Re: The Atlas USRA steel rebuild. Again.

Benjamin Hom

Ed Sutorik asked:
"Anyway, Atlas has announced another run of their USRA rebuilds. I did a search of this list, and it appears the cars MIGHT work for ACL and/or Frisco. But those list-comments appeared before the car was widely available.

So, I'm asking if there are any new comments about these cars. I note that Atlas is supplying them with two kinds of ends and two kinds of underframes, so at least they're trying."

OK, I now see the release that Ed was referring to:
and it's "good" that the 8-panel cars are available.

Unfortunately, my comments in post numbers 83458 and 23214 still stand. In this case of these models, the big stumbling points are the roofs, ends, and IH of these prototypes:

Roofs: All prototypes had the original roof replaced - Viking (CMO), Murphy rectangular panel (AA, EJ&E, RI), or railroad specific design (DT&I).

Ends/IH: The DT&I, EJ&E, and AA retained their original ends and received only a marginal increase in IH at most (2"). (The ends on the AA model on the webpage are incorrect - they should be 7/8.) The CMO and RI cars were 10 ft IH cars, and a blank splice panel was used on the ends to increase their height.

I don't have information on the CN rebuilds handy to make a call on their accuracy.

These are very frustrating models. It looks as if Atlas is trying to capitalize on their approach on the 1932 ARA boxcars by tooling up different variations, but in the case of these rebuilds, the combination of variations are very railroad specific, and the end result are akin to the Train-Miniature SS and DS boxcars: variations of the same tooling that in the end produce models that aren't accurate for anything out of the box.

Ben Hom

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