This thought was prompted a bit by an rather old Model Railroader I found while out thrifting, specifically the article The boxcar fleet of the Fifties by John Nehrich in the March 1986 issue. While WW2 & post WW2 era steel cars seem well represented on average in O Scale, I must confess I was rather taken with the idea of mixing in a few older, shorter cars of the 36 ft wooden variety, as well as curious about outside steel braced and early steel cars like the PRR's X29 (mentioned specifically in the article). Obviously, these sorts of prototypes are rather few & far between in the O Scale world, but I'm curious: does anybody try and run some of these earlier boxcar designs on their layouts already, and what rolling stock is out there already?

The only wood cars I could think of in O Scale were woodside refers, which represent cars of the 1920s, and the trussrod 34ft boxcars from MTH. I'd kind of be curious how the later look next to more modern cars, as they are close (but not quite) to the turn of the century cars that would have been the oldest examples on the rails in the '50s (but still earning there keep, for example 50% of the D&H's boxcars were 36 ft in 1950). 

The Cleveland & Western Railroad

Rockport, O.

 

Original Post

This is purely anecdotal evidence, so take it for what it's worth. 

As a kid, back in the Fifties, my friends and I spent many an hour watching the long mixed freights on the PRR mainline.  An old wooden boxcar would have stood out like a rabbit in a cabbage patch, but I can't recall ever seeing a single one.  Maybe on other railroads it was different.

 

I saw outside braced wood boxcars on the B&O during the late 1950's.  I remember the brake wheel placement.  My father would take me to the B&O team track nearby and at times there would be one of these cars waiting to be unloaded.  

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 

Many boxcar types from the 30s and earlier lasted into the 50s.  Here are some photos of trains from that era with many different sizes of boxcars in tow:

ATSF_5000_1949cbcb41e748362808d05a528d0573b15a--louisville-diesel[1]photo-toronto-train-canadian-national-steam-engine-4101-and-diesel-9003-pulling-freight[1]

I'm trying to recreate that type of freight on my layout.  I have several pre WWII style cars, including the MTH car Patrick has, but most are from Atlas O.  Here are some of my pre WWII Atlas O cars.

Outside braced boxcarsOutside Braced

X26 Box in yardO X-26

AtlasO X26cO X-26c (X-26 rebuild)

AtlasO X29X-29DSCN0353X-29 REA

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

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Wow, pleased to see so many responses, and models that I didn't think were out there in O Scale! I guess I have been in the semi-scale end of the pond for too long and not seen all the neat modern offerings. Perhaps, using the article I have to hand, I'll try and categorize some of the more traditional sized boxcars out there. 

@trumptrain Somehow, I knew you'd be all about this thread! I have always admired your layout. Don't you have a B&0 wood caboose from MTH that lurks in the background of many a photo? IIRC it is based on the same chassis as MTH's 34 ft boxcars.

The Cleveland & Western Railroad

Rockport, O.

 

There were still some wooden-side boxcars running on the Nickle Plate during the last years the Berkshires were running. I'm not from the Midwest and the Nickel Plate wasn't a prototype that interests me, but I try to pay attention to what's behind the tender when I watch railfan-oriented videos. My thanks to the old-timers who shot movie film back in the day and the people who subsequently transferred the images to video.

 

As for me, I'm modeling a ten to eleven year period stretching from the late 1930's to the late 1940's, and there were still a lot of wooden-side boxcars as well as reefers operating back then.

I would like the era, especially the introduction date into use, of every car on the box, whether built-up or a kit, so l would know whether l can use it or not..l can't use anything that did not exist in 1940, so..Quonset huts, most diesels, etc,, are out.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

Redshirt214 posted:

Wow, pleased to see so many responses, and models that I didn't think were out there in O Scale! I guess I have been in the semi-scale end of the pond for too long and not seen all the neat modern offerings. Perhaps, using the article I have to hand, I'll try and categorize some of the more traditional sized boxcars out there. 

@trumptrain Somehow, I knew you'd be all about this thread! I have always admired your layout. Don't you have a B&0 wood caboose from MTH that lurks in the background of many a photo? IIRC it is based on the same chassis as MTH's 34 ft boxcars.

Redshirt214 - Thanks for your kind words about my layout.!  I'm happy to hear you like it.   I do have two B&O wood cabeese, one is a full sized Railking 4 axle and the other is a Railking bobber which I have weathered. 

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 

@trumptrain Ah yeah that RailKing was the one I was thinking of. I do admit to having a love of Bobber Cabooses as well... something about small prototype cars or locos, and trains with slight size differences in rolling stock appeals to me greatly. Somedays I wish Ohio hadn't led the charge on getting bobbers banned... but from a workplace safety perspective I can see why they did it. It's a shame though, some of those W&LE Bobbers would have looked cool in NKP colors.

The Cleveland & Western Railroad

Rockport, O.

 

So getting a bit back on topic, for those of us who operate on the smaller end of the O Guage side of scale, dose anybody have a comparison shot of an MTH RailKing 34 foot boxcar (pretty close to a turn of the century era wood car) up against a typical, 6464 style car (representing cars of say the 1930-40s, of all steel)? Looking at the dimensions of them online I suspect the wood car would tower comically over the steel car due to funky scale compression, but might be wrong on that count? It is hard to visualize when you are just looking at numbers on a screen.

The Cleveland & Western Railroad

Rockport, O.

 

Well this is what I ran one time the wood reefer is a K-Line the plug door reefers are Lionel standard O the tank cars are Kusan ( who remembers those) and the last one I Custom built using a old AHM Boxcar (steel) which has that low profile look like in the 40s I repainted it and used Tichy Train decals and put Lionel trucks on it and at the rear is a Lionel standard O wood caboose hope this helps I always like this  manifest  

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