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First Look Review
N scale
ACF 50'6'' Boxcar
Trainman® ACF® 50' 6'' Box Car CSXT
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

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Atlas' N Trainman® ACF® 50' 6" Box Car is in its 8th release of the popular model. This one is CSX 136010. A photograph of the real life car can be found through Click here for additional images for this review, at the end of this review.
    In 1974, ACF® built the first box car for Railbox, a subsidiary of the Trailer Train Company. They went on to produce 5,400 50’ cars over the next six years, receiving large orders from Class I railroads, shortlines and box car leasing companies. These box cars have a 50' 6" interior length designed to fit slightly larger Plate C dimensions. This yielded a capacity of nearly 5,300 cubic feet. Most of the cars were built with non-cushioned underframes. - Atlas

American Car and Foundry (ACF) built these 50’ box cars for many railroads during the late 1960’s through 1970’s. It was a popular design featuring a clear inside loading space and is still in use on many railroads throughout North America.
    The development of load restraining devices in the '50's made the wood liner inside box cars unnecessary. (The wood allowed a shipper to brace a load because he could nail into the wood.) So the wood was gotten rid of and the outer steel shell moved to the inside of the bracing to give a smooth surface.*

ACF Industries, Inc. began as a company in 1899 and remains in business today as ACF Industries, LLC.

Box Car
AAR Class: XP: Boxcar similar in design to "XM", but which is specially equipped, designed, and/or structurally suitable for a specific commodity loading; except, boxcars (XF, XM, XMI) dedicated to the transportation of commodities in paragraph A, Rule 97, AAR Interchange Rules, must be designated "XP".
AAR Type: A402
Detail Info: Equipped Box Car, Inside Length: 49' to 59', cushion draft gear/underframe, Sliding door, opening between 9 and 11 feet
Plate: C
Max Gross Weight: 220000
Load Limit: 158700
Dry Capacity: 5300
Ext L/W/H: 59' 3" / 10' 6" / 15' 5"
Int L/W/H: 50' 7" / 9' 6" / 11' 0"
User Notes: ACF 5300 ex-AWP 51410 blt 11-77^

Trainman® ACF® 50' 6" Box Car
Atlas packs N Trainman models in a hard clear jewel case designed to protect the model as well as stack them atop each other. Inside the model is held in a fitted plastic cradle. A soft plastic sheet protects the model from scuffing. No parts sheet or other documentation are included.

Trainman® is Atlas' entry series of models. They generally lack separately-applied parts and photo-etched pieces. Ladders, grabs, and haws are molded on. Yet they are equipped with knuckle couplers and molding tends to be high quality. Also, paint and lettering is as good as Atlas' top of the line Master Line series.

This 50’ ACF box car is no exception. It is crisply molded with no visible flaws: flash, desprueing burrs, sink marks, ejector circles.

    Prototypical non-terminating corrugated ends
    Diagonal paneled roof
    Single 10-foot YSD design sliding door (non-operating)
    Detailed cross-member attachment rivets on the side sills
    Weighted, detailed underframes
    True scale dimensions with acccurate details
    Equipped with AccuMate® knuckle couplers

There are 14 panels per side, a wide 10-foot single sliding-type door on each side, non-terminating (overlapping sides) corrugated ends, and a diagonal panel roof. The doors do not open and there are no tack boards on the doors. Half-height side ladders are molded on the body as are the stirrups and other appliances.

The 70-ton roller-bearing trucks are plastic. They hold plastic wheels. Those wheels are molded in a dirty dark gray.

Surface detail is raised and not overstated. The hand brake wheel is the only part separately attached. Further hand brake detail consists of a gear box.

Underneath the car is a simplified basic underframe and air brake system with the reservoir, cylinder, triple valve, and train line. No forks, levers or brake rods are molded. All of that detail is integrally molded with the frame. That frame looks good.

AccuMate® knuckle couplers equip the model.

This model is 51' scale feet long and weighs 1.1 ounce, which is almost exact per NMRA RP-20.1 Car Weight.

paint and markings
Atlas' paint smoothly covers the surface opaquely without obscuring detail. There is no overspray on the silver roof.

Stenciling is sharp and legible. I can read everything except the lettering in the Consolidated Stencil Panel; that two-panel stencil dates the car to post-1974, while lack of wheel inspection dots sets the car to pre-March 1978. CSXT reporting marks are simple and there are no logos nor emblems. Six roadnames are available in this run. Each has two road numbers.
    Burlington Northern (Green/White)
    Canadian National (Brown/White)
    CSXT (Blue/Yellow)
    Railbox (Large Logo) (Yellow/Black)
    St. Mary's Railroad (White/Red/Blue)
    Susquehanna (Brown/White)

Atlas' N Trainman® models are good looking rolling stock. This CSX ACF 50' 6" box car is impressive with smooth paint and sharp printing. While knuckle couplers are standard they are still a nice touch.

Those plastic wheels are nice and dull, enhancing authenticity. It does not bother me that the hand holds are molded on as this is an entry-level model.

Atlas' ACF 50' 6" box car should be a pleasing addition to your modern model railroad. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RailRoadModeling.

*"Exterior Post Box Cars." NEB&W Introduction to Rolling Stock. Rensselaer Railroad Heritage Website, 3 June 2013. Web. 29 Dec. 2014.

^ Presumed; CSX 136009 was ex-AWP 51409 and CSX 136011 was ex-AWP 51411.

AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Crisp molding, smooth paint and sharp printing, and knuckle couplers.
Lows: Plastic wheels.
Verdict: This N ACF 50' 6" box car should be a pleasing addition to your 1/160 modern model railroad.
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 003 025
  PUBLISHED: Aug 04, 2017
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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