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Eastern Seaboard Models N scale Penn Central 50-foot boxcar

Read this review from Model Railroader magazine
Eastern Seaboard Models N scale X72 boxcar
Eastern Seaboard Models N scale Penn Central 50-foot boxcar
Eastern Seaboard Models N scale X72 boxcar
United States Railway Equipment leased 10 of the cars to Western Pacific in July 1972.
Nothing says “that ’70s freight car” like a Deepwater Green, flat-roofed Penn Central boxcar. Now, N scale modelers can add a United States Railway Equipment (USRE) 50-foot, cushioned-underframe boxcar from Eastern Seaboard Models (ESM).

The prototype. The 1,077 sliding-door boxcars were built and owned by USRE, which then leased most of them to Penn Central (PC). Western Pacific (WP) leased 10 cars. The PC cars were in two classes: X72, 567 cars numbered 266820-266875, 269150-269500, and 269840-269999; and X72A, 500 cars numbered 229000-229499. The cars were built between April 1972 and April 1973. The WP cars were numbered 4051-4060 and were leased in July 1972.

The cars all had 10-foot Superior six-panel doors, late improved Dreadnaught ends, and Stanray flat X-panel roofs. Equipped with Evans Cushion-Pak cushion underframes, the cars also had various types of load restraints installed.


The model. Our sample X72A models PC no. 229465. I couldn’t find prototype drawings, but the model’s major dimensions match those given in the Official Railway Equipment Register (The Railway Equipment Register and Publication Co., 1973). There’s sharp color separation between the PC Deepwater Green and the silver roof.
Lettering on the model matched photos of an X72A in the Penn Central Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment by James Kinkaid (Morning Sun Books, 1998). All lettering was sharp and opaque. This scheme includes a patch showing the prototype was serviced in 1980, indicating it was a Conrail car at that point. The other paint schemes indicate PC ownership.

The Western Pacific car matched photos in the Western Pacific Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment by Jim Eager (Morning Sun Books, 2001). The lettering again was sharp and opaque. Both cars carried Automatic Car Identification (ACI) labels, multi-colored bar codes that were intended to automate freight car tracking. These were no longer required after 1978.

The body is a one-piece plastic casting with molded ladders and stirrup steps. Separately applied parts include photo-etched metal crossover platforms and the brake wheel.

Micro-Trains Line Magne-Matic couplers are installed in extended draft gear boxes at the correct height. I appreciated that the draft gear boxes were painted the body color even though they’re molded onto the underframe – nice attention to detail! The snap-in underframe appears to be the same as on ESM’s X65 boxcar. Detail includes separate brake lines and rodding, and the return spring for the center-of-car cushioning system.

Roller-bearing trucks are attached with plastic pins. A sheet-metal weight is secured with double-sided tape to
the top of the floor, bringing the car to 1.2 ounces, .1 ounce over the preferred weight according to National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice RP-20.1.

Testing on the MR staff’s N scale Red Oak project layout showed no problems with the car being pushed and pulled through Peco medium radius turnouts. Body-mounted couplers meant this car had no trouble at the head end of a train being pushed around the layout.

Photos show these cars all over the country, so if you’re modeling the late 20th century or early 21st, these cars deserve a place on your N scale layout 

The body is a one-piece plastic casting with molded ladders and stirrup steps. Separately applied parts include photo-etched metal crossover platforms and the brake wheel.
Micro-Trains Line Magne-Matic couplers are installed in extended draft gear boxes at the correct height. I appreciated that the draft gear boxes were painted the body color even though they’re molded onto the underframe – nice attention to detail! The snap-in underframe appears to be the same as on ESM’s X65 boxcar. Detail includes separate brake lines and rodding, and the return spring for the center-of-car cushioning system.
Roller-bearing trucks are attached with plastic pins. A sheet-metal weight
is secured with double-sided tape to
the top of the floor, bringing the car
to 1.2 ounces, .1 ounce over the preferred weight according to National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice RP-20.1.
Testing on the MR staff’s N scale Red Oak project layout showed no problems with the car being pushed and pulled through Peco medium radius turnouts. Body-mounted couplers meant this car had no trouble at the head end of a train being pushed around the layout.
Photos show these cars all over the country, so if you’re modeling the late 20th century or early 21st, these cars deserve a place on your N scale layout

Facts & Features

Price: $43.45
Manufacturer
Eastern Seaboard Models
PO Box 301
Waldwick, NJ 07463-0301
esmc.com
Era: 1972 to 2000s
Road names:
Penn Central, Western Pacific
Features
  • Blackened metal wheelsets, in gauge
  • Body-mounted Magne-Matic couplers at correct height

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