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  I am looking for more options for my container cars.  I currently run MTH Premier Husky Stacks and Atlas 40 Twin Stacks.  I am looking for more of a Maxi Stack style.  I know that Atlas makes 53ft maxi stacks and Lionel makes Maxi stacks also.  I am not sure of the scale though for Lionel.  I have had there stacks in the past and they are noticeably smaller than the MTH Premiers.  That was the older stacks and not sure if the new ones are closer to scale.  Also saw K-Line has some, How do they match up with Premier?  I am looking for 40-45-48 foot Maxi stacks as I am not looking at 53fts quite yet.  Any help would be great.  Thanks 

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The Lionel Maxi-Stacks are more of a traditional size, closer to S scale. The Lionel Husky Stacks are closer to scale, but still not a true 1:48. I took a quick photo to show you the Lionel on the left vs. MTH Premier on the right. Of course in 1:1 world, the containers aren't necessarily all of the same size either.




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Once upon a time, there was a fantastic topic about all the different intermodal items made for O gauge. Unfortunately, it accidentally got deleted about five years ago. It had all the details of which containers fit in which cars. The person who gathered all the data and started the topic, has since left the forum.

Having examples of almost every different intermodal item ever produced, in my collection, I suppose, if I was feeling ambitious, I could take the photos and do the research to try and recreate what was lost. 

As for the OP's question, 40' containers were made by a number of manufacturers, Atlas, K-line and Right of Way. I'm not sure if Weaver ever made any 40's, but they had 20's which are now being made by Atlas. A new entry in the 40' arena is Menards. They actually seem to have found and reproduced the old Right of Way well car, and make containers for it. They are now selling just the containers without the car. These were announced in just tha last couple weeks.

45's are just made by Atlas as far as I know, and I think the MTH's are 48's. Atlas started doing the 53's a few years ago.

Lionel just did a batch their "scale" cars, but I haven't really examined their dimensions. All of this stuff was in that lost topic, except for the newest additions, which was why it was such a loss to the forum when it got deleted.

falconservice posted:

The K-Line Maxi-Stack 40' well cars are scale sized. They were only 2-unit cars as sold.

They are not in production right now. Bachmann might still be able to produce them. 

Bachmann needs to know of the demand for true O scale Maxi-Stack 5-unit, 40' well cars.


Actually, K-line made single cars as well. I know because I broke one when it fell six feet to the concrete floor. Sheared both truck screws off in the body. I have to find some replacement shoulder screws, and figure out how to get the broken threads out. It's on my workbench. I just moved it a couple hours ago.

That would be cool if they brought them back, and a 5 unit would be fantastic.

I have one of the K-Line single 40' well Gunderson intermodal cars. There are the regular truck ends and the articulated truck ends for their die-cast Gunderson 40' well cars.

There would have to be an organized pre-order petition for the people at Bachmann to notice that operators want them to produce the cars as 5-unit articulated editions. 


Big_Boy_4005 posted:

Once upon a time, there was a fantastic topic about all the different intermodal items made for O gauge. Unfortunately, it accidentally got deleted about five years ago. It had all the details of which containers fit in which cars. The person who gathered all the data and started the topic, has since left the forum.

All of this stuff was in that lost topic, except for the newest additions, which was why it was such a loss to the forum when it got deleted.

While the original O scale intermodal primer disappeared, Ted Hikel followed up with this intermodal thread in March 2015...

O Scale Freight Car Guide: Intermodal Cars

Last edited by RidgeRunner

First- @tom caron the Atlas 40’ technically don’t fit in the wells as the pegs at the bottom of the K-kine well cars have pegs that are too large for the Atlas’s very small peg holes. That said, as both the K-line containers and Atlas are scale and share the same distance between pin holes, and Atlas 40’ can fit on top of a K-line 40’, 2 k-line 20’, 2 Weaver 20’(with modification), and two RoW 20’ roughly work with an Atlas 40’ above- although they’re a bit short leaving a gap in the middle.

Sorry to restart such an old thread- but this opportunity seems like a good one to introduce my idea for the trying to re-post and add info from the original intermodal thread. I’ve been compiling info on dimensions for intermodal containers(Length, width & height), the dimensions for each well, the “adapter” method for each container or well car(fixed pegs, removable pegs, pegs protrude from well), and a compatibility matrix of what containers fit in which well cars or on/under another brands container.

