Troop train a'rollin!

Posted by Bob Keller
on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

When the Second World War commenced, the United States had had a few years to begin a period of re-armament and an expansion of the military. When war actually arrived on our doorstep in December 1941 the logistical challenges were multiplied by having to fight a war on two fronts, with equipment, supplies, and personnel needing to be moved to both east and west coast ports.

America’s railroads had less passenger equipment available than when the First World War began. While railroads could (and did) arrange special charter movements, the best solution was to develop a dedicated fleet of cars for military service. The basic carbody designs were the troop sleeper car and the troop kitchen car. The Pullman Co. operated the sleeping car service.

Atlas O’s Troop Car Series utilized the tooling formerly owned by Weaver Models and offers the troop sleeper in Pullman or undecorated versions, the troop kitchen car in Army green/gold or undecorated, the troop hospital car in Army green and white or undecorated, and a postwar version of express boxcars re-built from troop sleepers. This version is available undecorated or in Burlington (CB&Q), Chesapeake & Ohio, New Haven, or New York Central. The troop sleeper/kitchen, and hospital cars cost $99.95 each and the express boxcars are $74.95 each. See your Atlas O retailer or go to for more information.

The Troop Car series from Atlas O is available at retailers now. Shown are the nos. 3007707-2 CB&Q Express Boxcar (left rear), the 3007704-3 Pullman troop sleeper, 3007705-4 Troop Kitchen Car, and the 3007706-1 Troop Hospital Kitchen Car.

The troop Sleeper has interior decoration, die-cast metal trucks and couplers, and undercarriage detail.

You can see the bed racks in the car’s interior.

The side doors have a safety bar lest some sleepy G.I. fall out through an open door!

The car ends have the car number printed on the door, grab irons, and a nice recessed diaphragm.

The kitchen car has narrow, higher windows compared to the sleeper.

The troop cars (not the express cars) have interior illumination.

The medical car has Red Cross markings, Medical Corps insignia, and is marked Medical department Kitchen Car.

All the cars have fine wire detailing for grab irons and mid-train door steps.

Fast passenger trucks and a “The war’s over” surplus sale probably made the troop car to express car conversion a no-brainer for railroad managers.

Each car has a packet with what appears to be two drain lines. There were no instructions or obvious spots to glue them to the car.

Under car detailing is superb.

The Troop Car series from Atlas O is a winner, whether you want to model a troop or medical train, stage an O gauge diorama display, or just as some interesting express cars at the head end of the Train Town Limited.

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