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Looking to find out who manufactured these die cast rail cars.  There is no manufacturer's name on them, only the RR line and the number.

The C&O hopper is in two mating halves.  The AT&SF is a single casting.   I would not call these tin plate.  They are massive, heavy cars.

Also, who made the couplers and is there a part number?


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I Believe that I have the same car as the C&O.  The sides have metal dowels that that connect them and then the underframe is screwed to the sides.

It is not Mi-Loco or Mi-I-Scale.  I also have a tank car.

Are the truck bolsters round and pressed onto the side frames on your car.

I got these cars in the Fall and have researched 17/64" and Q scale but cannot identify the maker.


@HSD68 posted:

I Believe that I have the same car as the C&O.  The sides have metal dowels that that connect them and then the underframe is screwed to the sides.

It is not Mi-Loco or Mi-I-Scale.  I also have a tank car.

Are the truck bolsters round and pressed onto the side frames on your car.

I got these cars in the Fall and have researched 17/64" and Q scale but cannot identify the maker.


Thanks; was not sure - I have a Mi-Loco or Mi-I-Scale tank car that was 2 pieces.

Yes, 17/64" would be expected.

In one of the photos you can see that the truck bolsters are round.

And asking about these over on the 2 rail forum would probably get a faster answer - there are several there that study and collect this era of cars and engines.

Last edited by mwb

The paint finish is actually quite impressive.  There are a few dings on the C&O hopper that reveal a grey substrate.  I am thinking this is "pot metal", not brass.   I also think it is heavier than a brass piece.

On the C&O piece, there happen to be two coupler types, the fixed knuckle on one end, and a what I believe to be a pre-war Lionel latch type on the other end.  They are interchangeable, as the couplers attach to a single screw at about 1/2 to 5/8 inch from the end panel.  I think you might be able to see in the photo there are two posts (if not pins) cast into the frame that limit the radial movement of the coupler arm.  In actuality, the user could attach any type of compatible coupler to these cars.

I've not disassembled, but I can see the dowel pins that Harold describes positioning the two halves together. 

I looked up

I believe presently that these two pieces may be from the American Model Railroad Company.  "The American Model Railway Company put out a 40 page catalog in 1939."   These however are freight cars, not coaches.  And as to my remarks above, they may well be aluminum, not pot metal.   

Were they two rail at the time? 

The C&O is Miloco or MinI scale, one came from the other.  two halves and 17/64ths.  The early cars were indeed Aluminum.  The later cars were zinc alloy or pot metal in common terms.  There are a few threads on these two firms in the two rail forum.

The other is either Alexander or Crestline Walthers but I think it is Alexander.   Could potentially also be Scale Models as others mentioned. Good cars happy to take them off your hands lol.

Last edited by Dennis Holler

For comparisons sake... The top is Walthers Crestline in the early plain brown box  all aluminum built up.  Note the tab locations on the pieces for the moutning screws and see them on the Blueprint.  There must have beena  few versions of this car as my kit pieces utilize a U channel brass center sill while the plans show a cast end platform much like your ATSF Red hopper.  I strongly suspect your car is a Walthers like this.

The two black cars, top one is  SCale craft and the lower I thought originally was Alexander, but don't see a two bay in the Alexander catalog I have.  SO it may be something else as well. Note the bottom one is more to the 17/64ths width but just barely longer lol.  I posted these more to show the locations of the screw tabs per the various kit makers of the time.  They all have unique identifiying traits.



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I have a "collection" of this kind of old stuff. Love it. I have 3-railed some if they weren't already 3R.

The Hi-Rail coupler on the red car appears to be an All-Nation; I bought several of these on eBay a some time back. They fit All-Nation trucks, of course, but can be adapted to others. I like them.

Aluminum was used by some manufacturers, as was cast brass or even bronze. Lead was also used for some items. Zinc was not the "standard" metal for casting then; sand casting rather than die-casting was common, also, as many of these manufacturers were very small. This sort of stuff pre-dated Post-WWII Asian sheet-brass construction items.

Harold-   here are three photos of the black C&O from the top and bottom.  Two photos of the sienna AT&SF, also showing the simulated coal load.

Then this is significant, I just realized.  The C&O weighs 2.1 lbs, and the AT&SF weighs 1.12 lbs.  Both are non-magnetic.  The third photo of the C&O shows the frame, where I sanded away more of the paint.  So, might I conclude AT&SF is aluminum, the C&O is pot metal (not brass)?


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When I got my two cars in the mail, the box weighed five pounds!  Now that I see the pictures, our cars are the same make.

My car has three small holes cast into the top of each side.  It came with a piece of wood that fit into the top with coal glued to it and had six small brass brads  in the holes to hold it in place.  The original owner never bothered to paint under the wood block.

I have compared ours to pictures of identified Q scale hoppers.  Thus far, I have not found an exact match.

D500 mentioned that he 3 railed a few of these cars.  I ended up using a set of weaver cast trucks and a custom bolster on the hopper.  The tank car will get different trucks.

I would love to get some more of these if anyone knows of any for sale.


Q scale or 17/64" gauge was an early attempt to correct the issue with O trains.  1.250" gauge track works out to 5' gauge.  Q scale made the trains dimensions larger to match the track.  Put a prewar scale hopper next to that 70 ton and you will get the idea.

I will not retell the story for you can read up on it on the computer and older forum post.  There are several explanations and copies of old catalog's out there.  There are also quite a few pictures of other's engines and cars.   Some of the passenger cars are works of art.


The scale for Q Gauge is 1/4" to the foot, or O Scale.  The proper scale for our 1 1/4" track gauge is 17/64" to the foot.  That scale is not properly referred to as Q Scale, because it would conflict with Q Gauge, and cause unnecessary confusion.

I have been modeling in 17/64 scale for almost a half century.  I probably qualify as an expert in this rather useless area of arcania.

I should have added that Q Gauge is 1 3/16", or slightly narrower than our O Gauge track.  It, too, is not correct for O Scale, but Proto-48 is indeed correct.

I started with 1 1/8" gauge in 1957, not knowing about Q gauge.  My thought was that our treads were too wide, and I wanted side frames and main rods to be where they should be, with respect to the car bodies and drivers.

I still have a loop of 1 1/8" gauge.  Looks a lot better than our wide gauge with most O Scale models.  I now prefer the massive look of 17/64 models.

I will get you a photo or two of 17/64 Scale locomotives in a minute.

Big Cab Fwd

This one was my third attempt.  Main frames were extended Challenger frames, cylinder blocks were hogged out of solid brass, and tender trucks were cast from my patterns in proper 17/64 scale.  Power is Pittman/NWSL.

Baldwin 60000 020

This one is the big Baldwin 3- cylinder compound.  Its prototype resides in The Franklin Museum in Philadelphia.  The proper tender is here as well; this photo shows an SP tender, which was actually used during trials eastbound in the Sierras.  The locomotive had been converted to oil temporarily, and they did not convert the tender.  Enthusiasts found gold lettering under many layers of black on a 120 C tender like this one.

I have about 20 such models around here - probably more 17/64 Scale locomotives than anyone else on the planet except maybe Carey Williams.  I also have maybe ten kit-built and imported 17/64 Scale locomotives, and a bunch of matching cars.


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Last edited by bob2

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