There are a couple of issues that have prevented me from posting:

1.) determining the scope: I would like to include things like K-line, Weaver and other flat cars but that was proving to be a bit much

2.)  I don’t personally have- Lionel Husky Stacks cars or containers , MTH Premier Husky stacks cars, or 2 or 5 car spine sets

That said, might give it a shot with what I have

@250rman the Lionel Maxi stacks containers are far from scale. Converting their measurement to 1/4 of an inch makes the 32.5’ scale- well undersized(no pun intended). For reference, here are some scale intermodal containers on a variety of different types & brands of cars:

K-line Thrall well car- 16.5.” Long. The  well size is 40 scale feet so 10”. This Car is, at least in size and design, prototypically  Representative of a thrall well car with a 40’ well. Unfortunately, this Thrall well car represents itself as having a 48’ well with the large 48 next to the APL on both sides. In addition, it further misrepresents the actual well length with  markings that read “ 40’, 45’. 48’ “on the outside portion of the top of the well. That said, there are some K-line Thrall well cars that have a 40 on the outside and thus accurately portrayed. The bottom container is a K-line 40’ And top is an Atlas 40’341F0CE4-8CA8-4203-8B93-A19D78714A74

Menards well car- 17.5” in length. Well isTwo slightly modified Weaver 20’ container in the well, Atlas 40’ container on top 8E1D42E3-B231-4C5D-92A9-5E62429D851A

again the Menards well car. The Menards containers are undersized(19”). Bottom containers are ROW 20’, although they’re exact measure is closer to 4.9. Regardless, the left side of the well car shows how the Menards 40’ container is too small for the ROW 20’ containers. 09AB3EEA-CF84-4FD3-8F33-78D804F45835

Atlas 40’ container or 2 RoW 20’ Containers. There is a slight gap in the middle16F47D87-601B-4BED-A179-BBC87DB5D32F

from left to right: Weaver bulkhead, modified to fit an Atlas or K-line 40’ container. The next 2 flats are K-line with removabal bulkheads. THe middle k-line flat has one Weaver 20’ And on MTH premier 20’, the last car to the right has two 20’ Weaver containers. Weaver containers have been modified- removed the bottom(as it has protrusionsthat make them incompatible with the other well cars and flats) and replaced it with the ROW bottom after drilling holes in the corners of the ROWs(replaced their length with thick styrene)7D3716DE-40B9-4C4A-A6FA-C341B918454E


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Last edited by StevefromPA

Here are some pics of what can be done with the K-Line Thrall and Gunderson 40’ well cars. There were a lot of modifications done to get these done, but I’m very pleased. It involves having a machine shop cut the ends off the Gunderson cars, and adding end platforms for each car to create the articulated effect. Here are a few pics of mine- the bottom pic is a MTH Premier 53’ well car that I made by starting with a 48’ husky stack, and splicing in a 5’ section to make it 53’.



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Thanks for posting the ROW Indistries  @PRRMP54 very nice!

this question is to you and anyone else familiar with the ROW intermodal well cars- what is their minimum curve radius? I swear I saw it on here before(I think it was O-54). Had a chance to buy one this last weekend but passed because I was unsure of the minimum curve which is o-42 for my layout.

that said, if it is o-42, after I kick myself I might be able to contact the seller after contacting some other sources

Jeff78rr - how big is your layout to handle 49 stack cars? Modifying the cars like you do is not in my wheelhouse - wow.

Regarding stack cars the following photos are comparisons of MTH RailKing, Lionel "027" size and MTH Premier. Being (re)new to the hobby I was shocked to see the extreme differences between cars. No LHS around to compare as I was starting back up.

Unfortunately I did not take measurements of any of these cars, sold them all off. I found the K-Line and Lionel "scale" cars play well together.


Following is a short video of my K-Line and Lionel intermodals running on my 9x13 layout. 


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@StevefromPA posted:

Thanks for posting the ROW Indistries  @PRRMP54 very nice!

this question is to you and anyone else familiar with the ROW intermodal well cars- what is their minimum curve radius? I swear I saw it on here before(I think it was O-54). Had a chance to buy one this last weekend but passed because I was unsure of the minimum curve which is o-42 for my layout.

that said, if it is o-42, after I kick myself I might be able to contact the seller after contacting some other sources

Mine is two-rail and easily makes around Atlas O-72.

Enough though there is the length difference with the containers between the Lionel and MTH Premier, I feel that Lionel is the closest to MTH Premier.  Some modellers push the ends out toward the wheels on the Lionel and successfully install the MTH and Atlas scale containers.

