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RailRoad Modeling
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REVIEW
N 40' Plug Door Box Car
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,623 posts
Armorama: 2,386 posts
Posted: Saturday, September 03, 2011 - 05:49 PM UTC
Fruit Growers Express cars were a staple of manifest freights for decades and leased their cars to specific railroads. Atlas released this N scale Penn Central FGE insulated box car as part of their extensive Trainman series. It is equipped with AccuMate® knuckle couplers.

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Thanks!
highway70
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California, United States
Joined: November 27, 2004
KitMaker: 322 posts
Armorama: 267 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2011 - 10:09 PM UTC
I have been an N scale model railroader since 1968.

I feel I must make the following comments on your review:

The Atlas box car is a very nice model, but is not representative of the current state of the art in N scale. The tooling dates back to the 1970's and the only upgrade is the trucks/couplers. (with working knuckle couplers, MicroTrains compatible, replacing the Rapidos of that period).

In the 1970's the lettering on Atlas cars was very good. I looked at several cars in my collection and found the lettering to be sharp and readable. The lettering today may be marginally better due to improved technology.

The paint an the car in the photos is actually thicker than the paint on the 1970's models. At some time (I think in the 1980's) the Fed government banned the paints used, requiring new formulas to be developed. The reformulated paints generally do not cover as well thus requiring slightly thicker application.

Even in the 1970's, the Atlas cars were not state of the art. That title belonged to Kadee N Scale (now MicroTrains).

Atlas does make some current state of the art cars as do Red Caboose, MicroTrains and others, but a lot of their line dates from the 1970's.

On my 1970's Atlas cars I remove the roof walks, scrape them thinner using a razor blade and glue then to the roof. MicroTrains roof walks (which are thinner) can be adapted to fit and there are also aftermarket brass products. MicroTrains also sells brake wheels which a little finer than those on the Atlas car.

The older tooling Atlas cars are good, rugged models for someone who wants to operate a N scale model railroad. They are substantially less expensive ann generally more durable than the current state of the art models.

They are 4-5 times their 1970's cost, but I guess I shouldn't complain about that. My retirement income is more than 10 times my 1970's working income.





JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
Visit this Community
Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,623 posts
Armorama: 2,386 posts
Posted: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 01:17 PM UTC
highway70,

Thank you for the history and expertise of this model! I appreciate it!