Intermountain (War) Emergency Box Car

Updated 8-1-15

Intermountain is in the second run of "War" Emergency Box Cars. The major research resources for these cars are the Santa Fe Boxcars, 1869-1953 by John Dobyne and a more thorough discussion of these and similar cars on other railways in Railway Prototype Cyclopedia #19. Patrick C. Wilder penned that article. Richard Hendrickson also wrote two articles for the Mainline Modeler, August and September 1994.

"The Santa Fe produced 300 10'6" inside-height emergency composite box cars built by General American's East Chicago assembly plant in February 1944. The Santa Fe placed the cars in the railroad's BX-38 class, and the cars were equipped with composite wood and steel doors, Ajax power hand brakes, Royal F brake regulators, ASF A3 Ride-Control Trucks with 33" wheels, seven rung side and end ladders, and wood running boards. Santa Fe's BX-38 Box cars appear to be painted overall Mineral Brown with white stencilling. The cars had long lives with 292 in service in January, 1957. The remaining cars were subsequently rebuilt with steel sides in 1959." Patrick C. Wilder. They were numbered 129500-129799.

I have only seen two photos in print, and they are found in both of the above articles. They are GATC photos: (click for enlargements). The roof appears to be the same color as the side.

Intermountain wanted to paint their tooling into the paint schemes of many of the railroads who had these cars and their clones. Their first run included ATSF, C&NW, Nickel Plate, Canadian Pacific, GM&O, and Wabash. Since not all of these looked exactly alike, some compromise should be expected.

Missing on the first run was the BX-38 identification on the lower right of each side. That was corrected on the second run. The placard boards on the doors also appear to be undersize. As with most plastic models of woodside cars, the wood planking is over emphasized. "The Santa Fe cars were built with 3-1/4" tongue and groove wood sheathing, while the model has the 5-1/16" sheathing of the other cars IMR models" (Robert Hundman, MM 9/94, p. 41).

For modelers whose only previous choice was brass or resin, these are welcome cars. Of the other paint schemes IMR is producing, the CP prototype were 10', not the 10'6" of the models. The WAB were 10'4" and had straight side sill. The C&NW, Nickel Plate, and GM&O appear to be accurate models.

Steve Sandifer
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