by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Originally published on:
HO 50' PC&F Box Car
8' 6' Landis Double Plug Door
Fifty-foot boxcars became the heavy haulers of the post-war period. Many versions, variants, and configurations were built. Athearn announced a new 50- foot PC&F boxcar with 8-foot by 6-foot doors. Released this spring, the boxcars will model the 1960s to 1990s era, and feature photo-etched cross-over endwalks; separately applied door handles, and many other detail parts.
Pacific Car & Foundry Co.From 1907 to 1988, Pacific Car & Foundry Co. (PACCAR) manufactured trucks, military equipment, and railroad cars on an 82-acre facility. It was founded in 1901 in Seattle, Washington, eventually opening other plants in other states.
The Hydra-Cushion Underframe… …was developed by Southern Pacific and Stanford Research Institute. Its unique cushioning action unites the most efficient features of both friction and hydraulic devices. The Hydra Cushion system combines a low pressure hydraulic unit (A) with a set of fixed (B) and moveable (C) friction plates. Upon impact, the moving center sill actuates the hydraulic unit which, in turn, exerts increasing pressure upon the friction plates to achieve a powerful but smooth braking action. The impact force is so reduced that damage causing shock is eliminated. Springs within the center sill return it gently to the normal position. Hydra Cushion has proved to be one of the most significant advances ever achieved for the protection of fragile shipments.
Genesis’ Pacific Car & Foundry Co. 50-Foot Boxcar, Double Landis Plug DoorsThis model is packaged in the attractive blue and gold-trimmed Genesis box with a plastic display window. The model is securely held in a cradle and secured in place by a plastic cover. Athearn includes a parts diagram and list as well as an insert about their club.
The model is sharply molded. I found no flash or ejector marks. Typical of model boxcars, this model is assembled with a plastic floor that holds a steel weight, single piece body, and a roof. Fine rivets detail the surface. Molded detail also includes Landis 8’ & 6’ doors and hangers, door tracks, hasps, wooden tackboards, and freight car locks.
Unfortunately the doors are molded shut.
Underneath is a fully detailed underbody including a complete "AB" brake rigging, and a detailed full cushion underframe.
Further details include 70-ton roller bearing trucks with operating bearing caps, holding .110" machined metal wheels. These wheels are slick—this boxcar rolls with ease. However, they are unrealistically shiny.
McHenry scale knuckle spring couplers are factory mounted. These couplers can easily be replaced by removing a screw.
Athearn issues several 50’ PC&F boxcars detailed for specific prototypes, with nine different bodies / door combinations, and two types of roof.
DetailingYour boxcar is richly detailed with over 40 separately applied parts:
• Wire grab irons
• Ladders and stirrups
• Brake wheel
• Brake gearbox
• Hydraulic snubbers
• Coupler bodies and yokes
• Coupler cut bars and brackets
• Brake hangers
• Brake rods
• Triple valve & reservoir
• Brake cylinder
• Hydra-cushion cylinder
• Slack adjuster assembly
• Etched Landis door lock handles
• Etched endwalks and endwalk supports
Finish and MarkingsAs if the detail is not impressive enough, the finish is awesome! The body paint does not obscure the details. Oddly, the etched metal end walks were not painted the body color. The Cotton Belt name, Hydra-Cushion herald, reporting marks, dimensional data and operational data is precisely printed with crisp opacity. No decals are used. The car even has ACI (Automatic Car Identification) labels printed on.
ConclusionAthearn Genesis’ 50’ boxcar is a gem of a model. Well molded, amply detailed, sharply painted and lettered, it will greatly enhance your collection. The drawbacks are the shiny wheels, unpainted endwalks, and the molded-shut doors. I can highly recommend Genesis boxcars to any fan of modern boxcars.
Please remember to tell vendors and manufacturers that you saw this model here--on RailroadModeling.net!
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