Re: Accurail single-sheathed box cars and SL-SF single-sheathed box cars.

Benjamin Hom

Gene Green asked:
"Accurail offers a single-sheathed box car (#7203) lettered for SL-SF 34328, lettered built 1936, re-weighed 1951 with 6-panel sides, wood doors, Dreadnaught ends, ladders (instead of grab irons), a vertical-wheel power hand brake and a fish-belly underframe. I assume the model has wood running boards.

Does Accurail 7203 possess the correct basic set of features - ends, roof, sides, doors - for SL-SF 34328?"

No, because you left out a critical basic feature - height. Remember, to accurately model transition era freight trains, you have to capture a variety of car heights and and textures. The SL-SF prototype cars were 8 ft 6 in IH cars; the Accurail model is a 9 ft IH car and is six inches too tall. Fixing this on a SS model is nearly impossible - you simply can't cut down the model 6 inches because the truss members no longer line up after you cut out the excess material and make the splice.

The Accurail models do fill an important place in model car fleets, as the different variations cam be used to accruately model or stand in for similar 9 ft IH cars. However, modelers shouldn't overuse them as they'll make the single sheathed boxcars in the fleet look too homogenous, much as the typical overuse of AAR boxcars and PS-1s make many transition era layouts look like they have 1960s era car fleets.

To fill in the blanks on the other responses:

- The Sunshine kits are the one featured in the following flyers:

- The Joe Pennington article on these cars appeared in Railway Prototype Cyclopedia Volume 1 (still available from the publisher), with supplemental material appearing in Volume 2 (sold out). There was no article in volume 3.

Gene also asked:
"Somehow I have a copy of "General Arrangement of Outside Steel Frame 40-Ton Frisco Box Car" from Railway Age Gazette, Mechanical Edition, October 1912, page 558. Surely there must have been an article on adjacent pages with more information. There is no end view on my page. The car in the drawing has:
6-panel sides
wood door
fish-belly underframe
KC air brake
Plate A or vertical staff hand brake
Wood running boards
Outside metal roof of some sort

It appears as if either a model from the Accurail "7000 Series 6-panel Wood Boxcar with Wood Doors & Wood Ends" or the "7200 Series 6-Panel Wood Boxcar with Wood Doors & Dreadnaught Ends" might be a suitable model for the car in the drawing depending upon whether or not the car in the drawing has Dreadnaught ends.

Does anyone have additional information on these 1912 Frisco single-sheathed box cars? Were they ever built?"

If the car in your general arrangement had a "sawtooth" truss design, these are the cars in question:

The Accurail models are stand-ins at best, and 1912 is too early for Dreadnaught ends.

Ben Hom

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