Proto 2000: Fe-24 50′ Automobile Box Car (HO)

The prototype is discussed in the Rolling Stock Reference Series – Volume Three, Furniture and Automobile Box Cars, pages 83-92. Santa Fe ordered 500 50-foot automobile cars from Pullman-Standard which were delivered in late 1941 and 1942, classed as FE-24. The design became the AAR standard box for 1942 with many other railroads using the same basic design. They had Murphy rectangular panel steel roofs, double Youngstown corrugated doors with staggered 14’6” openings. The ends were 5-5 Dreadnaught with W section corner posts. They had Ajax power hand brakes and bottom operated Type E couplers. The first 200 were equipped with steam and signal lines, marker brackets, and painted coach green for passenger express service. The Express cars numbered 10000-10199 and rode on Allied Full Cushion Pedestal trucks. The other cars numbered 10200-10499 were in the usual freight scheme for normal freight service. Of note for the review is that the sides were made up of 4 panels, 2 doors, and 7 panels.

In 1943, 100 of the freight FE-24s were moved to Express service. Then all of the express cars were renumbered 4100-4399 while the freight units remained 10300-10499. The express cars lost their maps and slogans at that time. The Allied Full Cushion trucks were prone to derailing, so they were replaced with Barber S-2 Stabilized or ASF A-3 trucks around 1943. In the mid-1960s, they were equipped with roller bearings.

In late 1948, FE-24s 10400-10499 were rebuilt with extended roots to accommodate Plymouth and Dodge auto bodies standing on end. Additional alterations were made through the years, but the 300 express cars remained as they were.

The Proto 2000 (Walthers Proto) car has much better detail, metal wheels, separately applied ladders, and detailed plastic brake gear. The model shown is numbered 10322 which is correct for freight service through the 50s. However, the side panels are 3 panels – 2 doors – 6 panels. It also lacks some of the sill sawtooth detail found on the prototype. It weighs 4.35 oz compared to the 4.5 oz NMRA recommendation.

HO scale plans and photos were in Model Railroader. A review of the Proto 2000 cars and its history by Richard Hendrickson is in Railmodel Journal, October, 1995.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photos.

Athearn: Fe-24 Express Boxcar (HO)

The prototype is discussed in the Rolling Stock Reference Series – Volume Three, Furniture and Automobile Box Cars, pages 83-92. Santa Fe ordered 500 50-foot automobile cars from Pullman-Standard which were delivered in late 1941 and 1942, classed as FE-24. The design became the AAR standard box for 1942 with many other railroads using the same basic design. They had Murphy rectangular panel steel roofs, double Youngstown corrugated doors with staggered 14’6” openings. The ends were 5-5 Dreadnaught with W section corner posts. They had Ajax power hand brakes and bottom operated Type E couplers. The first 200 were equipped with steam and signal lines, marker brackets, and painted coach green for passenger express service. The Express cars numbered 10000-10199 and rode on Allied Full Cushion Pedestal trucks. The other cars numbered 10200-10499 were in the usual freight scheme for normal freight service. Of note for the review is that the sides were made up of 4 panels, 2 doors, and 7 panels.

In 1943, 100 of the freight FE-24s were moved to Express service. Then all of the express cars were renumbered 4100-4399 while the freight units remained 10300-10499. The express cars lost their maps and slogans at that time. The Allied Full Cushion trucks were prone to derailing, so they were replaced with Barber S-2 Stabilized or ASF A-3 trucks around 1943. In the mid-1960s, they were equipped with roller bearings.

In late 1948, FE-24s 10400-10499 were rebuilt with extended roots to accommodate Plymouth and Dodge auto bodies standing on end. Additional alterations were made through the years, but the 300 express cars remained as they were.

The Athearn car is a standard “shake the box” blue box Athearn car with molded on grabs and basic underbody. It has the correct roof, ends, and side panels and is a good 3’ representation of the Express FE-24. Athearn did produced the car with Allied and regular trucks and map and express paint schemes. It weighs 3.95 oz. compared to the 4.5 oz NMRA recommendation. An article on improving the Athearn car appeared in the October 1984 Model Railroader with a follow up by Richard Hendrickson in the September 1985 issue.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photos.

