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   The first steel boxcars had an interior sheathing of wood, which provided a soft surface which could be nailed into to secure the load.  By the late fifties, loading devices were becoming commonplace, replacing the inside wood sheathing with steel walls.  This made the outside steel wall superfluous, and car builders began producing boxcars with exterior ribs.  Though Pullman Standard was building exterior post boxcars as early as 1961, production didn’t take off in earnest until the seventies.


   However, money was tight in the railroad industry at this time.  What little capital that was available for rolling stock was spent primarily on specialized cars such as intermodal flats and covered hoppers.  This resulted in a boxcar shortage that was relieved by Railbox and incentive per diem (IPD) boxcars.  Railbox was a subsidiary of Trailer Train and provided a pool of free-running boxcars for member railroads.  The first Railbox car appeared in October, 1974 and by 1981, the fleet had grown to over 24,000 cars.  In the mid-seventies, the per diem charge was increased on new boxcars.  This created an opportunity for investing in boxcars.  Companies like National Railway Utilization and SSI created fleets of free-running boxcars that were leased to short line railroads which received a percentage of the revenue.  By 1980, approximately 30,000 IPD boxcars had been built for dozens of railroads in a riot of colors.


  Between the IPD boxcars and new covered hoppers, the late seventies were the most colorful period for freight trains in railroad history.  However, this golden age did not last long.  In 1980, the country went into recession and the Staggers act deregulating railroad car-hire rules was passed.  The major railroads had always chafed at paying the per diem on IPD boxcars, and sent them back to their short lines.  Few of the short lines had sufficient business for all their cars, or even space to store them, so the majority of the IPD boxcars were hastily sold and patched for their new owners.  In addition, Railbox sold off all of their smaller “Plate B” boxcars in 1983, creating even more patched boxcars. 


   Researching this boxcar diaspora is difficult, as some boxcars were sold so quickly that they never appeared in the Equipment Registers.  For those short-lived series, the quantity of cars built is indicated with an asterisk next to the number in either the “10/75” or “7/81” column.  Larger roads such as Canadian National and Illinois Central Gulf aquired small lots from different builders and lumped them together in one series.  While the built dates for freight cars are widely available, the acquisition dates for second-hand cars is difficult to find, so quite a few are blank in the charts. In addition the quantities listed for the nineties include only the series that I was able to positively identify.


   N-scale models of exterior post boxcars have been available for a long time.  Roundhouse introduced a line of FMC and Pullman Standard boxcars in the seventies, while Micro-Trains brought out their line of FMC models in the eighties.  Many of the paint schemes on these early cars are stand-ins for cars from other builders.  However, most of the cars were similar to FMC’s with seven-panel sides, ten-foot doors and box-corrugated ends.  More recently, N-scale models of cars from ACF, SEICO, Evans and Gunderson have appeared from several manufacturers.  For those who’d like to learn more, Railmodel Journal ran a long series of articles on IPD boxcars containing many color photos of the cars in their prime. The first installment appeared in the December 1999 issue and ran through September 2002.


ACF precision SS  box.jpg




   In 1971, American Car and Foundry introduced an outside-post version of their Precision Design boxcar.  Like many other outside post cars, they had seven panel sides and ten-foot doors, but retained the dreadnaught ends of earlier cars.  By offering a standardized car with few variations, ACF was able to offer an inexpensive boxcar at a time when many railroads were strapped for cash.  Production was limited, however, as ACF once again changed their boxcar design in 1974.


  Atlas produced an N-scale model of the rib-side Precision Design boxcar in 2003. Made in China, the model features etched metal end platforms and truck-mounted couplers.  With seven subsequent production runs, it has been offered in nearly every road that owned them (except Union Pacific).  Most of the road names offered are accurate models, with the few exceptions noted below.  A few of the Micro-Trains and Roundhouse FMC models are standing-in for this body style and have been included in the chart below.


ATLANTIC & WESTERN (ATW)- Atlas 50001285 is numbered for a series of similar Pullman Standard cars acquired from the Chicago & North Western.


GRAND TRUNK WESTERN (GTW)-  The Grand Trunk’s cars were former Rock Island cars which had gone to the Union Pacific before being sold to Canadian National.  They had been modified by adding vents to the sides and strengthening the ends for paper pulp service.


ILLINOIS TERMINAL (ITC)- Illinois Terminal’s Precision Design boxcars had non-standard nine-foot doors.

