven I-2 class #1300 at New Britain Station c1946. Another fantastic photo by Kent Cochrane. Note the wrench leaning against the line pole.

Wait, did I post this on the wrong blog?




Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even if you're not in the US and celebrating our holiday, we'd like to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving!

It is for us - we've received our quote from the factory and it's exactly what we were hoping for. We have more work to do, but we are on track for our January announcement.

We can tell you that the first project is in HO scale, will (obviously) be something we want for our layouts, and none of the prototypes have been released in plastic or even brass (to our knowledge). Some excellent resin kits have been available for several of them, but a number have never been released as far as we know.

There have been a few reports from others on our plans which we will neither confirm nor deny!

While you wait we hope you all get some modeling in during this busy time of the year. We can't quite believe it's already Thanksgiving ourselves, and almost 2020. 

We're kicking off a busy year as we plan to be at Prototype Rails in Cocoa Beach, and of course the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show in Springfield. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Facebook Suggestions

So for those that have joined us on Facebook, we have a page specifically to focus on conversations around what models you'd like to see produced. This is not just for our benefit, the idea is that by creating a place for people to discuss the models they'd like to see, that any manufacturer can see what you (we) all want.

We'd like to see more, but even better, we'd love to see some discussions about the prototypes suggested. For any manufacturer to consider a given prototype, they like to see that there are a lot of people interested in it, not just a couple.

So what sort of models are people suggesting?

Car Types

Just about every type of car has been mentioned, here are a few highlights.

For ATSF, B&M, BAR, DRG&W, LV, MEC, MP,  NYC, PRR, and WP.

This is something that I hadn't really considered myself. Being a NH modeler, where we have the major post-war classes available in plastic (with some issues), and the remaining classes available in resin and brass, I think I assumed that larger roads were already well represented. I knew about the NYC/Rutland cabooses, although American Model Builders released a great looking wood kit for those a few years ago, but I guess I didn't really realize how many cabooses haven't been made readily available.

The second most requested type of car so far are hoppers. B&O, IC, LV, RDG, SP, and WP. I know that in my own research there are a lot of hoppers that need to be done, although in my era Funaro & Camerlengo are filling a lot of those gaps with fantastic one-piece-body resin kits. But the requests also mention more modern hoppers, such as the SP H-100 classes. And a very interesting hopper that I've never seen, IC 2-bay hoppers rebuilt from gondolas.

Tank Cars
There are also holes in the tank car rosters, with the UTLX X-3 and X-5 requested by a number of people. They are high on my list, and a persistent rumor for several years now is that somebody may be producing them in the future. But less common variations have been mentioned too - such as Helium Cars.

Box Cars
Box cars, of course, are well represented, with ATSF Bx-12 with the raised roof (available from Westerfield in resin), SP rebuilt box cars with a yellow stripe door, WP 50' Single Sheathed box cars (the MDC tooling is great for these cars, but they do have molded on parts).

FGEX and MDT reefers are wanted, along with later PFE mechanical reefers (50'). Intermountain has covered the steam era PFE reefers very well, along with some other kits from Tichy, Red Caboose, etc., but the later era still has some gaps.

Flats, gondolas, covered hoppers, and some passenger cars have also been mentioned.



The steam/transition era is still the most represented in the requests so far, and most of those cars were built pre-WWII. Cars built in the '50s and '60s are a smaller group, and a few built in the '70s and later. Personally, we think there are a lot more "modern" modelers out there. We'd like to see more suggestions for later eras too.


We were surprised by the number of SP and WP suggestions. The mix so far has been a lot of western roads, followed by northeastern roads, with some of the midwest mixed in. No requests for southeastern roads yet.


What Does it all Mean?

Well, nothing really. Yet.

The sample size is very small, so it's really just fun for us at this point to find prototypes that we aren't as familiar with. To make this useful we need a much larger number of participants and, more importantly, more conversation around the suggestions.