ExactRail: Ft-3 GSC 53’6″ Flat Car with 43’3″ Truck Centers (HO)

The prototype is discussed in the Rolling Stock Reference Series – Volume Seven, Santa Fe Open-Top Cars, pages 45-50. In September of 1951, Santa Fe built 200 50-ton FT-W class cars in Albuquerque using cast underframes from General Steel Castings Co. Trucks were ASF A-3 Ride Control with integral bolster snubbers. In 1954, they built 300 more as FT-3. In 1955 150 more came as FT-5.

The car has wire grabs, Kadee scale couplers, and metal wheelsets. A laser cut wooden deck is included for the modeler to apply. Trucks are a good representation of the Ride Control and come with metal wheel sets. The prototype had a hollow center sill, but that is filled in on the model to give it additional weight. The entire car is cast metal but only weighs 2.4 oz. NMRA recommendation is 5.75 oz.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photos.

Intermountain: Ft-V 53’6″ 70-ton Flatcar (HO)

The prototype is discussed in the Rolling Stock Reference Series – Volume Seven, Santa Fe Open-Top Cars, pages 21, 43. With the heavy traffic of WWII, Santa Fe needed more flat cars. The War Production Board assigned 200 “War Emergency 70 ton 53’6” flat cars to the Santa Fe in 1944 as Ft-V. These were the AAR standard of 1941. Trucks were Barber Stabilized S-2 with built in bolster snubbers.

The Intermountain model is cast metal with attached real wood deck, wire grabs, and full brake rigging. It rides on metal wheel sets and has Kadee scale couplers. It is a beautifully produced car, though there are some differences in details. The fishbelly slope is not exactly the same as the prototype and it lacks some side reinforcing plates that were on the sides of the prototype located over the stirrup steps on each end. The trucks are not Barber Stabilized S-2. The car weighs 3 oz, which is good for a flat car, but less than the 5.75 oz. recommended by the NMRA.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photos.

Stewart: Ga-73 70-ton Offset 9 Panel Triple Hopper (HO)

The prototype is discussed in the Rolling Stock Reference Series – Volume Seven, Santa Fe Open-Top Cars, pages 236, 248-249. In 1948 the Santa Fe received 200 AAR standard triple hoppers from AC&F. They ran on ASF A-3 trucks and had Ajax hand brakes and Royal F brake adjusters. They were followed in 1949 by 500 identical GA-77 hoppers from Pullman-Standard. Virtually identical were the 500 P-S built GA-81 in 1951, the 500 GA-86 in 1953, the 900 GA-100 and 200 GA-109 in 1958.

The Stewart model is a basic model with cast on grabs and minimal break rigging. The brake wheel is generic; there are no slope sheet supports, and the inside lack detail. The three foot rule applies here as well, but it is a good representation of a Santa Fe Offset triple hopper. It weighs 3.45 oz as compared to the 3.8 oz NMRA standard. Stewart is no longer in business, but Bowser acquired the tooling.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photos.

Proto 2000: Ga-60 War Emergency 2-Bay Hopper (HO)

The prototype is discussed in the Rolling Stock Reference Series – Volume Seven, Santa Fe Open-Top Cars, pages 242-243. Richard Hendrickson wrote the book and also was the consultant with Proto 2000 on the models. Pullman-Standard built 200 of these cars in 1943. General American built another 200 as GA-62s with the only difference being the trucks. The GA-60 came with ASF double truss self -aligning spring-plankless trucks while the GA-62 had Barber stabilized S-2 spring plankless. In 1957 both groups had their slope sheets and side sheathing replaced with steel. Proto also did this rebuilt version of the car for modelers after 1957.

The P2K car is an excellent reproduction of the car. Grabs and brake lines are wire. Lettering is sharp and clear and includes letting on the brake cylinder nearly tucked inside. Critical examination shows that the slope sheets are not shown as wood planks and the cars lack tack boards. The models have towing loops which the prototype did not have. The car weighs 2 oz. far short of the 3.5 ounce NMRA recommendation.