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ACF SS box.jpg




   ACF changed their design in 1974, the primary differences being box corrugated ends and slightly wider end panels.  The first cars constructed for Railbox and Texas and Pacific were smaller plate B cars with a capacity of 5,090 cubic feet. Subsequent cars were plate C” cars having a capacity of 5,290 cubic feet.  The design changed again around 1979; the long fishbelly side sill was eliminated in favor of a small straight sill underneath the door. 


   N-scale models of ACF boxcars are available from Atlas and Bachmann.  Both are models of an early plate C car with a fishbelly side sill.  The Atlas model is a part of their “Trainman” series, and features truck mounted couplers and molded-on doors and end platforms.  The Bachman model features body mounted couplers and operating doors.  While most of the road names offered by Atlas are accurate, some of the road names represent similar cars from other car builders. To their credit, Atlas does mention this in their ads.  Bachmann was less diligent in choosing road names, but most at least do represent similar cars with seven panel sides and box-corrugated ends.  The sole exception is Bachmann 19660, which represents a series of FMC McCloud River double-door boxcars!


   In the chart below, those ACF cars that differ from the model are indicated as follows: an “S” indicates cars with Superior doors, an “E” indicates a precision design car, and an “L” indicates cars with a late side sill.  Those models representing cars from other builders are listed separately at the bottom as stand-ins.  Other exceptions are as noted below:


MIDDLETOWN & NEW JERSEY (MNJ)- Bachmann 19653 carries an ACF stencil, however I havcn’t been able to confirm the builder for this series.  The NRU logo is printed directly on the door instead of on a placard, and NRU cars were typically equipped with door assists.   

MINNEAPOLIS, NORTHFIELD & SOUTHERN (MNS)- Atlas 39953A is numbered for series 49800-49899; delivered in January 1979, which had the late side sill.  An earlier series numbered 49700-49724 delivered in April 1978 had the early side sill, but came with Superior doors.  Both series are included in the chart.

MISSOURI PACIFIC (MP)- Though these plate B cars were initially delivered to the T&P with Youngstown doors, photos of cars in the Union Pacific era show them with Superior doors.

NEW YORK SUSQUHANNA & WESTERN (NYSW)- I couldn’t find any reference to this series, but the Atlas model carries a “Made in Mexico” stencil.

ONTARIO NORTHLAND (ONT)- This model represents a series of boxcars acquired second-hand from the St. Lawrence Railroad.  Built by Evans, they had Superior doors with a square placard for the NRU logo.


SOUTHERN/NORFOLK SOUTHERN (SOU/NS)- The Atlas models represent three series of early Pullman Standard cars delivered to Southern in 1970-1971.  They had similar seven-panel sides and fishbelly side sills, but had corrugated ends and a different roof.

VERMONT NORTHERN (VNO)- Atlas 50000695 carries VNO reporting marks, but the January, 1978 Equipment Register listed Vermont Northern reporting marks as VNOR.  Built by FMC, series 7700-7740 had the same built date and paint scheme as the model, and were presumably the same cars.  The Vermont Northern was no longer listed in the January, 1979 issue, and the cars went to the Wabash Valley.


RAILBOX (RBOX)- ACF delivered the first of 3,400 plate B cars to Railbox in October 1974.  The first 500 plate C cars, numbered were delivered in February 1978 with Superior doors, while the first of 1,600 plate C cars with Youngstown doors were delivered in January of 1979.  In 1983, Railbox sold all but one of their plate B cars to member railroads.


UNITED STATES ARMY (USAX)- Atlas 50001546 is numbered for a small series of early Pullman Standard boxcars, possibly ex-Southern. Cars with USAX reporting marks are not listed in the Equipment Registers.  The index indicates that such cars were for “intra-plant service” which means they would ordinarily not be seen on freight trains.

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SEICO ss box.jpg




   The Southern Iron and Equipment Company (SIECO) began construction of fifty-foot exterior post boxcars in 1972.  These “Plate B” cars had a capacity of 5,077 cubic feet and featured eight-panel sides, dreadnaught ends, X-panel roofs and wide C-channel side sills.  The side sills were reinforced by an angle iron under the doors and ended at the end side panels, creating a distinctive square cutout at each end of the car.  A few cars were built by another Evans subsidiary, U.S. Railway Equipment (USRE).  Except for their bifurcated Dreadnaugh ends, they were essentially identical to the SIECO built cars.  The design was replaced by a “Plate C” seven-panel car with box corrugated ends when Evans acquired SIECO in the mid-seventies. 


