Are silver doors correct on "Railbox" box cars?

Lowell Johnson Jul 3, 2019

  1. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's my latest. I have six RBOX now. In my operations, they are beer <B> deliveries to the local food distributor, one or two cars a week. IMG_6980.JPG
     
  2. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    Rich_S, I did not know RBOX, RGON, etc were part of TTX. Good information, and perfect reason to get more freight cars !!! GF ain't gonna' like this !!! A little trivia for those N scale people that also like racing. Trailer Train (and TTX) sponsored an ARCA Stock car driven by Bill Venturini many years ago. Name sound familiar ??? His gorgeous daughter (Wendy) is now a TV/radio announcer on NASCAR races !!!
     
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  3. Lawrence

    Lawrence TrainBoard Member

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    Does beg the question why do manufacturers produce cars with silver doors, aren't these guys allowed out?:unsure:
     
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  4. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    Uh, basically....no.

    RBOX was technically its own subsidiary company; structured like TTX but not TTX. When they started (1974 or so) the local contract car shop managed to get the exclusive repair contract for any wrecked cars east of the Mississippi. The good news was that with the PC track conditions before Conrail, there was a steady flow of wrecked and damaged cars coming in. The bad news was that the subsidiary company wasn't making any money, wasn't paying bills, and neither were the bankrupt railroads on wrecked car settlements prior to Conrail. By '77 they were in real trouble and staving off bankruptcy themselves; by '84 the dereg rules were changing the empty car game and most of the RBOX cars were sold off of used to pay debts to the partner railroads that were shareholders and owners of RBOX. Most of those early 70-ton capacity cars ended up restencilled with different reporting marks but still in RBOX yellow. TTX ended up doing some of their own boxcars as TBOX, pretty much the same paint scheme with black doors.

    Remember that boxcars are more generic by builder than you think and doors are relatively interchangeable. A wrecked RBOX car could just as easily have doors swapped off of a boxcar that did have silver doors and this is where the goof starts. About the time you'll say 'never happened' someone will inevitably produce a picture of an RBOX car with silver doors, trust me. But it was not standard.

    Our local yard was a fascinating place then as the car shop had two leased tracks packed SOLID with wrecked and damaged RBOX cars, twisted, banged up, doors off, some in gondolas, some strapped to flatcars. Reminds me now of that movie titled 'a thousand ways to die in the old west'. It's a wonder any survived to be vandalized with graffiti.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  5. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    he took an all female pit crew to Daytona one year
     
  6. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    bremner, you are absolutely right. I remember ponytails flying everywhere during those pit stops !!! I've seen/heard him pull a few other stunts, but that's for another time or place. He was definitely a character !!!
     
  7. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Just a few things, I had a great uncle who ran one of the B&O paint shops. He was always amused at the craziness of model railroaders and paint scheme. He even had to log books to show that they used ford and chevy paint when they were short on paint, and sometimes they even blended what they had to come close. There was such a push to keep cars on the road that they had to make due however they could.

    As for the graffiti and vandalism, on my railroad all perpetrators are forced to wash off what they did, and then spend 6 months on the chain gang!
     
  8. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    DCE, I've heard many similar stories from the EJ&E shops. They were told, "Make it orange, and make it cheap !!!" Of course, shades weren't always the same, but it became orange !!! I've also heard that silver for fuel tanks and trucks were ...ummm... "borrowed " from other roads in the Joliet area. What was it the military taught me to say ??? Oh, yeah !!! "I can neither confirm nor deny..."
     
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  9. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I once asked an old man who was a painter for the SPFE in Tucson why the SP logo was different colors on different cars, he said that they painted cars for other roads and it was using leftover paint, those silver doors might be the same reason
     
  10. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    And folks can forget that cheap paint can oxidize and fade and in several years be one or two shades off from original. Thus a black paint can take on a silver look especially if looking at a black and white photo.
     
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  11. Lowell Johnson

    Lowell Johnson TrainBoard Member

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    I can understand how a re-built car could come out of a shop after a quickie repair with silver doors. But they weren't manufactured that way. Why would a huge company, Life-Like, produce them that way???
     
  12. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure how big of a company Life-Like really was before being purchased by Walthers? I believe Life-Like's manufacturing partner was Sanda Kan of Hong Kong. It's my understanding Bachmann Industries aka Kader Industrial Company Limited is one of the largest model railroad manufacturing companies in the world. My first question would be, how many other cars did Life-Like sale with silver doors? When things like this happen it's usually an attempt to save a little money on manufacturing and / or decorating models, the old one size fits all axiom. This is the same sort of thing that happened with a lot of TYCO's products. A classic example is the TYCO high short hood ALCO C630 in ICG, D&H and Santa Fe paint. The only railroad to actually own high short hood ALCO C630's was the N&W and to add to the laughter, TYCO never painted their model in a N&W paint scheme. Back in the early days of model railroading, manufacturers and purchasers were a little less picky about details as today. Most modelers in the 1970's, when learning about the error, wouldn't have thought twice about painting the silver doors black. I'm not sure if the internet is a blessing or curse as we now have the ability to investigate model railroad locomotives and rolling stock, which has raised the bar and the old one size fits all axiom no longer applies. This is just another example of how the model railroad industry has evolved over the past 50 years. Sure there is still a lot of one size fits all, but not to the extent that once existed, when the Athearn Santa Fe CE-1 caboose was painted in every road name under the sun.
     
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  13. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    Not saying this happened here but using photos as sole references can, indeed, be misleading....especially with what you mentioned in addition to odd reflections, etc. I seem to recall a fairly recent N scale locomotive release that included a tiny white stripe on the long hood that, judging from photos I've seen, appeared to be a reflection off an uniquely-contoured hood door.
     
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  14. Lowell Johnson

    Lowell Johnson TrainBoard Member

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    These LL Railbox cars are likely from the 70's. They were sold in cardboard boxes made to hang from pegs in stores, just like Bachmann's from those days. But there has to be a LOT out there. I have at least 1/2 dozen, and still see them for sale on eBay. I've never seen a LL RB with anything other than silver doors.
     
  15. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Maybe they thought it would sell better, because shiny.
     
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  16. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    Life-Like didn't have a body style that matched the Railbox prototype. The closest was the Evans single door boxcar which was built for Penn Central and others.

    If I recall correctly, the car painted in Railbox with silver doors is a "standard" steel boxcar with a roofwalk (running board). Nothing like it in the real world. I believe that when Industrial Rail took over the distribution of that tooling, the Railbox scheme continued to be churned out.

    To be fair, back in the early days of Micro-Trains, they did a "standard" boxcar in RBOX paint too. (Long since corrected with the MTL 25000/025 body style.) Con-Cor did one also. I'm probably leaving some other "offenders" out.
     
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