A large purchase of used trains from different eras was made New York Central Train Layout Management several weeks ago. This purchase has resulted in several cars, including the Center Beam Flats, G.B.W. Thrall All Door Boxcar, A.T.S.F. 50' Boxcar being added to the fleet. The next car from the box to be put into service is Amtrak RPO (Railway Post Office) #9988. The model is an Athearn Blue Box offering with the pointless arrow paint scheme. This model joins Amtrak RPO # 9987 in the Amtrak fleet.
The Model: As received the car had several issues. First was the common problem on BB kits, heavy rust on the weights, coupler box lids and axles. Cosmetically the car had several scratches, a severe scrape on it's side, a missing brake wheel and the wrong color trucks for this model.
The Prototype: A search of various internet data bases did not reveal an Amtrak RPO similar to this specific car which is about 63' in scale length. RPO service ended for most railroads in the 1960s but continued on the Northeast Corridor up to 1977 via the Penn Central and Conrail. For additional information check this web discussion with links http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=61159&p=666259