Late Steam/Early Diesel Freight Car Models in “N” Scale


Updated list, 7-15-2013


From Running Extra No. 45, First Quarter 2009
By Rick Dietrichson
                N scale modelers seeking to model prototypically accurate Santa Fe freight cars during the late steam/early diesel period have a variety of options.  This list, assembled with the help of noted Santa Fe freight car historian Richard Hendrickson, with additional input from Bill Pearce and Otto Kroutil, provides an overview of currently available N scale models.  Reasonably accurate prototypes or stand-ins for the following classes:
Bx-2, 11, 12, 13, 18. 22, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 44, 52, 53, 57, 60, 62.
Fe-24, 26, 27.
Ft-G, V, J, M, 3, 5.
Ga-O, X, 5, 11, 24, 47, 48, 49, 50, 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 81, 83, 86, 91, 100, 103, 109.
Rr-10, 17, 19, 23, 25, 26, 27, 27, 30, 32, 37.
Express Reefer Class 4000
This article and the attached bibliography list the models by manufacturer and type.

Click on underlined items for links and photos.

50’ Wood Sheathed Express Reefer, Class 4000; 4000 – 4049, roof needs to be pitched with flat seam caps, brake wheel and platform should be removed and changed to a lever actuated ratchet brake, and the ends need to be steel plate.
50’ Steel Refrigerator Car, Class Rr-30.
65’ 6” Drop End Gondola, Classes Ga- 47, 48, 55, 70, 76, 91, 103. 
AAR Offset Side Triple Hopper, Classes Ga-66, 73, 77, 81, 86, 100, 109.

70 Ton Offset Side Quad Hopper, stand-in only for Class Ga-24; discharge gates need to be paired facing each other.
70 Ton Hart Ballast Car, Class Ga-50, 56, 59, 64, 74, 83.
PS-2 Hopper
50’ Double Door Steel Box Car w/ Youngstown Doors, Fe-24; roof needs to be raised panel w/ wood running boards.
Waycar, replace stock ladder and handrails w/ MT ladder, check individual car for correct roof walks.  See Bill Pearce article in August 1995 Model Railroader
40’ Single Sheathed Box Car, Class Bx-22; doors need to be MT wood doors, roof needs to be flexible metal with flat seam caps for half of class.  Second portion of class had radial flexible metal roof with flat seam caps.
USRA Rebuilt 40’ Steel Box Car, Classes Bx-28, 31, 32, 33; car has eight panels, should have ten; Class Bx-36; hand grabs on left side of car should be straight, car should have ten panels, only has eight.

                No accurate cars for Santa Fe in N scale.

AAR Offset Side Triple Hopper, Classes Ga-66, 73, 77, 81, 86, 100, 109.
40’ Wood Single Sheathed Box Car, Classes Bx-11, 12; doors need to be Youngstown, roof should be radial flexible steel with flat caps, ends need to be 3/4 recessed dreadnaught design; Class Bx-13; doors need to be Youngstown, roof needs to be solid steel with flat roof caps, ends need to be 3/4 recessed dreadnaught design.
50’ Double Door Box Car, Class Fe- 27.
52’6” Flat Car, Classes Ft-G, V; requires extensive kitbash per article in High Iron 10/11-1973; Classes Ft-J, M; requires extensive kitbash per article in Prototype Modeler 4-78.

ACF 36' Covered Hopper

Fine N Scale
Caswell Gondolas, Classes Ga-O, X, 5, 11.  Bill Pearce wrote on article on converting this car in the Santa Fe Modeler 4Q1994 and in N Scale July/Aug 1994. 
50’ Wood Sheathed Reefer, Classes Rr-10, 17, 26, 37; roof on Rr-37 needs to be steel raised panel.
50’ Wood Express Reefer, Class 4000; numbers 4000 - 4049.

1937 AAR Square Cornered 40’ Box Car, Class Bx-27; car needs a Duryea underframe. 
1937 AAR 10’6” IH Steel Box Car, Classes Bx-34, 37; are 10’4” cars, Bx-34 needs a Duryea underframe, both classes had 5/5 ends; Class Bx-44; car needs a raised panel roof, and post war doors with wide seam panels.           
1937 AAR 50’ Double Door Box Car, Class Fe-24. Stand In for Fe-30.
40’ 12 Panel Steel Box Car w/ Raised Panel Roof, Classes Bx-44, 48, 50, 51: car must be built from a kit with a raised panel roof, 7 rung side ladders, and 6/5/5 Youngstown doors substituted for the kit parts.
40’ 12 Panel Steel Box Car with Diagonal Panel Roof, Classes Bx- 53, 60, 62.
USRA Rebuilt Steel Refrigerator Car, Classes Rr-19, 23, 25, 27, 28, 32.

ACF 70 Ton Closed Side Covered Hopper, Classes Ga-58, 65, 67, 75, 79.  Bill Pearce wrote an article on converting these cars to the Ga-67 class in the November 1995 Rail Model Journal.

Micro Trains
AAR Offset Side Twin Hopper, Classes Ga-54, 72. 
Composite Twin Hopper, Classes Ga-60, 62.
Pullman Standard PS-1, Class Bx-52; 5 square tabs on ends of cars should be removed; Class Bx-57, PS roof panels need to extend full length of car.
39’ Tank Car, Class Tk-L, stand-in only.  Tanks were pear shaped in cross section, 16,500 gallon capacity, and had one piece cast steel bottom sheets/underframes.
50’ Composite Gondola w/ Drop Ends, Classes Ga-61, 63.
40’ Double Wood Sheathed Box Car, Class Bx-2, side needs horizontal steel strap stiffener midway on car side.  Note that not all the cars received steel straps in the early ‘30’s.
40’ 11/2 Door Double Wood Sheathed Box Car, Class Bx-18; ends need to be recessed corrugated.

Model Power
48’6” Gondola, Class Ga-49; ends should be drop ends with corner reinforcements, side mounted brake wheel, fishbelly underframe, four side mounted doors, top rails thinned; Class Ga-53; same notes as above, omitting the four side doors.

Prototype N scale Models/George Hollwedel

40’ Double Door Steel Box Car, Class Fe-26; roof needs to be a raised panel roof, 5 square tabs on ends of car should be removed.

GSC 53’ 6” Flat Car, Class Ft-3, 5.

In addition to these kits identified by Rick, Bill and Otto, there may be others.  N scale modelers are encouraged to share other kits suitable for Santa Fe modeling, either here in the Running Extra or in The Warbonnet.

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