Because of the slight size variation, I will run all the Lionel Husky Stacks (11 CSX + 2 CSX duplicates, 6 new TTX Logo, 6 swoosh BNSF) together on one consist and the MTH Husky Stacks (lost count) on another consist.  (I also have various 5 car 40' stacks but I'm starting to dislike those.)  I plan to use the larger CSX engines (SDMAC80s) with the MTH Husky Stacks and the CSX ES44XXs with the Lionel.

I will not touch the new Lionel Husky Stacks (the ones with the notched bottoms).  The scale seems fairly off and the quality is subpar.  But this is my opinion.


In the interest of building the record following are photos of a Lionel TTX stack 6-17589 and a MDK/K-Line K-776403 DTTX.  The Lionel container is 11.5 inches long while the K-Line is 10 inches (not including couplers). Both cars are die cast. This is the only combination of cars which look OK running together IMO - I do not notice the length difference.  I have not found any information on the scale length of the K-Line car although it states it is scale proportions. Looking at the car well markings, the container is supposed to be 48 feet but measures out to 40 feet.  The Lionel is a 48 foot container but is short by 1/2 inch or 2 feet.

MTH Premier cars are noticeably taller and K-Line and Lionel cars do not look right in comparison IMO. Premier cars are injection molded plastic and do not have the level of detail apparent in the two other cars. I have no issue with the MTH cars, I thought they looked good and ran fine. But given the need to have all MTH to look right and a maximum height issue with my layout, they went to other owners. (They were a 1/4 inch too tall for one of my tunnels and both trestle bridges.)

Lionel states the cars will handle 036 curves, I run minimum 042 with no issues with either car. While the containers have different heights, in the well there is only a slight height difference as seen. 


Doors open on both, the Lionel requires moving pairs of extremely delicate latch bars - I opened one door - will never open another one. Big fingers tend to break things that small.  All of my cars were purchased used and are long out of production. 

What a fun and confusing hobby we have!


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@ScoutingDad thank you very much for that comparison! They actually do look ok next to each other. Just to clarify- the MTH premier Husky stacks run on o-42?  

really though, thanks for posting some of that as I am working on compiling container dimensions, types of “connections”(molded on pin, removable) length and width between pin holes(I/a), and well car dimensions and how the containers either attach or just sit in the well. I am missing the Lionel well car and container dimensions their Husky stacks(already have the s-Scale Maxi stacks well and container sizes) and the well sizes for the numerous Atlas well cars

Regardless, @250rman said he is looking for some scale Maxi stacks. While I can’t necessarily help you there as I have none(wasn’t Atlas coming out with those?), if you’re into intermodal(which it seems that you are) I think that taking a look at some scale well cars and some other scale intermodal types might be helpful:

K-line Thrall(scale 40’ well, Scale 40’ Containers) followed by the Menards well car(which I believe is also based on a Thrall well car).


K-line CSX Gunderson, Lionel Maxi Stack(clearly not scale), Menards well car


K-line with 48’ container on top. As already stated by @Jeff78rr , the measurements on the side of the car state it’s a 48’ well-clearly not the case


K-line Thrall, Menards well car, K-line Gunderson. All nominally 40’ containers however...



Length comparison: K-line Gunderson(shown) and K-line thrall(not shown) 16.5”. Menards is 17.5”. Thought this picture also made evident that the Menards containers are shorter(9.5”)

Cross compatibility:

**NOTE** when solely considering containers, the K-line Gunderson And Thrall can be used interchangeably for compatibility comparisons

K-line 40’ container in Menards well. Nice thing about the Menards well car is there are no pins protruding out of the well, allowing for more compatibility. K-line ( snug but work) and ROW containers(not shown) fit w/o modification image

Weaver 20’ container in Menards well car & K-line Thrall-first 2 pics below. First, instructions to make Weaver containers workable in K-line well cars

Without modifying, the containers will wobble MenArds and k-line cars- also will shift up and down in the K-line wells as they prototypically have girded bottoms. The Weaver containers have pins molded in bottom of each corner and a bottom with a protrusion to attach to Weaver flat cars. Pegs are relatively small, though. To make the Weaver containers work with K-line well cars, one can make the following non-Premanent modifications:

MODs- remove Weaver container bottom by unscrewing it, get .60 styrene or remove an ROW 20’ container bottom(they fit perfectly), cut/drill holes in each corner of the new bottom, affix to bottom of container with double sided tape or small amount of sticky tack(PIC 3 below). Get another piece of styrene that’s 1.5” long and fits the middle of the K-line well, on both of the 1.5” sides, cut a hole were the two Weaver containers pegs will be( PIc 4below). Finally, tape that piece of styrene in the middle of the K-line well cars. The Weaver containers should now adequately balance.




