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Greenville Steel Car Company 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car

Our first image shows off the “group of 6” NEW schemes for our August 2021 production. Please note we also have a rerun of Conrail 1992 (with the same numbers), DT&I 1971 (with new numbers), and SOU 1977 (with new numbers) available. Please click on the images at right for pricing, SKUs, high resolution photos, prototype photos, car number options, and to order!

During the 1960s, the most radical freight car designs employed the extreme height clearances offered by Plate F car designs. In 1964, no car type articulated this extreme more than the 86-foot, purpose-built “Auto Parts” boxcars. These large boxcars became fixtures on the rails all over North American mainlines, riding hot trains to deliver components vital to the productivity of auto plants. While several car builders offered 86’ auto parts boxcars, the most prolific builder of the double plug door design was Greenville Steel Car Company of Greenville PA. More than 4,400 of these cars were acquired by most major railroads, and they were assigned to pools where multiple railroad’s cars served a specific shipper or shippers. Original utilization of these cars was for Ford, Pontiac, and Chrysler, as well as deliveries from 3rd party parts suppliers to the auto plants. Greenville’s 1964-1978 production was the longest run for this car type, with many still in service today.

Tangent Scale Models is pleased to introduce the Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car in HO scale! This is not just a single box car model, but instead a system of 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car models. Tangent is pleased to introduce the industry’s first “high-detail” 86’ auto parts car model!

More about the model in a moment – let’s start with the prototype! Here is an example of a 1969-built Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car right after delivery, in Baltimore & Ohio paint! This car is from the first Baltimore & Ohio order of Greenville 86’ Double-Door box cars. Representing B&O’s first order of cars, which were initially assigned to Pontiac service, these cars also include the glorious yellow “script” “Cushion Underframe” stenciling so commonly found on the railroad’s pre-Chessie boxcars. All of that beautiful B&O car data is present, from the intricate “Cushion Underframe” script to the tiniest “Freightmaster” branded cushioning badge on the end of the car. This 1969-built Greenville car features Apex style crossover platforms and a Universal hand brake housing. Check out those 100-Ton “Low Profile” Barber S-2-C Roller Bearing Trucks, with 36” wheels and Timken rotating caps.

The first Greenville cars were built in 1964 and featured rooftop running boards (“roofwalks”) which were removed during the year 1965. Here is an example of a Wabash prototype car modified in 1965, with the removal of the roof running board, the lowering of the brakewheel housing and removal of high grab irons and end ladders. If you look closely, you can see all of these “remnants” on the sides and ends of the prototype. The roof features the old bolt locations of the running board supports! This Wabash car retains 70T Trucks with 33″ wheels and Timken roller bearing caps. Wabash is one of the many “classic” 1960s schemes seen on these cars, and represents one of the last schemes the railroad wore before being merged into the Norfolk and Western! This rolling billboard features Wabash’s classy dark blue scheme with large Wabash lettering, and then undoubtedly the largest Wabash flag applied to any rolling stock, adorned with the “Follow the Flag” logo. Pure class.

With a tremendous amount of surface area to paint on these cars, some railroads elected to paint the cars with significant, complex stenciling. The Penn Central (PC) auto parts cars were certainly memorable when it came to stencil lettering and the large worms adorned on the side of the car. The 1968 PC green paint looks sharp, with the contrasting aluminum doors. These Greenville-painted original PC cars were classed as X-60M, and were built in October 1968. The “When Empty Return to” stenciling is to Chicago Heights IL, again representing the service to/from the Ford Chicago Stamping Plant. PC-distinctive details stand out on this replica, including a gorgeous Peacock 850 hand brake and Morton crossover platforms. This PC car was photographed in Toronto on CN.

