Penn Central Boxcar Modeling Select Bibilography
Contributed to the Penn Central Railroad Home Page by Tom Jelinek.
Below are selected references which enable one to construct prototypically correct HO models of various Penn Central boxcars and RBL's. Though various degrees of kitbashing are required, all the kits used are widely available and back-issues of the different magazines aren't too hard to find.
PC series 102500-123499 40-foot PS-1 Boxcar (Ex-NYC)
The following Model Railroading article was part of a series entitled "Freight Cars of the Fifties Painting Profiles." It includes a color photo of PC 112178 as one of the "proper prototypes for HO scale: Cannonball Car Shops, McKean, Model Power/Roco, Walthers (Improved Roco)" models. Other PS-1 kits are available today; the important thing is to get one with a 6-foot wide 5/6/6 Improved Youngstown door.
- "Pullman Standard PS-1 40-Foot, Single-Door Box Cars, Part X," Model Railroading, October 1988, p. 12 (lateral roofwalks and roofwalk end supports are visible at the top of the photo)
X72/X72A 50-foot Boxcar
Everything you need to know about converting Life-Like's 50-foot boxcar into the PC's X72 and X72A class cars can be found in three Railmodel Journal articles, all of which have been reprinted in the second volume of RMJ's Freight Car Models series.
- "Like-Like's 50-foot Flat Roof Boxcars," by James Eager, Railmodel Journal, January 1990 (includes roster of PC/CR X72/X72A series numbers)
- "Modeling Penn Central's X72/X72A Boxcars in HO," by Todd Sullivan and James Eager, Railmodel Journal, January 1990 (has diagram for upgrading to a detailed underframe)
- "Todd Sullivan's Paint/Decal/Weathering Secrets," by James Eager and Todd Sullivan, Railmodel Journal, March 1990 (specific paint and decal info also covers PC green X72's minimally restenciled for CR)
- Freight Car Models, Vol. II, Box Cars...Book 1, Robert Schleicher, editor (contains reprints of all three articles above)
- "Railroad Prototype Modelers 1990," black and white photo by Richard Hendrickson, Railmodel Journal, December 1990 (page 45 has a black & white photo revealing the heavily weathered roof on Jim Six's prize winning X72 model)
X73 FGE RBL
Diagonal panel roofs are available from manufacturers such as McKean to replace the incorrect PS-1 roof on the Walthers' HO FGE-style insulated boxcar.
- "50-foot FGE Plug-door Insulated Box Cars," by James Eager, Railmodel Journal, February 1993, pp. 42-5 (has roster of all FGE RBL's matching Walthers' double-rivet sided car, plus color photos of PC X73's in both FGE yellow and PC green paint schemes)
X58/X58A/X58B/X58C Outside-braced Plugdoor Boxcar (Ex-PRR)
Based on the X58, the Athearn 50-foot outside-braced boxcar has the right sides; too bad it also has an incorrect earlier style Dreadnaught end, a roof without eaves that extend over the side plate, and a door that's a little too wide. The Mainline article points the way towards correcting these inaccuracies. The 1980 RMC article mentions a wood and metal Quality Craft kit that may be available today. However, this car has the wrong pre-war end, wrong roof, and possibly the incorrect underframe. Today, your best bet to model an X58 in HO scale is the X58 kit available from Rail Yard Models. Here is a color image of X58B PC 265635.
- "Protofile 9: Pennsylvania (PC) X58 Plugdoor Boxcar," by Larry Hanlon, Railroad Model Craftsman, May 1980, pp.73-4 (distinguishes AAR classifications of original PRR classes: X58 = RBL, X58A = XP, X58B = XL, and X58C = XM; includes model and prototype photos of PRR and PC versions)
- "An Athearn Conversion," by Greg Martin and Paul Chandler, Mainline Modeler, March 1991, pp. 36-7 (describes method of replacing the ends on Pennsy X-58 thru X-58e)
X26C Rebuilt 40-foot Boxcar (ex-PRR)
I built a model of one the the PRR's steel-sided rebuilds of the single-sheathed X-26, using an Athearn boxcar and the Tichy 5/5/5 Youngstown ends. The only tricky part is getting all that essential rivet detail into the enlarged portions of the ends.
- "Rebuilt Lackawanna Boxcar," by Chuck Yungkurth, Railroad Model Craftsman, October 1980, pp. 75-6 (March 1980, Binghamton N.Y., photo of PC 115297)
- "DT&I Rebuild Leased from PRR Class X26c," by Ed Burns, Mainline Modeler, July 1988, pp. 56-7 (3 relatively large photos, featuring 2 good views of rebuilt end; underframe detail included in HO scale drawing of car lettered for DT&I)