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In-Box Review
HO scale
50' Postwar Single Door Boxcar
50' Single Door Box Car Rio Grande 64057
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

In the Yard
50' Postwar Single Door Box Car Rio Grande 64057 is a new HO Master Line model from Atlas.

50' Postwar Single Door Box Car
At the end of World War II, railroads ordered large numbers of 50' AAR boxcars with a standard design that was first widely used in the late 1940s. This design was based on the original 1937 AAR design but was modified in the post-war era to include: improved dreadnaught end and diagonal panel roofs with standard or overhanging design. These 50' boxcars were a common sight on American railroads well into the 1970s and 1980s. - Atlas

DRGW 50' Postwar Single Door Box Car
D&RGW 64057 is a good looking model. Atlas gained these models when they acquired Branchline Models a few years ago.
    These single and double door box car models are based on the cars built started c. '44, when the industry switched from the Dreadnaught End to the Improved Dreadnaught End.*

It features crisp molding devoid of flash, sink holes and visible ejector marks. Surface detail such as rivets and panel lines and door fittings are executed with great finesse. This series of box cars features:
    Details such as separately applied ladders and grab irons
    Three different side sill styles - straight, tabbed and fishbelly
    8' & 9' Superior or Youngstown doors
    Fully detailed underframe
    Free rolling trucks with metal wheelsets
    Accurate printing and prototypical paint schemes

It also has Accumate knuckle couplers and RP-25 metal wheels. Optional detail parts afford the modeler the choice whether to add even more detail to the model.

D&RGW 64057 has the correct 16 panel sides and a tabbed side sill. Improved Dreadnaught ends and a diagonal roof top it off. Youngstown doors are hung, as are 7-rung ladders. Atlas made those doors to be positionable.

To make this 50' box car model able to represent the greatest number of prototypes, different roofs and bodies are made. The roof is attached to the body separately. That leads to one of two things that detract from my sample. The roof is slightly bowed and leaves a slight gap over the center of the body. Granted, it is slight and I did not notice it until reviewing the photos. On a dark painted body the gap might be unnoticeable.

The other thing is that the coupler box is gray or silver. It appears to be unpainted. The photo of sister 64015 shows the box as black.

Atlas includes optional parts, air hoses and angle cocks plus hangers to mount them on. Separate uncoupling levers are provided, too. No instructions are included so the modeler must find the minute mounting holes. They are tiny!

The blackened wheels are actually black - too many are just a dark and shiny silver.

A good looking air brake system is installed under the car. It includes train lines, brake rods, and brake levers.

Beneath the AB is a detailed underframe: sill; crossbearers; stringers; fine floor boarding; fine rivets.

Stirrup steps and grab irons and ladders are attached, not molded on. As is the brake platform.

The diagonal roof is topped with a metal running board and laterals. The laterals also have metal grabs.

This model looks like sister 64015 as seen via the link DRGW 64015, below.

The model rolls easily across code 83 Atlas track and through a Peco code 80 slip switch.

Paint and livery
Atlas' paint is very thin yet opaque. No detail is obscured. The belt line and other demarcations are razor-sharp. Each railroad is painted with two road numbers.

Instead of trying to describe how sharp and legible all of the stenciling is, I'll let the photos speak for me. In short, the lettering is truly amazing.

Atlas has released an undecorated version for the 8' and 9' door type. Six railroads are offered:
    Undecorated - 8' Door
    Undecorated - 9' Door
    Bangor & Aroostook (Brown/White)
    Lackawanna (Brown/White)
    Great Northern (Green/Red/White)
    Conrail (Brown/White)
    Reading (Green/Yellow)
    Rio Grande (Orange/Silver/Black)

The model is decorated prior to the addition of UMLER (Uniform Machine Language Equipment Register) which came out in 1968. Modelers can find decals of the multi-colored bar rectangles if they need to model a later date.

50' Single Door Box Car Rio Grande 64057 is an accurate representation of a 50' ACF SD box car. Atlas has done a fine job of tooling sharp molds for the parts. The underframe and AB system add a lot to the model - the dangling AB parts can be seen without inverting the model. I like that the doors can be slid open to give your scale hobos a nice breeze. Surface detail is good and the separate applied grabs, ladders and stirrups enhance the model, as do the separate optional air hoses and uncouple levers. The paint and lettering is fantastic. Knuckle couplers and metal wheels are good, although they have come to be expected these days.

Flaws of this model are the gap between the roof and car body, and the unpainted coupler box.

Modelers of the postwar era, 50' ACF SD box car and DRGW should appreciate this model. Atlas' release of several body styles offers modelers the ability to create a more authentic roster. Recommended.

Please remember to tell Atlas and vendors that you saw this model here - on RailRoad Modeler.


* NEB&W Railroad Heritage Website. NEB&W Guide to Branchline Assembled 50 Foot Box Car Models With 8 Foot Wide Doors. [Web.] 28 September 2011, at 10:09.
Highs: Detailed underframe and AB system, the doors can open, fine surface detail and separate applied grabs, laddrs and stirrups. Fantastic paint and lettering.
Lows: Flaws of this model are the gap between the roof and car body, and the unpainted coupler box.
Verdict: Modelers of the postwar era, 50' ACF SD box car and DRGW should appreciate this model. Atlas' release of several body styles offers modelers the ability to create a more authentic roster.
  Scale: HO Scale
  Mfg. ID: 20 003 389
  Related Link: DRGW 64015
  PUBLISHED: Feb 08, 2016
  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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