   Athearn offers an N-scale model of the SEICO boxcar, which features truck-mounted couplers and photo etched foot stirrups.  The doors do not operate, but models of NRU short line cars (NSL, PICK and PT) include a placard on the door for the logo.  Most NRU cars also had door assists, which are not included on the model.  Those models that represent USRE-built cars are indicated by an asterisk in the “ROAD” column.

A few of the models represent early Evans “Plate C” boxcars and are listed as stand-ins.  These slightly larger cars had seven-panel sides and box-corrugated ends.


CANADIAN PACIFIC- CP series 211600-212805 consists of a large group of different cars acquired secondhand from U.S. railroads.  Among them are SIECO cars from the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie and St. Lawrence; the quantity listed in the chart is a best guess.

CP also owned a small fleet of SIECO cars purchased new in 1976 numbered CPAA 207183-207322.


FLORIDA EAST COAST- In addition to the cars listed in the chart, FEC acquired a second series of SIECO eight-panel boxcars in 1977.  Numbered 23075-23124, they had eight-panel sides with box corrugated ends.

SIECO boxcars chart.png
EVANS SS box.jpg




    With the acquisition of the Southern Iron and Equipment Company (SIECO), Evans changed their exterior-post boxcars to a more conventional “Plate C” design with a capacity of 5,277 cubic feet.  The number of side panels was reduced to seven and the dreadnaught ends were replaced by box corrugated ends.  The distinctive side sill with square cutouts remained for a few years, but was replaced by a straight side sill that went completely across the car in late 1979.


   Exactrail offers N-scale models of both versions of the Evans boxcar. They feature truck-mounted couplers and photo etched foot stirrups and end platforms.  The doors do not operate, but models have the NRU placards on the doors where appropriate.  All of the road names offered are accurate for the body style, however the NRU short line cars (MISS, NSL) had door assists, which are not included on the model. 

Evans boxcars chart.png
B&O canstock box.jpg




   In 1972, PullmanStandard delivered a series of unusual boxcars to the Baltimore & Ohio.  Designed for the canstock trade, they featured 12-1/2 foot doors that were offset far to one end of the car.  A second series of nearly identical cars from Berwick Forge & Fabricating (BFF) was delivered in 1975.  Despite their small numbers and specialized service they seem to have gotten around: photos on show a B&O car in California and CSX cars in Georgia, Colorado, Ohio and New York.


   Fox Valley Models offers an N-scale model of the Pullman Standard car.  It is a state of the art model with etched metal details and body mounted couplers.  The white band on the roof represents a translucent panel which allows light into the car.  While the Chessie scheme represents a repainted Pullman Standard car, it could also represent a car from the BFF series, which was delivered in the Chessie System scheme.  In the chart below, the quantities for CSX include both car series.



B&O canstock chart.png
PS 4-row waffle box.jpg




  The development of exterior post boxcars created a problem; the smooth steel interior walls lacked any way to secure lading inside the boxcar.  This problem was solved by stamping indentations into the wall panels to accommodate loading devices.  These rows of horizontal indentations and vertical ribs created the impression of waffles.  The majority of waffle-side boxcars were built by Pullman Standard and southeastern railroads owned large fleets of them.


   Roundhouse produced an N-scale model of a waffle-side boxcar in the eighties, which is currently offered by Athearn.  It is a model of a six-panel car with four rows of indentations and Youngstown doors.  Unfortunately, the model is an accurate representation of only a single series of 400 Louisville & Nashville cars.  Although four other railroads purchased six-panel, four-row boxcars, all differed somewhat from the model as outlined below.  Interestingly, most of those road names have not yet been produced in N-scale. The chart below divides the models into six-panel, four-row cars and those that are stand-ins for other types of cars.  An asterisk next to the catalog number indicates a model that is not numbered for the indicated series.  Note that several of the stand-ins represent early seven-panel Pullman Standard cars, which were similar except for the extra panel.  Cars constructed by ACF had both small rectangular indentations and larger square ones.


DENVER & RIO GRANDE WESTERN- Athearn 25378 and Roundhouse 81702 represent a series of seven-panel four-row cars built by ACF in 1971 numbered 65300-65349 .  Roundhouse 8174 represents a series of eight-panel four-row cars built by Fruit Growers Express in 1974 numbered 64100-64149.


ILLINOIS CENTRAL- In 1969-70, the original Illinois Central built 2,600 eight-panel, four-row cars in their company shops, while Illinois Central Gulf built another 600 in the mid-seventies.


ILLINOIS TERMINAL- ITC’s six-panel Pullman Standard cars had nine-foot superior doors and straight side sills.  Prototype photos show these cars were painted yellow, while Roundhouse 8178 is orange.


