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Catalog  >  Model Kits  >  Rolling Stock

GN 40 foot B2 boxcar Vermilion slant
GN 40 foot B2 boxcar Vermilion slant

List price: $18.98
Member price: $15.98
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HO scale kit with trucks and magnetic couplers.

This is a 40’ steel boxcar with a single six-foot wide door per side, GST B2, painted Vermilion Red with slanted Great Northern road name, car number 34826. Body is not an accurate match for any GN car. The GN built all of its 40’ steel boxcars in the St. Cloud shops from 1948 through 1959. Mass market models will be of a design used by a commercial car builder and sold to a variety of customers.

The built date stencil of 1929 is too early for a GN steel boxcar. GN built its first steel sheathed boxcars in 1948, long after many other railroads had large fleets of steel sheathed boxcars.The stenciled paint date of 1959 is reasonable since the Vermilion color was introduced in 1956. The model has a stenciled capacity of 100,000 pounds, correct for 1959. In 1963 the weight limit on the larger sizes of journals was increased, and the nominal capacity of cars like this was increased to 110,000 pounds. The capacity stencil would have been changed not later than the end of 1965.


Type B2 boxcars, and their 33 and 36-foot long predecessors, dominated the Great Northern’s fleet for decades. They were used to haul anything that had to be protected from the weather. Less than Carload and carload merchandise was an important commodity group due to its high revenue. Merchandise moved predominately westward on the GN. Lumber moved eastward from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana. Grain was the traffic that paid the GN’s bills for decades and grain was hauled in boxcars. Grain originated from Montana east of the Rocky Mountains eastward along the entire railway to the Twin Cities, and from central Montana and Eastern Washington to export elevators on the Lower Columbia River and Puget Sound.


The January 1942 Equipment Register shows that GN owned 40,832 freight cars. Box cars numbered 24,354, of which 3,057 were 50-foot cars. GN’s 40-foot boxcar fleet, was thus 21,297, slightly over half the entire fleet. As of January 1942, the majority of GN’s B2 cars had six-foot wide doors, with the balance 5’ 5” wide. Carrying capacity of 40-foot boxcars was either 40 tons or 50 tons, depending on the size of the car’s journal boxes.  Roughly half of the 40-foot fleet had a capacity of 80,000 pounds and half 100,000 pounds. Great Northern then had no 36-foot long boxcars in interchange service.


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