Between 1964 and 1966, the Pennsylvania Railroad built a large fleet of new multiple-purpose boxcars. Constructed as class “X58,” PRR rapidly produced 2,565 cars.
PRR also produced another 100 X58 cars for Lehigh Valley.
PRR outfitted the interiors of some cars with “loader” appliances and/or insulation which resulted in PRR designating each X58 as one of 4 sub-classes: X58, X58A, X58B, and X58C.
Here is an example PRR X58A:
Being highly-useful boxcars, X58 boxcars were rampant nationwide roamers during their service life. Some cars were repainted into PC paint.
Some cars were hastily restenciled into PC reporting marks.
These cars were also shopped by Conrail, receiving varying “can-opener” schemes.
And like the PC restencils, the CR shops continued the tradition. Here is a CR restenciled version of a former LV car.
Because of the quality and utility of this large fleet, many X58s lasted beyond the Conrail era, with some being repainted into NS, however most cars were retired in the mid-2000s. Here is an example of one of the NS cars in revenue service, taken during the AC4400 era, complete with high brakewheel!
Before we talk about our models, we thought we would answer a few questions that we have received recently:
1. Your Conrail model has a high brakewheel but your PC cars have low brake appliances. Is that correct?
Yes, that is correct. The Conrail repaints from the 1987 era, which our cars represent, bear this out. Based on photos, it seems CR Holidaysburg took PRR original paint cars in 1987 and removed the running boards from the roof, but did not move the brake appliances. This means that the B end ladders are high, however, the A end ladders have been lowered.
2. How long did the Conrail cars serve with high brake appliances?
Based upon photos, they lasted beyond the Conrail era. In fact, the NS-painted cars from 1999 and beyond INCLUDE high brake appliances. In other words, high brake appliances were typical well beyond 1967. And well into the era that we consider “modern.” You can use them behind your dash-9s!
3. If I model PC, do I need PRR painted cars?
Absolutely. According to the July 1976 ORER, there were approximately 1200 PC numbered cars in service, representing less than 50% of the entire PRR fleet (of 2,565 cars). So for every PC car you purchase, you statistically need a PRR-painted equivalent, if prototypical balance is important to you.
4. If I model PC, can I use PRR cars with running boards (roofwalks) after 1967?
Absolutely. While some were shopped and had their running boards removed, there are photos of cars taken into the 1980s with running boards. Witness this untouched PRR example from 1981, showing in revenue service (i.e. not in an Enola deadline).
Many X58 cars labored in original PRR paint for 30+ years. Some X58 cars were shopped and painted during the Penn Central era, where PC typically removed the roof running boards and also lowered the brake appliances and ladders. Cars typically shopped during the Conrail era had their roof running boards removed yet retained their high brake appliances. Tangent offers these “time-distinctive” phase variations with our cutting edge RTR models. The Tangent Scale Models HO scale PRR X58 replicas also include one key production variation: either a Keystone or Hydra-cushion underframe. Our PRR X58 includes our “near-scale” extended-length draft sill with beautifully-rendered side “key” detail and gorgeous “trombone-style” coupler lift bars, plus accurate ASF 70-ton roller bearing trucks as utilized by PRR. Finally, our scale replicas operate as well as they look, equipped with free-rolling CNC-machined wheels and Kadee® scale couplers, meaning our models are truly ready-to-run.
Features for Tangent’s awesome X58 box car replicas include:
– Dimensionally-correct exterior post box car with trademark 1960s design features, produced from actual PRR blueprints and from photos and measurements taken from a real X58 at the Danbury Rail Museum in Danbury CT
– Different roof, brake appliance, and side/end ladder variations correct for era / paint scheme of each paint scheme
– Two different underframe variations, hydra-cushion and keystone
– Separate door rods and door roller detail
– “See-through” running board and crossover platform
– Full “lacy” AB brake detail and train air line
– Highly correct “true to life” colors
– “Hyper-Accurate” lettering including exact fonts and lettering placement
– Durable wire grab irons and “trombone-style” coupler lift bars
– Separate air hoses
– “Near-scale” extended draft gear box with beautifully-rendered side “key” detail
– Kadee® “scale-head” couplers
– CNC-machined 33” wheels in ASF 70-ton roller bearing trucks, matching PRR practice
– Replacement 33” semi-scale wheels are available separately from Tangent
– Multiple road numbers for each scheme
– Recommended age 14 years and older
Don’t miss out on the Tangent Scale Models PRR X58 series box car. These replicas are very useful for modelers from coast to coast and will stand out well on any layout from 1965 to 2005!
Please click on the images at right for pricing, SKUs, high resolution photos, prototype photos, car number options, and/or to order!