This review is from Model
Railroader, March 2002. Reprinted with permission of Kalmbach Publishing Company.
PS-1 5O-FOOT BOXCAR
a lot you can say about Atlas O’s new 50-foot PS-1 boxcar, but
the first word that comes to mind is “Wow!” Straight out of
the box, the car makes a positive impression with its size, heft,
and fantastic detail.
boxcars became the railroad industry’s de facto standard in the
mid-1960s, supplanting the ubiquitous 40-foot cars.
Pullman-Standard’s PS-1 design had been one of the most
successful 40-footers, so it stretched the design to produce these
to Mainline Modeler articles and rosters by Ed Hawkins in
June 1992 and James Kinkaid in April 1994, more than 50,000
smooth-side 50-foot PS-1s were built between 1949 and the end of
production in 1967.
railroads owned PS-1s, but details varied according to the
owner’s specifications. One sample came lettered for the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, representing a “standard”
PS-1 built as part of an order for 200 Bx-75 class general-service
cars in 1958. It has a standard underframe, PS-doors, individual
side grab irons, and solid-bearing trucks.
difference between the versions is the cushioned underframe,
offered as an option beginning in 1960. The Bangor & Aroostook
car, built in 1962, was part of a 30-car order with Hydroframe-60
cushioning for newsprint service. Flip the model over (below), and
the underframe reflects this option, down to the non-operating
damping spring along the center line. Plastic piping and brake
hardware complete the package.
models match drawings in the Simmons-Boardman 1961 Car
Builders’ Cyclopedia. Paint and lettering on the samples is
accurate, clear, and legible.
metal running boards, about a scale 1 ½” think, are among the
features which stand out along with specific-to-prototype brake
platforms, sliding doors that open to reveal a semi-detailed
interior, scale ladder rungs and grab irons, and uncoupling
free-rolling trucks feature metal wheels on needlepoint axles,
which were in gauge and produce an audible clicking over the rail
joints. The floor of the car is cast metal, adding to the car’s
overall weight of 22 ounces – four ounces more than the National
Model Railroad Association’s recommended weight. The automatic
knuckle couplers are compatible with Kadee’s Magne-Matics and
match a Kadee O scale coupler height gauge.
the fine detail, these cars are no shrinking violets. You’ll
want to pick them up, and they have a certain feel that says you
aren’t going to break something if you do.
model’s only weak points are the stirrups at the ends, which are
a bit thicker than they should be, and the generic (and really
shiny) truck sideframes. It’s a good bet the heavier stirrups
were a concession to durability, and if you desire, replacing them
would be an easy task. Also, a good shot of Dulcote and a little
weathering would give the truck sideframe some much-needed
years, O scalers have coveted the highly detailed ready-to-run
rolling stock available in the smaller scales. Atlas O, which has
answered the call with its previous releases, has hit a home run
with the PS-1. – Hal Miller (Hal, an O scale modeler, is
managing editor of Trains
O scale PS-1 50-foot boxcar
$62.95; limited edition $65.95; undecorated $57.95
plastic and metal freight car
Topeka & Santa Fe
Road (gold limited edition)