For example, one suggestion was a series of Pressed Steel Car 40' flat cars that were built in the early 20th century, but ran for decades. Examples that were provided were DRG&W, PE, OSL, SP, and UP. They are the type of car that stands out because the pressed steel sides are rounded along the bottom.

Here's an early ad from the Schoen Pressed Steel Co.:

Of course, the B&O N-8/9 classes and the Pennsy GL-class hoppers were nearly identical to the PB&LE car pictured. The flat car looks like a 36' far, maybe less, but the 40' cars had a similar look to them.

Josh Bernhard points out that the SP F-50-3 are an example, along with UP/OSL gondolas built on the same frames, and SP tank cars built on the flats.

Perhaps even the hopper underframes are similar enough to utilize parts from the flat cars, it wouldn't surprise me if they shared parts.

What sort of interest is there for 40' Pressed Steel flat cars? What about the other cars mentioned? Join the conversation and jump in on the threads for any cars you're interested in.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Postwar Freight Car Fleet

In this post we'll dig further into Larry's research, and also grab some information from a book by Larry Kline and Ted Culotta, The Post War Freight Car Fleet. This is an indispensable resource with lots of good information along with the core of the book, a series of photographs of freight cars all taken at the same time and place. Even better, it's still available from the NMRA.

There are far too many prototypes to list from the book. But there is a lot of interesting information presented that will help identify the projects that have priority.

For example, more than 3/4 of box cars are owned by the top twenty Class I owners in 1950. Of those roads (note that it doesn't include Canadian roads), let's look at the percentage of those cars that are single sheathed cars:
  1. NYC - <1% 
  2. PRR - 10%
  3. ATSF - 22%
  4. SP/T&NO - 26% / 39%
  5. MILW - 54%
  6. B&O - 2%
  7. C&NW - 52%
  8. UP - <1%
  9. SOU - 0%
  10. MP/I-GN - 66% / 68%
  11. CB&Q - 51%
  12. GN - 16%
  13. C&O, PM - 3% / 28%
  14. IC - 40%
  15. NP - 22%
  16. RI - 49%
  17. ACL - <1%
  18. SL-SF - 71%
  19. SAL - 27%
  20. L&N - 51%
How well are these rosters of box cars represented in plastic models?

Let's look at the USRA Single Sheathed Boxcar:

These are the cars still on the road in 1949, according to John Nehrich on the NEB&W Railroad Heritage site.

ACL - 22
AA - 192
B&O - 480
C&O - 3
CNW - 863
CRR - 276
D&H - 459
MEC - 259
MILW - 2,442
NYC - 6
N&W - 691
PRR - 5,721
RDG - 76
RF&P - 284
SP - 656

12,430, or less than 8% of the total of 162,817 single sheathed box cars in 1950 (not including Canadian cars) according to Larry Ostrech's research.

Furthermore, of the 13 top 20 box car owning railroads in 1950 whose roster included 20% or more single sheathed cars, only MILW, and SP are represented by the USRA cars. The Mather single sheathed car doesn't include any of these roads either, and is accurate for a portion of the 10,000 or so Mather box cars. The Intermountain "War Emergency" car is accurate for ATSF and CNW, but it represents a small portion of their single sheathed roster.

So, considering just 40' single sheathed box cars, the existing models for US roads are good for 15-20% of all single sheathed cars in 1950. And of the roads that had the most single sheathed box cars, the models represent less than 5% of the most common single sheathed cars.

Clearly its impossible to get a representative mix of cars c1950 using only plastic models.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Larry Ostrech's Research

Larry posted an amazing spreadsheet on the Steam Era Freight Car list documenting the ratios of double sheathed, single sheathed, and steel box cars on what seems like every road from 1938, '42, '45, '49 and '50!

Looking at the big picture, in 1938 the percentages of cars in the US fleet are 40% double sheathed, 30% single sheathed, and 27% steel with the remainder of other or unknown construction.

In 1950, this has changed significantly, with only 9% double sheathed, 22% single sheathed, and 67% steel.

