Updating a Bowser GS Gondola

Bob McGlone shared an interesting model update on a discussion list earlier this year. He added drop bottom doors to a Pennsylvania Railroad gondola. Click on any image to review a larger size.

I’ve always been interested in circa 1900 steel freight cars. I find them fascinating but there are few plastic models commercially available. One model is the HO Bowser GS gondola which follows a Pennsy prototype with 32,700 cars built starting in 1903.

Continue reading “Updating a Bowser GS Gondola”

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.

Continue reading “Upgrading Accurail shorties”

Progress on the Lake Erie & Western

Ray Breyer recently sent photos of his layout progress. Since my Wheeling Freight Terminal is not set up, I figured it’s time for a layout feature. Ray is focused upon the First Subdivision, Peoria Division, Lake Erie & Western District of the Nickel Plate Road, circa 1929. Got that? Here’s Ray with some details and photos.

I spent a couple of weeks recently roughing in scenery, dropping feeders, and soldering joints on the layout. These photos document progress along a couple miles of mainline.

Continue reading “Progress on the Lake Erie & Western”

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.

Continue reading “Southern Ventilated boxcars”

Assisting others: CNJ box car

In mid-February I received an email from a friend who was responding to a question from Alan Mende. Alan needed decal help to finish a box car project and I was added to the email response as a possible resource. Alan was lucky as I had a decal set on hand to send to him. Here’s Alan with more details.

I had scratchbuilt a Central Railroad of New Jersey box car from a plan published in the January 1972 issue of Model Railroader. The model reflects the pre-Safety Appliances appearance, which is why there is only one grab iron on the car side. I was planning to use a Clover House dry transfer set, but the HO versions were out of stock. What to do?

Continue reading “Assisting others: CNJ box car”