login   |    register
Atlas Model Railroad [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEBSITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

First Look Review
HO scale
FMC 5077 Single Door Box Car
FMC 5077 Single Door Box Car Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay
  • move

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

  • move

FMC 5077 Single Door Box Car (Early Version)
Series: Master Line
Item: 20 001 538
Roadname: Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay
Roadnumber: 7077

One of Atlas Model Railroad Co. HO Master Line models is this ready-to-run early version of 50’ FMC 5077 Single Door Box Car. The model features many separately applied detail parts molded to fine size, etched metal parts, knuckle couplers, and incredible printing.

Master Line models are known for recent tooling, multiple factory-applied separate details, etched parts, and often are offered with multiple variants, such as door designs and sills. Master Line model strive for NMRA standards of weight and proto-typical height.

FMC Fifty-foot box cars
Fifty-foot box cars were not prevalent on railroads before the Second World War; they were mainly for automobiles, lumber and furniture. After World War Two 50-ft box cars were built for greater capacity. There really isn’t any such thing as a “standard” 50-foot box car. Several “standard” specifications were issued by rail companies but variations flourished with new requirements and concepts. In the 1970s Railbox sponsored a 50-foot design of which almost 1,000 per year were built over several years. Many rail car manufacturers built similar cars to the Railbox design.

FMC Corporation built railcars in Portland, Oregon, and Charleston, West Virginia, from 1958 through 1984. FMC built numerous types and varieties of railcars and other transports such as barges. The company was bought by Greenbrier and rebranded as Gunderson.

FMC 5077 Single Door Box Car (Early Version)
This model is packed in an Atlas Master Line red, black and gold trimmed box with a cellophane window. The model is held in a two-piece fitted clear plastic cradle, wrapped with protective film. It is ready to run. A small packet of extra bolsters, cut lever, and coupler buffers is included, with a small attachment illustration.

This model represents an FMC 50-foot, 5077-cubic-foot, Plate B dimension, box car with 10-ft sliding Youngstown 5/6/6 roller lift lever doors, affording 10 feet of access to the interior. The box car has 12 posts per side, non-terminating (overlapping sides) corrugated ends, straight sill with squared-off ends, a peaked X-panel roof, and rides upon Barber S-2 100-ton trucks. This early version has a broader side panel at each end, with wider grab irons.

Features include:
    Single Door
    Multiple body styles
    Different door types
    Wire grabs
    Etched parts
    Plate B Box Car
    X-Panel Roof
    AccuMate® couplers

Molding of the parts is crisp and to a high standard. I found no flash, seam lines, sink marks or ejector dimples. Separately applied parts are expertly attached without any smeared glue.

Underneath the car are the frame, bolsters, and modern air brake gear. This is supported by a pair of detailed 100-ton trucks with blackened machined metal wheels. These wheels roll with little friction, and the car is pulled by its AccuMate® knuckle couplers.

My inspection finds the model to be in conformance with NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices, with RP-25 wheels and couplers at acceptable height. It weighs 4.6 ounces which is spot-on as recommended by RP-2O.1 Car Weight. From end sill to sill the model is scale 51-feet 6-inches long, and 56.5 feet from coupler to coupler.

Details includes factory-applied:
    * Cut bars
    * End ladders and connecting railing
    * Grab iron handholds
    * Handbrake gear box, chain, rod and an AAR standard wheel
    * Open bottom door track
    * Photo etched perforated end walkways
    * Sill steps

Those items, if not exactly to scale, are very close.

The air brake system includes the reservoir, cylinder, triple valve, attached piping, actuator arm and levers, and wire brake rods. There is no train line, nor does the model have air hoses. My Atlas Master Line coil car includes a packet of soft plastic air hoses but none are with this model.

Finish and Markings
Compare this model with a model from 20 years ago and you’ll see why I am effusive about the state of today’s model finish. The paint is smooth, opaque, and does not obscure detail. Finished in Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay orange with their yellow and black emblem, and black stenciling, this model is eye-catching. There is plenty of data stenciled on including dimensional data, maintenance and test information. Some of the smallest printing is a bit filled in yet overall the fidelity of the text is impressive!

My only complaint is that the photo-etched end walkways are unpainted.

Early version single door box car models are available in 4 roadnames:
1. Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay (orange)
2. Atlantic and Western (orange with yellow paint-outs)
3. Burlington Northern (Green)
4. Railbox (Yellow)

An undecorated model is also available. Each roadname is available with three road numbers.
Atlas’ data stencils and printing is sharp and mostly legible. You can easily read the car was built in October 1975, and built at FMC Portland, Oregon.

Today model railroaders have a good selection of high quality models to choose from. FMC 5077 single door box cars are still plentiful on the nation's railroads and this model by Atlas Master Line is certainly high on the list of quality ready-to-run models. The molding is crisp and the fidelity of the small separately attached detail parts is impressive. The paint and printing is impressive! Today’s standard is metal blackened wheels with knuckle couplers, this model boast both of those.

My only concerns are the unpainted walks and lack of air hoses. Overall I highly recommend this model!

Please remember, when contacting retailers or vendors, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here – on RailRoadModeling.

Wilson, Jeff. The Model Railroader’s Guide To Freight cars. Waukesha: Kalmbach Publishing Co., 2005. ISBN: 0-89024-585-1.

Railroad Picture Archives. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net.

Freight Cars Illustrated. Web. 2009. http://fcix.info.
Highs: Crisp molding with fine small separately attached detail parts, photo-etched walks, metal blackened wheels and knuckle couplers. The paint and printing is impressive!
Lows: Unpainted metal walks. No air hoses.
Verdict: Atlas Master Line FMC 5077 single door box cars are certainly high on the list of quality ready-to-run models.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: HO Scale
  Mfg. ID: 20 001 538
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 01, 2013
  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.

View This Item  |  View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

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.


What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move