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This series has covered 12 different styles of interior upgrades in 12 months.  The car interior I'm recreating this month was originally built by the American Car and Foundry (ACF) in August of 1957.  ACF made 35 of these Postal Storage cars for the Union Pacific that year using lightweight steel and not the normal all aluminum construction.  Besides making these out of lightweight steel these Postal Storage cars numbered 5711 ~ 5745 where also different from the other Union Pacific head end cars because they were only 73’ long and used 4 wheel trucks.  That means my K-Line 18" O-gauge replica, part number K4690-35715 from the 2005  catalog matches to very scale nicely.

Here's a guide on how to make this cars interior look like the original Union Pacific Postal Storage interior from 1957.

above c

Start by removing the 2 black screws on each end that hold on the end caps.  Pull each end cap away from the shell and unplug the wires going to the overhead lights.  Slide the black metal frame with stock K-Line interior out of the aluminum shell.


Next, remove 6 small screws that hold the K-Line plastic floor onto black metal frame.


Tack down 1/16" wooden strips with CA glue to elevate your new floor above the incoming power wires.  Trim black plastic (at arrow marked below) to allow room for the power wires underneath the new floor.


Tack down 1/32" thick basswood floor with CA glue to the wooden strips.   Make four small holes in basswood for the factory end cap screws that will be coming up from the bottom.


Install 1/32" x 3/32" basswood planks.  Then sand the floor so all planks are smooth and even.


Tint floor planks with your choice of color.  I dapped on a medium mahogany color to give it a weathered look and to match my other head end cars.


Next, add stanchions made from 1/32" brass rods, black heater pipe guards along middle sides and electrical locker with door per the ACF plans.  I left room on the upper right corner by the wires for the Hennings 21000 Passenger Car LED lighting kit's circuit board.


Cut square & rectangle pieces of basswood or balsa wood to make crate/box shapes.  Paint them different colors and use a 0.05 medium grey Staedtler pen to make the wooden box trace outlines.  Then randomly place the crates, boxes and packages in your Postal Storage car.


Arttista figure number 1325 is moving this wooden crate toward the opposite side of the car.


The guy in a hat is Arttista figure number 1231

hat e

The worker in green putting down a box is made by K-Line.

box d

If you were thinking about making new interiors for your passenger fleet, a simple postal storage car like this is a great interior to try first.  I will attach this cars original ACF plans below for printing. The real Union Pacific 5715 Postal Storage car is still riding the rails today.  It was purchased by Kansas City Southern (KCS) back in 2006 and is currently a lounge car called Laredo.  It is painted in full KCS colors and now has car number 1969.

above h

Thank you for following this series.

To look at the other interior builds in this series click on the links below. They are listed in the order I run them on my layout:


Images (14)
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  • 5715 plans
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Last edited by T.Albers
Original Post

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@Bill N posted:

Very nice work.  Was it normal for a mail storage car to have that many bodies in it?  

Thank you Bill 👍
Prototypically, I don’t think that many workers would be in a storage car all at the same time unless the train was loading/unloading at a station.  I just wanted to give my visitors something to look at if they opened up a sliding door on either side of the car.

Last edited by T.Albers
@AlanRail posted:

I just wanted to give my visitors something to look at if they opened up a sliding door on either side of the car.

Great detail work, but that happens a lot??




Why the skepticism?

I don't think my experience is unique: Visitors who come to see my passenger car runs always peer inside cars with lighted full interiors and if there are opening doors on baggage cars (or boxcars) they will most definitely open them! Actually it makes the modeling more difficult because looking at scale passengers, fittings and cargo at close range means that any defects in paint/glue are as noticeable as they are in high res photos. But the interest in such features is far greater for the average viewer than in rivet details or even steam running gear. 

Anyway the modeling is more than half the fun/satisfaction of passenger car projects, whether you are striving for prototypical accuracy or (as in my case) just a representation of the real thing. Like @T.Albers I keep a photographic record of my projects and there is an album of them to remind me what I did - if not exactly why. 

Last edited by Hancock52
@AlanRail posted:

I just wanted to give my visitors something to look at if they opened up a sliding door on either side of the car.

Great detail work, but that happens a lot?

Thank you Alan!

I have a little nephew that's 7 years old.  When he comes over to visits he like to watch the trains run.  I let him push the buttons for the coaling station, rocket launcher, 182 electric crane and log loader.   But passenger cars like this don't have much for him to interact with.  So I will stop the train in front of him so he can look inside at all the little people and open the doors.  :-)

Look I love details, I was an engineer for many years and we live for detailing. It's the reason I own both a 3D laser printer and a laser cutter. So the parts I make whether trusses or bridges or radio antennas or signals or whatever are detailed with bolting; that if you look closely even have the under lying "washers". So I love details. 

However, I limit my details as to whether or not the details can be easily viewed and seen. It seems to me a bit time-wasteful to detail a dead cat in a closed box! 

But it's your time not mine.

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