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January 2023 Release: HO Scale Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car “5 Grab” 1977-1978 Version

Asheville, North Carolina:  Tangent Scale Models is happy to announce the next release of our Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car!  This is not just a single box car model, but instead a system of 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car models.  Today, we are releasing an all new body for the Double Plug Door cars with nine exciting paint schemes plus an undecorated kit.  This is not a pre-order announcement — the cars are available right now!

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.

The Tangent Scale Models Greenville 86′ Double Plug Door Box Car continues the design and operational standards set by previous models in the Tangent product line.  Our January 2023 release replicates an important group of Greenville cars: over one-quarter of Greenville’s production was built between 1977-1978.  These 1977-1978 cars are distinctive, with five grab irons on each side and corresponding ladders/grab iron configurations on the ends.  This is the tenth Greenville body style in our line (yes TENTH, you read that right), including multiple specific body variations, four different brake layouts (two brake systems), four 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.

Are you modeling auto parts traffic in the last 40+ years?  Get ready — You don’t have any Greenville cars that look like these!

Our January 2023 release includes these nine new paint schemes – available for purchase today!

– Ann Arbor (AA) “Delivery 1978” offers one of the most distinctive railroad logos to come out of the 1970s: the Ann Arbor “Ferry in the Fog.”  Built in November of 1978, this group of 20 cars represents the final Greenville 86’ boxcars built.  They were leased by the Michigan Interstate, who operated the State of Michigan-owned Ann Arbor at this time.  The cars worked out of Ford’s Saline, Michigan plant, carrying chrome and trim parts around to Ford assembly plants and parts warehouses.  These Tangent models feature an accurate late-Greenville body with 5 grab irons on the left and right sides of the car.  The car is equipped with body-mounted brake rigging hanging down from the underframe and 100-Ton trucks with rotating Timken roller bearing caps, just like the prototype.  The Freightmaster End-Of-Car Cushioning details really pop, since Ann Arbor painted the face of the striker orange, a detail we were very diligent to duplicate.  The Ann Arbor Railroad System lettering is carefully replicated on this model, from the big Ann Arbor Ferry Boat down to the small black and white assignment stencils.  This Ann Arbor release is available in six accurate numbers!  SKU 25035

– Indiana Hi-Rail Corporation (IHRC) “Ex-AA Patch 1983+” explains the next step in the continuing story of the ex-Ann Arbor cars in the 1980s.  One of Indiana Hi-Rail Corporation’s operations included the ex-NYC line that served the Connersville Indiana Ford plant, producer of air conditioning parts.  The IHRC assumed the lease of the Ann Arbor cars in 1983, patching them with the Indiana Hi-Rail logo and substantial amounts of orange paint.  From there, the cars continued to work, serving in the Ford parts supply pool to assembly plants.  The Tangent model shows an example of one of the patched cars, specifically IHRC 10007.  We have lightened the ex-AA body orange just a little bit to match the prototype car with a few years of wear and tear, along with lighter orange patches applied by the IHRC to obliterate the previous owner’s markings.  The Ann Arbor’s black and white stripes still show on the left side of the car and if you look closely, you will notice the newly applied return route to Connersville, Indiana.  This Indiana Hi-Rail jewel is available in one exact number, perfect for the 1983-1992 modelers out there.  SKU 25036-01

– Mississippi Delta Railroad (MSDR) “Ex-AA Patch 1992+” moves the “hot potato” story of the ex-Ann Arbor 86’ box cars into the 1990s.  MSDR assumed the lease of the ex-Ann Arbor cars in 1994 from a failing Indiana Hi-Rail Corporation.  The cars were patched again with new MSDR reporting marks and numbers, but still served in the Ford parts pool doing exactly what they were designed to do: carry auto parts.  The Tangent MSDR model shows the little details of the 1990s, including patched out IHRC logos, CAPY data and newly-applied door inspection dates.  The end crossover platforms have also been replaced to a Morton style.  This Mississippi Delta replica is available in one accurate number.  SKU 25037-01

– General Electric Rail Services (NADX) “Ex-AA Patch 2005+” gives us a final look at the Ex-Ann Arbor orange paint in the 2000s.  Now owned by GE Railcar leasing, this model is an example of ex-AA cars with NADX reporting marks.  By this time, these cars begin to see other uses outside of auto parts, with examples including peat moss loading out of Canada.  The Tangent model shows the continuing effects of time, as the orange patches have faded to a light orange and the car sides include some brown patching for the new NADX reporting marks.  Underneath that storybook of paint patches is a 1978 Ann Arbor car, with the correct 5-grab body and body-mounted brake gear.  The NADX car also features replacement-style Morton crossover platforms.  This model is available in one number.  SKU 25038-01

– Canadian National (CN) “Delivery 10-1978” is our first Greenville 86’ auto parts offering in Canadian National.  The CN rostered a few orders of Greenville cars, but this order for 80 cars in 1978 was the largest.  The 1978 cars have body-mounted brake gear and End-of-Car Cushioning components, along with that signature 5-grab iron body that makes them stand out from any other style of 86’ Greenville box car.  Some of these cars have lasted in their original CNA brown delivery scheme for a long time – we can verify an example to at least 2016!  We know this scheme is a big deal – and we thank our CN fans for their patience.  We wanted to release it with the correct body grab iron details.  Our Canadian National models are ready to operate with twelve different road numbers!  SKU 25039

