53' Container Detail Photos

My full time employment affords me access to 53' containers in occasion. Here are selected detail photos.

 My full time employment as a manager at Harbor Freight often requires me to unload trailers, on occasion we get HUB Group containers of they're short on trailers. It's becoming less common as HUB dedicated a pool of trailers to this service, but here are some select photos for modeling reference.


“Prototypes” for the Athearn 50' Gondola


While not exact, these are close enough to look correct when modeled.




The Athearn 50' Gondola. Almost every HO scale model railroad hos one of these in some form. Only problem is, there does not seem to be any accuracy in any of the paint schemes. This article is intended to show some cars that can be modeled semi-accurately.



I say semi-accurately for one reason. Without major reconstruction (which will be demonstrated in a later article), these cars look the part when modeled with Athearn's gondola. First we must look at the spotting features of the Athearn car. It is a 14 panel, riveted construction, “fish belly” sides, with dreadnaught ends.

The First Prototype Double Stacks

In 1977 Southern Pacific ordered a single unit, double stack intermodal well car from AC&F.  Classed F-70-81 by Southern Pacific, it became the first ever double stack car. It was capable of holding two 40' containers.  This car was numbered 513300.  This car has been preserved, and currently resides at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento CA.


Deemed successful, in 1979 AC&F delivered one three unit articulated set, classed FC-195-1 by Southern Pacific, this car was similarly equipped to handle two 40' containers in each well.  Southern Pacific reportedly broke up the set to repair a 5 unit set sometime in the late 80's.  It carried the number 513301.

BNSF Dash 9 modeling help

Note, this article is not for the non-rivet counters among us. It picks apart BNSF Dash 9's so that you can identify what you need to make it look "correct".

For those of you who are not familiar with BNSF Dash 9's, and the idiosyncrasies of "rivet counting", check this out for a demonstration.

Classic Ore Docks of Upper Michigan

Date & Photographer unknown, Josh Baakko collection.  I have a digital 600dpi TIFF of this file, which I created on a flatbed scanner of a hard copy photo I purchased on eBay.

The Ubiquitous X72/X72A, Part 1

Life Like provided us with a decent model of the PC/CR X72/X72A.  These boxcars have been covered in SEVERAL articles in the hobby press.  It is my intent with this article, to do a modern elaboration/update to modeling an X72/X72A.  As far as I can tell, this model was first reviewed in the July 1984 Railroad Model Craftsman.

These boxcars were/are rostered by 3 railroads.  Originally built for the Penn Central (PC), they transitioned to Conrail in 1976.  CN subsequently bought some from Conrail.  View the PC/CR roster here:

Part 1 of this series will cover construction/detailing.  Future articles will simply cover various paint schemes.

Phases of Union Pacific AC4400/C44AC-CTEs.

Telling the difference between UP AC4400's (AC4400CW), from SP, CNW & UP, plus UP C44AC-CTE's (AC4400CW-CTE), in short.

Again, in the quest to find myself a UP unit to model, this time a AC4400CW, I've started mapping out the differences and "phases" of UP AC4400CW's and C44AC-CTE's.  This list may be incomplete, please excuse me if something is missing or wrong. I hope to get some input to make the list way more specific.

Modeling Copper Range Plows

The Copper Range's snow plows, No.1 & 2 were built by Russell. Both plows are of wood construction. As seen in the photos below, the plows have round windows. The Calumet & Helca's plow was of similar construction, though has both round & square windows.

Fortunately for C&H modelers, the recently re-released HO Scale model of a B&M Russell snow plow, made by Northeast Short Line (NESL) nearly perfectly matches.

As for us Copper Range modelers, it takes a bit more work. The NESL plow makes for a great starting point, and even a good stand in when painted. I recently purchased one, and I plan to kitbash it with new sides to model the round windows of the prototype. Look for this article in the future.

Snow Plow Photos

Photograph No. Acc-22-8-6-1979-005-009 "Railroads - Copper Range"
Date & Photographer unknown. Herman Page Collection, Michigan Tech Archives & Copper Country Historical Collections, Michigan Technological University, Michigan.
http://digarch.lib.mtu.edu/showbib.aspx?bib_id=632727# Accessed 2 Jan 2011.

Prototypes for ExactRail's Greenville 60' Boxcar

A collection of links to photos of the prototype for the newly released ExactRail Greenville 60' auto parts boxcar.

First we'll cover the prototypes in ExactRail's first run.


Phases of Union Pacific SD70Ms

Telling the difference between UP SD70M phases, in short.

In the quest to find myself a UP SD70M to model, I've started mapping out the differences and "phases" of UP SD70M's. This list will be fairly incomplete & quite simple for now. I hope to get some input to make the list way more specific.