NYC ALCO FA / FB Units

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

Saturday, August 15, 2015

CB&Q 50' Double Door Auto Boxcar #46662



Greetings Everyone,

Last week I was at my local hobby shop, Trainmaster Models in Buford, Georgia for my annual supply run. It seems I run low on HO scale parts like Kadee 209 and 210 washers, couplers, replacement metal wheel sets etc about this time every year. So while filling my carry basket I perused the vast selection of available models. Looking for an inexpensive kit that I could build in the cool of the basement on a another hot August day I came across an old Roundhouse Products kit  #7868, a CB&Q 50' Exterior Post Double Door Auto Boxcar for the cost of $7.00. Perfect! Seeing I have some 50' steel double door auto boxcars already in the fleet I thought this would be a nice addition.

Some prototype info; Before the big enclosed auto racks that we see today and the open auto racks of the more recent past railroads hauled automobiles in boxcars well into the 1950's. Starting with a 40' double door design in the 1930's many of these cars featured Evans racks that folded up so the cars could be used for purposes other than automobiles. The railroads graduated to the 50' double door design with an auto loading door at one end. These doors made it easier to load autos on one end but were a mixed blessing. Since the car had the auto loader door on only one end a lot of switching was required to orient it correctly. (good or bad for model railroad operations?). The door apparently became a maintenance headache and many of them were just welded shut. Many of these specialized cars had the words AUTOMOBILE stenciled in white on their right side doors.

Here is a link to a CB&Q 46000 series single sheathed double door boxcar photographed in 1968.
 http://rr-fallenflags.org/cbq/cbq46829ajs.jpg

A 1916 NYC 40' double door boxcar


A steel NYC 64000 series car



Here is the kit with the Kadee #5s and Intermountain metal wheel sets that I plan to use. The car is a 50' double door exterior braced car with wood sides purportedly built 8/1937. This will fit in nicely with my Proto 2000 50' auto boxcar fleet. 

The parts bag has been opened and the contents of the box are spread out here. The Roundhouse kits offered a perfect coupler box with a screw on lid. The weight shows no rust. The parts list and instructions are present which is always good. Note the Auto doors on the end of the boxcar. 

The parts bag with trucks, wheel sets, brake parts, screws and the old horn hook couplers that came with almost every HO scale model of this period.

Unfortunately the fish belly detail, part 21005 was not present anywhere in the box. The instruction sheet recommends contacting the factory for any missing or replacement parts. That's going to be hard to do as they are no longer in business having been bought out by Athearn. So I'll just make a simple fish belly detail using two wood craft strips with a thin strip of styrene sandwiched in between. The whole thing fits snugly in the slots in the under frame and is secured with CA. The fish belly could not be omitted as it provides needed structural stability to the floor.  

The brake components have been installed along with the new fish belly detail. The steel weight is attached with silicone adhesive. Everything has been painted rattle can flat black. The Kadee #5s were then installed along with the metal wheels sets. The trucks have been dry brushed with burn umber.

Several coats of Testor's Dullcote later CB&Q 46662 is now ready for service.With the addition of the metal wheels sets and fish belly detail the car weighs in at 4.5 oz. Perfect according to NMRA recommended practices for a 50' car. 

 The brake wheel was painted rattle can brown. 
Not a perfect match but close enough and better than the black.

The auto loading doors. 
With the metal wheel sets the car achieved a 19' free roll on grade at left.

A close up of CB&Q 46662. Note the fish belly detail cannot be readily seen. The Intermountain metal wheel sets have been brush painted with burnt umber acrylic paint. 


Fellow modeler and Model Railroad Miscellany blogger John Bruce posted an Accurail vs Walthers 40' AAR Boxcars blog entry on August 13, 2015 which is excellent and does a nice cost comparison between the two. The Accurail car being a kit much like this Roundhouse kit and the Walthers car being a ready to run model. In addition John showcases some of his own upgrades to both cars.

Read it here:  http://modelrrmisc.blogspot.com/2015/08/accurail-vs-new-walthers-aar-boxcars.html

I'll follow up John's post with the cost of this project:
Roundhouse boxcar:   $7.00
Kadee #s                   $2.05                    
Metal wheels              $3.00
Total:                        $12.05

A current check for this exact car (CB&Q 46662) on ebay shows many available for purchase for about $11.00 plus $6.00 shipping cost. Using that cost the car would come out at a price of $22.05

All told it took about 90 minutes to get this car from box to layout. Not bad for a decent rugged car that will give a lifetime of fine performance. As John B pointed out in his blog post molded on detail is not a detriment to a good model and can be the preferred choice for those who operate their trains. Not having to worry about breaking all the finely detailed separately applied parts during handling is not a bad thing.

6 comments:

  1. Nice find at the hobby shop and a good build with resourceful use of wood and styrene to replace the missing fish belly detail! As always, I enjoyed the background information regarding the prototype you took the time to provide!

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    1. Thanks Ralph! It was a fun build and research project. Glad you enjoyed it. The wood strips and styrene were my second choice. I though I could add one more use to the 1001 uses for black coffee stirrers book we are compiling.

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  2. Great to see that, and thanks for the shout-out! I think the later Roundhouse cars were very, very good as operating models -- we agree on the good features, I think! I have several of the 50-foot auto cars from when they first came out. It reminds me I need to take pictures. Had a great day at the swap meet today and will post a couple finds on my blog.

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    1. You're Welcome John. Your blog entry was excellent and I think the link enhanced my own entry. It was a win-win. The later Roundhouse models were good models. The earlier models were not necessarily my favorites although I own quite a few. Looking forward to seeing you photos and your next blog entry.

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  3. It occurs to me that enclosed auto box cars, with end doors welded shut or not, fell out of use in the 1950s (the railroads lost this traffic for a while, but got it back with the multi-level auto rack cars). Double door cars, though, were very popular for lumber after that. I tend to use mine as lumber cars in my operating scheme, though there's no reason you can't say they're carrying autos!

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    1. That makes sense. I tried to find a NYC symbol train for auto traffic in the 50s but could not. In the 60s ML-12 (Multi Level) was the auto / flexi van hotshot. Another fact is that some of the 50' automobile boxcars do not have the word "automobile" stenciled on them. I can definitely see them in automobile service or general service with lumber and maybe appliances. Thanks for the tip.

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