Shawmut Boxcars

Fellow 1920s modeler Perry Squier recently sent details on his expanding HO scale Shawmut boxcar fleet. Here are his notes and photos.

Ray Breyer’s recent summary of freight cars with truss rod ends caught my interest. The Pittsburg Shawmut & Northern had several boxcars with these unique details in the 8700, 8800, and 8900 series that lasted well beyond the year I model, 1923. A 1904 AC&F builder image of #8700 leads this feature. I wanted to build several of them and needed a source for the underframe. I’ll scratch build the car body to get as close as possible to the prototype.

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Detailing an Accurail Fowler boxcar

Manny Jacob sent along his techniques to upgrade the Accurail Fowler boxcar kit. Here’s Manny with the details.

I was excited when Accurail added a Fowler boxcar to their product lineup as this famous Canadian boxcar design can be quickly added to a freight car fleet at an affordable price. I purchased a couple kits to add to my fleet. One car was factory painted and lettered and the other was undecorated.

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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.

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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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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.

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