LOUISVILLE & NASHVILLE- Roundhouse 8173 is an accurate representation of the prototype, while the remaining models represent seven-panel cars built by Pullman Standard and ACF.


MAINE CENTRAL- Maine Central acquired eight-panel, four-row waffles with plug doors from ACF.


ST. LOUIS-SAN FRANCISCO- Frisco’s six-panel four-row waffles had straight side sills, superior doors and a flatter roof profile.


SEABOARD COAST LINE- Roundhouse 8171 is numbered for SCL’s first series of waffle boxcars, which were built by ACF and had eight-panels, four rows of waffles and nine-foot doors.  They were followed by 3,379 early Pullman Standard seven-panel cars with nine-foot doors in 1969-1971.  SCL received two series of later six-panel cars in 1974; they differed from the model by having plug doors and both carried the “Family Lines” logo.  Series 24850-25699 were painted brown, while series 60300-60449 had cushioned draft gear and were painted black.


SEABOARD SYSTEM- Thought the number series doesn’t correspond, Athearn 81701 appears to represent a patched early Louisville & Nashville car.  The quantities listed for Roundhouse 8183 and 8184 represents all Seaboard waffle boxcars not already included in the chart.


SOUTHERN- Southern owned thousands of six-panel cars with nine rows of indentations and Pullman Standard doors.  Accurate models are available from Exactrail.


UNITED STATES ARMY- The Army acquired Pullman Standard seven-panel, four-row cars from Delaware & Hudson.  According to the Equipment Registers, cars with USAX reporting marks were for intra-plant service only.

PS 4-row waffles.png
PS 9-row waffle box.jpg



  In the late seventies, the Southern Railway acquired a large fleet of six-panel waffle boxcars with nine rows of indentations from Pullman Standard.  These ubiquitous cars became a hallmark of the Southern Railway, who operated a fleet of 4,425 cars.  This figure doesn’t include plug door and double-door cars!   Though the purpose of the indentations was to accommodate loading devices, the majority of the cars were unequipped type XM boxcars.  However, many were later equipped for paper loading and re-designated as type XP.


      Exactrail’s N-scale model of features Pullman Standard doors and body-mounted couplers.  There’s even a variation with Slidewell door assists.  This sharp-looking N-scale model is a personal favorite of mine, as they were a common sight throughout my 42-year railroad career.   Exactrail announced a second run of these cars in September 2022, adding five Southern Railway paint schemes and three Family Lines schemes.  The chart below is a comprehensive list of six-panel, nine row waffle side boxcars with single sliding doors.  Cars equipped with door assists are listed separately.


DAKOTA, MINNESOTA & EASTERN- The DME acquired their cars from the Southern, and retained their Pullman Standard doors into the 2020’s.


FAMILY LINES / CSXT- CSX inherited cars from Family Lines predecessor railroads Seaboard Coast Line, Georgia Railroad and Clinchfield.  These cars had Youngstown doors, so differed slightly from the model.


SOUTHERN- Exactrail 50413 represents Southern’s first series of cars delivered in 1974 and carries a yellow “DF” on the door.  The October, 1975 Equipment Register indicated that all cars in the series were loader equipped type XL boxcars.  The DF loaders were apparently removed, as the January, 1978 register indicated that all but eight of the series were unequipped type XM boxcars.  The figures in the chart for 50413 indicate the type XL cars, while the XM cars are included with catalog number 50401.   Some cars carried sub-lettering in the upper right-hand corner for Southern Railway subsidiaries Central of Georgia (Exactrail 50408), Georgia Southern & Florida (Exactrail 50410), and Interstate.  The Equipment Registers provide no information on the number of sub-lettered cars.  Three car series were equipped with Slidewell door assists, and while they are still indicated in the July, 1999 Equipment Register, the latest photo I could find of a car with door assists was 1985.  In addition, the latest photo of a car with Pullman Standard doors was 1988, photos after this date show cars with Superior or Youngstown doors.



PS 5277 SS box.jpg




   Pullman Standard produced their first exterior post boxcars in 1960.  By1973, they had developed a standardized design with six side panels and non-terminating corrugated ends.  The design was available in a 5,077 cubic-foot plate B version as well as a taller 5,277 cubic-foot plate C version.  Some of the early cars were constructed with fishbelly side sills but most were built with straight side sills.


   Roundhouse produced an N-scale model of the Pullman Standard 5,277 boxcar in the seventies.  It featured straight side sills and was available with either Pullman Standard or Youngstown doors.  The initial Roundhouse release included cars decorated for Railbox as well as several mid-seventies schemes for large railroad systems.   While the Railbox model was accurate, all of the others were either stand-ins for other body styles or generic cars numbered for non-existent series.