This reflects a number of different trends at this time. In the late '30s railroads were both beginning to purchase new steel cars in large amounts (the 1937 AAR Standard boxcar, along with numerous railroad specific cars), and they started rebuilding older cars into steel cars. In particular, old double sheathed cars were rebuilt or replaced in large quantities.

This is reflected in a steep drop from 40.3% to 26.7% between 1938 and 1942. Single sheathed cars declined much less in the same period, dropping from 30% to 28.8%.

After WWII there were a large number of new cars built, more cars rebuilt, and a lot of cars simply retired. But while double sheathed cars comprised of less than 10% of the fleet in 1950, single sheathed cars still accounted for more than 20% of the cars in the national fleet.

There are several single sheathed cars that have been released in plastic, although unfortunately many of them have suffered from unprototypical variations of side bracing, ends, and roofs. Reasonably accurate models include:

Fowler - Accurail, Life Like of Canada/True Line Trains Proto 1000
Mather - Life Like Proto 2000/Walthers
T&P/WP 50' Auto car - Roundhouse
USRA - Tichy (RTR available from Intermountain)
"War Emergency" - Intermountain

Compared to the standard box car releases, these don't cover too many prototypes.

CN/CP had a huge number of Fowler cars, but these models only match a portion of those cars. 

The Mather cars are very accurate for a portion of the Mather cars, although they are lettered for a number of cars that were taller than the model. But this is a small prototype (about 10,000 built, less that match the model's height). 

The Roundhouse car is very well done, and can be kitbashed into a number of other cars.

The Tichy USRA cars are good models of a fairly numerous prototype. There were 25,000 built. 

The Intermountain "War Emergency" car is a very good match for three prototypes. We'll be using Larry's spreadsheet to dig a little deeper in the next post.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

George Losse's Standard Boxcars Post

George Losse is modeling the Reading Railroad in P48 scale. We're going to dig into a post of his from October, 2012 a bit more.

Looking at steel boxcars through 1950, standard cars are well represented in plastic:

  • USRA Design (NYC)(20,000ish) - Broadway Limited
  • 1923 ARA (X29/M-26)(66,125) - Red Caboose (now Intermountain)
  • 1932 ARA (11,854) - Atlas
  • 1937 AAR (60,077) - Intermountain/Red Caboose
  • Modified 1937 AAR (41,094) - Intermountain
  • Postwar 1937 AAR (34,065)- Branchline (now Atlas), Intermountain for 10'0" IH cars
  • PS-1 (46,271) - Intermountain/Kadee

Total: 279,486

In addition, a number of numerous cars, often of single roads, are also readily available:

  • CP Minibox (7,000ish) - True Line Trains
  • PRR X31 (14,000ish) - Bowser
  • MILW Rib Side (15,000ish) - Exactrail/Intermountain/Rib Side Cars (now Accurail)
  • B&O Wagontop (5,000ish) - Exactrail/Fox Valley

Total: 41,000ish

That accounts for about 320,500 of the 769,711 cars that the roads receiving standard cars had, or only about 40% of the boxcars that those roads owned. It also doesn't account for the roads that didn't receive standard cars, but it does tell us that the available plastic models only cover a portion of what is needed. It's not clear whether his numbers include Canadian cars.

So what comprises the other 60% of boxcars circa 1950? More to come.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Essential Freight Cars

