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October 2021 Release: Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car System

Tangent Scale Models is happy to announce the fourth 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 six all-new paint schemes – plus one rerun – and 7 varieties of kits – for the industry’s first “high-detail” 86’ auto parts car model in HO scale.  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 product currently 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), 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.

Our October 2021 release includes these six new paint schemes – available for purchase today!

– Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe (ATSF) Bx-106 “Delivery 1965” offers one of the most iconic railroad logos so frequently seen on freight cars over the decades: the Santa Fe “circle-cross.”  This car has the largest one you will ever see on an HO scale freight car!  This group of cars represents Santa Fe’s BX-106 class, their second order of Greenville cars.  These cars stand out with the large “Super Shock Control” and “Auto Parts” lettering and all of that beautiful fine ATSF car data.  Don’t forget the six really neat small Santa Fe “circle cross” logos on the bottom of the car that act as delinators!  This 1965-built Greenville car features accurate Apex style crossover platforms, an Elcon-National hand brake housing and accurate Center-of-Car Cushioning details with truck mounted brake hardware.  Check out those 70-Ton Barber S-2A Roller Bearing Trucks, with 33” wheels and accurate “Hyatt” roller bearing caps.  We are now offering six ATSF numbers in the railroad’s classy bright red scheme with white stenciling.

– Illinois Central Gulf (ICG) “Delivery 1977” is our first Greenville 86’ auto parts offering in the ICG family of schemes.  ICG had three distinct orders of Greenville double-door  boxcars, and this group represents the 1977 delivery cars, the second of the three orders.  The 1977 cars have body-mounted brake gear and End-of-Car Cushioning components.  These stunning orange replicas continue our high-quality offerings for ICG cars, complete with the 10-foot I-ball logo, large Illinois Central Gulf lettering, plus white “Cushion Car” stenciling.  These cars are a little different from some of the more traditional auto parts cars, as their return route stenciling directs them to “ICG RR, Centralia Illinois” – an artwork detail that we replicate faithfully!  Fun fact:  Centralia, Illinois was home to Rockwell International, a manufacturer of fiberglass automotive and truck parts.  Our ICG models are ready to operate with six different road numbers!

 – Norfolk Southern (NW) B20 Repaint 1989+ offers one of our most requested schemes for this boxcar, a Norfolk Southern option.  These cars were painted in NS brown paint in 1989 complete with the NS logo stenciling in white.  This 1965-built Greenville group features accurate Center-of-Car Cushioning details, a Hydra-Cushion cylinder and truck mounted brake hardware.  The B20 class rides on 70-Ton Barber S-2A Roller Bearing Trucks, with 33” wheels and accurate rotating “Timken” roller bearing caps.  As a reminder, N&W was the largest original purchaser of Greenville 86’ auto parts boxcars from multiple eras, and these cars literally went everywhere.  These beauties are available with six road numbers!

– Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) X60B “Delivery 1964” 1965+ Era is our first PRR offering in the Greenville auto parts world and of course PRR purchased a large group of 145 cars prior to the PC merger.  Painted in the characteristic PRR freight car red colors with large PRR keystone and gold “Cushioned Load” stenciling, these cars are sure to be crowd pleasers and were seen widely.  The PRR prototype car was modified in 1965, with the removal of the roof running board, the lowering of the Miner brake wheel 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 model.  Even the roof on the model features the old bolt locations of the running board supports!  70T Trucks with 33” wheels and rotating “Timken” roller bearing caps finish off this X60B offering.  Our PRR masterpieces are available in six different numbers.  PRR/PC fans rejoice!

– Conrail (CR) Ex-PRR X60C Patch 1976+ can trace its heritage back to the 1964-built PRR X60C class.  It represents one of the former PRR-painted cars that has been quickly “banditized” with Conrail reporting marks and road numbers, a common practice in the early years of Conrail.  These banditized stencils were applied to a subset of the car fleet, and they always make very interesting models and weathering projects.  These cars feature the “remnants” of the grab irons on the sides and ends of the model, as well as the roof details of a car that had a running-board at one time.  These replicas are all about the little details, from the lowered Miner handbrake, to the CR door inspection data to the replacement Morton cross over platforms.  These very cool CR patch cars are available in two road number options!

