Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Which Company Manufactured These HO Freight Cars?

4009 views
40 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Kyoto, JPN
  • 250 posts
Posted by BN7150 on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 9:10 AM

When I am summarizing the transition of MDC 40-ft cars, I found one with the underfloor equipment arrangement reversed, like Athearn's ones. Result of investigation, two of 11 1978-2000 types cars owned were so. The following photo shows the commemorative models whose release year is clear, and the one of two 1984 cars and 1996 car are reversed. Of course, there is no guarantee that the combination of body shell and floorboard remains original. Does anyone know anything?

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, January 4, 2021 10:33 AM

Shock Control
Thank you for all this detail!

I replied to your PM.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 554 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Monday, January 4, 2021 9:57 AM

BN7150
The transition of the MDC AAR 40' boxcars that I imagine is as follows.

Thank you for all this detail!  I will take a closer look at the underframes of the cars I have to determine the era.  I can certainly rule out the first two you posted.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 1,158 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 11:04 PM

dti406

No I meanth the end view of the actual car, cars came with many different ends and they constantly evolved and one can tell the car's era by the differences in the car ends.

 

Rick Jesionowski

 

Opps sorry, I don't have the real car handy at this moment.Smile

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 1,158 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 10:55 PM

Thanks BN7150, some old cars I had in a box that I never looked into or really gave it a thought who made them. I now know, reading your post they are of 1963 vintage MDC. The picture of the 40' Green body Die-Cast Plastic Hybrid with the cast metal frame gave it away. I now see the number/letters on the bottom of your car (below the Japan sticker) but upside down and my cars match #FB101A. All of my cars like that have sprung cast metal trucks with plastic wheels and steel axles and steps/stirrups molded on the bodys and sliding doors. It's fun to get the old stuff out and run em around.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Northfield Center TWP, OH
  • 2,522 posts
Posted by dti406 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 10:35 PM

No I meanth the end view of the actual car, cars came with many different ends and they constantly evolved and one can tell the car's era by the differences in the car ends.

 

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Kyoto, JPN
  • 250 posts
Posted by BN7150 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 10:17 PM

This is the model I assembled. I changed the sliding doors to 8-ft, but only for the atmosphere.

Don't stand me still!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 1,158 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 10:07 PM

dti406

The only problem is the car with the number 24303 is an X29 which had the "Don't Stand Me Still" logo but the Roundhouse car is not a X29 which were only 9' IH and the Roundhouse car is a 10'6" Inside Height car which makes it either a 1937 Mod AAR or 1944 AAR Car, if I could see the ends I could tell, but without seeing the ends I can't tell.

Rick Jesionowski

 

How is this for the end view?

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 554 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 3, 2021 10:06 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 After MDC/Roundhouse was bought by Horizon and made part of Athearn they used this tooling for lots of Athearn branded "Ready to Roll" items since this tooling was newer and better than the old Blue Box tooling for similar cars. 

They are likely still using it, but I have not bought any recent releases to know for sure.

So you can find these cars as first offered in kit form in the late 80's, as RTR from MDC, or RTR from Athearn.

I have a bunch of them, in all the versions and lots of different roadnames.

So you got these without boxes? 

Sheldon

Thanks for the clarification!

Yes, I got both cars individually from train shows over the years.  They had no boxes, and they were probably only 4 or 5 bucks a throw. 

I had been out of the hobby for a few decades.  As a kid, I had Athearn, Varney and Mantua/Tyco, so I was unaware of this type of car.

Thanks all for your assistance!

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Kyoto, JPN
  • 250 posts
Posted by BN7150 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 10:06 PM

The transition of the MDC AAR 40' boxcars that I imagine is as follows.

1950- all die-cast (not assembled)

1963- die-cast plastic hybrid

1978- all plastic (some are left and right mistakes like Athearn)

2001- integration of sliding doors onto the body

2003- floor changed (diverted from the one of modern boxcar)

2005- added brake 3-piece set as separate parts and integrated stirrups to the body (after Athearn merger)

Of these, the period during which the stirrups were integrally molded with the floorboard was from 1978 to 2004. Please give me the advice of detailed modelers.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 1,158 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 9:45 PM

wp8thsub
 
PC101
Now for that Double Door NYC #77141 car.

 

Do a web search for "NYC 77141" and you get photos of a double door MDC Roundhouse car.

