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Atlas HO scale FMC 5347 boxcar

Read this review from the September 2017 Model Railroader
Atlas HO scale FMC 5347 boxcar
Atlas HO scale FMC 5347 boxcar
Separately applied brake hardware and wire brake rods are just some of the underbody details on the Atlas HO scale FMC 5347 boxcar.

A new HO scale boxcar based on a 1970s prototype has been released by Atlas Model Railroad Co. The FMC 5,347-cubic-foot-capacity boxcar features a one-piece injection-molded plastic body, wire grab irons, etched-metal crossover platforms, and separately applied ladders and stirrup steps.

FMC Corp. produced the 5,347- cubic-foot-capacity boxcar at its plant in Portland, Ore. Some of the spotting features of the boxcar include seven exterior posts on each side of the door, 3/3 non-terminating ends, and bolsters attached to the sill with six fasteners in a U-shaped pattern.

The Atlas model closely follows prototype drawings published in the 1980 Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia (Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp.) Though the Youngstown sliding doors aren’t positionable, I did appreciate that the lower door track on each side is mounted to stand-off brackets. The tack and route board location match prototype photos.

The boxcar’s underbody is also well detailed. The crossties are molded; the center sills and crossbearers are a one-piece casting. The air reservoir, brake cylinder, triple valve, support brackets, and levers are a separate casting. Wire brake rods further add to the model’s realism. The car rides at a prototypical height, so the sill obscures most of these items.

The draft-gear box and bolster is a one-piece casting. The model is equipped with Accumate scale couplers. A separate draft-gear box and bolster is included if you want to equip the model with Kadee whisker couplers. The end-of-car cushioning unit and uncoupling levers, as well as installation instructions, are included in the box.

Our sample is decorated for the Savannah State Docks RR (SSDK), which operated from 1952 to 1998 before it was acquired by shortline conglomerate Genesee & Wyoming and renamed the Savannah Port Terminal RR. The SSDK had 100 FMC 5,347-cubic-foot-capacity boxcars, numbered 1000 through 1099, that were built under lot 17962 in May 1979. In 1986 the SSDK’s cars went to the Minnesota, Dakota & Western. Fourteen years later, the cars moved east to Vermont’s Green Mountain RR.

The paint is evenly applied with crisp color separation lines. One discrepancy I noticed was the color of the lettering on the door stencils and the end reporting marks. On the model, the lettering is white; on the prototype, it’s black.

I operated the boxcar on our Wisconsin & Southern project layout. Out of the box, the trip pin was low on both Accumate scale couplers. A quick adjustment with Kadee trip pin pliers brought them to the correct height. The car operated without incident while being pushed and pulled through the no. 5 turnouts.

Atlas has hit another home run with its HO scale FMC 5,347-cubic-foot-capacity boxcar. With a high level of detail, a solid paint job, and excellent performance, the well-proportioned boxcar certainly lives up to its Master Line status.

Price: $39.95 (undecorated, $32.95)

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

Era: 1979 to 1986 (as decorated)

Road names: Savannah State Docks RR, Apalachicola Northern, Chicago & North Western, Delta Valley & Southern, Mississippi Export, New Orleans Public Belt, and Providence & Worcester. Three road numbers per scheme.

• Correctly gauged 33" metal wheels on plastic axles
• Accumate scale couplers at correct height (trip pins too low)
• Weight: 4.7 ounces, .2 ounce too heavy based on National Model Railroad Association recommended practice 20.1

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