Another eye-catching scheme was found on the pre-BN Burlington Route cars. CB&Q was the only Hill Line railroad to take delivery of auto parts cars, and this release represents the first of CB&Q’s two orders of Greenville prototypes. Delivered in 1969 when the BN merger plan called for green car deliveries, these cars had their pre-merger paint scheme, complete with large “Burlington” lettering. For return route stenciling, these cars state “When Empty Return To GTW RR Pontiac MICH” on the side. For additional context for how far and wide these cars traveled, these cars served into Canada. The car side has one and a half inch stenciling stating “This Car Too High To Clear St. Clair Tunnel Port Huron Michigan.” This warning lettering varied from car to car, and we have duplicated this with car-number specific and car-side specific placement of St. Clair tunnel stenciling!

The sixth-largest fleet of originally painted Greenville 86-foot auto parts cars was Erie Lackawanna. The first of four Erie Lackawanna orders was delivered in 1965, this group of 100 cars featured Center-of-Car Cushioning with truck mounted brakes. This car includes the large spelled out Erie Lackawanna on the left side of the car, and a large gold “Cushioned Car” and large white Erie Lackawanna diamond logo at the right side of the car. This Erie Lackawanna offering was part of the Ford’s Chicago Stamping Pool, resulting in an accurate Chicago Heights, Illinois return route stencil.

Missouri Pacific (MP) was also a prolific buyer of Greenville auto parts box cars! MP ordered five different lots of Greenville auto parts box cars, and this lot was the largest at 157 units. The prototypes were delivered with MP “buzzsaw” logos on the right side of the car, and economical “Cushion Car” lettering on the left. The cars offered in this run were assigned to Ford’s Chicago Stamping Pool, resulting in an accurate Chicago Heights, Illinois return route stencil. These cars lasted in original paint into the late 1980s and went everywhere.

The DT&I Greenville cars were really interesting because they were delivered in light blue, magenta body, or green color paint. The huge DT&I lettering and compass painted on a baby blue carbody screams early 1970s greatness. The “We have the connections” logo is right there, with a return route to BN in Duluth MN! The doors are not painted but left bare aluminum. This car was equipped with ACI label and a WK routing code hand painted on the side of the car. While the stenciling has significant lettering variation, the small details are specific to DT&I specs, including end of car cushioning, gypsum crossover platforms, and Universal brake housing. This DT&I example was found offline at the yard in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1971.

As stated above, Greenville Steel Car built these cars over the 1964-1978 period. One of the later-built cars is shown here, a 1977-built car painted for Southern Railway. Like SP, DT&I, and many others, this is another one of the truly classic schemes for these “rolling billboard” cars, complete with the “Southern Gives A Green Light To Innovations” logo. Like all 86’ auto parts cars these were pooled cars and ran on designated auto part routes. Here is a shot of a Southern car in the 1980s working across the D&RGW in Colorado between Michigan and the Bay Area, likely on the “Ford FAST” (Ford Auto Service Train)” during one of its stints while operating on the D&RGW (it flipped routings between UP and MP/DRGW every 90 days over its entire lifetime, with the same “flip” happening with different switch dates between SP and WP). This 1977-built Greenville example features body-mounted brake rigging hanging down from the underframe and 100-Ton trucks.

Our repaint offering for this run is the Conrail car. This car is stenciled with the classic Conrail “can opener” to the right in a medium size. On the left side of the car is a “Conrail Quality” logo as well. This former PRR prototype car was modified in 1965, with the removal of the roof running board, the lowering of the hand brake housing and removal of high grab irons and end ladders. If you look closely under the CR paint job, you can see all of these “remnants” on the sides and ends of the model. Even the roof on the model features the old bolt locations of the running board supports!

Keep in mind that these were pooled boxcars which means you might consider buying cars in a variety of road names. Again, the pools for these cars mean that the cars were roamers – don’t just look for cars from “your” railroad!

Here is an example of a 1969 photo from Buffalo, showing some of the wonderful roadname variety mentioned here, including PRR, L&N, NYC, ATSF, CBQ, NW, CBQ, CNW, and UP, all in one photo!