Ed Hawkins had a two-part review of the prototype cars (and Athearn versions) in the December 2000 and April 2001 issues of Railmodel Journal.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photos.

Intermountain: Ga-65 1958 cu. ft. 2-Bay Hopper, Closed Sides (HO)

This model comprises the state of the art for plastic production. It features wire grabs, towing loops, uncoupler levers, and brake lines. The roof walk is etched metal. Couplers are Kadee scale whisker couplers in narrow boxes. The weight is 3.55 oz. which is spot on for NMRA standards.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photos.

Bowser: Ga-58 ACF 70-ton Covered Hopper (HO)

The prototype is discussed in the Rolling Stock Reference Series – Volume Seven, Santa Fe Open-Top Cars, pages 256, 261-263. General American built 75 covered hoppers class Ga-58 in 1942. These were cement hoppers. In 1946, an additional 250 cars class Ga-65 were delivered that were exact duplicates except for the trucks. The Ga-58 had Barber Stabilized S-2 trucks while the Ga-65 had ASF A-3 trucks.

More details on the Prototype can be found in the Railway Prototype Cyclopedia, Vol. 27 & especially Vol. 28.

The Bowser car, however, has the V cutout in the side which matches the earlier Ga-52. The Ga-52s were 1958 cu. ft. cars from General American built after the AC&F design. The Ga-52s had Barber Stabilized S-2 trucks and Apex steel grid running boards. Therefore the Bowser models should be Ga-52, not Ga-58 and with appropriate numbers for the Ga-52 instead of numbers for the Ga-58. Intermountain has done a more detailed Ga-52 in their 1958 Cu. Ft. 2-Bay Hopper – Open Sides series.

The Bowser car came as a kit when the reviewer purchased his. It is a more basic car than the Intermountain with molded grabs and more limited brake gear. The Bower has a full width coupler box. However, using the 3’ rule, it would be difficult to tell them apart. The car weighs 3.25 oz, just short of the NMRA 3.5 oz standard.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photographs.

Intermountain: Ga-54 AAR Alternatve Standard 2-Bay Hopper (HO)

The prototype is discussed in the Rolling Stock Reference Series – Volume Seven, Santa Fe Open-Top Cars, pages 234-237. General American built 200 of the 50-ton twin hoppers AAR alternative standard design as GA-54 class in 1942. They had Wine cast steel hopper door frames and mechanisms with ASF self-aligning spring plankless trucks. They came with a 2’ square cross/circle/square herald. These heralds were not applied when they were repainted.

This Intermountain model features the state of the art for plastic production in 2015. It features wire grabs, towing loops, uncoupler levers, and brake lines. Wheels are Intermountain metal, and couplers are Kadee scale size. It follows the prototype closely and is a beautiful model. On the negative side, it does have towing loops, which the prototype did not have. It lacks tack boards and detail on the dump doors. The trucks are erroneously Bettendorf. The car weighs 2.35 oz., over an ounce short of the 3.5 ounce NMRA recommendation.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the review and photos.

Athearn Genesis F7A/B Yellowbonnet (HO)

Athearn Genesis: ATSF EMD Yellowbonnet 325 Class F7A and F7B units (HO)

Athearn has announced the release of HO EMD F7A and F7B units in the Santa Fe 325 Class Yellowbonnet scheme. Units are available with or without DCC and sound. Available set and units: A/B set numbered #339L/348A. Individual units: F7A #326L; F7B unit #345A. Orders due July 31, 2020, with an estimated arrival date of June 2021.

History

The Santa Fe’s Yellowbonnet scheme was the result of the FRA Visibility-Audibility study conducted from 1970 to 1972. The recommendation to the Santa Fe was “put more yellow up front”. In an effort to improve highway/railroad grade crossing visibility, Santa Fe standardized on the Yellowbonnet paint scheme for its diesel locomotive fleet in mid-June 1972.