  Roundhouse later released models of many of the IPD shortline schemes, as did Athearn who acquired the tooling from Roundhouse.  Many of the models were representations of Pullman Standard’s later 5,344 cubic-foot boxcars, particularly those with Youngstown doors.  Intermountain now offers a model of the 5,277 cubic-foot boxcars which feature Pullman Standard or Superior doors as appropriate.


   The chart below includes those 5,277 boxcars delivered new, as well as models of second-hand cars.  Letters in parentheses indicate the following: a “B” indicates plate B cars, an “f” indicates cars with fishbelly side sills, and a “y” indicates cars with Youngstown doors.  Stand-in models are listed separately, and models representing later 5,344 cubic-foot Pullman Standard boxcars are listed there.


CHICAGO & NORTH WESTERN- Roundhouse 8132 is numbered for the series 162000-162599, a group of seven-panel Pullman Standard boxcars delivered in 1973.

The model could also represent series 163000-163299, a group of plate B cars with fishbelly side sills and Youngstown doors delivered in 1979.


CSXT- Athearn 2055 and Intermountain 67511 are numbered for a series of former Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac cars.  Also included separately in the chart are former Railbox plate B cars inherited from Chesapeake & Ohio.


ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF- ICG acquired a large number of IPD boxcars of all types from the St. Lawrence and other NRU roads. Pictures are hard to come by, and the Equipment Registers don’t provide many clues, so there may have been more cars than those indicated in the chart.

MONTANA RAIL LINK- Intermountain 67518 represents a series of former Railbox late plate B cars with straight side sills acquired from Union Pacific.  Intermountain 67525 represents a series of former Railbox early plate B cars with fishbelly side sills acquired from Southern Railway in 1993.  They were rebuilt with taller roofs, cushion underframes and Superior doors.


PICKENS and ST. LAWRENCE- These NRU shortline cars were constructed from kits and differed from the model by having diagonal panel roofs, door assists and square logo placards on the doors.


SOUTHERN- Intermountain 67524 is numbered for a series of seven-panel cars acquired from Pullman Standard in 1970; it has L3 stencils and post-1985 dimensional data.  Roundhouse 8131 is also numbered for a series of seven-panel Pullman-Standard cars numbered 550000-550949, however these carried the “Super Cushion Service” slogan instead of the “Serves the South” slogan on the model.


WISCONSIN CENTRAL- Roundhouse 8120 is numbered for a series of ex-Railbox plate B boxcars acquired from Southern Railway.  A large number of these cars were rebuilt with plug doors and renumbered in the 27000 series.  Athearn 2088 is numbered for this series and carries the conspicuity stripes adopted in 2005.


RAILBOX- Roundhouse 8121 is numbered for a series of plate B cars.  The first 1,000 plate B cars numbered 14000-14999 had fishbelly side sills, while the remaining 2,100 cars numbered 15000-16499 and 21000-21599, had straight side sills.  The first of 5,640 plate C cars arrived in 1978.  In 1983, Railbox sold off their plate B cars to member railroads. 

PS 5277 boxcars chart.png
PS 5344 SS box.jpg




   In 1978, Pullman Standard again modified their design, producing a car with a capacity of 5,344 cubic feet.  Except for a much flatter roof profile, they were essentially identical to earlier 5,277’s.  Unlike their earlier counterparts the majority were equipped with Youngstown doors.


   Fox Valley Models introduced an N-scale 5,344 in 2008.  The early releases featured Micro-Trains truck mounted couplers, but later releases featured body mounted couplers with Fox Valley metal wheels.  A nifty feature on these models is the paint overspray on the roof, which was common on the protoype.  Fox Valley was recently purchased by ScaleTrains, who has not yet announced releases of the 5,344’s.


   The chart below includes those 5,344 boxcars delivered new, as well as models of second-hand cars.  A “P” in parentheses indicates cars that are equipped with Pullman Standard doors.  The catalog numbers of Roundhouse 5,277 models that represent 5,344 cars are included here.  An asterisk next to the catalog number indicates that the model does not carry the road number indicated in the chart. 


CSXT- Fox Valley Models 8109 is numbered for CSX series 129700-130699, a group of former Railbox seven-panel ACF plate B boxcars acquired from Seaboard System.  However, CSX did own a few former Port Huron & Detroit 5,344’s scattered through series 143598-143729, which had been sold to other railroads by 2005.


