Re: Boxcars

Richard Remiarz



You are correct, I only remove the square material where the trucks mount. 


I have received other private emails asking about the height difference, and sent the following response:


I find the Intermountain cars to be 3-4” higher than other cars, as shown in these photos.  In the first photo, the NYC car is a Branchline kit, and the CB&Q car is a stock Intermountain kit with the higher bolster, both cars 10’6” cars.  In the second photo are an IMWX 10’ car and a stock Intermountain 10’ car. 


Using #5 couplers I didn’t really notice a difference, but since I started using scale couplers and found that matching coupler heights was more critical, I also noticed the Intermountain cars would have couplers slightly higher than the coupler height gauge. 


I first noticed this many years ago when I was building up a bunch of the Intermountain GN 40’ boxcars, and noticed they were taller than the other 10’ cars (IMWX) I had at the time.  After measuring the various cars, I came to the conclusion that the Intermountain cars were too high, and that the bolster deign was the cause of the problem.


I can’t find the article right now, but I recently read an older article that described the history of the IMWX, Red Caboose, and Intermountain cars, and the article described the difference in underframes and heights.



Rich Remiarz

Vadnais Heights, MN


Sent from Mail for Windows 10


From: Robert kirkham
Sent: Monday, November 9, 2020 2:26 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Boxcars


I had no idea!  Thanks for sharing this modification Rich.  To clarify - the only modification is removing the square material on the bottom of the bolster where the trucks mount?  The first photo has me wondering if you were removing material from the top (i.e. the part up against the car body) of the bolsters, cross members etc (which look a lot thicker on the IM than the IMWX cars), but I guess “no”.   




On Nov 9, 2020, at 10:42 AM, Richard Remiarz <rremiarz@...> wrote:


There have been a few requests for information on how I lower the bolsters on the Intermountain boxcars.  Years ago I realized that Intermountain boxcars rode too high, especially noticeable when next to other boxcars, and the couplers were slightly on the high side.  The first photo shows an IMWX/Red Caboose underframe on the left and Intermountain underframe on the right.  You can see how much higher the bolster is on the Intermountain underframe.  This makes the cars ride too high.  The Intermountain coupler box has a much thicker cover than the IMWX/Red Caboose coupler box to bring the couplers back down with the raised bolster (IMWX/Red Caboose coupler cover on the left, Intermountain on the right.


The second photo shows the bolster after I have removed the entire raised portion.  Usually I do this before attaching the underframe, but I have carefully cut it off on some preassembled cars.  I then attach Kadee scale size couplers in a Kadee coupler box (old #5 coupler box in this case).  The existing hole for the pin on the Intermountain coupler box cover is in the correct location for the Kadee coupler box.  Then I fill in the space between the coupler box and the bolster with blocks of styrene.


As shown in the third photo, I use a Kadee red washer on the bolster.  The red washers are 0.015” thick.  In a couple of cases (where the bolsters were not cut down as far) the gray washer was sufficient (0.010”).  The washer gives the truck a smooth surface to rotate on, and spaces the car correctly for the coupler height.


After attaching the trucks, I check to make sure the car sits level and the coupler heights.  Sometimes I don’t cut down far enough on one side, and need to even up the bolster. 



Rich Remiarz

Vadnais Heights, MN




Sent from Mail for Windows 10


From: O Fenton Wells
Sent: Monday, November 9, 2020 5:40 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Boxcars


Nice looking cars Rich. Can you go a bit more in-depth regarding the I’m cars and shaving off the bolster. How much do you remove?


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