– Union Pacific (UP) BF-90-5 “Delivery 1969” represents another frequently-requested paint scheme! Accurate Union Pacific armour yellow box cars are extremely rare in any scale, but here they are from Tangent Scale Models!  UP ordered two different lots of Greenville auto parts box cars, and this lot was the earlier of the two orders.  The prototypes were delivered with very large UP 1960s stencils – the largest “Union Pacific Railroad” logo you will ever see, plus the largest “automated rail way” and “Cushioned Load” map logo that we very carefully recreated from the Greenville’s adaptation of the original Union Pacific plans.  It is these sort of small details that Tangent pays attention to – not all railroad graphics are consistent from car builder to car builder.  Another cool stenciling thing about these cars?  Like ATSF, UP has a stencil that explicitly says “Auto Parts” on the side.  Return stencils are of course present on these cars: “When empty return to GTW RR Pontiac MICH.”  The underframe features accurate End-of-Car Cushioning details and this UP replica rides on accurate 100-Ton “Low Profile” Barber S-2-C Roller Bearing Trucks with 36” wheels, rotating “Hyatt” caps and truck mounted brake details.  Collect all six while you can!

 This release also includes one “rerun” paint scheme (with NEW numbers) that we have elected to offer because many people missed out on our first offering:

– SP “Original 1969” is available again from Tangent.  The SP auto parts cars were certainly special when it came to stencil lettering.  The “SP scarlet red” paint on the carbody was painted even on the aluminum doors, and then SP “lettering gray” was painted in an oval shape on the doors, leaving a huge “SP” in place in scarlet red.  As if that weren’t enough, 2 large arrows were painted with SP “lark dark gray” across the carbody sides, pointing at the paired doors.  Above the arrows, the words “Hy-Cube” were painted with lettering gray again, and next to that is SOUTHERN PACIFIC in white.  The photo on the Tangent website was taken offline in the Reading yard in Hellertown PA and nicely shows the “163” route code and “WHEN EMPTY RETURN TO D&H RR GREEN ISLAND N.Y.”  (Fun fact: Ford operated a radiator plant in Green Island.)  Our model is complete with scarlet red overspray onto the roof panels.  You don’t want to miss these – available in four new road numbers for 2021.

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 coming.  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 NS (NW) car is going to look equally good rolling on the CP North of Chicago in the 1990s as well as being in St. Louis.  The ATSF car is going to be perfectly at home in St. Louis MO on the SLSF as it would on the ATSF between Chicago and the west coast.  The UP car will be right at home on the Grand Trunk Western as well as the roads between the Omaha and Chicago.  Ford and Pontiac auto parts pools are a wonderful thing.  The boxcar schemes were always varied in train consists unless you model the very modern era.  And today, when you see a cut of these you still usually see a mix of roadnames represented, although the mix is fewer of course due to the shrinkage in railroads!

This fourth release of our Greenville 86’ Box Cars includes 5 of our 7 possible different build variations!  We have more body variations in progress, including the quad-door cars.  Please keep in mind that quad door cars represented 8% of the overall Greenville Steel Car production.  This is why we are continuing with this system of double-plug doors – in order to satisfy the greatest fleet and paint scheme percentages!  These are the statistically-relevant cars from a prototype production standpoint, both door type (double plug doors) and builder (Greenville).  Please be assured that quad door cars will indeed be offered in the future!

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
  • Ten prototypically-accurate brake stands (Ajax, 2 Universal versions, Equipco, 2 Miner versions, Champion-Peacock, Elcon-National, Peacock 850, Klasing 1150)
  • Two possible handbrake “brake wheel” options
  • Optional 3rd door arm hinge parts to be configured one of three ways
  • Two 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 truck brake beam part options
  • Three “rotating” roller bearing truck cap options
  • Recommended age 14 years and older

Finally, check out the trucks on these cars!  Our Greenville 86’ High Cube Double Plug Door Box Car models feature one of two 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 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 all RTR models in this release is $54.95, with quantity discounts for direct purchases from Tangent Scale Models.

That wraps up our update for today, and thank you for supporting the family-owned businesses in our industry!

David Lehlbach

Tangent Scale Models