ILLINOIS CENTRAL- Illinois Central Gulf acquired about 560 Pullman Standard 5,344 boxcars from several IPD short lines in the eighties.  In the July 1999 Equipment Register, 139 cars with ICG reporting marks remained and 28 cars carried IC reporting marks.


NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC BELT- The quantities listed for NOPB include 400 5,144 cubic-foot plate B boxcars. Numbered 3100-3499, they were five inches lower than the 5,344’s but otherwise identical. 

BFF SS box.jpg




   Berwick Forge and Fabricating (BFF) began building freight cars in 1969.  Their early boxcars were eight- or nine-panel cars with Dreadnaught ends.  By 1973, they had settled on a standard design with seven panels and corrugated non-terminating ends.  A distinctive feature of BFF boxcars was the row of rivets next to the end ribs used to attach the ends.  BFF also supplied “kits” to companies such as Golden Tye and Emons, resulting in several variations in roofs and side sills over the years.


  The NRU (National Railway Utilization) short line boxcars were a common sight in the late seventies.  Their characteristic blue color, billboard name and colorful door placard made them real standouts! Thousands of cars from Berwick, Evans, and Pullman Standard were built for the St. Lawrence Railroad (NSL), Pickens Railroad (PICK), Middletown & New Jersey (MNJ), The Hoosier Connection (HOSC) and Peninsula Terminal (PT).  When the Incentive Per Diem (IPD) bubble burst, these tiny short lines had nowhere to store their cars and the fleet was dispersed and the cars hastily patched with the reporting marks of their new owners.   Due to the rapid disappearance of this fleet from the Equipment Registers, the charts below include a quantity (QTY) column indicating the number of cars constructed. 


   Roundhouse introduced an N-scale model of a “late model” BFF boxcar in 1979, which is currently available from Athearn.  It features straight side sills with cutouts at the foot stirrups as used on BFF boxcars between 1978 and 1980.  Earlier Berwick cars differed primarily in the side sill and models that represent earlier versions are indicated by an asterisk in the ROAD column.  The model also differs from the prototype in not having door assists which most, if not all, NRU boxcars were equipped with.  Though most of the models are decent representations of Berwick boxcars, there are a few exceptions as noted below:


CSX- Roundhouse 8395 represents a St. Lawrence boxcar that had been patched for CSX.  While I could find no evidence such a car existed, it is numbered for a small series of cars that listed a single car in the October, 1993 Equipment Register.


ESCANABA & LAKE SUPERIOR- Roundhouse 8831 is numbered for a series of Pullman Standard six-panel boxcars that were acquired from the St. Lawrence Railroad, not the Peninsula Terminal. However, E&LS series 20000-20099 consisted of ex-Peninsula Terminal Berwick and Evans boxcars painted in a plain NRU blue scheme.


ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF- The road number on Roundhouse 8835 is not listed in any of my registers. However, ICG rostered many ex St. Lawrence Berwick boxcars in the 501100-501486 range.  The cars in this range include former Hoosier Connection cars as well as cars built by Evans.  The quantities in the chart below are estimates of the number of St Lawrence Berwick boxcars. 


PENINSULA TERMINAL- Roundhouse 8303 is numbered for series 205000-205049 which were Evans boxcars.  However, PT did own three series of late Berwick boxcars numbered 200000-200099, 201000-201079 and 206000-206099.


PICKENS- Some of the earliest Berwick boxcars went to the Pickens Railroad, and their NRU placards were mounted on the right side of the car as on Athearn 1186.   Though numbered for a series of Berwick boxcars, the paint scheme on Roundhouse 8301 was used on a later series of Pullman Standard six-panel boxcars.  





   By making the doors on their N-scale Berwick boxcar separate castings, Roundhouse was able to create two body styles.  Like the Pickens door version described above, it represents Berwick boxcars as built between 1978 and 1980.  Earlier Berwick cars differed primarily in the side sill and models that represent earlier versions are indicated by an asterisk in the ROAD column.  Most of the roadnames offered by Roundhouse were stand-ins for boxcars from other car builders, however, nearly all were similar seven-panel cars with Youngstown doors.  Nearly all the road names offered by Athearn represented Berwick boxcars with differences as noted below:


CANADIAN PACIFIC- Athearn 23602 represents a series of former Columbus & Greenville Berwick boxcars which had been rebuilt into type XP boxcars by cutting eight vents into each side of the car.  The vents should be easy to add as they were unpainted metal.  The CPAA reporting marks indicate American built cars for tax purposes.


