Ventilated Box Cars



The retirement of the Westerfields, along with Wright Trak's new offering, has forced me to examine the VM, VA, and VS populations during WWII as part of attempting to build a "balanced" fleet.

I want to avoid the "fleet balancing" debate, but would like to inquire as to the available ventilator models in HO.

It appears the Westerfield 40' model, based on a USRA DS box car (Kit #7000 series), another Westerfield FEC 40' (kit #6300 series) that was no longer in service as a VA car by WWII, and the Wright Trak model are the only options available today?

Looking at the F&C web site, they list a transition FEC VA (kit 6410), but the photo looks like the vents are not in the kit. An old Walthers catalog lists kit 6400, but it is not on F&C's web site (suspect it is because 6400 was a flat kit, and 6410 is a one-piece body kit). This car is a little problematic for fleet building since this car was a small fleet (200 cars total, with less than a third of them still listed as VA in 1943 - the rest were converted to type XI)

I do not have references to the SAL class V9 car, but the number on the Wright Trak literature (28156) corresponds with a 36' car in the '43 ORER (in fact in '43 all SAL VA's are listed with IL between 35'9" and 36'1"), but I have not seen the length of the Wright Trak kit listed anywhere.

The '43 ORER recapitulation lists the following:

10,292 VA/VM under 40', the vast majority being within a few inches of 36' IL.

3,325 40' VA/VM, with 82% of those being registered under CofG (100 under C&O, the balance ACD, which I think is the Westerfield 7000 series car)

A quick look at the "Post-war" fleet book suggests that each Road's ventilator class had some distinctive door related feature - either the vents, or the door tracks - which seem to vary greatly, along with the usual distinctions of side sill style/visibility and underbody/center sills, so I am not sure the Wright Trak will be very "bashful" to fill the gaps in other roads.

Is there now, or has there in the past, been any other VA/VM models offered in HO?

Once again more 36' foot cars may be missing from my WWII fleet - I would like to get to a point where visitors report they are surprised at the number of 36' cars in the fleet - rather than exclaim - "what is that short car" when one of only a few 36' cars passes by.

Trying to figure out how to fill this gap. As an alternative, confirmation of the gap is also welcome.

Many Thanks,
Dave Evans

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.