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Accurail HO scale 36-foot Fowler boxcar

Read this review from the October 2018 Model Railroader
Accurail HO scale 36-foot Fowler boxcar
The Accurail HO scale Fowler boxcar kit includes an enhanced underframe with KC brake detail.

Price: $17.98
Accurail Inc.
P.O. Box 278
Elburn, IL 60119
Era: 1910s to 1950s

Road names: Soo Line; Baltimore & Ohio; Bangor & Aroostook; Canadian National; Canadian Pacific; Chicago Great Western; Erie; Georgia RR; Grand Trunk Western; Illinois Terminal; New York, Susquehanna & Western; Monon; Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis; Nickel Plate Road; Pacific Great Eastern; Quebec Central; Toledo, St. Louis & Western; Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo; and Wabash.

Comments: Another important steam-era freight car, the Fowler-patent single-sheath 36-foot boxcar, joins Accurail’s lineup of easy-to-build, accurately detailed plastic kits.

Originally designed by W.E. Fowler, master car builder of the Canadian Pacific Ry., these boxcars used a steel underframe and structural members and single-sheath wood construction.

More than 75,000 36- and 40-foot Fowler boxcars were built from the early 1900s through the 1920s. Some rebuilt cars lasted into the 1950s.

This kit features an enhanced underframe with separate crossbearers, center sills, and KC brake system. The running board, brake platform, corner steps, and brake wheel are also separate plastic parts. The brake staff is a piece of unpainted wire that I painted black. Ladders and grab irons are molded into the one-piece plastic body.

The finished model’s dimension’s match those of a prototype drawing from the Car Builder’s Dictionary (Simmons-Boardman, 1912). Oversize HO couplers make the car’s overall length about 2 scale feet too long.

Our review sample came decorated for Soo Line no. 13124, part of a nearly 1,500 car order built in 1912. The car is also stenciled with a rebuilt date of 5-47. The model matches prototype photos of cars in this number series.

The boxcar weighs 3 ounces, which is .6 ounce too light according to National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1. However, the car easily rolled through no. 4 turnouts and 18" radius curves. The plastic Accumate are at the correct height.

The kit includes plastic NMRA RP-25 contour, scale 33"-diameter wheelsets in plastic Andrews-style sideframes.

These single-sheath boxcars make an interesting addition to a steam- or transition-era fleet. As a bonus, you get to build it yourself.

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Layout plans for realistic operation.

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