Custom Painted P-2000 units

Sunday, July 27, 2014

REA Express Equipment Added To The Fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

In my July 4th shopping spree I added some REA Express equipment to the NYCTL roster. Two 40' trailers from Walther's and a 40' box car from ConCor. As a long time fan of mail and express trains the two boxes jumped off the shelves and right into my basket!

The REA Express logos on the trailers and boxcar are post 1969 when the Railway Express Agency sold the company to five of it's officers and the company was renamed REA Express. Both the Railway Express Agency and REA Express both utilized trailers and piggy back dating back to the earlier 1960s. REA Express declared bankruptcy in 1975 and exited the railroad transport business.  

Two 40' Trailer's from Walther's await their turn on the workbench

REX 4784, a 40' boxcar from ConCor 

REX 4784 is a pretty simple kit. I have added additional weight to the small sheet steel weight included with the kit.The sheet steel weight has been wire brushed and  painted. The nut is attached with silicone adhesive.

The boxcar has received P-2000 33"metal wheels and Kadee #5 couplers 

2-56 screws were added in lieu of the factory plastic press pin to secure the couplers to the coupler boxes. This car will see a lot of head end service and the 2-56 screws will definitely keep the couplers in place.

The under frame has been painted and the shell dull coated. 
The car is now ready for final assembly and testing.

REX 4784 in service with older REA brothers and a NYC express freight boxcar. 

During testing REX 4784 looked scared shaking annoyingly. The trucks had been tuned and the P-2000 wheels rolled freely. The culprit turned out to be the P-2000 axle width. It was a bit too large and lacked sufficient play between the axle and truck. A small amount of play is required so the wheel sets do not transmit any of the track variations to the truck and then too the boxcar itself. I removed the P-2000 wheel sets and replaced them with Intermountain 33" metal wheels. The car now runs super smooth and steady and is extremely free rolling.  

A short REA Express move will get these cars from North Side Yard
 to the Railway Express facility at Empire City Station

Penn Central E8A 4317 has this short train well in hand. The 4317 will be on point of a passenger train from Empire City later in the day.

The 2 new 40' REA Express trailers are now in revenue service. Marker lights, tail lights and rims have been painted and the trailers have been dull coated. The trailer train car is from Athearn. 

The gray 40' REA Express trailer is from Athearn as are both 85' flat cars. 

The trailers have arrived at the REA facility and the first one is 
being backed into the loading dock. Tractor by Athearn

Trailer #2 has been lifted and is now enroute to the loading dock.

The lift operator wastes no time and has the next trailer off the flat car and ready for pick up. 

REA Express TOFC traffic is running smoothly this day

A view of the REA Facility 


  1. Cool! There are a lot of scenes of PC mail trains in the Green Frog series of Penn Central DVDs. Your train conveys that nicely. I don't have any trailer cars but a member of one of the forums I participate on was generous enough to send me a PC trailer once. We had a car exchange and sent each other rolling stock to photograph on each others layouts and then return. He sent a trailer car with the trailer...and told me to keep the trailer!

    Your pics make me think I have an REA boxcar or two in a drawer downstairs. I should take a look!

    Neat stuff as always! Who makes the lift unloader at the REA facility?

  2. The lift is TYCO #903. Piggyback loader unloader.

    I was always a fan of REA equipment. I still remember the old REA building in Sunnyside Yard. It stood well into the 90s although it was in bad shape at that time. It was torn down during the Acela High Speed Rail Project.

    Seeing the REA lasted almost until Conrail they would fit into your PC era nicely. REA cars traveled in both freight and passenger consists so one or two here and there would look nice and be plausible.

  3. Thanks for the info! I found the two cars. Both will need magnetic couplers and better wheelsets. I bought them years ago at a flea market sale for some reason. I may not have even known their significance at the time. OK...things to look for...powered E8...mail cars... :)

  4. Look forward to seeing the upgraded cars. By the way I have started my own YouTube Channel. Here is my first video. It is somewhat dated as the layout has received more scenery since this was shot

  5. Congrats on the Youtube Channel! I just took a look. Terrific roll-bys of both pre- and post-merger equipment!!