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Pullman-Standard PS-1 40′ Mini-Hy Cube Boxcar

Please click on the images at right for pricing, SKUs, high resolution photos, prototype photos, car number options, and/or to order!  These box cars are in stock and ready to purchase today!


Many household appliance brands rode the rails: Admiral, Whirlpool, or Roper, to name a few.  Nicknamed “baby hi-cubes” by shippers, railfans, and rail employees alike, the PS-1 40’ “Mini-Hy Cube” boxcars were early examples of purpose-built boxcars, built by Pullman-Standard in Bessemer, AL.  At 4900 cubic foot capacity, most of these distinctively small yet tall cars were purchased for appliance loading out of origins in U.S. Midwestern states.

Here is an example in Northern Pacific paint just after delivery.  NP’s series of these cars were stenciled with the stunning large NP accompanying the large monad. All NP cars had return stencils to IC Railway, Kankakee IL. Stunning, eh?


One of the NP cars was restenciled with BN initials and numbers, but retained its Northern Pacific paint, which was common on cabooses and power in the early 1970s but was comparatively rare on freight cars.

Five railroads bought these cars in 1967-1968, and they were sent to destinations all over North America delivering appliances to warehouse receivers and team tracks.  Because some of the cars were pooled, any roadname could be consigned to literally any destination, making these cars “nationwide roamers,” meaning you can justify any roadname anywhere.

This Rio Grande group of cars was assigned to Whirlpool service on the Erie Lackawanna in Marion, Ohio.  This scheme is sharp, from the large “Rio Grande the ACTION road” stacked graphics, down to the smallest Pullman-Standard builder data and Lot number.  The cars also have black ends, adding an extra little bit of class.

This prototype car was damaged and sent to Midwest Freight Car in Clinton, IL on the ICG.  Midwest Freight Car repaired and repainted the one affected side and both ends of the car only.  This D&RGW Brown Repaint scheme features a repainted “right” side of the car, with different locations for the MFC-applied Rio Grande lettering and modified small data.  The other side of the car shows off the original Pullman-Standard brown paint and white lettering with various accurate paint patches applied by MFC shops personnel.  Each end of the car features slightly varying MFC-applied stencil locations, based on prototype photos.  The car even received new white paint and black lettering at the top of each end.  What an interesting paint job!

Later in their service lives, most cars were repurposed for paper loading, and by the 1990s many remaining cars were utilized in MOW and other company service roles.

The CB&Q received two orders in 1967, totaling 50 cars.  The cars are rather striking in the Q’s red, which featured prominent markings for “Hydraulic Cushioning.”  Here is an example of a CB&Q “no stripe” on the door car repurposed later in life as an MOW car, right before the BNSF merger:

The former CB&Q cars were repainted into BN Mini-Hy Cubes.  One of the neat things about repaint schemes is that they are all just a little different – and we have duplicated the differing placement of individual lettering elements based on real photos.

The IC Orange “Main Line of Mid-America” slogan and “Split Rail” logo is hard to beat on this tall car body.  Illinois Central (and ICG) Mini-Hy Cubes served far and wide in their appliance pools.  Our photos document the cars in places like Minneapolis, MN, Goleta, CA, Provo, UT, Tempe, AZ, McComb, MS, Topeka, KS, Los Angeles, CA, Council Bluffs, IA, Eugene, OR and even under the PC/CR catenary at North Elizabeth, NJ.

While there were several ICG repaints, here is an ICG Mini-Hy Cube box car with a unique paint job.   This 1977 example was repainted by the ICG’s other ex-IC car shop in McComb, Mississippi.  The model features 18” stacked “ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF” lettering and a condensed “CUSHION UNDERFRAME” tucked in after the word GULF.  The now-standard ICG “I-Ball” logo has replaced the IC “Split Rail” on the right side of the car.