Our focus today is with the double plug door box cars from Greenville. The “other” 86′ Greenville auto parts cars – the quad door cars (four doors visible on one side) – represented 8% of the overall Greenville Steel Car production. We have more body variations in progress, including the quad-door cars for GM and Oldsmobile service (original assignments which changed with time) as well as other double-door variants!

Now, for the models! The Tangent Scale Models Greenville 86′ Double Plug Door Box Car system continues the design and operational standards set by previous models in the Tangent product line. Our product builds up to seven major build variations (yes SEVEN, you read that right), including three specific body variations, four different brake layouts (two brake systems), five different draft gear combinations, and three underframe styles which incorporate Center-of-Car Cushioning and End-Of-Car Cushioning options. The Tangent Greenville 86’ box car includes a 70-ton or 100-ton truck option, with selections appropriate for each paint scheme, and both include “spinning” roller bearing caps. Finally, our cars are weighted properly and come with Kadee® couplers mounted in specially-designed coupler pockets which means they operate as good as they look. Due to the car’s size, we recommend curves of 24” or larger for these models.

Below you can see the different underframe variations we have built up to reflect the different underframe, center of car or end of car cushioning, and associated brake system changes.

Click the paint schemes in the grid at right to view more model photos and buy!

The Tangent Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car system is a state of the art, dimensionally-accurate scale replica that was tooled to Greenville Steel Car plans and verified with field measurements. Our model comes with highly accurate “true-to-life” colors and “hyper-accurate” lettering including exact stenciling, fonts, and lettering placement. Our Greenville 86’ system of models offers a multitude of detail variations and phases to replicate the many different Greenville Steel Car offerings. A quick synopsis of our era and railroad-specific detail variations include:

• Body shells with or without overlapping side panels
• EOCC (end of car cushioning) or COCC (center of car cushioning) “near scale”draft gear variations with genuine Kadee® scale couplers
• Separate flexible rubber air hoses
• Roofs with running board supports remaining in place (1965+ appearance since the running boards were gone by 1966) and roofs without running board supports (1965+ Greenville production)
• Under car brake system variations
• “See through” etched metal end crossover platforms in three possible options: Gypsum, Apex, or Morton
• Side tack board types/sizes and locations
• Seven prototypically-accurate brake stands (Ajax, Universal, Equipco, Miner 6600, Champion-Peacock, Elcon-National, Peacock 850)
• Two possible handbrake “brake wheel” options
• Optional 3rd door arm hinge parts to be configured one of three ways
• Two brand new truck sideframes: 70-Ton Barber S-2A Roller Bearing Truck or a 100-Ton “Low Profile” Barber S-2-C Roller Bearing Truck (outlined at the end of this press release)
• 33” or 36” wheels, as applicable to each model
• Two brand new truck brake beam part options
• Three brand new “rotating” roller bearing truck cap options
• Recommended age 14 years and older

Finally, check out the TRUCKS on these cars! Our new Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car models feature one of two new truck options – either a 70-Ton Barber S-2A Roller Bearing Truck or a 100-Ton “Low Profile” Barber S-2-C Roller Bearing Truck.

Here is the 70-Ton Barber S-2A Roller Bearing Truck:

Here is the 100-Ton “Low Profile” Barber S-2-C Roller Bearing Truck:

These all-new truck options are systems of their own! They include your choice of 3 different “rotating” roller bearing caps and 3 different wheel options. Each truck also has the option of two separate brake beam parts, either for body-mounted brake systems (which are our standard offering), or for truck-mounted brake systems (available as a swap-in part). Our trucks and parts are available separately, and our RTR-cars come equipped with the correct configurations of trucks and parts!

With accurate roadname and era-specific details, genuine Kadee couplers, and all-metal wheels, we provide you with a high-value model that will provide you with years of enjoyment and curb-appeal. Pricing for RTR models is $54.95, with quantity discounts for direct purchases from Tangent Scale Models.

Click the paint schemes in the grid at right to view more photos and buy!

For Greenville Steel Car Company 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Cars sold out at Tangent but possibly available in stores, please click here.