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Quick Look: Fox Valley Models N scale 7-post boxcar

Read this review from the July 2017 Model Railroader
Fox Valley Models N scale 7-post boxcar

Price: $19.95

Fox Valley Models
P.O. Box 1970
Des Plaines, IL 60017

Era: 1964 to present

Road names: Wisconsin Central, Burlington Northern, BNSF Ry. (post-2005 scheme), Great Northern (Glacier Green), Montana Rail Link, Soo Line (three paint schemes). Three road numbers per scheme.

Comments: Fox Valley Models has released a new run of 50'-6" N scale boxcars based on prototypes built by the Soo Line at its North Fond du Lac, Wis., shops. The model has a one-piece plastic body with an X-panel roof, see-through etched-metal crossover platforms, and a separately applied brake wheel. The ladders and grab irons are molded. The plastic underbody has molded crossties, crossbearers, center sills, and brake appliances.

Soo Line built its seven-exterior-post boxcars between 1964 and 1979. An article on these boxcars was published in the Spring 1999 issue of The Soo, published by The Soo Line Historical & Technical Society.

Our sample is lettered as Wisconsin Central no. 20315, part of the railroad’s 20300 through 20396 series of boxcars. The WC acquired these 100-ton cars, built in 1977, from Soo Line.

The model is decorated in its original WC scheme with a Wisconsin Central Ltd. herald (a Wisconsin Central System herald was applied during a later repaint). The block-style Wisconsin Central lettering was used on early repaints, but the typeface is too bold when compared to prototype photos.

The body-mounted couplers are at the correct height. The 33" metal wheelsets are in gauge. The car weighs 1.2 ounces, which is .4 ounce too light per National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1.

The trucks are on 40'-10" centers, accurate for cars built in 1964. The X-panel roof is correct for cars built in 1969 and between 1971 and 1979.

I tested the boxcar on our N scale Salt Lake Route layout. The boxcar smoothly navigated no. 6 turnouts, a double crossover, and 11" radius curves while being pushed and pulled.

Depending on the paint scheme, the Soo Line-built 7-exterior-post boxcar is appropriate for any time from the mid-1960s through today.

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