DETROIT & MACKINAC- The D&M’s Berwick boxcars were delivered as class XM cars numbered 2300-2399 in May of 1977.  By 1981 they had been re-designated as class XF cars for food service and re-numbered 2400-2499.   The “Yes, Michigan!” scheme was apparently one-of-a-kind, as all the photos are of car number 2463.


KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN- Roundhouse 8396 in numbered for a series of plate B ex-St. Lawrence boxcars acquired in the eighties. This series consisted of different lots of Berwick and Evans boxcars with both Youngstown and Superior doors.  The quantities in the chart below do not include the Evans boxcars.  Some of these cars retained the NRU placard on their doors.  Athearn 1248 is numbered for a series 749234-749377; ex-Bangor & Aroostook Berwick boxcars with Superior doors acquired in the nineties.


NEVADA NORTHERN- Nevada Northern’s small fleet of Berwick boxcars differed from the model by having Superior doors and ends reinforced with a flat steel plate.


NORFOLK SOUTHERN- Athearn 1215 is numbered for a series of Berwick boxcars the NS inherited from Norfolk & Western.  Built in 1973, these cars had six-panel sides and 12’6” doors, so are grouped with the stand-ins.


SEABOARD SYSTEM- Roundhouse 8313 in numbered for a series of ex-SCL Pullman Standard double-door waffle boxcars that were rebuilt into single-door cars in 1983.  Because of the rebuilding, the entire series received a full Seaboard System paint job.

FMC 5077 SS box.jpg




   FMC (originally Food Machine Corporation) began building freight cars in the late sixties.  In 1974, they introduced a standardized design featuring seven-panel sides, a straight side sill with shallow notches at the bolsters and distinctive ends consisting of six large square non-terminating ribs.  Though popular with IPD shortlines and Railbox, relatively few were sold to class one railroads.  This changed in 1983 when Railbox sold off their plate B boxcars to member railroads.  FMC began producing taller but nearly identical plate C boxcars in 1976, the main difference being narrower end panels.


   The Micro-Trains 25000 series boxcar was introduced in 1981 and is a model of an FMC plate B boxcar.  As this was their only single-door outside-braced boxcar model, it was used as a stand-in for both plate C FMC boxcars as well as boxcars from several other builders.  Atlas introduced their model of an FMC plate B boxcar in 2015. It is a state-of-the-art model with body mounted couplers, and all of the schemes offered are appropriate.  In addition, some of the Roundhouse/Athearn models of the FMC plate C boxcar were decorated in plate B schemes.


   For the sake of brevity, the chart below includes Roundhouse and Athearn models representing plate B boxcars, as well as Micro-Trains and Atlas models.  Micro-Trains cars representing plate C cars are listed with the 5,347 cubic-foot models.   Models representing non-FMC cars are listed separately as “stand-ins”.  Most are similar in having seven-panel sides and Youngstown doors, and ACF and Evans have similar box corrugated ends.  Additional notes for individual railroads are listed below:      


ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE- Santa Fe acquired ACF, Pullman-Standard and FMC plate B boxcars from Railbox in 1983.  Roundhouse 82503 (patch scheme) is numbered for ACF car series 51000-51335 and Roundhouse 82511 (Q Logo) is numbered for Pullman-Standard car series 51336-51712.  The quantities in the chart include only the FMC car series 51713-51976.


CONRAIL- Freuhauf delivered 1,000 5,030 cubic foot plate B boxcars to Penn Central in 1972.  Designated class X74 and numbered 167000-167999, they had seven-panel sides, dreadnaught ends and Youngstown doors. Conrail began refurbishing and renumbering these cars in 1980.  Micro-Trains 25190 is numbered for series 157000-157999, which were type XM cars for general service.  Roundhouse 8808 is numbered for series 215001-215215 which were type XP cars for hauling newsprint.  The yellow doors indicate that the cars were for clean loading only.  The quantities in the chart include both rebuilt series.


CSXT- Roundhouse 8839 and Micro-Trains 25550 are numbered for two large series of Ex-Railbox ACF plate B boxcars inherited from the Seaboard System numbered 129700-130699 and 141000-141304.  CSX also inherited FMC plate B cars from Seaboard System and Chesapeake & Ohio.  The Seaboard System cars were numbered 141523-141766; while the C&O cars were numbered 503260-503308.  The quantities in the chart include both FMC series.


NACIONAL de MEXICO- Both Micro-Trains 25320 and Roundhouse 8037 are numbered for series 102000-103953.  Delivered in 1979, many photos of this series of Mexican built cars depict a light blue scheme with yellow doors.  In 1975, the NdeM received 2,000 cars from Berwick numbered 100000-101999 in the brown scheme as featured on both models.  The chart below includes both of the series.


