Re: Accurail 4211 Erie SS boxcar w wood door

A&Y Dave in MD

Thank you, Ben. As always you answer with patience and clarity, unsurpassed. I marvel.

I now see my error in not thinking to check the files for a database. Perhaps at least, my error will allow others to learn or recall the files exist. So much to learn, so little time.

I think these kits will remain as built and hopefully weathered nicely enough for someone to purchase them. Either that or they join my traveling train fleet for shows with rough handling.

Grateful but not Dead,


On Nov 7, 2014, at 5:50 AM, Benjamin Hom b.hom@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


Dave Bott asked:
"I bought a set of Accurail HO scale wooden box car kits at $3 each to
practice weathering on wooden boxcars, SS and DS, before I tackle my
resin kits. But if I'm going to the trouble of putting these together
and weather them, I'd like to know if I can make them match anything
reasonably well and with what level of effort.

The first one is an Erie car with road number is 92514 and according
to the data on the side, it was a 50 ton car built in 1923. It is
Accurail's single sheathed 40' boxcar kit with wood door and 7-7
corrugated steel ends. (I didn't see the 4200 series listed in the
Accurail catalog on their web site, but the 4100 and 4300 series
showed Erie-lettered offerings).

My 1926 ORER on DVD does list 199 Erie cars in the 92500-92699 series
of 50 ton capacity, interior dimensions of L 40'9" x W 8'6" and H 9'2
1/8" for 3098 cu ft capacity, and a 6' door. It also states in
footnote BB that some cars in this series were lettered for the New
Jersey & New York Railroad. I'm not an Erie modeler or historian, so
I haven't seen a photo of such a car, and I'm not even sure the
Accurail model is anything other than roughly analogous to a
prototype for this or any other railroad."

Your Accurail model is masquerading as Erie 92500-92699, 200 USRA SS boxcars. These were rebuilt with radial roofs and steel sides inside the original truss in 1936, renumbered to Erie 71800-71999, and ran
into the mid-1950s. See Larry Kline's spreadsheet in the group files section for more details. Correct HO scale models are in the Westerfield line but are currently unavailable.

The Accurail 4200 and 4300 series models have a superficial resemblance to the USRA SS boxcar, but the side truss members, roof, ends, and underframe are different. That being said, the Accurail kits are very good stand-ins for the much larger group of "Bettendorf" SS boxcars built for many different roads during the 1920s, especially if you replace the fishbelly centersills with straight centersills. See Richard Hendrickson's "40 ft SS Z-Braced Boxcars: Part I (Single-Door Cars)" in the February 1993 issue of Railmodel Journal, John Nehrich's "Bettendorf Boxcar" in the August 1996 issue of Mainline Modeler, and Tim Swan's "More Variations on Accurail's SS Boxcar" in the June 1997 issue of Model RailroadING for ideas.

Ben Hom

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