Introduction50' Postwar Single Door Box Car Illinois Central 523014
is an HO model in their Master Line series. It is item 20 003 995
Growing up in an Illinois Central Railroad (Main Line of Mid-America
) town I witnessed the debut of boss William Johnson's 1966 orange livery and the new "split rail" emblem, which I never liked as well as the iconic green diamond logo. It certainly gussied up the main predominately carrying brown or black coal hoppers! So I was very happy when Atlas sent this box car for me to present to you.
50' Postwar Single Door Box CarAt the end of World War II, railroads ordered large numbers of 50' AAR boxcars with a standard design that was first widely used in the late 1940s. This design was based on the original 1937 AAR design but was modified in the post-war era to include: improved dreadnaught end and diagonal panel roofs with standard or overhanging design. These 50' boxcars were a common sight on American railroads well into the 1970s and 1980s.
IC 523014 is a good looking model. Atlas gained these models when they acquired Branchline Models a few years ago.
These single and double door box car models are based on the cars built started c. '44, when the industry switched from the Dreadnaught End to the Improved Dreadnaught End.*
It features crisp molding devoid of flash, sink holes and visible ejector marks. Surface detail such as rivets and panel lines and door fittings are executed with great finesse. This series of box cars features:
Details such as separately applied ladders and grab irons
Three different side sill styles - straight, tabbed and fishbelly
8' & 9' Superior or Youngstown doors
Fully detailed underframe
Free rolling trucks with metal wheelsets
Accurate printing and prototypical paint schemes
It also has Accumate knuckle couplers and RP-25 metal wheels. Optional detail parts afford the modeler the choice whether to add even more detail to the model.
IC 523014 has the correct 16 panel sides and a straight side sill, and Improved 4-3-1 Dreadnaught ends. A diagonal roof tops it off - without the running board. Superior 8' doors are hung, as are 7-rung ladders. Atlas made those doors to be positionable.
To view the real IC 523014 please see Click here for additional images for this review
, below, to see how 523014 looked in Minneapolis in 1978. You will notice that by then, per regulations, the ladders had been cut down, and there are no tabs behind the stirrups as there are on this model.
To make this 50' box car model able to represent the greatest number of prototypes, different roofs and bodies are molded. The roof is attached to the body separately.
Atlas includes optional parts, air hoses and angle cocks plus hangers to mount them on. Separate uncoupling levers are provided, too. No instructions are included so the modeler must find the minute mounting holes. They are tiny and the parts are springy!
Recall that you can slid the doors open? Unlike proceeding boxcars which had unsightly and unauthentic door guide rails along the bottom of the car, these doors hang from the top, per prototypes.
The blackened wheels are actually black - too many are just a dark and shiny silver.
A good looking air brake system is installed under the car. It includes train lines, brake rods, and brake levers.
Over the brake system is a detailed underframe: sill; crossbearers; stringers; fine floor boarding; fine rivets.
Stirrup steps and grab irons and ladders are attached, not molded on. As is the brake platform.
The model rolls easily across code 83 Atlas track and through a Peco code 80 slip switch. It weighs 4.5 oz, which is right where it should be per RP-20.1 Car Weight. The couplers are also at the right height.
Paint and Livery
Atlas' paint is very thin yet opaque. No detail is obscured. Fine stenciling and other demarcations are razor-sharp. Each railroad is provided with two road numbers.
Instead of trying to describe how sharp and legible all of the stenciling is, I'll let the photos speak for me. In short, the lettering is truly amazing.
Atlas has released an undecorated version for the 8' and 9' door type. Six railroads are offered:
Undecorated - 8' Door
Undecorated - 9' Door
Atlantic Coast Line* (Brown/White)
Green Bay & Western (Yellow/Black)
Illinois Central (Orange/Black/White)
Lehigh Valley (Brown/White)
New York Central* (Jade Green/Black)
The model is decorated prior to the addition of UMLER (Uniform Machine Language Equipment Register) which came out in 1968. Modelers can find decals of the multi-colored bar rectangles if they need to model a later date.
Conclusion50' Single Door Box Car Illinois Central 523014
is an accurate representation of a 50' ACF SD box car. Atlas has done a fine job of tooling sharp molds for the parts. The underframe and AB system add a lot to the model - the dangling AB parts can be seen without inverting the model. I like that the doors can be slid open to give your scale hobos a nice breeze. Surface detail is good and the separate applied grabs, ladders and stirrups enhance the model, as do the separate optional air hoses and uncouple levers. The paint and lettering is fantastic. Knuckle couplers and metal wheels are good, although they have come to be expected these days.
The cut bars and air hoses are challenging to install, even with magnification, tweezers, and a steady hand. But they look so good!
Modelers of the postwar era, 50' ACF SD box car and the Main Line of Mid-America
should appreciate this model. Atlas' release of several body styles offers modelers the ability to create a more authentic roster. Recommended.
Please remember to tell Atlas and vendors that you saw this model here - on
* NEB&W Railroad Heritage Website. NEB&W Guide to Branchline Assembled 50 Foot Box Car Models With 8 Foot Wide Doors
. [Web.] 28 September 2011, at 10:09.
** American-Rails.com. The Illinois Central Railroad, Main Line of Mid-America
. [Web.] n.d.