M&StL extended height double-door boxcar

Clark Propst collection

Ed Rethwisch shared a recent boxcar upgrade. Here are his details.

I was inspired by a recent Clark Propst presentation on the history of several Minneapolis & St. Louis boxcars. The prototype photo above piqued my interest as it was, at least to me, a unique looking car. I model 1955 and according to the April 1955 ORER, there were ten cars in this number series, all with the extended height.

Clark Propst collection

M&StL bought ten automobile boxcars (50000-50018 even) from GATC in 1937. The roofs on these cars were raised six-inches for use with Evans Auto Loaders, as seen above.

Clark Propst collection

Here’s another image from Clark’s presentation that shows a car after the height extension. This car has obviously been moved back to general boxcar service as the extra door is planked over.

Model conversion

I started with an undecorated Red Caboose square corner boxcar. I needed to raise the roof six-inches. Styrene was added atop the kit sides and ends to gain the extra height. A Des Plaines Hobbies Viking roof was fit to the extended sides and ends. The sills were also modified to match the prototype.

After extending the car sides, ends, and roof, I added the following details.

⦁ Keith Retterer doors
Yarmouth Models eight-rung ladder stiles
Kadee power hand brake & grab irons
Tichy AB brake parts

Additional work involved the addition of sill steps, the necessary rivets along the sill itself, the bottom and top door tracks, eight-rung ladders, and the bracket grabs.

In addition to the regular underbody details, I added the chain canisters for the auto loaders.

Cut levers and air hoses were installed before the model was painted and decaled.

The end result is a model of a unique M&StL prototype. The major decals were from a Mark Vaughn set I purchased several years ago. I added the chalk marks using an artist pencil.

This modified kit looks great running among the rest of my freight car fleet. Take a look around your stash of kits and parts to see what you can combine for a unique prototype model.

Thank you, Ed Rethwisch, for sharing your fine model work. May we all take another step towards becoming better modelers.

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9 thoughts on “M&StL extended height double-door boxcar

  1. I saw an article by Mr Propst several years ago about modeling this prototype. Both were outstanding models. I’d like to try it myself, but where can I find the doors?

  2. Very nice model, but do you know WHEN the roofs were raised? 1955 is great for you, but I model 1950 (plus or minus two years, but not five).

    1. I can’t speak to when these cars were modified, but for Schuyler’s needs, there were 10 of the Automobile cars listed in the January, 1947 ORER with notation about the racks and the interior height when stowed vs deployed. I model 1947 and am building a model of the Automobile box in Proto:48 along with a standard M&StL 1937 AAR box car model.

  3. Interesting and a well built model of a very unusual car, thanks for sharing

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