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Quick Look: Kadee HO scale early PS-1 boxcar

Read this review from the July 2019 issue of Model Railroader
Kadee HO scale early PS-1 boxcar
Price: $39.95
Kadee Quality Products Co.
673 Ave. C
White City, OR 97503-1078
Era: 1947 to 1980s

Road names: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; New York Central; New York, New Haven & Hartford (with 7-foot door); Southern Ry.; and Union Pacific

Comments: Kadee has released an early-production version of its HO scale 40-foot PS-1 boxcar. While the previous version, reviewed in the July 1997 Model Railroader, modeled cars built in the 1950s, this new version models cars built in the late 1940s.

The model matches prototype dimensions. The plastic body shell has well-defined weld seams on the 10-panel car sides and rounded corrugations on the ends with a rivet seam between the two end panels. Separate parts include ladders, grab irons, an Ajax brake wheel, and a see-through Apex running board. The 6-foot wide, 7-panel Superior doors slide open.

Our review sample features clearly printed lettering that matches a November 1947 builder’s photo of Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe class Bx-52 no. 276749. The model is accurately detailed for an early PS-1 with flat end panels on the roof, no rectangular stiffeners on the ends at the roof peak, high-mounted tack boards, and narrow tabs along the side sills.

Correct for an early PS-1, the end grab iron’s left side is directly attached to a corrugation rib while the right side is attached with a vertical strap. On later PS-1s this arrangement was changed to straps on both sides.

Our review sample has the same die-cast metal underframe as previous PS-1 releases. While correct for a 1950s PS-1, this underframe has additional stringers and an extra crossbearer that aren’t correct for an early PS-1.

The model’s weight matches National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1. The scale 33"-diameter blackened metal wheels are in gauge and the metal Kadee knuckle couplers are body mounted at the correct height. The car rolled freely through no. 5 turnouts and curves as tight as 18" radius.

Capturing most of the subtleties of an early production PS-1, this superdetailed ready-to-run boxcar would make a welcome addition to any HO scale transition-era roster.

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Layout plans for realistic operation.

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