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First Look Review
N scale
89'4'' Flat Car
N 89'4'' Flat Car (Mid/End Hitches), Erie Western 250065
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

89'4" Flat Car (Mid/End Hitches)
Roadname & number: Erie Western 250065
Mfg. ID: 50 001 036

Atlas releases a brand new model, this ACF® 89' 4" flat car! It is cast metal with highly detailed metal and plastic parts.

The ACF® 89' 4" flat car was introduced in the late 60s as a result of a continuing need for more intermodal platform capacity. The Atlas model is based on the 1973 version that was originally designed to carry two trailers or combinations with containers. The cars have been used by Trailer Train and various railroads in intermodal service since that time. Many of these were modified in the late 80s to accept longer trailers. Most of those remaining in TTX service, today, have been modified with three hitches to accommodate up to three shorter package trailers.*

Atlas N ACF® 89' 4" flat car
Atlas created this new model. It is securely held in a form-fitted locking top-bottom cradle, protected from scuffing by soft plastic sheet, packaged in a clear hard plastic case. The case allows you to stack these models or to act as a display case. Inside is a sealed plastic bag with loose plastic parts for hitches, bridge plates, and container pedestals. While Atlas did not include any paperwork or documentation with the model, you can access an instruction sheet via the link Click here for additional images for this review at the end of this review.

This model features impressive detail! The underside sports an air brake system and structural members. The deck is covered with tire guides and tie downs. Cast and separate hand grabs are on the end corners. Atlas rolls the car on metal wheel sets.

Atlas makes these configured for either mid/end hitches or triple hitches. This model is the mid/end hitch version. It features:
    - Two different styles of hitch
    - Container pedestals
    - Correct model year jack pads
    - Recommended 13" radius minimum
    - AccuMate couplers**

This small model is huge on detail! Wheel guides and pedestal racks are cast into the deck. The air brake system features a separate hand brake rod and handle; the rod is held away from the body by individual brackets. Cut levers are on both ends. Six open hand grabs are on each end. Detailed plastic trucks hold the metal wheels.

Four bridge plates - two short, two long - and eight container pedestals are included. They snap into holes in the deck. Hitches are supplied, too. They consist of five parts each. It seems that Atlas goofed with my model as it has a hitch base plate in the color of this car and one in brown.

Smooth paint covers the car. Factory paint extenuates the wheel guides and pedestal racks. The model is painted for Erie Western No. 250065. Five roadnames are available:
    1. Erie Western (White)
    2. Providence and Worcester (Red/White)
    3. Florida East Coast (Brown/White)
    4. Trailer Train (Yellow/Black)
    5. TTX Company (Yellow/Black)

Undecorated models are available for both hitch configurations. Each roadname has four road numbers.

Data stenciling is crisp and much is amazingly legible. You can read that the car is equipped with 2-inch HF comp shoes and that the car was built in may 1976, and see the ACF logo. Additional stenciling warns of restricted loading. Not all is clear - some of the data runs together on my model.

test track
This metal model weighs 1.6 ounces, almost perfect according to NMRA RP.20 Car Weight. It is also 89'4" from end sill to sill. It is 94 scale feet from coupler to coupler.

These long flat cars are seen all over the country and Atlas has captured the model accurately. The level of metal and plastic detail is excellent. I am glad that Atlas has graduated to metal wheels. Paint and printing is amazing. That some lettering is not legible does not detract from this model.

This is a neat model that should be very welcome to modern era N scalers. Happily recommended!

I spent a great deal of time trying to track down the technical data of the prototype. The best I can figure out follows:

Type: Flat Car
AAR Class: FC: Flat cars, specifically equipped to carry trailers, containers, chassis, or removable trailer bodies for the transportation of freight in TOFC/COFC service.
AAR Type: P823
Detail Info: Intermodal Cars, Double Length, Standard Level, 8.5ft Tandem, Circus, equipped for portable bridge plates and lift on/off TOFC, 2 45ft Trailers

We thank Atlas for sending this model! Please tell them and retailers that you saw thsi model here - on RailRoadModeling.

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

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Sharp and fine detail, amazing paint and printing. The underside sports an air brake system and structural members. The deck is covered with tire guides and tie downs. Cast and separate hand grabs are on the end corners.
Lows: The model parts diagram is only available on-line. Unusual - not all lettering is legible.
Verdict: This is a neat model that should be very welcome to modern era N scalers.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 001 036
  Suggested Retail: $24.95
  Related Link: N 89' 4'' Flat Car series
  PUBLISHED: Oct 30, 2013
  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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