Re: WLE 25000 Series X29 Boxcar

Eric Hansmann

The W&LE 1923 ARA proposed standard steel-sheathed boxcars are interesting ducks. They look like thousands of B&O and Pennsy cars but the underframes are a bit different. You are correct in thinking you see different hardware in prototype photos. Shortly after RPCyc Volume 18 was published, I realized what the W&LE cars had as hardware.


The prototypes used the early ARA XM-1 car design underframe and KC brake hardware. On prototype photos, note the bolt heads on the side sill under the door posts. Those indicate where the cross members need to be located. Portions of the stringers need to be removed for the cross members to fit the new locations. Then the stringer detail needs to be added using styrene shapes. See the attached photo for the modifications.


Another noticeable element is the large brake lever that is used for the hand brake wheel to activate the brake cylinder. I fashioned an odd shaped bracket from a Kadee #5 metal centering spring for the pivot point. A long guide was also installed to keep the brake lever from sagging. These are elements that can be seen in the shadows of the prototype photos with the help of an Optivisor. Compare these elements and placement with the XM-1 underframe drawing on page 10 of RPCyc V 18 and other early production XM-1 prototype images in the same volume.


Sine this photo was taken, I’ve added fine chain to connect the long brake lever to the lever at the brake cylinder clevis. New bolt heads on the sill for the cross member attachments were harvested from an Athearn model and installed.


I had several conversations with Bill Welch about these W&LE underframes. He was also unaware of the differences with the other ARA 1923 proposed standard steel-sheathed boxcars.



Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN





From: <> On Behalf Of Ray Carson via
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2020 2:52 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] WLE 25000 Series X29 Boxcar


And just to add to this topic, here's the boxcar I've been working on.

This was one of the first models I bought brand new and unopened (in 2018, as weird as it sounds) at a train shop in Spring, Texas after I began getting back into the hobby and deciding on taking a much more prototypical approach to HO modeling. Much has gone into the model such as me using the AB brakes in the kit and the original plastic sill steps which later broke off and I replaced them with etched sill steps made by Yarmouth Model Works. I even added wire for the vertical brake stand and the retainer line.


Later on I replaced the AB brake system and used Tichy K brake. So far I haven't got much done with it considering some parts of the builder's photo and photos of the NKP 25228 had me lost.


Overall I'm hoping to get around to adding Carmer cut levers and some remaining details still missing before I paint the parts and get it weathered.



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