D&RGW Postwar AAR 50' Boxcar – Front Range Upgrade #6

Bob Chapman

The last one – and going out in a blaze of glory.

In 6/56, ACF built 100 50-foot single door boxcars for D&RGW, #64000-64099. The carbodies had welded sides, R-3-4 ends, a diagonal-panel roof, 8-foot Youngstown postwar doors, and ASF A-3 Ride-Control trucks – and were the first boxcars painted D&RGW’s passenger colors of Aspen Gold and silver.  

Front Range’s kit #5000 is a near match to the prototype specs, requiring only the modification of the deep fishbelly sidesill to the tabbed style. Detail adds were Kadee ladders/grabs/Ajax brakewheel, a DA Apex runningboard, and Kato A-3 trucks. With the build date very late for my era, it is factory-fresh and unweathered. Decals are Microscale. Thanks to Ed Hawkins for his technical help.   

The Covid project to clear out the deep stash of fourteen 30-year-old undec boxcar kits has been unexpected fun. In contrast with today’s everything-in-a-box resin kits, research was needed to match the carbody to a prototype, select the proper style of ladder/handbrake/ runningboard/trucks/etc., and often make carbody modifications in sidesills or door width. A decal search sometimes offered a drop-in solution, but often required creative tailoring. Once parts were rounded up, applying them to the carbody paralleled that of a resin kit. It’s a bit wistful to see the empty shelf – time for some new shopping!

Bob Chapman

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