O-36 Corrugated Auto Carrier Cars

Does anyone know of any corrugated auto carrier cars available that would fit an O-36 layout? I've seen the MTH premier ones for years, but they claim to have a minimim radius of O-54. Also, they are quite large at over 20" long. The longest rolling stock I currently have on my layout are the RailKing stack cars at 15", so 20" would probably look out of place.

A smaller version of the unit would be ideal. Condensed in a way similar to how RailKing and many Lionel cars are smaller to fit tighter layouts.

Any suggestions would be great!



Original Post

You are confusing the LIONEL full O scale length Auto Carriers with the MTH PREMIER auto carriers that are shortened and can take tighter curves. 

The MTH Premier auto carriers are the shortened version. 

I can test out the operation of an MTH Premier auto carrier on Lionel O-36 track in the next two days. I will take some photos.


I don't think John M is confusing the MTH premier with the scale Lionel Auto Carriers.   The Lionel Carriers are even longer at 24".    

MTH info:

  • 1:48 Scale Dimensions
  • O Scale Kadee Compatible Coupler Mounting Pads
  • Unit Measures:20 1/8" x 2 5/8" x 5 1/16"
  • Operates On O-54 Curves



  TCA 15-71227

  1970-1986 General Mills MPC Era.

I was just about to say what Mike has now mentioned. 

The MTH units are full 1:48 scale and, as a result, too large for my layout. However, I wasn't aware that the Lionel versions were even larger. 

I've had no luck finding slightly smaller cars anywhere, and it's a real shame considering how common this type of rolling stock is on the rails thes these days. 


If MTH or LIONEL had true 1/64th scale version of the modern 89'-4" auto carriers with screens produced they could put S gauge and O gauge trucks on them. That would solve the problem for operation on smaller diameter curves. 


Here are my photos of a TTGX TTX flat car with a Kansas City Southern auto rack this summer.




Photos (2)

I'm guessing you are aware of the original Lionel "Auto Carriers" that debuted in the '90s.

Here's a pic of one of them:

They were released in O gauge and have since been also "converted" to S gauge by swapping out the O trucks for "S" trucks. In any event they will easily handle O36 curves.

The length of the car is about 13.5 inches. They certainly aren't "scale" in detail or construction but a string of them will give you the "feel" of a modern  autorack train.

There are lots of new and used examples on the auction sites. Here's the results for "Lionel Auto Carrier with screens".




Photos (1)

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