– Chessie System (C&O) “Delivery 1978” is our first Chessie C&O offering in the Greenville world and of course we had to make a big splash with this scheme.  This C&O order is huge – 275 cars were delivered in October and November of 1977.  They feature the late Greenville phase details with 5 grab irons at the left and right corners of the body.  With that fantastic Chessie C&O blue, white “excess height” end painting, and galvanized silver roofs, they are sure to stand out on your layout.  The cars include exact and accurate Chessie C&O data, as applied by Greenville, including metric units!  This model features body-mounted brake rods, Gypsum-style crossover platforms and 100-Ton “Low Profile” Barber S-2-C Roller Bearing Trucks with accurate rotating Timken caps.  This is a big and prototypically-relevant series of cars and we are offering twelve Chessie C&O numbers.  SKUs -01 through -06 have October 1977 build data and SKUs -07 through -12 have November 1977 build data.  Chessie fans, who loves you?  SKU 25040

– Conrail (CR) “Delivery 1978” shows off the timeless CR boxcar freight scheme, and the car class that served the longest! While Conrail did absorb numerous predecessor series of 86’ Auto Parts Boxcars from Greenville, Thrall, Pullman and DSI, there was only ONE group of cars ordered and delivered new to Conrail.  This 1978 Greenville order is significant, numbering 312 cars.  The Tangent replica duplicates all of the delivery lettering exactly as applied by Greenville, from the big Conrail logo down to the 2” data and stencil marks.  No generic CR data or fonts here – this is hand-drawn from exact photos.  The CR cars feature accurate body-mounted brake gear with all those visible rods and assemblies hanging below the car side just like they should.  Did you notice the “third arm” mechanisms at the top of each door?  We did, too – they are accurate and appropriate for this car, as-built.  SKUs -01 through -03 feature April 1978 data, and SKUs -04 through -12 feature May 1978 data.  This is a big series of cars and they are ready to haul auto parts on your layout.  These CR replicas are available in 12 numbers. SKU 25041

– Norfolk & Western (NW) “Delivery 1978” replicates another major player in the world of Greenville 86’ Boxcars.  The NW rostered several Greenville series, but the 1978 order was the biggest.  In fact, this 1978 B-138 class of 317 cars was the biggest Greenville order of any railroad.  The bold NW graphics are almost understated on a boxcar of this size, but this paint scheme is one example that literally defines modern auto parts trains.  The NW cars feature the correct late-Greenville body with 5 grab irons on each side along with body mounted brake gear.  Those gorgeous 100-Ton “Low Profile” Barber S-2-A trucks show off the accurate rotating Timken bearing caps.  SKUs -01 through -06 have January 1978 data and SLUs -07 through -12 have February 1978 data.  We are proud to offer is car in 12 numbers.  SKU 25042

– CSXT “Boxcar Scheme 2019+” throws a “modern era” repaint into this release mix.  This Tangent model replicates the most modern incarnation of the CSXT scheme we have found yet applied to Greenville 86’ boxcars, starting in 2019.  For those keeping score, this is a former Chessie C&O 1978 car, with its 5-grab body style and body mounted brake hardware.  The times, they are a-changin, and this car has an updated appearance for 2019-2020+ layouts.   Notice the lack of a COTS panel on the paint job, vertical conspicuity striping, the correct placement of the large tackboard near the reporting marks, and the modification of the “third arm” layout on the left hand door.  Those yellow-painted grab irons look classy!  We even threw in the tiny one-inch 2020 Door inspection data patch, so we apologize to the 2019 guys for technically bumping the era forward one year.  This car is ready to roll behind those CSX GEs and is available in four numbers.  SKU 25043

– Undecorated KIT “1977-1978 EOCC” gives the kit builders the option they need.  Sometimes you just want to build your own model or paint a scheme we have yet to offer.  This unpainted kit handles our new 1977-1978 build version.  The kit includes the correct late-Greenville 5-grab body, appropriate body-mounted brake details, accurate End-Of-Car Cushion underframe, appropriate details parts and 100-Ton “Low profile” Barber S-2-A trucks, 36” wheels and rotating caps.  You supply your own favorite couplers.  (AA, B&O, C&O, CNA, CPAA, CR, GTW, ICG, L&N, NW)  SKU 25007-01

All of these models – and prototype images – can be seen at www.tangentscalemodels.com !

If your favorite railroad is not listed in this run, don’t fear, we have many more schemes planned.  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 can show an AA car in Pennsylvania, IHRC car in Toronto, an MSDR car in St. Louis, or an NADX car in Kingston, Ontario.   And of course, the Chessie C&O, CR and NW series are so huge, they literally can run anywhere auto parts are needed.  And because they were the last cars built, they are still in service even today in the US and Canada.

The Tangent Greenville 86’ High Cube Quad 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.  We make the best cars money can buy in HO scale.  A quick synopsis of our era and railroad-specific detail variations include:

  • Dimensional accuracy – designed from actual Greenville blueprints and verified with field measurements
  • Highly correct “true to life” colors
  • “Hyper-Accurate” lettering including exact fonts and lettering placement
  • Body shells with or without overlapping side panels
  • 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)
  • EOCC (end of car cushioning) or COCC (center of car cushioning) “near scale” draft gear variations
  • Genuine Kadee® scale couplers
  • Separate flexible rubber air hoses
  • 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
  • Twelve (!) prototypically-accurate brake stands (Ajax, 2 Universal versions, 2 Equipco versions, 2 Miner versions, Champion-Peacock, 2 Elcon-National versions, Peacock 850, Klasing 1150)
  • Two possible handbrake “brake wheel” options
  • Optional 3rd door arm hinge parts to be configured one of three ways
  • All cars come with 100-Ton “Low Profile” Barber S-2-C Roller Bearing Trucks and 36” wheels, with front and back detail and accurate tapered axles
  • Two truck brake beam part options, as applicable
  • Three “rotating” roller bearing truck cap options
  • Recommended age 14 years and older

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 all RTR models in this release is $56.95, with quantity discounts for direct purchases from Tangent Scale Models.