Re: Rapido USRA 40-ton Boxcar

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>


Good call on "overpopulating" our roads with too many relatively rare cars. For 1958, AFAIK only three roads still had the more-or-less original USRA DD boxcars in revenue service: GN was the largest use (372),
and clones as well, SP&S had a small fleet (42), and TH&B also had a few (45). In my collection I have one GN, one SP&S, and a salvaged F&C resin car lettered for my fictional Sacramento Belt Line (itself more or less defunct now in favor of "y'all" railroads). Only the GN fleet was numerous enough for it to be justified on my layout--occasionally.

I feel the same way about PFE/WP refrigerators. One is enough for any layout, even the WP or SN. I have one, plus an ice service car, left over from the days when I modeled the SN.

I'm not rushing out to buy a WAG gondola either.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 6/5/19 9:34 AM, Dave Parker via Groups.Io wrote:
I'm sure there is a slightly different story for each road, but the "window of utility" for the B&M car is rather narrow.  The paint scheme is 1946+, but the B&M's 500 cars were down to 24 by 1950, and just 3 by 1955. The other choices would have been the 1927+ scheme with the rectangular herald, or the as-built scheme.  Each of these would have persisted for about a decade,  but at least the full complement of 500 cars was in interchange.

The USRA cars were never more than ca. 15% of the B&M's box-car fleet, and were  likely even less  significant on many of the other roads. This release continues the tradition of making it all  too easy for modelers to over-represent the USRA cars generally.  Setting aside the Ertl option,  the USRA DS cars are already available from Accurail, Westerfield, and F&C.  Not exactly a gaping hole in HO scale.

Dave Parker
Riverside, CA

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