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We will release more Greenville Steel Car Company 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Cars in 2021. Stay tuned!
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 1965-built Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car right after delivery, in Louisville & Nashville paint! This car is from the second Louisville & Nashville order of Greenville 86’ Double-Door box cars. Delivered in 1965, this group of 55 cars featured Center-of-Car Cushioning with truck mounted brakes. Fun fact: By 1965, L&N was using “Codit” reflective liquid on its reporting marks, resulting in among other things, an increase in nighttime visibility. We have duplicated this distinctive look with our model’s lettering – note the subtle change for the shade of yellow for the large L&N and car number versus the rest of the data and graphics. This product has a National Champion-Peacock hand brake and 70T trucks with 33” wheels and rotating Brenco-6 roller bearing caps. Finally, this L&N offering was part of the Ford’s Chicago Stamping Pool, resulting in an accurate Chicago Heights, Illinois return route stencil.
The Greenville 1964-1978 production included several distinctive design features to watch for. Most notably, see the drop sill at the bottom of the car which roughly divides the car into fifths when looking at it from left to right. The aluminum doors stand out on the L&N car above because they are unpainted. On some schemes, the doors are indeed painted. Also note the end of car cushioning device. Some cars have center of car cushioning.
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 former WP 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 WP car retains 70T Trucks with Timken roller bearing caps. Here is one of the WP cars on the Missouri Pacific on the South side of Chicago and several railroad interchange points away from WP rails. Please keep in mind that these were pooled boxcars which means you might consider buying cars in a variety of road names. For example: Prototype photos show the WP car is going to look equally good rolling through San Bernadino, California, Wabash, Indiana, or Hapeville, Georgia. Again, the pools for these cars mean that the cars were roamers – don’t just look for cars from “your” railroad!
With a tremendous amount of surface area to paint on these cars, some railroads elected to paint the cars with significant, complex stenciling. The Grand Trunk Western (GTW) auto parts cars were certainly memorable when it came to stencil lettering and “The Good Track Road” lettering. The GTW blue paint on the carbody was painted even on the aluminum doors. The Grand Truck Western received 75 Greenville cars in 1977. These replicas feature a 1977 body with end ladders, body-mounted brake rigging hanging down from the underframe and 100-Ton Barber S-2-C “Low Profile” trucks with 36” wheels and rotating Brenco-6 roller bearing caps. This GTW car was found offline in Chicago IL on the N&W.
Another eye-catching scheme were the green Penn Central Greenville-painted and railroad-repainted cars. This is not a Penn Central delivery but instead is a repaint of a former PRR X60B class car that has been shopped at the PC’s ex-PRR Sam Rea Shops in 1968. This prototype car was modified in 1965, with the removal of the roof running board, the lowering of the brake wheel housing and removal of high grab irons and end ladders. If you look closely under the beautiful PC green paint job, you can see the accurate 1964-built body with all of these “torched off remnants” showing on the sides and ends of the model. Even the roof features the old bolt locations of the running board supports!
Continuing on the theme of repaints is the N&W black car. By the 1970s, the N&W had settled on its black paint scheme and bold white graphics. Our N&W offering for this production represents cars that received new paint at Roanoke in 1975, including era-defining COTS and extra single door guides applied. This is a large group of cars, originally delivered to the N&W in 1966, and the cars had a 1966 body with Center of Car Cushioning and Truck brake appliances mounted to 70T Trucks with 33” wheels and rotating Timken roller bearing caps. Here is a prototype photo taken in Cleveland OH, likely on Conrail, in 1984.
Finally, CSXT repainted many of the auto parts they acquired from most of its predecessors. This series of CSX numbers are from ex-C&O Chessie cars, repainted into the CSX “Insignia Blue” scheme. Each of the three numbers features car-specific lettering and stencil locations. Car #180888 was repainted in 1991 while car numbers 180893 and 180899 followed in 1992. The “Ease Up!” stickers at each car end are present, along with their micro-sized counterparts on the doors themselves! This 1977-built Greenville group features body-mounted brake rigging hanging down from the underframe and 100-Ton low-profile trucks with 36” wheels and rotating Timken roller bearing caps.
As stated above, Greenville Steel Car built these cars over the 1964-1978 period. One of the later 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.
These auto parts cars of course were not only found in the United States. We recognize that Canadian Pacific and Canadian National each had good-sized auto parts car fleets. As an example we are showing a Canadian Pacific example in house road CPAA reporting marks, which were instituted for U.S.-built cars utilized in international service. While CPAA ordered these in a “plain” scheme. These cars have the alternating “wide-narrow” side body panels typical for this 1971-era of Greenville production. With its 1971 livery right from the Greenville paint shop, this scheme includes original “bare aluminum” doors, ACI label, WSP assignment code, and “When empty return to DT&I Railroad Fordhaven Michigan” return stencils.
Please keep in mind that these were pooled boxcars which means they showed up in places that were not expected. Take our SP boxcar for instance. The photo above shows it in Hellertown PA, on the Reading. One photo of the DT&I car is in Green Bay WI on Green Bay and Western. The photos of the NYC cars are in California on ATSF and in Dallas on the T&P. The photo of the Southern car is on the DRGW in Colorado. The boxcar schemes were always varied in train consists. And today, when you see a cut of these you usually see a mix of roadnames represented, although the mix is fewer of course due to the shrinkage in railroads! An example here is one of the SP cars on the CN in Ontario, still soldiering on wearing original paint 25 years later!
Speaking of lasting a long time in original paint, here is a NYC car from our current number series offering still working for Conrail in original paint in 1982 on a train headed to Milpitas on a WP train.
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 and are not the statistically-relevant cars from a prototype production standpoint. We have more body variations in progress, including the quad-door cars for GM and Oldsmobile service (original assignments which changed with time).
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.
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!