Cars that excited me when I was a kid

When I was a kid in Houston racing down to the tracks to watch an ATSF, BN, SP, Rock Island, MP and MKT freight train roll by, “foreign” cars sometimes really sparked my imagination.  Cars from the Maine Central, Boston and Maine, Florida East Coast and the like, would make me wonder what those places were like.   I am pretty sure I saw a car like the subject of this post.  It’s road name probably just filled me with wonder.  I doubt I would have known exactly where to associate this car on a map–kind of like Nickel Plate Road or Wabash.

I was recently inspired to do this project by my partner on the site, B. Smith.  He created this car for his Limpia Canyon Northern.  Click here to see his post.  His version is new since he models a few years before I do.


As B. Smith shared in his post, the project is a bit harder than it looks.  Even though it is a fine model in most respects, Intermountain (or Red Caboose) made a couple of errors.  This car should have had a roof walk and a lowered brake wheel.   So to properly model the car, you must make some changes.


You must pop the brake wheel and housing off and lower to the proper height.  Fortunately, there are some great photos on the web.

The Fallen Flags site has a picture of the exact car I modeled a few years later in 1978–


Hard to tell but on the A side of the car, I had to lengthen the ladders to go to the top of the car.


Note ladder extended upward on the right side of car.

I only lightly weathered the roof.  I am trying to depict a car that’s about 7-12 years old.  It was new in 1966.  I did a different COTS on one side to depict a bit more of a later version of the car.


B. Smith’s post has more details on the work needed to make an accurate version of this car.


I would sure like to be able to climb into a time machine and go back and watch trains with cars like these!  Until that is possible, at least we have our layouts.




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