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Catalog  >  Model Kits  >  Rolling Stock

GN 50 foot boxcar B3 8 foot sliding door, Vermilion sans serif
GN 50 foot boxcar B3 8 foot sliding door, Vermilion sans serif

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HO scale kit with trucks and magnetic couplers.

This is a 50’ steel boxcar with 8’ door, GST B3, in Vermilion with side facing goat herald and sans-serif, or ‘Empire Builder’, lettering, car number 39284. Body is not an accurate match for any GN series. Prototype cars 39000 to 39339 had straight side sills and fish belly center sills.  Model has neither of those. B28 P54. This series of cars was actually built in 1925 and rebuilt with steel sides in1959, so built and paint date are both incorrect. Stenciled built date should be 1925, not 1928. The 1954 paint date is too early for Vermilion red which was introduced in 1956. Carrying capacity of the prototype cars in this series was 100,000 pounds in 1959 and 110,000 pounds as of and after 1963.

Fifty foot long boxcars existed in small numbers since about the turn of the 20th Century. They were originally intended to transport light density products. Some early cars were stenciled ‘Furniture’. Soon 50-foot double door cars were the standard type of car used to haul automobiles. In January of 1942, the Equipment Register shows that GN owned 3,057 50-foot boxcars. Automobile cars numbered 685 and there were 2,372 plain 50-foot cars. All were wood side, steel underframe construction of 100,000 pound carrying capacity except that 99 cars, 88 of which were in Automobile service, were of 140,000 pound carrying capacity.

In addition to automobiles, 50-foot long cars were used to haul lumber, plywood, wood pulp and paper.

Great Northern acquired its first 70-ton capacity 50-foot long cars in 1960. The increased tonnage capacity enabled railroads to offer lower rates per ton to meet truck competition while maintaining, or even increasing, revenue per car. Since most railroad costs vary on a per car basis, this preserved, or even enhanced, the contribution margin per carload on the traffic shifted from 50-ton to 70-ton cars.

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