Years ago, Ted Culotta had a series of articles in Railroad Model Craftsman called Essential Freight Cars. The (primarily) detailed cars that he felt should be represented on nearly every post-war/transition-era layout. The majority of the models in the articles were built from Sunshine Models resin kits. A few of the prototypes were available at the time in plastic, and a few others have been released since. While there were 45 articles, two of them were two-part. These are the subjects of the articles:
  1. SL-SF Single Sheathed Boxcars 
  2. GN Double Sheathed Boxcars 
  3. MILW Single Sheathed Boxcars
  4. Northern Pacific 10000-series Double Sheathed Boxcars
  5. SSW Double Sheathed Boxcars
  6. SP Single Sheathed Boxcars
  7. CNW Single Sheathed Boxcars
  8. CN Single Sheathed Boxcars
  9. CP "Minibox" Boxcars
  10. CB&Q XM-25/26 Single Sheathed Boxcars
  11. SOU SU Double Sheathed Boxcars
  12. UTLX X-3 Tank Cars
  13. UP B-5-17 Boxcars
  14. USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars
  15. PFE Reefers
  16. USRA Double Sheathed Boxcars
  17. IC Single Sheathed Auto Cars
  18. GSX, ATSF, Rutland, NOT&M Stock Cars
  19. NYC 1916 Auto Cars
  20. QA&P Boxcar, Carbon Black Car, Vinegar Tank Car
  21. ARA Double Sheathed Boxcars
  22. "Alternate ARA" Single Sheathed Boxcars
  23. 1932 ARA Boxcars
  24. Wagontop and Ribside Boxcars
  25. PRR R50B Reefer
  26. Gondolas
  27. Gondola Loads
  28. PRR X31 Boxcars
  29. LV "Wrong Way" Boxcar
  30. ACF Reefers
  31. Dominion Fowler Patent Single Sheathed Boxcars
  32. Soo "Sawtooth" Single Sheathed Boxcars
  33. SFRD Rebuilt USRA Reefers
  34. PRR X29 Boxcars
  35. B&O M-26 Boxcars
  36. MKT Single Sheathed Boxcars
  37. Wabash Single Sheathed Boxcars
  38. Early PS-1 Boxcars
  39. 50-Foot Single Sheathed Boxcars
  40. Spencer Kellogg Tank Car
  41. Postwar AAR Boxcars
  42. UP "Alternate Center Rivet" Boxcars
  43. ACF Type 11 Tank Cars

Of those, these are the cars released in plastic:

  1. NP 10000-series Double Sheathed Boxcars - Rapido
  2. CP "Minibox" Boxcars - True Line Trains
  3. USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars - Tichy, RTR from Intermountain
  4. PFE Reefers - Intermountain
  5. USRA Double Sheathed Boxcars - ERTL
  6. ATSF Stock Cars - Intermountain
  7. 1932 ARA Boxcars - Atlas
  8. Wagontop Boxcars - Exactrail, Fox Valley
  9. Ribside Boxcars - Exactrail, Intermountain, Rib Side Cars (tooling now owned by Accurail)
  10. Gondolas (Various) - Accurail, Tangent
  11. PRR X31 Boxcars - Bowser
  12. Dominion Fowler Patent Single Sheathed Boxcars - Life Like of Canada Proto 1000 (aka True Line Trains)
  13. SFRD Rebuilt Reefers - Intermountain
  14. PRR X29 Boxcars - Red Caboose/Intermountain
  15. B&O M-26 Boxcars - Red Caboose/Intermountain
  16. Early PS-1 Boxcars - Kadee
  17. Postwar AAR Boxcars - Branchline, others
You can see, that less than half of the cars are available in plastic. Of those, not all are available with separately applied detail parts and are often only the most common variations of the cars. So there are lots of opportunities here.

This is one of our key starting points in determining what cars we want to offer.

Monday, October 21, 2019


What is Prototype Junction?

We're a new manufacturer of prototypically accurate HO-scale freight cars.

Naturally, we want cars that we need for our layouts, and we are also looking to focus on areas that other manufacturers seem to be neglecting these days. So our first projects will focus on cars built in the '20s, which ran through the '60s and sometimes into the '70s.

We're not quite ready to announce our first project just yet, but over the next few posts we'll outline a bit more what we are doing and why, and what's coming in 2020.

And if you're going to be at the Chicagoland RPM this week, John and Randy will be wandering around. Hope to see you there!

Tell us what you'd like us (or somebody else) to make in our Facebook Group.