Re: [bbfcl] Southern P-S 50 ft Boxcars Series 5000-5499

George Eichelberger


These cars are described in the first SRHA 50’ box car book so I won’t duplicate that information here. I did not reproduce the AFE that led to the cars’ being ordered but I am reasonably sure they were not for specific shippers. They were “Specially Equipped” (CSD 145?) so they were not free running or general purpose cars. The largest group of assigned cars appear to be 12’ PD cars to Quaker Oates in Chattanooga.

To say I have “bugged” everyone that produces high quality kits or RTR freight cars to make these cars is an understatement! All have expressed some interest but they have the same problem….apparently only the CofG and Southern bought this design (specifications were produced by the Southern). I have made the point that I think the CofG stencil scheme is one of the best looking ever done on a 50 ft box car (better than the “football”, IMHO). The manufacturers see that as limiting their market for this prototype. Of course, I argue that there are multiple versions and paint/stencil schemes, including Norfolk Southern, that could be done but they (understandably) need to allocate their resources to the biggest sellers.

I don’t know the total number of Exact Rail Southern waffle side box cars or Big John covered hoppers that were sold but the opinion of many model companies that “Southeastern Prototypes do not Sell” is hard to overcome. Modelers that say “that car is not perfect for the month and year I model” and do not buy Sou/CG/ACL/SAL/L&N prototypes when they are available are not helping.

The first SRHA 50’ box car book is less than two dozen copies from going out of print. As this is the second printing, it is not likely we will do a third printing, esp. when there are other books we are trying to finish. They are available through the SRHA GRAB at

When someone tells me they “model the Southern” but they do not have a copy of the book, I wonder where they get their 50’ box car data from. Book 2 (1962-82) is about 80% complete and will be finished after we get the archives organized. The Southern 40’ box car book will be re-issued as a complete re-write. It will include all of the 40’ rebuilds.


On Oct 28, 2018, at 11:33 PM, D. Scott Chatfield <blindog@...> wrote:

[This was posted to the Baby Boomers Freight Car List.  Fowarded here to see if anyone has modeled these series yet.]

Tom Mack wrote:

>Southern received 500 of these interesting Pullman-Standard 50-foot boxcars in 1963:

>There are also good as-built photos of these in both the Southern and Pullman-Standard color guides.

> Has anyone ever done a model of these (or something close) in HO? Did any other roads get the same or similar cars?

and I replied:

The CofG got 200 nearly identical cars (series 3500-3699) at the same time, which makes me wonder if they were bought for a pool to serve a large customer.  Perhaps Ford?  These cars are basically 50-foot single-door versions of the 60-foot double-plug autoparts boxes built for the Ford Pool.  Athearn has made the 60-footers in HO and N, and I'm planning to shorten one to make a Southern 5000-class.  

One possible source for the 10-foot smooth plug door is the old Details West insulated boxcar.  Unfortunately this was the last carbody variation they did and the hardest to find.  The older Athearn and MDC plug door boxes have narrower doors.  Their might be a newer Athearn/Genesis or Walthers model with this door.  I'll have to keep an eye out.

I also added that the Southern's 5500-5572 are the same basic car but with 12-foot exterior-post plug doors.

Scott Chatfield

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