Custom Painted P-2000 units

Monday, August 6, 2012

PRR 50' Express Reefer Cars

About two years ago I found some used Athearn 50' Wood Express Reefer Cars being sold for the princely sum of $1.00 each. One car was lettered for the Great Northern and painted in a Pullman or coach green scheme. The other car was bright yellow with a green roof and ends. I do not remember the road name or reporting marks but the car advertised bananas. The Great Northern car was in very poor shape cosmetically and the paint had this permanent white haze that I could not get rid of. The Yellow/Green car was just ugly. The cars were placed in the "project cars" box and designated for future repainting. They sat in the box until about two weeks ago when I rediscovered them while looking for something else.
Now I have more than a few of these cars in various paint schemes on the active roster and they receive their fair share of run time. With an eye on keeping the costs down I checked on hand supplies which revealed that the only decent railroad spray paint color I had on hand was a can of Krylon Walnut brown which is a very close match to the Athearn Pennsylvania Railroad brown. A check of in stock decals showed a Microscale Pennsylvania RR diesels decal set. So the PRR won out and the project cars were ready for stripping, cleaning, repainting and decals.

The Great Northern car showing some heavy wear and tear. The car actually looks better in the photo than in person.

Roof and end view prior to stripping

The GN car was also in pretty rough shape on the inside. The metal weight, coupler box covers and wheel axles were extremely rusty. To remove the rust the weight was wire brushed, sanded and then spray painted black to protect against future rust. The coupler boxes were sanded with a fine emery board and painted flat black. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph the green and yellow car prior to stripping the paint. This car had been glued closed so after soaking in 91% alcohol I was able to open it up. The weight and everything else received the same treatment as the GN car.

Upgrades to the cars included Kadee #27 couplers (medium under set shank) and Intermountain 36" metal wheels with their faces painted burnt umber. After paint and decals the cars received a coat of Krylon clear satin. They are now in revenue service.

Here is the newly painted PRR # 1120 on it's maiden voyage.

Here is the newly painted PRR # 2743 on it's maiden voyage.

Head End Traffic on this Pennsylvania passenger train is being handled from left with a smooth side Rivarossi baggage car and 3 fifty foot express reefers PRR #2743, PRR #1120 and PRR #2701. A point to remember with these reefer cars is that they often hauled "dry" shipments as well as "refrigerated" shipments.



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