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Athearn N scale FMC 50-foot double-door boxcar

Read this review from Model Railroader
Athearn N scale FMC 50-foot double-door boxcar
Athearn N scale FMC 50-foot double-door boxcar
Price: $19.98

Athearn Trains
2883 E. Spring St., Ste. 100
Long Beach, CA 90806

Era: early 1970s to present

Road names (three numbers each): British Columbia Ry., Burlington Northern, Northern Alberta Rys., Western Pacific

Comments: For those modeling the 1970s and later, the 50-foot exterior post boxcar is a ubiquitous piece of rolling stock. The ready-to-run model was previously released as a Model Die Casting/Roundhouse kit.

The model’s major dimensions match prototype drawings of a 70-ton Association of American Railroads (AAR) plate B car built by FMC printed in The Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practices (Simmons-Boardman, 1980). The Athearn models decorated for BN and WP are correct for this prototype.

Our review sample is decorated for British Columbia Rys. no. 841735.According to The Official Railway Equipment Register (April 1980), this plate C car had a 15'-6" extreme height compared to the model’s 14'-9" height and was two feet longer. The Northern Alberta Rys. prototype also had these dimensional differences.

Most of the details, including underframe brake rigging, on the plastic model are molded into the body. The corner stirrup steps and brake wheel are separate plastic parts.

The paint on the model is smoothly applied with straight and opaque lettering. The X-panel roof is painted silver to depict bare galvanized metal. The green overspray around the perimeter of the roof replicates the prototype builder’s practice of only painting the part of the roof that would be visible from the ground.

The car weighs 1.25 ounces, which is .15 ounce too heavy according to National Model Railroad Association RP-20.1. The truck-mounted plastic knuckle couplers are at the correct height per NMRA S-2. The metal wheels are in gauge.

This solid representation of a modern-era boxcar should be useful on many N scale railroads.

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