Eight 325 Class cab units from the original 325 Class were painted with variations of nose stripes and “cigar-band” nose medallions applied to them. Four units — 334L, 340L, 341L and 344L — had a solid blue “cigar-band” nose emblem with a blue stripe running up and over the headlight to the base of the windshield as well as below the medallion. Two — 326L and 339L — had a hollow black outline type “cigar-band” nose medallion with solid blue stripe up and over the headlight and below the medallion. The 330L had a hollow black outline type “cigar-band” nose medallion but no blue nose stripe. Another variation was found on 328L with a hollow black outline “cigar-band” nose medallion and blue stripe above the “cigar-band” nose medallion but not below it. These units all have black trucks and under frame, and blue pilot and blue ends. The frame stripe was painted aluminum, except for the 334L and 339L which both had the frame stripe painted yellow. Booster units had blue ends, a wide yellow sill stripe and retained the Indian Head medallion.

The Model

The Athearn GENESIS Santa Fe 325 Class cab units are #326L and #339L that have the hollow black outline type “cigar-band” nose medallion with solid blue stripe up and over the headlight and below the medallion. The Athearn GENESIS Santa Fe 325 Class booster units #345A and #348A are former Santa Fe 300 Class booster units renumbered into the expanded 325 Class during 1973. The booster units have blue ends, a wide yellow sill stripe and the Indian Head medallion. The cab and booster units have the 5-inch tall Railroad Roman-style “SANTA FE” lettering on the sides.

Detail errors appear in the Athearn artwork for Santa Fe 325 Class cab units #326L and #339L and booster unit #345A.  Santa Fe 325 Class cab units #326L and #339L show the water filler hatch located in the wrong place on Santa Fe cab units. It should be located at the rear of the unit behind the rear side door. Santa Fe 325 Class cab unit #326L and booster unit #345A have the incorrect Maintenance Point Name stencil. It should be ARGENTINE not CLEBURNE. Photos verify.  The artwork does appear to show the correct cab unit front pilot for both cab units — Santa Fe “FT” style pilot with footboards.

Thanks to member Ralph Back for the writeup.  Images courtesy of Athearn.

 

Rapido Bx-2 (HO)

Rapido Bx-2 in HO scale. Rendering.

Rapido is offering USRA double sheathed Box cars, ATSF Bx-2 in HO scale.  Rapido is offering both a 4-pack for US$199.80 or single cars for $49.95, minimum order of two cars.  For more information from Rapido, go to:  https://rapidotrains.com/products/ho-scale/freight-cars/ho-scale-usra-double-sheathed-wood-boxcar

According to the Santa Fe Live list, they had 2687 of these in 1922. In 1938 they still had 2442 but in 1942 only had 253. None were listed in 1945. This information varies from information in the Boxcar book.

The Boxcar book says the Santa Fe had 2700, numbered 37001-39700, class BX-2. K brakes, vertical staff hand brake, Andrews trucks. Until 1932, the car numbers carried a C. T. suffix, a Columbia Trust designation. Virtually all (2635 of 2700) were rebuilt into steel sheathed cars with new steel sides and roof, retaining the underframe and original ends. The rebuilding began in 1937 and was completed in 1942, encompassing the BX-28, 31, 32, 33, and 36 class.

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for the information.  Photo courtesy of Rapido website.

Atlas EMD SD26 (HO)

Image of Atlas ATSF SD26
Atlas ATSF SD26

Atlas has announced HO scale EMD SD26 rebuilt locos with or without DCC and sound in the yellow bonnet scheme good for 1973 to 1987, three road numbers available.

The Santa Fe rebuilt its SD24s beginning in January 1973 into what became the SD26 class.  The upgrade included a sealed carbody and the new EMD 645 prime mover to replace the 567D3.  As a result, power increased from about 2400 to 2625 horsepower.  Extended range dynamic brakes were also added.  Ten units (4611, 4627, 4629, 4640, 4645, 4648, 4667, 4674, 4677 add 4768) had Locotrol installed and ran with mid-train helps (RCEs for Remote Controlled Equipment) in unit train service.  Ten SD26s were also wired for slug service.  Unit 4625 was wrecked in August 1974.  Most of the class was retired for credit towards GP50s in 1985.  The balance were sold to Guilford Lines.

Atlas has also announced HO scale EMD SD26 rebuilt locos in the Maersk and Kodachrome schemes, both are non-such fantasy schemes.

Thanks to Michael Flick for the update, Eric Hiser added history.  Photo courtesy of Atlas.

