C&EI Postwar AAR 50' Boxcar – Front Range Upgrade #5

Bob Chapman

Every layout needs a big blue boxcar! In 1955, C&EI acquired 75 fifty-foot class XM boxcars in the series #3800-3874. The carbodies featured welded sides, a diagonal panel roof, R-3-4 late improved dreadnaught ends, and 8’ postwar Youngstown postwar doors. An additional 25 nearly identical DF cars (#3760-3784) were built at the same time. In 1956, thirty cars from the #3800-series were reconfigured to class XAP and renumbered to #3900-3929. At some point the XAP’s were painted dark blue; logic would suggest 1956 when they were repurposed, but the earliest available blue car photo shows 1964.     

Front Range kit #5000 hiding in the stash is a near-perfect carbody match, requiring only a sidesill modification from the kit’s deep fishbelly to a shallower notched configuration. Detail adds include Kadee ladders/grabs/brakewheel and a Detail Associates Apex runningboard. Decals are Microscale.  

About the color – since 1955 is very borderline to my era, I had planned to do the car in as-built freight car red, but ended up with blue since 1) correct Roman roadname decals for the as-built cars do not seem to exist, and 2) I like it! Thanks to Ed Hawkins and C&EI modeler David Forbes for their technical help.        

Bob Chapman

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