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Quick Look: Atlas N scale FMC boxcar

Read this review from the February 2017 Model Railroader
Atlas N scale FMC boxcar

Price: $23.95 (undecorated, $18.95)

Atlas Model Railroad Co.
378 Florence Ave.
Hillside, NJ 07205

Era: late 1980s to present (as painted)

Road names: Burlington Northern; Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay; Atlantic & Western; Cadiz RR; Escanaba & Lake Superior; Lake Erie, Franklin & Clarion; Port Huron & Detroit; and Railbox. Three road numbers per paint scheme; also available undecorated (early and late body styles).

Comments: For more than 40 years, the full-size FMC 5,077-cubic-foot-capacity boxcar has been plying the rails. Now you can add this car to your N scale roster thanks to the latest release from Atlas Model Railroad Co. The model features a one-piece injection-molded plastic body, etched-metal crossover platforms, molded grab irons, and a separately applied brakewheel on the B end of the car. The plastic underbody features pin-mounted trucks; body-mounted Accumate couplers; and molded center sills, crossbearers, crossties, and brake appliances.

Atlas offers the FMC 5077 boxcar in two body styles. The early version (shown here) was produced from 1975 through April 1976. It features long grab irons and wide end panels. The late version (post April 1976) have shorter grabs and narrow end panels.

Our sample is decorated in Burlington Northern’s simplified scheme, used from the late 1980s until 1991. The Cascade Green paint is smooth and evenly applied, with prototypical overspray on the roof. The white printing is opaque and legible.

The model’s dimensions match prototype drawings published in the 1980 edition of The Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia (Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp.)

The model weighs 1.2 ounces, which is .9 ounce too light per National Model Railroad Association recommended practice 20.1. The metal wheelsets are correctly gauged, and the couplers are at the correct height.

Atlas did a great job capturing the lines of the FMC boxcar. The model would look right at home in a freight train or spotted at an industry.

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5 compact track plans

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