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First Look Review
N scale
USRA Single-Sheathed Box Car
N USRA Single-Sheathed Box Car
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

This highly detailed N scale model is represents the USRA single-sheathed box car.
    Atlas' N Scale USRA Single Sheathed Box Car is modeled after the 50-ton outside braced boxcar designed by the United States Railway Administration during World War I. These cars quickly became a common sight on railroads from coast to coast.*

N USRA Single-Sheathed Box Car
Atlas packs this ready-to-run N scale model with a lot of detail, featuring:

    • Opening Door
    • Andrews trucks
    • Accurate painting and printing
    • AccuMate® couplers
    • Brake detail
    • Highly detailed body
    • Simulated wood or steel door as per the prototype
    • Different rib ends (7-8 or 5-5-5) as per the prototype
    • Undecorated cars come with both simulated wood or steel doors

You may notice the model looks warped. This is distortion of the small model under close-up photography.

Atlas securely packs this model in a formed cradle with a fitted top. Plastic film protects the model from scuffing; the cradle is held inside a hard clear plastic jewel case that both protects and displays the model. A small bag with covers for the coupler pockets is included.

Your 40' single-sheathed box car is molded to a high standard. Impressive fine wood grain texture and structural components are molded on the sides: corner plates, brackets, trusses, fittings, and latches. Sure, you can't really see wood grain on a car from an N-scale distance, yet the detail is appreciated. Each end is a steel Murphy 5/5/5. The roof is a flat seam type.

What else does the model offer? Finely molded hardware detail for the doors and sides, ladders and stirrups, opening doors, and a small separately applied hand brake wheel. The entire model is cleanly molded: no flash, no sink holes, no ejector marks, and no seam lines. That all rides upon 40-ton Andrews trucks which have good detail for the scale. The wheel sets, while plastic, are molded a dirty brown color. They are compatible with code 55 track. Knuckle couplers by AccuMate® are a big plus.

Atlas sculpted a lot of detail into their molds. First, the nice wood grain and fine rivets on the side bracing. Next, the sliding doors -- be careful with these because they are snug and slide with difficulty. Don't scratch the paint!

A separate running board is attached to the roof.

Look at the photos of the underframe. Plenty of brake system detail including triple valve, reservoir, cylinder, actuator arm and levers, and wire brake rods.

This model rolls nicely on Atlas code 80 track and across a Peco turnout. It measures 40 1/2 scale feet from end to end and weighs 1.1 ounce, a smidgen heavier than the recommended NMRA RP-2O.1 Car Weight of .95 oz.

Paint and Livery
Today's standard of finish is very high and Atlas N keeps the bar set high. I find it incredible just how legible the fine, crisp printing is! Dimensional data, road names and numbers, service markings--you can read it all.

This box car is marked as Western Maryland No. 26524, with reporting marks W.M.. It features the Western Maryland Fast Freight Lines herald.

Atlas offers this model with two road numbers for each of the seven roadnames plus undecorated versions:
    1. Atlantic Coast Line
    2. Burlington Route (Fort Worth & Denver)
    3. Columbia, Newberry & Laurens
    4. Erie
    5. M-K-T
    6. Milwaukee Road
    7. Western Maryland
    8. Undecorated (5-5-5 End)
    9. Undecorated (7-8 End)

For N-scalers of the USRA era, this is an excellent little model! I am impressed with the paint and markings. The knuckle couplers are great, as is the brake detail. Overall molded detail is very good with nice wood grain. Although metal wheels would raise the cost of the model, the plastic wheels are a disappointment; at least they are molded in color.

Overall, I think this is a great model.

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad who provided this model for review! Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RailRoadModeling.

AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.

*Atlas Model Railroad Co., Inc.
Highs: High quality sharp paint and markings, plus knuckle couplers. Fine crisp molded detail and opening doors.
Lows: Plastic wheels are a disappointment - at least they are molded in color.
Verdict: For N-scalers of the USRA era, this is an excellent little model.
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 001 258
  Suggested Retail: $20.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 07, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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