Boxcar Diagrams

Re: Boxcar Diagrams

Postby TTTerrific » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:37 pm

I have the same lttle book, too. I use mine all the time as a reference for scale proportions of various freight cars I am building.
I know that there are specific books for box cars and reefers of specific big railroads like the SP, AT&SF, Penssy, NYC, etc.. There is hobby shop in San Jose, CA called "The Train Shop" which has a huge selection of RR books, including books on box cars. These books tend to be on the expensive side, though ($40.00-$65.00).

I just bought a great book on "billboard reefers" that set me back $50.00. This book covers my period of interest (1920-1930's), but while there are literally hundreds of good photos--not a single drawing or plan.

You might give the NMRA org. a look. They have an archive research group that can search this subject out for you, and for a price will send copies of material you may want. I believe that you do not have to be an NMRA member to access this service, though the cost is cheaper if you are a member. I believe the URL is Good luck.

I was going through my copy of Easy to Build Model Railroad Cars (Kalmbach Publications, 1972) and read Eric Stevens' article "Wood Boxcars" (p.25). This article sets out all the general dimensions of wood-constructed prototype cars from the Twenties and Thirties. It is extremely helpful to anyone who wants to build TT scale models from this era.
Last edited by TTTerrific on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Boxcar Diagrams

Postby ConnRiver » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:11 pm

richardedmonds wrote:Heck now I remember that book I have one as well, don't know where it is though maybe a search is on the cards. That is amazing Brian, I got my copy I remember from a chap in California on ebay. It is amazing how far these kind of books can travel

Richard, here's an interesting 1-2 research punch (if you haven't used them previously):

1 - Model Train Index (Kalmbach) ... Results&q=

2 - TrainLife
Hit the "Magazines" button - Among the magazines uploaded and online are Railmodel Journal, Model Railroading, and Prototype Modeler. A terrific site. Lots more, too: Articles, Audio, Video, etc.

-Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa / USA
Brian Chapman
Cedar Rapids, Iowa / USA
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Re: Boxcar Diagrams

Postby richardedmonds » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:19 pm

Thanks Brian just looking at them now
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Re: Boxcar Diagrams

Postby railtwister » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:18 pm

I believe that book was published by Charlie Penn when he also still owned Railroad Model Craftsman Magazine. As you know RMC is currently owned & published by Carstens Publishing, and the editor of the the TT Handbook was Hal Carstens, the recently deceased owner of Carstens Publishing. I'm sure they still own all the copyrights, and Hal's son, Henry, now owns the business. You might try contacting Bill Schaumberg, editot of RMC, to see if he can aid you in getting a copyright release on the TT Handbook.

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Re: Boxcar Diagrams

Postby TTTerrific » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:50 pm

I have a bunch of reefer carsides that I need to build into models. A number of these carsides I cannot find any prototype photos or other information needed to construct accurate or reasonably accurate models. So in some cases I will have to make an
"educated guess" as to some of the dimensions, fittings, etc..

A couple of things have left me somewhat perplexed. Since I model rail cars of the 20's and 30's most will have vertical brake staffs. My question is what typically is the diameter(s) of the brake wheels for this era? Also, were the wheels set at a specified height above the roofline of the car? If the car had a brake platform, was this set at a standard height above the bottom of the end or below the roofline? Next, in this era usually only one grabiron on the side of the car was provided for brakemen. At some point the AAR (?) required two grabirons. What was the distance from the bottom of the car for the single grabiron? In measuring the drawings of boxcars in the TT Gauger's Handbook Glynn Lewis, Penn Craft, I found drawings showing the grab to be 18" from the bottom and 24" from the bottom. Then, what is the distance between the lower grab and upper (from one another) on cars that carried two grabirons on the ends opposite where the ladders or grabirons were installed to permit brakemen to get onto the roof of the car? Lastly, in what year did the RR industry switch from K brakes to AB brakes?

Any answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated.
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