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Model Railroading > Old Blue Box and Merger Madness

Date: 02/18/21 09:59
Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: railstiesballast

First, an old Athearn Blue Box U28B leads an eastbound up the Cascade Canyon.  From either end the comporomised wide body looks a little worse every time I think about it but it has sound and fits with my current era so here you go.
When I set up this auto rack train I found a little history lesson.  The SP and Santa Fe obviously did not merge, but the Santa Fe and BN did. 
That bright red Santa Fe rack is a bit of a mystery to me.  I think I remember seeing the prototype but I have not found a photo of it from my collection or on line. 
But I want to think it was real, did Walthers slip in a fake one?  All the Santa Fe racks seem to be mineral brown and many have the Quality logo.

Date: 02/18/21 10:05
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: icancmp193

Back in the day, those "wide-body" Athearns were all we had. I have a Reading GE U30C that I built in a box somewhere.


Date: 02/18/21 10:25
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: SPDRGWfan

I have one of those red Walthers bi-levels like the one in your photo.  It was one of the kits offered in the years following the original runs of kits first offered around 1991 or 92, don't remember exactly when.  I think the red Santa Fe bi-level was produced around 1995/96.  The reason I bought it was that the brown ATSF had the Q logo which was a later scheme, and I needed something a bit earlier.

I have seen red Santa Fe enclosed auto racks similar to this one in photos, but am not sure how close a match the Walthers car is.  It is at least a stand-in if nothing else.  It is one of the few Walthers bi-levels that I have kept since backdating from the early 90's.  I sold off all of my Walthers auto racks with the TTX speed logo, and a few of the TT with later dates on them.


Date: 02/18/21 14:04
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: BNSF20

Thanks for sharing. When I switched from HO to N scale some time back, I kept a few of my HO locomotives and equipment for a "someday" switching layout for when N may become to small. Some of the locomotives I kept were Blue Box Athearns. Now that I'm retired and the pandemic and winter weather has been keeping me at home and indoors, I've been getting some of those old Blue Boxes back out and updating and detailing them and having a blast! It sure helps break the "cabin fever".

Date: 02/18/21 14:19
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: funnelfan

Having had the displeasure of trying to squeeze myself between the handrail and the radiator grills of a U23B before, something akin to running yourself across a cheese grater, the narrow walkways on the U28B look about right for reality.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA

Date: 02/18/21 15:10
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: EricSP

I don't think that GE is a Blue Box. If it is then it started out as a U33C. Also, it has FB-2 trucks and is numbered for a B30-7.

Date: 02/18/21 15:26
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: DKay

You have some nice scenes on your layout.Love all those tracks going into the Industrial park.

Date: 02/18/21 15:39
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: atsf5704

Definitely a Blue Box.  The mold seam across the back of the radiator and the classic tab to lock the shell onto the chassis are dead give-ways.  It is also a U33B with aftermarket truck sideframes.

Date: 02/18/21 19:03
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: railstiesballast

Yes, the GE has aftermarket truck sideframes.
Someday soon I will be ready to pose it beside a Rapido and Atlas versions of similar 4-axle units.
Glad to hear the red ATSF existed, but maybe I'll have to decal over the TTX.....
A modeler's work is never done.
Thanks for looking.

Date: 02/19/21 07:27
Re: Old Blue Box and Merger Madness
Author: ntharalson

Nice work.  I have a still print somewhere of a Santa Fe Auto rack just like the model if that's any consolation.  It was later in life ATSF went to box car red for their racks.  

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA

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