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

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Some Pre-War Graceline Reefers

Graceline was an active in the American OO market 1939-45. My overview article is here, and with recent looking at Graceline models and parts I pulled these four cars for light restoration.

The three without ends came in a lot purchase years ago. I believe a prior owner had parted them out, using the ends and trucks on other projects. These cars are all early Graceline production with the hand painted sides. First up are these two examples of ARLX 16096, Armour Refrigerator Line. The sides are thin brass stock and were painted at the factory as you see them today. The one with the ladder was stamped out differently than the other if you look at the bottom of each side, one has tab extensions and the other is flat. Also you can easily see variations in lettering between the two cars, in fact only that one side has the periods in A.R.L.X. Click on the photos for a better view.

The other two cars are Northern Pacific cars. The Northern Refrigerator car has no ends and the tabs at the bottom of the sides. The Northern Pacific herald is printed on thin paper. The other car is missing its heralds, but you can see where they were and that they were the same heralds. That final car, lettered for the Northern Pacific itself, is in the worst condition but has the original ends and has a different roof design—I would take this to be later production. Note also on this one that Graceline did not highlight the doors with paint. This was a good idea as the doors are too wide. No ladders are present on either of these cars, but all four have their original Graceline frames.

Finishing up a painting project I had a bit of spray paint left so I fished two sets of reproduction Graceline ends out of the parts supply. These were cast by Temple Nieter, and I will be casting a couple more in his molds (more here) to complete this set of cars. The final photo shows these ends and how they fit on the cars. Note that there are fins cast on the back of the ends that fit the car like a glove.

I will be adding to these cars Scale-Craft trucks as I don’t have enough viable Graceline trucks to finish this set, and I don't plan to fill any of the paint chips. Hopefully they will be rolling again by new years. And speaking of new years, between travel and other things keeping me busy I probably won’t be posting again here until the end of the month. I am looking forward to getting these rolling though, and hope as well that readers might also get a few more cars rolling over the holidays.

Want to see another of these rare cars? Check this article for a Graceline Baby Ruth reefer.

No comments: