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In-Box Review
N scale
40' PS-1 Boxcar, 6' Door
40' PS-1 Boxcar, 6' Door Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

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Atlas N Master® has re-released their ready-to-run 40' PS-1 Boxcar, this issue has 6' Doors. Painted for the Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis RR, it is item 50 003 351. It features knuckle couplers, metal wheels, separately applied ladders, etched metal roof walk, and great printing.

50-ft Box Car
The 40' Boxcar is widely known as one of the most popular freight cars used by railroads as they transitioned from steam to diesel. In particular the Pullman Standard or PS-1 design was one of the most popular and was widely used by North American railroads. These boxcars were built beginning in 1947 and share the same basic design, with certain elements such as door size, door style or roof type varying among the different railroads and production years. When production of these cars ceased in 1963, over 100,000 had been produced.*

Atlas N Master® 40' PS-1 Box Car
Like its previous box car, this model has crisp molding and exceptional sharp printing. Packed in a jewel box for safe display or storage, this box car is nestled in a clear form-fitted cradle with a lid. A thin plastic sheet protects it from scuffing. No parts diagram is provided.

    • Body Mounted AccuMate® Couplers
    • Barber S-2A 50-ton Trucks with Metal Wheels
    • Separately Applied Ladders
    • Etched Metal Roof Walk
    • 10 and 12 Stiffener Roof per prototype
    • Ajax and Miner Brake Wheels

    Undecorated items will come with two types of 6' doors and two types of roofs.

The injection molding is top-notch with crisp detail. No flash, no sink marks or visible ejector circles. In fact, I can’t even find tiny burrs where components were nipped from their sprue! Detail is both molded on and separately applied. Separate applied parts are expertly attached without any smeared glue.

Underneath this Pullman Standard 40-footer are the frame, bolsters, and modern air brake gear. It rides on 50-ton Barber S-2A trucks with blackened machined metal wheels. These wheels roll with little friction when pulled by its AccuMate® knuckle couplers. Single 6-foot Youngstown 5/6/6 sliding doors with molded tack boards and roller lift levers are attached on each side. The 10-panel welded body is riveted to ends of Pullman Standard design. It also has that odd asymmetric sill that hides the underframe cross bearers and cross ties, and the brake gear. Capping the body is a PS roof design. All details look good and close to scale. I can only imagine the technical challenge and resulting cost to mold everything to exact 1/160!

My inspection finds the model to be in conformance with NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices, with RP-25 wheels and couplers at acceptable height. It weighs 1.05 ounces which is almost the RP-20.1 Car Weight ideal of 0.98 oz. End to end it’s 40½ scale feet long, and 46-ft from coupler to coupler.

This little gem is a detail hybrid. For the superstructure, each side’s left-corner grab irons and stirrups are molded on, as are the hand brake rod and retainer pipe. At the other corners are separately applied 7-rung ladder/stirrup parts. Both ends have separately attached ladders and tack boards; the geared-type handbrake wheel is separately attached as is the platform underneath it. Up top is an etched metal running board with wire grabs set in the laterals.

Underframe detail consists of a molded floor with board detail and longitudinal intermediate sills. Onto it is attached a single part representing the welded-steel underframe: body bolsters, center sill, coupler and draft gear pockets, cross bearers and cross ties; brake gear integrally molded in this part includes: brake cylinder, brake levers and brake rods, brake pipe and branch pipes, control valve, and reservoir.

Paint and Markings
Atlas printing is exceptional. NC&StL brown and yellow livery is applied smoothly and does not cover up any detail. I don't know if NC&StL, "The Dixie Line," had a nickname for boxcars with the yellow stripe but some of their yellow striped steam locos were called "Yellowjackets." Printing of the AAR mechanical code, built date, capacity data, dimensional data, load limits, reporting marks, road number and road name, and weights are extraordinary! Even without my Optivisor I can read the alphanumerics which are all open and clear, making text legible. Keep in mind that much of this printing is 1 - 2 inches high even in N scale!

