Upgrading Accurail shorties

Dave Parker has been busy upgrading a few Accurail 36-foot boxcar models, adding details to reflect specific prototype practices. Here’s Dave with the details.

For fleet-building purposes, I like the Accurail shorties well enough but, when I considered seeing three or four of them strung together on a layout, I thought “boring!” Yes, there can be some variation in the trucks, and in the center-sill (straight vs fishbelly) but, when viewed broadside, they are otherwise identical.

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Alterations

End view of a Rapido HO scale boxcar.

Ready-to-run freight cars have become common model railroad items over the last few decades. Few models have reflected prototypes that can be used for a mid-1920s focus. The lettering often follows a later practice. The Pre-War version of the new Rapido Trains Northern Pacific boxcar comes close to the mark but there are a few alterations required. I made the following adjustments while a new computer performed Windows Updates and software uploads.

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New Rapido boxcar model

Rapido Trains released a new HO Scale boxcar model in October that follows a Northern Pacific prototype built in 1923. A few paint and lettering schemes were produced and I picked up one that represents the Pre-WW2 appearance. This ready-to-run model nicely captures the prototype.

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Westerfield train day sale

Westerfield S-40-1 stock car kit #12522 was released in early 2017.

Westerfield Models is holding a National Train Day Sale through to midnight on Monday, May 21, 2018. There are a few purchase options and codes to save some hobby dollars when you stock up on a few kits. Westerfield honcho Andrew Dahm sent an announcement to his email newsletter list last week. If you have not received the info, or if you have misplaced the newsletter email, I recommend dropping an inquiry to westerfieldmodels@gmail.com for the sale details and codes. You will need the purchase codes to save some cash.

Check over your freight car kit stash and drop a note to Andrew at westerfieldmodels@gmail.com for more details on the National Train Day sale. Then review their website for what you need. It’s always a good time to pick up a few new resin freight car kits.

Southern Ventilated boxcars

A Southern ventilated boxcar can be seen in the lower right of this circa 1925 image. Keefer, Potomac Yards, Alexandria, Va. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/npc2008013406/>.

Fenton Wells has presented an interesting kitbash at a couple recent RPM meets. He shares his tips and techniques to transform an Accurail 36-foot boxcar into a Southern ventilated boxcar. Click on any image here to view a larger size.

Ventilated boxcars were once a common element of the freight car fleet. Several southeastern railroads had thousands of ventilated boxcars on their rosters to move fruits and vegetables from packing plants to wholesale grocers in northern areas. Distinctive screened doors and end vents set them apart from typical boxcars. Most of the ventilated boxcars were older cars of double-sheathed wood construction, thereby standing out all the more over the years as the national freight car fleet modernized with taller steel-sheathed cars.

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