Athearn ATSF Standard Cupola Caboose (HO)

Athearn has announced in their Roundhouse line HO scale standard cupola Santa Fe cabooses reruns:

  • #2164 Safety Slogan scheme
  • #999640 Santa Claus/Christmas scheme

Thanks to Michael Flick for the update.  Photos courtesy of Athearn.

Atlas SD24 (HO)

Image of Atlas ATSF SD24
Atlas HO scale EMD SD24

Atlas has announced HO scale EMD SD24 locomotives, with or without DCC and sound, in the blue/yellow scheme with as-delivered numbers good for 1960-1969/1970, with three road numbers available.

The SD24 was an EMD built 2400 horsepower engine using the sixteen-cylinder 567D3 engine.  Santa Fe owned 80 of these units, built between 1959 and 1960.  Initially, they were numbered in the 900-979 series and were renumbered in 1969/1970 to the 4500-4579 series.  Three years later, the units were rebuilt into the SD26 class and received the yellow warbonnet scheme.

Thanks to Michael Flick for this update.  Eric Hiser added historical note.  Photo courtesy of Atlas.

ScaleTrains.com EMD SD45 (HO)

ScaleTrains.com has announced the release in their Rivet Counter Series of an HO scale EMD SD45, available with or without DCC and sound, in the Santa Fe yellowbonnet paint scheme and six road numbers in the 5500 series.

ScaleTrains.com has also announced the release in the Operator Series of an HO scale EMD SD45, available with or without DCC and sound, in the Santa Fe pinstripe blue/yellow scheme, with four road numbers in the 1800 series.

The SD45s were built by EMD in 1966 and 1969-1970.  Originally delivered to the Santa Fe in the blue/yellow pinstripe scheme and numbered in the 1800-1889 series.  They stayed in this class series until the general system renumbering in 1969/1970, when they were renumbered into the 5500 series.  The 5590 class was comprised of 35 late arriving SD45s purchased during the renumbering. The yellowbonnet paint scheme was added in the mid-1970s.

Thanks to Michael Flick for this product release information!

Athearn Genesis EMD GP7 and GP7B units (HO)

Image of Athearn Genesis GP7 A/B
Athearn Genesis released the GP7 A/B in 2017.

Athearn has announced the release of an HO EMD GP7 and GP7B unit in the black/silver zebra paint scheme. Units are available with or without DCC and sound.  According to Michael Flick, this is the first time GP7 B units have been available in the zebra stripe paint scheme.  Available units and sets:  A and B sets numbered #2790/2791A and #2791/2791A.  Individual units:  GP7 #2792, #2873; GP7 B unit #2792A.  Orders due May 29, 2020, with an estimated arrival date of April 2021.

The Santa Fe had 250 GP7s, built between 1950 and 1953, including all five of the GP7Bs ever produced by EMD.  The class was delivered in the 2650-2893 number series wearing the black/silver zebra strip scheme and wore that paint scheme until rebuilt in the mid-1970s, when they were repainted with the blue and yellow warbonnet scheme and renumbered into three separate series.

Steve Sandifer adds: Athearn has announced the production of more GP-7s in zebra which includes the GP-7 boosters, 2789A and 2792A. The Santa Fe owned 4 of these pairs and tended to run the numbers together for the first few years. They joined the railroad in April, 1953.

Thanks to Michael Flick, Steve Sandifer for this product update and Ralph Back for the improved image.

Atlas GE U28CG (HO)

Atlas U26CG model
Atlas U28CG in blue and yellow. Image courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad Co.

Atlas Model Railroad Co. has announced the production of the GE U28CG.. It will be available in 2 ATSF paint schemes. Santa Fe had 10 numbered 350-359 in Red and Silver Warbonnet from 1966 with black trucks. Around 1968 the trucks were painted silver (as the Atlas model). They were removed from passenger service in 1969 following several derailments, renumbered into 7900 class, and painted in the blue and yellow bookend scheme. After 1972 they were repainted into the blue and yellow Warbonnet (as the Atlas model).

Thanks to Steve Sandifer for this update.  Posted 4/4/2020.