NYC ALCO FA / FB Units

NYC ALCO FA / FB Units
Custom Painted P-2000 units

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Express Boxcars Join The fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

New York Central Train Layout management recently purchased 2 used 56' Express Boxcars, also known as Material Handling Cars as part of a multi car purchase. The cars were sent to the N.Y.C.T.L. shops for complete overhaul and refurbishment. Below is the process undertaken by the shop forces.

All cars were disassembled and the next stop for the current used car purchases was the work sink where the cars were washed and are now waiting to dry.


The Amtrak Express Boxcar has had the rust removed from the metal weights and the weights have been painted flat black to prevent further corrosion. Tools and paints needed for the process are shown below. A The metal strip will be added to increase the cars weight.


The underside of the frame features a molded coupler box that stays attached to the under frame by the screws holding securing the trucks to the bolsters. For the horn hook couplers this mostly adequate. For knuckle couplers this system is not the best as it allows the couplers to have excessive vertical play which will cause unwanted uncoupling. Fortunately this can easily be upgraded with a Kadee coupler box and some shims. 


The car has new Kadee coupler boxes and metal wheels installed.  


Intermountain 36' metal wheels are installed. By cutting the sill I was able to easily add the Kadee coupler box and Kadee #5 coupler. The metal shim is a coupler lid from an old Roundhouse boxcar kit. They worked perfectly for this application. If you do not have this part in your parts box a small washer or two will suffice. The coupler box is now directly secured to the frame with a 2-56 screw. This close up view also shows the factory version of securing the coupler box with the screw securing the trucks to be totally inadequate especially for head end cars.


The all important Kadee Height Gauge Test. Roll car to gauge and allow to couple up. Make certain the trip pin clears the gauge prior to the coupler faces meeting. Give the car a tug and watch the coupler for vertical play. If the coupler raises up more than a fraction then there is too much vertical play. Most times this can be corrected with a gray of red Kadee washer inserted into the coupler box. Couplers should be able to swivel easily but be able to travel too far vertically.. 

The N.Y.C.T.L. Express Box Car Fleet. The two newest cars are in the middle. 


NYC 9214


REA 7422 (new)


Amtrak 1415 (new)


Amtrak 1521 with US Mail logo


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