HO Scale Maxi-IV Side-by-Side Comparison

Kato and Intermountain/A-line Maxi-IV's.

Allowing you to compare the two models on the market as of late 2008, and pick which one you want, in an educated

Gunderson/Greenbrier Maxi-IV: http://www.gbrx.com/PDFtecbulletins/StackCarsMaxiIV.pdf

The Maxi-IV is a 3 unit, articulated intermodal "stack car", with 53' wells. It rolls in a A-C-B set, with 70T trucks (33"
wheels) on the ends, and 125T intermediate trucks (38" wheels).

Major carriers include BNSF & TTX, with others such as NW Container, Pacer, AOK & IAIS also running some.

Kato USA, and Intermountain Railway Company both have released assembled, painted models on the Maxi-IV in late
2008 for the HO scale market.

As of Early November 2008, Kato has released TTX & BNSF cars, IMRC has released BNSF Early & Late, and NW
Container so far, with plans to release Pacer, AOK, IAIS, & TTX in December 2008.

Side-by-Side Comparison:

Composition: Metal well sides, plastic floor, plastic details Plastic well, plastic & metal details
Provided by:
Metal well sides Metal weights at ends of wells
A unit weight: 2.9oz ??
B unit weight: 3.3oz ??
C unit weight: 2.7oz ??
Wheels: Metal, code 110, 33" ends, 38" intermediate Metal, code 110, 38" all around
Trucks: Plastic, 70T ends, 125T intermediate, off center bolster pin Plastic, 125T all around
Coupler: Kato knuckle Accumate knuckle
Draft Gear
(coupler box):
Kadee compatible Scale sized, fits Accumate, or Sergent EN87
End detail: Molded on grabs Separate wire grabs, plastic air hose
Walkways: Plastic/molded on IBC access All Etched metal
Molded into metal well sides, separate plastic end guides Separate etched metal details


Nifty locking pin system, small, and very prototypical looking Standard A-line Male/Female system, larger, and less prototypical looking


Slightly oversize molded plastic Close to scale molded plastic

Paint &

Black 125T ends missing paint in places, some small
text blurry
Well printed, all words legible

Extra details to

Coupler magnetic trip pins None


Standard Kato foam box insert, loose square foam
chunk in wells
Clear plastic, press together halves

MSRP (2008):

$80.00 $89.95

Final Thoughts:

The IMRC car is MUCH better in the detail department. Etched walkways are almost a must in today's
modern RTR market. The IMRC car having scale draft gear will anger just about anyone who is a Kadee only
user, as Kadee does not make a scale width draft gear coupler.

I have no clue what IMRC was thinking when they included 38" wheels all around. One visit to
Greenbrier's website would have indicated that the end trucks are 70T! My IMRC wheels are VERY poorly
turned, causing the cars to rock violently, and make loud clicking noises.

Kato had it right with the wheel sizes, but then included some funky off center bolster, and a press fit Vs.
a screw.

Kato's intermediate connector LOOKS far superior to the IMRC/A-line version, however only time will
tell if its smaller size will be sufficient for constant use.

Kato's TTX paint is lacking some good quality control, though the IMRC TTX version is still not out, so I
cannot compare their work.

Kato's metal well sides effectively double the weight of the cars when compared to the IMRC/A-line
cars. I cannot get a specific weight for the IMRC cars yet, seems my scale decided to stop working correctly.

Larger Photos:

© 2008, 2019, Josh Baakko, https://www.modelrailroadtips.com