Atlas N offers this new model in eight roadnames, with two car numbers per roadname, plus an undecorated version:
    1. Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern (Brown/White)
    2. Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis (Brown/White/Yellow)
    3. New York Central* (Green/White/Black)
    4. Richmond, Fredericksburg, & Potomac (Blue/White)
    5. Rock Island "Centennial" (Brown/White/Black)
    6. Santa Fe "El Capitan" (Brown/White/Black)
    7. Santa Fe "Super Chief" (Brown/White/Black)
    8. Susquehanna (Brown/White/Black)

There are two road numbers per road name.

This model is NC&StL 22302, sporting "The Dixie Lines" flashy yellow stripping along the crown. I haven't found any photos of No. 22302 but you can see a brother at Click here for additional images for this review, below.

Atlas N Master® 40' PS-1 Boxcar with 6' Door raises the bar between detail and economy. Parts approaching to-scale separate ladders and other details in N scale can be achieved, though the model would be more susceptible to damage, and the cost goes up. Atlas N Master® offers an excellent model of a very common modern box car design. Their tooling and molding is sharp, with wonderful paint and printing. Metal wheels and knuckle couplers are the standard today and no well-dressed model would dare to dust the rails without them. The only nitpicky I have is one of the lateral grabs is mounted askew.

Needless to say, this neat model of “Grandpa's Road” is a favorite of mine! In fact, if it were not for the NC&StL, we probably wouldn’t have this website; NC&StL rekindled my interest in railroads some 20 years ago. I always wondered which railroad it was I drove over traveling to and from the aerodrome from which I flew; researching that trivia stoked my interest in railroads, model railroading, thence into RailRoadModeling!

Overall this is an exceptional model for your N scale layout. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad for this sample; please tell vendors and manufacturers that you saw this model here – on RailRoadModeling!

Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis Railway
Referred to as “Grandpa's Road” the Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis Railway (NC&StL) was a classy Class I railroad in the Mid-South.
    The NC&StL (pronounce "Saint" with the initials) was chartered in Tennessee on December 11, 1845 and served the people of the south until it was absorbed by the Louisville and Nashville railroad in March 1957. The NC&StL's tracks reached from Paducah, Kentucky south to Atlanta, Georgia with a major branch from Bruceton, Tennessee to Memphis, Tennessee.

    The Nashville, Chattanooga & Saint Louis Railway was originally known as the Nashville and Chattanooga, the "N&C" for short; or just plain "NC."**

    The railroad operated a series of passenger trains: Dixie Express (once the coach section of the all Pullman Dixie Flyer and at another time the interim name of the Dixie Limited, Dixie Flyer, Dixie Limited (formerly the Dixie Express, formerly the Chicago and Florida Limited), Dixieland (winter season only until early 1950's), Dixiana, Dixie Flagler (ran evey third day; later renamed the Dixieland) and Dixie Mail aka Dixie Flyer - Mail and Express. Thus, the railroad's nickname was
    The Dixie Line. Additionally, the railroad operated these named trains: Quickstep (name dropped before 1910, then known as Nos. 3 and 4), Lookout (formerly the Nashville/Chattanooga Express), Georgian, City of Memphis, Volunteer, Night Trains (formerly the Memphis Limited), Nashville/Hickman Local, plus a through sleeping car from The Tennessean on Nos. 3 and 4.***

AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.

* Atlas. Atlas N 40' PS-1 Box Car. Atlasrr.com.

** NC&StL Preservation Society, Inc. (2003.) [http://www.ncstl.com/history/index.htm.]

*** Wikipedia. Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. (3 April 2014.)

TM 55-203. Technical Manual Maintenance Of Railway Car. Headquarters, Department of the Army. [PDF.] August 1972.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Knuckle couplers, metal wheels, separately applied ladders, and etched metal roof walk. Incredible printing.
Lows: One of the lateral grabs is mounted askew.
Verdict: An exceptional model for your N scale layout.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 003 351
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 27, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


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