PIC 4image

MTH premier 20’ . Molded pins on bottom, better fit than K-line. That said, unless one would grind/sand/dremel those pins down, the looser fit would probably cause some wobbling with any combo of MTH premiersimage

Atlas 40’ in Menards well. The detailing on the doors of the Atlas container exceed the length of the Menards well


Atlas 40’ in K-line thrall. Looks can be deceiving, this will wobble due to a loose fitimage

MTH Premier in K-line Gunderson- same problem as with the Menards well. Compounded by the K-line well pinsimage

Atlas 40’ on top of K-line 40’ works. The reverse won’t


Other intermodal options worth considering:

**NOTE** some of the below examples require modification to cars and or containers. With careful measuring they turn out nicely. Any modifications will be noted

Weaver 14.5” bulkhead flat with Atlas 40’ container(MOD:Weaver flat required 4 holes to be drilled into the bed- technically you might be able to get away with just 1 that are on diagonally opposite sides if just going for a 40’) and K-line 13.5” flat(removable bulkheads) with MTH premier 20’ and Weaver 20’(MOD:K-line flat requires 6 holes, non-permanent mod to Weaver container- required removal of bottom which was used to attach to weaver flats, replaced bottom with styrene but depending on what you’re going for that is not necessary)


Lengths of the cars is different, but all containers are scale so they match-up in length. While the MTH container is a bit wider, it was slightly crooked in this picture.  this combo looks just fine on the rails.


K-line 13.5” flat with two Weaver 20’ containers and Weaver Bulkhead flat with K-line 40’ container. MODS: see the description of the picture above the previous picture


K-line 13.5” flat(bulkheads removable) w/ Atlas 40’ container, same type of K-line flat with  K-line 40’ container, Weaver Bulkhead flat with two Weaver 20’ containers(MOD: Weaver Flat required 6 holes drilled into bed after careful measuring- that includes the 4 holes for a 40’ container. Weaver container bottoms removed and replaced with styrene


Weaver bulkhead flat w/ Atlas container next to Atlas Front Runner with 45’ Pines Trailer


K-line 2 unit TTAX Spine cars. THese can be expanded to the prototypical 5 unit- nothing like the early 90s Lionel TTAX. In terms of K-line containers, one of these can fit any of the following combinations: two 20’, one 40’, one 48’, one 40’ Trailer chassis w/ or w/o container. K-line’s 9’ Heavy Hauler trailers are NOT compatible with these unless modified82AAE3B9-CD1B-4829-9D1E-97193B191D4C

Spine car with 40’ Trailer  next to AtlasO Front Runner with 45’ Pines trailer98969B37-99E2-447C-9226-EE2B59AFF3F2

Hope that helped a bit or helps someone. Good luck!


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StevefromPA - I have no issues running any of my intermodals on 042 curves. That includes MTH Premier and RailKing, K-Line, and Lionel traditional and scale cars.  I was looking at the scale auto carriers but those look like they need 052 minimum.  Aren't the Menards cars semi-scale similar in size to RailKing?  Never seen those at my local Menards. BTW - lot of work putting those photos together - nice job.  Missed your earlier post on the mis-marking on the K-Line cars and confirmed by Jeff78rr.

One of these days I'll have to understand the differences between Husky Stacks / Maxi Stacks / Thrall / Gunderson / DTTX / TTX  and so forth.

Of course as is common on this forum the information exists on other topic pages - just saw the extensive write up on these under the O Scale Freight Car Guide: Intermodal Cars topic linked earlier on this thread. Too bad there are missing photos.

Last edited by ScoutingDad

Scouting Dad-- I can help you out with some brief descriptions-- the Husky Stack car is a stand-alone car, made by Greenbriar, that is generally designed for a 53' container inside the well car itself. The Maxi-Stack is also made by Greenbriar, and has several varieties- Maxi Stack I is a 5-unit set of 40' well cars that are articulated. The Maxi Stack III is a 5-car set featuring wells for 48' containers. The Maxi IV is a 3-car set with 53' wells.

Thrall is a car company, just like Gunderson. Thrall cars have ribbed sides, Gunderson has smooth. TTX is a company, and DTTX is one of their reporting marks for intermodal cars. There is a ton more to know but this is a good start.

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