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Good Evening Everybody.

Neophyte O gauger here (though I am now a subscriber and supporter!). As I initially stated when I first joined this site, what led me here was a purchase of a Kusan battery powered set. While the bulk of my motive power seems to be Marx at the moment, the Kusan models are setting the pattern for my freight. That said, I really rather like the boxcar. While I know it is 10% smaller than true 1/48, I like that it seems to have no problems navigating O27 (unlike the poor battery powered Beep, whose motor I may have effectively killed due to overheating).
I purchased a Marx plastic boxcar in the hopes that it would be of similar size, but alas it is almost dead-on 3/16 (I seem to have remembered that too late). The Menards' cars look nice, but I am getting mixed information about their size.
So, who ended up with the dies for the Kusan K series? Are there any other manufacturers with similarly sized cars? Am I tilting at windmills? Is this an impossible dream? Where is Sancho Panza?


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From Robert's Kusan Page:

Andy Kriswalus acquired the tooling from Kusan in 1967 and began producing a line of rolling stock under the Kris Model Trains name. In the 1980's, Williams Electric Trains obtained much of the former AMT-Kusan tooling from Kris. For a time, Frank's Roundhouse produced rolling stock using some of the original molds. K-Line Trains purchased most of the old tooling from Williams in 1985. In 2002, Taylor Made Trucks sold a four-wheel Lionel switcher, as a load on one of their trucks, that was made from the former Kusan and Williams molds. Bachmann Trains (formerly Williams), Ready Made Trains (RMT) and Menards use some of the original tooling today.

Disregard the Menards reference, though, as it is clear the Menards cars are very close or exact clones of the Williams models, Menards has stated they are not made by Bachmann or Williams tooling.  It has been mentioned that the Menards cars are made by chinese manufacturer "Golden Wheel".

Thanks, Rob. You know, I wonder if those were the AMT derived cars?

The temptation is simply to go with the Marx derived 3/16 cars and be done with it, as they are cheap (and I am poor) and fairly plentiful. The thing is, alongside that Kusan K series 40' car of mine, they look... well... narrow gauge.
But it's a start.
Thanks again.

Seems to me the choices are Kusan, Kris, Williams, Franks, K-Line 6000 series( they are all essentially the same car, modified) or Lionel 6464.  The K-Line 640 series, new dies but also same size.    Menards, no clue.

@ADCX Rob posted:

... it is clear the Menards cars are very close or exact clones of the Williams models, Menards has stated they are not made by Bachmann or Williams tooling...

The problem, and I think the confusion, stems from Kusan eventually tooling their own boxcars, not just continuing the AMT units. These are the ones I'm curious about. They are 90% the size of the proper O scale cars (the shells are 9"), with both doors cast into the body shell, one closed, one opened. These have no problems navigating O27, and apparently are pretty similar in size to the Lionel 6464's (I should have gotten into these instead of collecting odd telescopes, but noooooo...).

I know that Lionel continued the 6464 series in a sense after the MPC acquisition, and their traces are all over the place within their rolling stock. That's one of the reasons I purchased that 1979 Napierville boxcar. They seem to be a bit more abundant.

It's probably a trivial thing, but I remember being a young man and watching the Florida East Coast Railroad slogging 40 and 50 footers down the mainline, and there were a number of times where you'd have a constant string of cars, all the same height, almost the same length.

Sigh. Sorry, waxing nostalgic. Also, missing my youth. If you come across my youth, just send it back.

Just did more digging. K-Line acquired the Kusan K series boxcar dies and modified them, adding working doors among other things. It appears that the late K641 series were their descendants, and they appear to be fairly common, so I think we've gotten some closure here.
I'd like to thank you for participating in today's exciting episode of "Help The Neophyte!"


Last edited by RRLittle

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