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N Scale - Athearn - 17289 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, FMC, 5077 - RailBox - 553756

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N Scale - Athearn - 17289 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, FMC, 5077 - RailBox - 553756 Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby


Stock Number 17289
Brand Athearn
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style MDC Boxcar 50 Foot FMC Combo Door
Prototype Vehicle Boxcar, 50 Foot, FMC, 5077 (Details)
Road or Company Name RailBox (Details)
Reporting Marks CNA
Road or Reporting Number 553756
Paint Color(s) Yellow, Black and Aluminum
Print Color(s) Black
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Ready-to-Run No
Kit Complexity Easy-Build
Kit Material(s) Pewter Metal and Injection Molded Plastic
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety FMC Combo Door Rib Side Without Roofwalk
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: N RTR 50 foot FMC Combo Door Box, RBOX/CN Patch #2

Model Information: This MDC Roundhouse body style models a 50 Foot FMC Boxcar with a combo door, rib sides and no roofwalk. This body style was acquired by Athearn from MDC Roundhouse in June of 2004.

Prototype History:
In the 1970's with the growth of the Per Diem business model, FMC produced a series of 50 foot box cars in different configurations. The single-sliding-door configuration is one of the best known and used widely by many different railroads. These cars were produced using the Gunderson metal works which FMC had acquired in 1965. In late 1975, FMC began producing a 5,077-cubic-foot Plate B box car for IPD and Railbox service. FMC's 5077s have seven panels to either side of the 10-foot door, an X-panel roof, and non-terminating ends that are slightly different from those used on FMC's earlier cars. Note how the sidesill is notched all the way back to the bolsters, a key feature of FMC's mature design.

The main difference between the 5077 cu. ft cars built by FMC vs the 5277-5347 cu. ft cars built by the same manufacturers is the overall height of the car, the smaller 5077 cars were Plate B while the larger 5277-5347 cars were Plate C. Over 4,300 cars were produced from 1975-1979 by FMC's Portland, Oregon plant. The cars were delivered in numerous colorful shortline paint schemes, as well as the nationwide car pool fleet of Railbox. Many secondhand cars were later seen in Class 1 railroads and large leasing company fleets under additional shortline reporting marks.

Road Name History:
RailBox Company (reporting marks ABOX, RBOX, TBOX, FBOX), founded in 1974, was created to address a boxcar shortage in the United States in the 1970s.

The concept behind RailBox, as evidenced by their slogan "Next Load, Any Road!" was that since Railbox was owned by many of the railroads as a privately owned cooperative, their boxcars were not subject to load/empty rules. Railbox cars could be assigned for service anywhere in Canada, Mexico and the United States on lines where an AAR Plate-C loading gauge is permitted. Railbox purchased boxcars from many Manufacturers including American Car and Foundry (ACF), Farmers Machinery Company (FMC), and Pullman-Standard (P-S).

Under the ICC car routing rules in effect at the time, cars owned by operating companies were supposed to be routed back to their owning road as soon as possible or the host road would have to pay demurrage(car storage and handling) charges. This was the cause a shortage of available cars and not an actual shortage of boxcars numerically. As empty cars were required to be routed back to their home railroad instead of being loaded and routed to another destination.

RailBox cars are all boxcars and are painted yellow with black doors. RailBox cars had a bold graphic side logo, which was a stylized X made of red and blue intertwined arrows to symbolize free flow. During the 1970s many railroads had old fleets of railcars. Due to the poor financial state of many railroads these cars were dirty and grimy. Railbox cars stood out with their bright yellow paint and large logos. The company's car reporting marks, as noted above, ended in the letter "X". Under FRA designation reporting marks ending in "X" are assigned to private owner cars.

As of 2015, many RailBox cars are still in service. The rise of intermodal containerized freight (which began in the late 1980s and early 1990s) has reduced the demand for full carload boxcar service. Also deregulation in the 1980s eliminated the legacy car routing rules, reaching its peak with the elimination of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1995.

RailBox (and the similar Railgon Company) are currently subsidiaries of TTX Company.

From Wikipedia

Brand/Importer Information:
Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.

The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.

Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.

Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.

Item created by: Chance on 2016-09-19 14:51:45. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-06-01 00:00:00

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