 

Thanks Rob.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 12,894 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, January 3, 2021 9:39 PM

Shock Control

 

 
PC101
Any chance the PRR 40' box car has the ''Don't Stand Me Still" lettering under the "PENNSYLVANIA" lettering? I have this one with the plastic frame, it is PRR #24303. The box is marked (40' Box Car Kit - 1042 -Pennsylvania - $4.98) in 11/4/87. I remember that PRR 40' model #1042 came with different road numbers, you had to open the box to see what the road number was. These cars were on a lot of RR's back then as now, only problem back then there were no end reporting marks on the cars right out of the box.

 

 

Yep, that's it!  Is that MDC/Roundhouse?  Any idea of the approximate dates of production, based on the one-piece plastic underframe?  Edit:  I see 1987.

 

After MDC/Roundhouse was bought by Horizon and made part of Athearn they used this tooling for lots of Athearn branded "Ready to Roll" items since this tooling was newer and better than the old Blue Box tooling for similar cars. 

They are likely still using it, but I have not bought any recent releases to know for sure.

So you can find these cars as first offered in kit form in the late 80's, as RTR from MDC, or RTR from Athearn.

I have a bunch of them, in all the versions and lots of different roadnames.

So you got these without boxes? 

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Northfield Center TWP, OH
  • 2,522 posts
Posted by dti406 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 9:09 PM

The only problem is the car with the number 24303 is an X29 which had the "Don't Stand Me Still" logo but the Roundhouse car is not a X29 which were only 9' IH and the Roundhouse car is a 10'6" Inside Height car which makes it either a 1937 Mod AAR or 1944 AAR Car, if I could see the ends I could tell, but without seeing the ends I can't tell.

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 2,455 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, January 3, 2021 9:05 PM

PC101
Now for that Double Door NYC #77141 car.

Do a web search for "NYC 77141" and you get photos of a double door MDC Roundhouse car.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 1,158 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 8:52 PM

Yes it's a ''Model Die Cast/MDC/Roundhouse''. Pre Horizon.

Now for that Double Door NYC #77141 car.Hmm

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 554 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 3, 2021 8:41 PM

PC101
Any chance the PRR 40' box car has the ''Don't Stand Me Still" lettering under the "PENNSYLVANIA" lettering? I have this one with the plastic frame, it is PRR #24303. The box is marked (40' Box Car Kit - 1042 -Pennsylvania - $4.98) in 11/4/87. I remember that PRR 40' model #1042 came with different road numbers, you had to open the box to see what the road number was. These cars were on a lot of RR's back then as now, only problem back then there were no end reporting marks on the cars right out of the box.

Yep, that's it!  Is that MDC/Roundhouse?  Any idea of the approximate dates of production, based on the one-piece plastic underframe?  Edit:  I see 1987.

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,375 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 3, 2021 7:58 PM

wp8thsub
doctorwayne MDC/Roundhouse did make some pretty good models, and perhaps made a switch to plastic underbodies - likely cheaper to produce than the metal ones, and the older plastic car-bodies would likely be a slip-on fit. They did. Some of the cars, like the 40' box I pictured above, were released with plastic floors with cast-on steps, and the plastic parts were essentially identical to the old metal parts. Athearn continued to use this later version of the MDC 40' boxcar with the plastic floor as a Roundhouse/RTR version.

Thanks for the confirmation, Rob, as it pretty-well clears-up the mystery.

Wayne

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 1,158 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 7:23 PM

Shock Control

PRR is 24301.

NYC is 77141.

At any rate, I like the idea of having the bottom steps connected to the unframe, rather than the body.  

 

Any chance the PRR 40' box car has the ''Don't Stand Me Still" lettering under the "PENNSYLVANIA" lettering? I have this one with the plastic frame, it is PRR #24303. The box is marked (40' Box Car Kit - 1042 -Pennsylvania - $4.98) in 11/4/87. I remember that PRR 40' model #1042 came with different road numbers, you had to open the box to see what the road number was. These cars were on a lot of RR's back then as now, only problem back then there were no end reporting marks on the cars right out of the box.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 1,158 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 7:16 PM

Bottom view of a MDC/Roundhouse kit 40' box car's plastic frame. The yellow circles are the location of circles molded on to the plastic frame.

 

 

 

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 554 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 3, 2021 7:02 PM

PRR is 24301.

NYC is 77141.

At any rate, I like the idea of having the bottom steps connected to the unframe, rather than the body.  

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 1,158 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 5:59 PM

Is the 40' PRR car oxide brown with sliding doors and has the road number of 87742?

Is the 40' NYC car jade green with a 6 panel sliding door and with a black roof and ends and has the road number of 173888?

