ATLAS' N TRAINMAN ACF 50'6" BOX CAR is popular and has been re-released with new road numbers and paint schemes.


Here we look at Atlas' N Trainman ACF 50'6" Box Car, a popular model on its 10th release since 2006.  (All ten releases can be seen here.)    This sample is decorated as Pan Am 32018, item 50005981.  ACF 50-ft 6-in box cars are important for models of the mid-1970s onward, as Atlas explains:

In 1974, ACF® built the first box car for Railbox, a subsidiary of the Trailer Train Company. They went on to produce 5,400 50’ cars over the next six years, receiving large orders from Class I railroads, shortlines and box car leasing companies. These box cars have a 50' 6" interior length designed to fit slightly larger Plate C dimensions. This yielded a capacity of nearly 5,300 cubic feet.   Most of the cars were built with non-cushioned underframes.


• Prototypical non-terminating corrugated ends

• Diagonal paneled roof

• Single 10-foot YSD design sliding door (non-operating)

• Detailed cross-member attachment rivets on the side sills

• Weighted, detailed underframes

• True scale dimensions with acccurate details

• Equipped with AccuMate® knuckle couplers

That is a description of this model.  The following is about the real thing.

Technical Trivia

Type:    Box Car

AAR Class:    XP: Boxcar similar in design to "XM", but which is specially equipped, designed, and/or structurally suitable for a specific commodity loading; except, boxcars (XF, XM, XMI) dedicated to the transportation of commodities in paragraph A, Rule 97, AAR Interchange Rules, must be designated "XP".

AAR Type:    A402

Detail Info:      Equipped Box Car, Inside Length: 49' to 59', cushion draft gear/underframe, Sliding door, opening between 9 and 11 feet

Plate:      C

Max Gross Weight:      220000

Load Limit:      157900

Dry Capacity:      5347

Ext L/W/H:      57' 3" / 10' 8" / 15' 6"

Int L/W/H:      50' 6" / 9' 6" / 11' 1"

Technical Inspection

Visual inspection finds an injection-molded one-piece plastic body that snaps over a plastic underframe.  Weight is provided by a metal bar screwed into the underframe.  Plastic snap tabs hold the plastic talgo-style trucks to the frame.  The wheel sets are also plastic.   

The body has seven panels on each side of the large single doors, ACF angled sills, and non-terminating corrugated ends under a Stanray riveted-type diagonal panel roof.  The doors are molded as part of the body and non-positionable.   It does have crossover platforms but I did not check if they are molded on or separately applied.  All door guides, ladders, grab irons, stirrups and tack boards, and underside details are molded on.  All except the individually applied brake wheel.

Molding is high-quality, crisp with no injection flaws.

Paint and Printing

This release features seven roadnames and an undecorated model.   Printing is crisp.  Under magnification you can read the text.  Overall paint application is good, without obscuring detail.  If one wants to find a flaw, one will have to get up close and personal.  I can not see it without magnification and I can not see it via the "3-foot rule."

The road names are:

Pan Am (Blue/Black) 

Union Pacific (BKTY) (Brown/White)

Burlington Northern (Green/White)

Canadian National (Brown/White)

CSX* (Blue/Yellow)

 NdeM (Brown/White)

Railbox (Large Logo) (Yellow/Black)

Each road name features two road numbers.

Here you can see photos of the real MEC 32018.

Pan Am box car


I did not measure or weight this model.  It rolled smoothly across Atlas code 55 track and through switches.  The level of detail and molding quality is first rate.    Paint and printing is, too.

This is an interesting road name and good looking model for the modern era of railroading.  Recommended.

Please remember to mention to Atlas and retailers that you saw this model here - on RailRoad Modeling.



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