The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Two Graceline Boxcars Running Again

One thing I enjoy is getting vintage cars running again. Today these two cars made their way off the workbench.

They are both pre-war Graceline cars, which are now obviously layout ready! The car further away from the camera is their wagon top boxcar. This particular one was seen in an article two years ago and has been sitting on the workbench waiting. I thought about a heavier rebuilding (with the caved in roof in particular) but opted to just get it set up for operation. Closer and in sharper focus is another Graceline boxcar, a wood car with a steel door. This one is painted for the CB&Q and was on the workbench as it had a door missing.

This side view shows the door I found and opted to use. I suspect it is a HO part but the right size and of similar design. In normal lighting the paint matches a bit better than in the photo. This view shows better the early Graceline trucks I used. These can be tuned up to operate (see this article) but can be touchy. The CB&Q car has wheelsets with very heavy flanges that actually bump on spike heads a bit but for sure it won't derail! The B&O car trucks are more like S-C wheelsets but are original Graceline as well. The trucks are fairly free rolling and do the job.

This final photo is a highlight focusing in on the hand painted lettering on the CB&Q car. In person you can easily see the guide lines used by the person who lettered these cars by hand at the Graceline factory. This article shows a couple more examples of these hand lettered cars, and if you focus in on it you can see for example that every "C" is just a bit different, etc. I should note, too, that the CB&Q herald on the other end of the car is printed on paper and glued on.

Neither car had Graceline couplers previously mounted and I am not a big fan of them either, so both now have Kadee couplers, attached simply with a screw. Mostly I run newer cars but the CB&Q car in particular has a charm with that hand lettering, I do enjoy getting these out from time to time.

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