EDIT. I just see now one of your cars has double doors that do not move (maybe glued in place or molded in place).

EDIT- Anyone know of a 40' Double door in MDC/Roundhouse? RE-EDIT- OK, looks like there is a Ready to Roll NYC #77141 in jade green. Thanks Rob.  

All my MDC/Roundhouse are pre Horizon.

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 2,455 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, January 3, 2021 5:03 PM

Shock Control
Were Model Die Cast and Roundhouse related?

They were the same brand.  Athearn has since bought them out and rebranded some of their own lower detail offerings under Roundhouse, regardless of origin.

doctorwayne
MDC/Roundhouse did make some pretty good models, and perhaps made a switch to plastic underbodies - likely cheaper to produce than the metal ones, and the older plastic car-bodies would likely be a slip-on fit. 

They did.  Some of the cars, like the 40' box I pictured above, were released with plastic floors with cast-on steps, and the plastic parts were essentially identical to the old metal parts.  Athearn continued to use this later version of the MDC 40' boxcar with the plastic floor as a Roundhouse/RTR version.

 

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 554 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 3, 2021 4:41 PM

Were Model Die Cast and Roundhouse related?  I am not very familiar with either brand.  (I am more of an Athearn guy.)

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,375 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 3, 2021 4:20 PM

When I put that underbody back into the box, I found a roof, moulded in the same shade of black plastic, and with the exact same width and length as the portion of the floor that's apparently meant to fit into the carbody casting.  Based on the roof, a radial type with moulded-on platforms and ice hatches, I'd guess that they're from a more recent version of Model Die Casting's wooden express reefer.  I never cared for the appearance of those cars because they looked to me to be unnaturally low-sided.  I believe that the original version of those cars did have the cast metal underbody.

I vaguely recall that somebody gave me that car, which lacked some of the detail parts.  I probably kept the roof, with thoughts of later shortening it and building another 40' reefer, although I'm not sure why I kept the floor...likely to re-claim the sheet metal weight, as that box of junk has a pile of metal weights.

I won't go so far as to say that your car-floor may also be a Model Die Casting item, but I'm pretty sure that mine is.
MDC/Roundhouse did make some pretty good models, and perhaps made a switch to plastic underbodies - likely cheaper to produce than the metal ones, and the older plastic car-bodies would likely be a slip-on fit.  They did make at least one 40' steel boxcar, and also a single sheathed 40' wooden boxcar, both with a wide variety of roadnames.

Wayne 

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 554 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 3, 2021 3:59 PM

wp8thsub
Does the car look overall like this?  It's a Model Die Casting kit with the later underframe that was cast in plastic.

Yes, one of the two cars looks like that, although the trucks don't appear to be as nice as the ones in the photo.

The other car has double doors that don't appear to open.

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 2,455 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, January 3, 2021 3:08 PM

DSC02631

by wp8thsub, on Flickr

Does the car look overall like this?  It's a Model Die Casting kit with the later underframe that was cast in plastic.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 554 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 3, 2021 2:37 PM

doctorwayne
I found a similar underframe in a box of saved junk, but it's for a 50' car.  There are no markings on it, but it has moulded-in holes for adding the major brake gear components...

I thought that it might be for some 50' ConCor gondolas I have, but it's slighly too short for those cars.

I took a not-too-thorough look through HO Seeker, guessing that the mystery item might be from Tyco, ConCor, Model Power or LifeLike (the proto-no-thousand early LifeLike), but none of the photos showed rolling stock with painted and lettered bodies, but stirrup steps in black.

Wayne

Thanks, this looks similar to the ones I have.  I have never seen a Tyco or Life-Like car made this way.  Also, the quality of the colors and printing is a definite step up from those of the cheap brands. This looks like either a high-end line of cars from a cheapo manufacturer, or a budget line of cars from an upscale manufacturer.

  • Member since
    May 2010
  • From: SE. WI.
  • 8,253 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, January 3, 2021 2:36 PM

I vote for Wayne's!  

Mike.

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,375 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 3, 2021 2:33 PM

I found a similar underframe in a box of saved junk, but it's for a 50' car.  There are no markings on it, but it has moulded-in holes for adding the major brake gear components...

I thought that it might be for some 50' ConCor gondolas I have, but it's slighly too short for those cars.

I took a not-too-thorough look through HO Seeker, guessing that the mystery item might be from Tyco, ConCor, Model Power or LifeLike (the proto-no-thousand early LifeLike), but none of the photos showed rolling stock with painted and lettered bodies, but stirrup steps in black.

Wayne

 

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!