ACL boxcars 20799 and 21867 : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I model in HO scale and modify the commercial models to be as accurate as possible. I have obtained the set of three ACL boxcars by Branchline trains (custom painted Athearn). This includes numbers 20799, 21867, and 24591. Consulting the 1953 ORER, it appears that the 20000 series and the 21000 series are slightly different dimensions (but the basic car dimensions match the Athearn model reasonably well) and the 24000 series did not exist then.

I am looking for prototype information for building the 20799 and 21867 as accurately as possible. In particular: When were each of these cars built? Should the roofwalk for each be wood, or steel grating? Any source you can direct me to for information would be appreciated.

-- John G. Simmons (, June 20, 2000


There was an article by Jim Six on modeling ACL 40ft boxcars in the July 1997 issue of MODEL RAILROADING magazine. The article contains both prototype photos and photos of his models, which include the car series about which you asked. MOD RRing may still have a back copy of this issue for sale, or try one of the used RR/mod RR magazine dealers. You also might be able to get a photo copy of the article from the NMRA Library in Chattanooga. You should understand the Athearn model is based "loosely" on a Southern Pacific prototype and may, or may not, have the same types of doors, ends, side panels, etc. ACL Class O-25 #20000 series were built about Dec.1942. Class O-27 #24000 series were built about Nov.1951. The O-26 series would have been delivered between those dates. O-25 were delivered with wood roof walks, probably because of WWII. The O-27 had steel roof walks as delivered. The January 1956 issue of TRAINS magazine has two photos of #21640 showing old and new lettering styles with cahnges in the herald, etc. The recent Morning Sun all color book COLOR GUIDE TO ATLANTIC COAST LINE PASSENGER & FREIGHT CARS shows #21003 as running in 1953 with wood roof walk. There are also photos of O-26 and O-27 classes though I think those photos are post-1960. You didn't say what year you are modeling. You can more accurately date your freight cars by changing the re-weigh dates using either dry transfer or wet decal small number sets in place of the "NEW" date to the left of the door. A car running in, say, 1955 would have a reweigh date somewhere in the previous 5 years and would read: WX4-54, which means it was last weighed at Waycross in April 1954. If the car was less than 10 years old, it may not have been entirely repainted, so the reweigh date would be lettered on a paint patch over the NEW date. Hope this is the information that you wanted.

-- Tom Underwood (, June 20, 2000.

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