SOUTHERN PACIFIC- Espee acquired ACF, Berwick and FMC plate B boxcars from Railbox in 1983. Roundhouse 82502 is numbered for Berwick car series16700-16917. The quantities in the chart include only the FMC car series 18806-19219.


UNION PACIFIC- Roundhouse 82501 is numbered for a series of Pullman Standard six-panel plate B boxcars acquired from Railbox.  UP also acquired Pacific Car & Foundry seven-panel cars from Railbox.  Numbered 130700-130778, they more closely resembled the FMC model and are included in the chart below.




   In 1976, FMC began constructing 5,347 cubic-foot plate C boxcars that were virtually identical to their plate B boxcars.  The plate C boxcars were eight inches taller in height and had narrower end panels.  Like their plate B counterparts, most went to IPD short lines with only Main Central and Railbox acquiring large fleets.


   Roundhouse introduced an N-scale model of the FMC 5,347 in the late seventies.  Like the Micro-Trains model, many schemes were stand-ins representing plate B FMC boxcars, as well as boxcars from other builders.  Athearn now offers an improved version of the Roundhouse model, doing a much better job of researching paint schemes.  Finally, Fox Valley introduced their state-of-the-art model in 2008.  Easily the best of the bunch, the Fox Valley models include paint overspray on the roof!


   The chart below includes N-scale models of the FMC 5347, as well as the Micro-Trains models that are standing in for them. The stand-ins listed are those models representing plate C cars from other builders, models representing plate B cars are listed above.  Most are similar in having seven-panel sides and Youngstown doors, and ACF and Evans have similar box corrugated ends.  Additional notes for individual railroads are listed below:      


ASHLEY DREW AND NORTHERN- Micro-Trains 25590 is numbered for a series of similar cars built by Pacific Car and Foundry. It was the last group of 1,200 AD&N boxcars from various builders delivered in this scheme starting in October of 1978.


CANADIAN NATIONAL- The CN owned a fleet of ex-Railbox plate C boxcars from ACF, FMC and Berwick numbered CNA 419000-419603.  While the road number on Micro-Trains 25650 represents a Berwick car, the data in the chart below includes only the FMC cars.  They were later rebuilt with twelve-foot plug doors and renumbered.


DELAWARE & HUDSON- The road number on Roundhouse 8860 does not appear in any of my Equipment Registers, nor could I locate a photo of a D&H boxcar in the Guilford scheme.


ESCANABA & LAKE SUPERIOR- I couldn’t find any references to the number series on Fox Valley 8017.  The E&LS later acquired some FMC 5347’s from Columbus and Greenville, but they were painted in a plain blue scheme.


GREEN BAY & WESTERN- Green Bay & Western series 8000-8197 were former Providence & Worcester FMC boxcars.  By 1992, they had been renumbered to 10100-10243 without repainting.


ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF- Roundhouse 82512 is numbered for a series of eight-panel boxcars constructed in ICG’s Centralia shop in 1978.  They were likely the only cars that carried the simplified logo, as they were the only cars built new.  Roundhouse 82513 is decorated in the simplified scheme with no logo.  While I was unable to determine the road number on the model, ICG did acquire two series of secondhand FMC 5347’s which may have been painted in this scheme. 


KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN- Roundhouse 89432 is numbered for series 750000-752983, a

group of Berwick and Evans plate B boxcars acquired from the St. Lawrence Railroad.  Roundhouse 82510 is numbered for series 753000-754293, a group of FMC 5347’s acquired from the Lamoille Valley Railroad.


MAINE CENTRAL- The Maine Central acquired a grand total of 1,500 FMC boxcars delivered in the attractive orange scheme.  The first series, 31000-31249, delivered in September of 1974 was an early version with eight-panel sides, and is not included in the chart below.  In addition, car numbers 31750-31899 had Superior doors.


ST. MARYS- Micro-Trains 25300 is numbered for series 9001-9100, a group of boxcars from Pacific Car & Foundry delivered in November 1979. This series had eight-panel sides, making the model a better stand in for St. Mary’s 300 ACF boxcars.


SOUTHERN- Micro-Trains 25330 is numbered for the first of several series of Pullman Standard seven-panel plate C boxcars totaling 4,400 cars.  Photos show them equipped with Youngstown, Superior and Pullman Standard doors.


SOUTHERN PACIFIC- Roundhouse 8264 represents a large group of seven-panel double door cars from FMC, ACF, and Pacific Car & Foundry

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