Building GN and CB&Q Truss Rod 40-Foot Boxcars

Bill Welch

Years ago when Al Westerfield was beginning the process of selling his business he let his customers know it might be a good idea to place an order just in case. I ordered several kits just in case. Currently I am building two models from this order, both 40-foot truss boxcars, a GN with Murphy ends and CB&Q with early Dreadnaught ends. There are similarities like the XLA roofs and 5-foot wide door openings plus both utilized underframes with eight truss rods although the spacing between the truss rods was different. I thought I would share a few photos of each so modelers could see and compare the two.

One variation from the CB&Q kit instructions is how I built the ends ladders. One of the right side ladder stiles was missing from the kit so I substituted strip styrene using the cast-on left side stile to sort out the grab iron spacing and before mounting them on the car ends I drilled #79 holes. Then once I attached these parts using the holes already drilled in the styrene, I drilled through the resin ends to create rigid and easy assembly for the wire parts.

With the brake lines and rods in place I will proceed to assemble the truss rods beginning with the two pair of inside rods and working towards the sides. Building a model with so many truss rods is akin to building a sailing ship with all of its rigging. The AB brake parts need to fit between the Queen Posts so their height will not interfere with the truss rods meaning some dry fitting of various parts is important before anything is glued in place. Patience is important here.

Bill Welch

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