A 2012 release that depicts a prototype that was introduced in 1977 and is still used to the present-day, the ready-to-run ExactRail Evans 5277 Cubic Foot Plate-C Boxcar (a 1977 Evans/USRE design) has body colored coupler pockets, chassis mounted Micro-Trains Line number 1015 Magne-Matic knuckle couplers, long, thin and robust, etched metal stirrup steps, ExactRail 70-Ton ASF Ride Control trucks that are fastened to the chassis with a pair of black screws, and a flat weight that is glued to the floor of the inner car body.
Packaged in a colorful, glossy, cardboard window box, the car that was received was carefully cradled in a pair of flexible, vacuum formed plastic nests.
The model's design is a departure from similar styles of N-Scale rolling-stock marketed by Atlas Model Railroad Co., Con-Cor, Micro-Trains Line, and MDC Roundhouse Products/Athearn; whereby a weighted plastic, or cast metal chassis is typically inserted into an injection molded plastic body that has a cast in roof, ends, grab irons and/or ladders.
Reminiscent of the Intermountain Railway Company kit built and ready-to-run forty and fifty foot AAR sliding door boxcars, with separately applied injection molded plastic roof and under body detail castings, the ExactRail model has its simulated nailable steel floor cast into its injection molded plastic shell.
Unlike the aforementioned, early production Intermountain Railway products, the finely cast body ends, doors, and grab irons are molded into the shell casting and are not separate pieces.
Tooled with notched, reinforced side sills, the body of the ExactRail boxcar has molded in end platforms and Superior doors with NRUC herald plates, where they are appropriate.
With a few less body-side ribs, a prototype specific Pullman Standard, or Superior door (without herald plates in both cases) option, user installed, injection molded air hose castings, etched metal end platforms, separately applied end ladder castings, thicker, short, molded in stirrup steps, reinforced side sills without notches, Micro-Trains Line trucks with truck mounted Magne-Matic knuckle couplers, and a flat weight that is held between the car's separate, injection molded plastic floor, and several ribs that are cast into the inside of the shell, Intermountain markets its own variation of the Pullman Standard 5277 cubic foot boxcar, a model that retails for $1.00 more than the ExactRail offering.
Weighing 1.1 ounces, as measured on the N Scale NMRA Rolling Stock Weight Template, the ExactRail Evans/USRE 5277 model conforms to the NMRA's recommended weight for the model's car length.
When checked, the wheels were properly gauged and the couplers were at the proper height.
With the same razor sharp body details, superb paint job, crystal clear printing (i.e., for many, even the tiniest printing on the car body is legible without the aid of a magnifier), and precision, chemically blackened CNC machined metal wheel-sets that the previously released, late version Evans/SIECO 5277 boxcars had, now, further refined through the additions of separately applied etched metal stirrup steps, body mounted Magne-Matic couplers, and ExactRail's own 70-Ton ASF Ride Control trucks, in this writer's opinion, the manufacturer's direct price of $22.95 each for the early version Evans/USRE 5277 is a bargain for a product with such exceptional fabrication and design attributes.
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