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N Scale - Roundhouse - 8231 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, FMC, 5077 - RailBox - 51939

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Stock Number 8231
Brand Roundhouse
Manufacturer MDC Roundhouse
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 ABOX
Road or Reporting Number 51939
Paint Color(s) Yellow and Black
Print Color(s) Black
Additional Markings/Slogan The Nationwide Boxcar Pool
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



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:
MDC Roundhouse was founded in California in 1938 and relocated in 1993 to Carson City, Nevada due to statewide restrictions on painting. MDC Roundhouse was a producer of both RTR (Ready-to-Run) and kit versions of N Scale rolling stock as well as RTR locomotives. They entered the N scale market in 1979 with a Thrall Hi-Side Gondola and a Hi-Cube Single Door Box Car. MDC Roundhouse was purchased by Horizon Hobbies in June of 2004, when its owner since 1938 C. H. Menteer retired, and merged into their Athearn line.

Unlike many of their contemporaries which contracted with European firms to produce their products, MDC made their own toolings. They made several popular body styles and produced them for road names that many other vendors (even Micro-Trains) wouldn't touch. This made them popular with modelers. Also, their un-assembled "kits" permitted a lower price point so they were popular with "runners" as well as "modelers".

Of particular interest was the attention given to modern 50 foot steel boxcars. They made some attempt to accurately mold the differences into distinct models to represent each of the major prototype manufacturers products. They have distinct toolings not only for the different products from FMC, BFF and PS, but also multiple models for each of these manufacturers including "standard" vs "Youngstown" doors and "waffle" vs. "rib" sides. In total they produced 13 different versions of the 50 foot steel boxcar.

Item created by: gdm on 2016-10-26 12:42:56. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-06-12 11:27:09

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