Re: BLI's USRA steel car


Richard is right in that these ends were a little different than those on other roads. I never found out why, as the general arrangement drawings on the DL&W simply refer to the ends as Dreadnaught. I've not yet seen these ends on other railroads, while it seems so unlikely to tool up for 1000 boxcars (2000 ends). In appearance the ridges were a little shallower with flattened tops on the DL&W cars, while the ends of the long ridges and short darts were scalloped toward the corners at about a 30-degree angle rather than a natural curve as are those on the standard dreadnaught end. I've never seen it offered in HO scale.

As you observed, the underframe is not a USRA underframe. Among the differences are the placement of the airbrake components and the orientation of the crossbearers.

I ordered one of the BLI cars as soon as they were announced to see how it would match up with the DL&W car. I have a few Westerfield NYC cars with dreadnaught ends that were also going to become these 47000-series boxcars, another un-started project since going to work for a railroad more than a dozen years ago -- just no time. With some putty and sanding, was hoping to make good end from that in the kit and to cast up a bunch of others.

As mentioned here earlier, the BLI cars are quite nice out of the box. Their weakest detailing is the underframe. As for their use as a stand-in for the DL&W, that depends on how close the modeler wishes to look. The BLI cars would best represent a postwar car. DL&W cars were built with a Hutchins roof, replaced with Murphy after WWII when they got the Phoebe Snow billboard squoze onto the sides, and some got the bolder 1955-era billboard which really looks crammed on these small cars. The models have a Murphy roof. The DL&W cars had wooden running boards even after the new roofs. The models have steel. The roping staples on the models are not in the same location as the DL&W cars, which were mounted vertically. The airbrake components on the model aren't in the same positions as the prototype, likely due to the underframe differences. The rivet pattern at the bolster also differs.

I've been meaning to talk to the ELHS model committee to make them aware of these cars to let it decide about offering them in DL&W lettering. They are oh so close. RPM quality? In the words of Maxwell Smart: "Missed it by that much." With correct running boards and lettering, would anyone here buy one? Eastern-based model railroads would need several as in the steam era these cars were widely circulated. Bob Collins even took a picture of one on Sherman Hill head out behind a 4000.

....Mike Del Vecchio

-----Original Message-----
From: David <jaydeet2001@...>
Sent: Sat, Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am
Subject: [STMFC] Re: BLI's USRA steel car

--- In STMFC@..., Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:
Craig, the Lackawanna's '20s steel box cars were, indeed, very
close in design to those of the NYC. The big difference is the
ends; the DL&W cars had a unique version of the Dreadnaught end
which was quite different in appearance from those on the later NYC
cars, and AFAIK that end has never been done in HO scale.
What was so different about it? Looking at the photos in RPC 21, the end looks like a typical late-20s 4-4 Dreadnaught, same as on the later NYC boxes. What made the Lackawanna cars different was their use of what seems to be the ARA underframe (reflected in the 2x2 rivet pattern at the bolsters) and the Hutchins peaked roof.

David Thompson

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Join to automatically receive all group messages.