The Atlas USRA steel rebuild. Again.


spsalso
 

I know that the current conversation is about the BLI NYC boxcar--the one I was thinking it was about time to order. Well, maybe not.

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.

Also interesting is that they have yet to release any in ACL or Frisco. I was interested in their Rock Island issue, but the ORER description doesn't match the model. Too bad; the model looks kinda nice. Wrong, but nice.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


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."

As luck would have it, I picked up #6400-4, an undec 7/8 Murphy end straight center sill car.

Goods:
- Compared to some of Atlas' earlier releases, the model is actually nicely tooled. The overall appearance is nicer than that of the Atlas N-scale model.
- While the body, running boards, underframe, and end details have been pre-assembled, grab irons, doors and door tracks, and ladders have not been assembled and a provided in a small bag.
- The end and side sill indents are more pronouced than earlier versions of this model in N and S scale and give this model a better appearance.

Others:
Unfortunately, for the HO scale car, Atlas chose to change the design of the model, replacing the 8-panel sides with 10-panel sides. As a result, I'm at a loss as to what if any prototype can be modeled from these cars (and this is in addition to my previous comments based on the pre-production annoucement). Consider the following:
- The two models represent 9 ft IH cars with 10-panel sides, the original USRA steel sheathed roof with the options 7/8 or 5/5/5 Murphy ends and fishbelly or straight center sills. These are very problematic combinations for the following reasons:
- The prototypes that I know of for 9 ft IH cars with 5/5/5 (ACL, SL-SF) and 7/8 Murphy ends (several groups of WAB rebuilds) are all 8-panel cars.
- The prototypes that I know of for 10-panel cars (ex: ATSF, RI, PRR) are all taller cars with different ends (modified original ends) and replacement roofs.

See the group files section for my spreadsheet documenting rebuilt double-sheathed boxcars prototypes.

Bottom line: The 10-panel sides of this model takes the ACL and SL-SF prototypes off the table. If anyone knows of any prototype matching either model, I'd love to hear details.


Ben Hom


spsalso
 

While the first batch of these Atlas cars were 10 panel, the current run appears to be 8 panel.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


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:
http://www.atlasrr.com/HOFreight/hosteelrebuilt1.htm
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


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

CN had 250 steel rebuilds done by the GTW's Port Huron shops in 1936 of a steel-frame boxcar originally built for the Grand Trunk. Port Huron also did a large number of these cars for the GTW within a year or two of the CN cars. While on the subject of Accurail, I'll add that the original GTR car and a later CN rebuild (CN 463000-series) of it can be modelled quite easily with an Accurail kit. Thanks, Dennis!

Back to those CN rebuilds--

470000-470149 had Hutchins rooves.

470150-470249 had raised panel rooves.

Ends were 7/8, with an about 4" panel separating the two halves of the end.

Here's a photo of one of these cars, off its trucks, mind you--

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/photos/album/136246761/pic/1370110130/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc

And a closer view of the end--

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/photos/album/136246761/pic/1057113261/view?picmode=medium&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&dir=asc

A closer view of the side--

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/photos/album/136246761/pic/991763783/view?picmode=medium&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&dir=asc

The Atlas car is at best a "stand-in", as it does not have the "fishbelly" underframe that these cars had. As I have built the two that I'll need (these were a VERY small part--less than 1%--of CN's steel boxcar fleet), I've not compared the rest of the Atlas car to the CN prototype. But you can compare the Atlas model vs. prototype photos I've linked here.

I have modelled both varieties of thse cars in HO. I used a Sylvan Scale kit for the Hutchins roof version, and a heavy kitbash of a Tichy steel rebuild kit for the raised panel roof incarnation.

If anyone wants more info on these cars, feel free to email me off list.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "benjaminfrank_hom" <b.hom@...> wrote:

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:
http://www.atlasrr.com/HOFreight/hosteelrebuilt1.htm
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


Don Burn
 

While I was mainly looking at N scale, I never saw a 10 panel version of
this car from Atlas, can you point to a reference?

Don Burn

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
spsalso
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2010 9:44 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: The Atlas USRA steel rebuild. Again.

While the first batch of these Atlas cars were 10 panel, the current run
appears to be 8 panel.


Ed

Edward Sutorik



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


spsalso
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Don Burn" <burn@...> wrote:

While I was mainly looking at N scale, I never saw a 10 panel version of
this car from Atlas, can you point to a reference?

Don Burn
Why, yes I can (we're talking HO here):

Atlas announced on August 5, 2009 the production of part numbers 6400-1 through 6400-4 (undec) and 6401-x through 6406-x (various railroads--all foobies, I believe). I believe they've been out for awhile.

It looks to me that the latest version with 8 panel sides might work for ACL and Frisco. It's curious that they're producing all foobies in the batch and passing up the two railroads that they'd be good for. Something to look forward to, I guess. I certainly plan on getting the ACL and Frisco cars when they produce them.

Even more "inspiring" is the probability that they'll throw on some wood sides for these cars. Then I can blow some real money on SP&S, GN, Q, .........


Ed

Edward Sutorik