MILW purchased one series of cars but they were equipped with different loading devices. Here is a “DF2” loader stenciled car:

Now, all of these cars were pooled at least for the first ~10-15 years of service. This means that when they became empty, they were to be redirected to a specific point for re-assignment. These re-assignments were called “return routes” and these routes were stenciled on the side of the cars. Tangent has carefully researched the return routes, which is no easy task since photos of these cars are surprisingly rare. The return routes for each railroad’s cars are described in the car descriptions for each car by clicking the images at the right. But don’t get hung up on these routes – appliances were not market-specific – they ran freely where there were buyers of appliances. It is the loading location that was specific, but the appliances once loaded could go anywhere once loaded! For instance, if you are a BN modeler, one day you might see a DRGW car, the next day an IC. In other words, buy the cars you like!

To help illustrate this point, here is that shot of the IC car again.  Note that there is a Cotton Belt appliance side on the left side, and a UP appliance car on the right side. While the other two appliance cars are not Pullman-built, the point is that there is a “block” of at least three appliance cars, photographed in the midwest, and they belong to three different railroads.

Here is an example of a BN car on the tail end of a westbound MILW train – in Milwaukee WI – headed toward St. Paul. Very cool!

And here is another BN car, this time in paper service headed to Spartan Printing in Sparta IL.

Also, you can click this link to see a video of 2 CBQ cars, also in paper service.

Here is a MILW car in East Deerfield MA on what is likely train SPCP headed toward interchange with CP!

The Tangent Scale Models PS-1 “Mini-Hy Cube” Boxcar replica is an all-new model that was designed and tooled in USA, and a majority of the plastic parts were produced in USA.

The Tangent Scale Models HO scale PS-1 “Mini-Hy Cube” Boxcar replica features a prototypical “slight peak” roof, separate underframe brake components with wire piping, narrow ladders and sill steps, and “see-through” crossover platforms.  These replicas include the “near-scale” draft gear that has been standard on all recent Tangent releases, which includes the “side key” detail with Kadee all-metal couplers.  Detailed “trombone style” coupler lift bars are also present on our replicas with one of two styles to match the prototype.  Finally, the models are equipped with the correct Tangent Barber S-2-A 70-ton roller bearing trucks and 33” CNC-machined wheelsets, so our models look as good as they operate.  These small yet tall models are sure to be stunners on your layout!

These small yet tall models are sure to be stunners on your layout!

Please click on the images at right for pricing, SKUs, high resolution photos, prototype photos, car number options, and/or to order!

Features for our RTR replicas include:

– Dimensional accuracy – designed from actual Pullman-Standard blueprints
– Designed, tooled, and plastic parts produced in USA!
– Highly correct “true to life” colors
– “Hyper-Accurate” lettering including exact fonts and lettering placement
– Genuine Kadee® scale couplers
– “Near-scale” draft gear box with beautifully-rendered side “key” detail
– 2 different draft gear and trombone-style coupler lift bar variations that represent those pesky prototypical details Tangent is known for
– Lacy details – wire grab irons, coupler lift bars, and stand-off ladders and stirrup steps, brake system piping
– “See through” crossover end platforms
– Separate air hoses
– CNC-machined 33” wheels in high quality Tangent Scale Models 70-ton Barber S-2-A Roller Bearing trucks (with semi-scale replacement wheels available separately) with separate brake hangar parts for extra realism
– Recommended age 14 years and older

Available paint schemes are listed at right, and you can click on the images to see more photos and order! Prototype images for each scheme are available by clicking as well, mixed in with the model images.

Even if you do not model these roadnames, you should definitely consider the Tangent PS-1 appliance and paper haulers for your layout. Any roadname(s) would be perfect in a through freight or spotted at a local team tack or appliance distributor industry. Don’t miss out on the Tangent Scale Models Pullman-Standard PS-1 “Mini-Hy Cube” Boxcar, a necessary cog in the unique 1960s box car boom!

Please click on the images at right for pricing, SKUs, high resolution photos, prototype photos, car number options, and/or to order!