Penn Central Boxcar Modeling Select Bibilography

Contributed to the Penn Central Railroad Home Page by Tom Jelinek.

Below are selected references which enable one to construct prototypically correct HO models of various Penn Central boxcars and RBL's. Though various degrees of kitbashing are required, all the kits used are widely available and back-issues of the different magazines aren't too hard to find.

PC series 102500-123499 40-foot PS-1 Boxcar (Ex-NYC)

The following Model Railroading article was part of a series entitled "Freight Cars of the Fifties Painting Profiles." It includes a color photo of PC 112178 as one of the "proper prototypes for HO scale: Cannonball Car Shops, McKean, Model Power/Roco, Walthers (Improved Roco)" models. Other PS-1 kits are available today; the important thing is to get one with a 6-foot wide 5/6/6 Improved Youngstown door.

X72/X72A 50-foot Boxcar

Everything you need to know about converting Life-Like's 50-foot boxcar into the PC's X72 and X72A class cars can be found in three Railmodel Journal articles, all of which have been reprinted in the second volume of RMJ's Freight Car Models series.


Diagonal panel roofs are available from manufacturers such as McKean to replace the incorrect PS-1 roof on the Walthers' HO FGE-style insulated boxcar.

X58/X58A/X58B/X58C Outside-braced Plugdoor Boxcar (Ex-PRR)

Based on the X58, the Athearn 50-foot outside-braced boxcar has the right sides; too bad it also has an incorrect earlier style Dreadnaught end, a roof without eaves that extend over the side plate, and a door that's a little too wide. The Mainline article points the way towards correcting these inaccuracies. The 1980 RMC article mentions a wood and metal Quality Craft kit that may be available today. However, this car has the wrong pre-war end, wrong roof, and possibly the incorrect underframe. Today, your best bet to model an X58 in HO scale is the X58 kit available from Rail Yard Models. Here is a color image of X58B PC 265635.

X26C Rebuilt 40-foot Boxcar (ex-PRR)

I built a model of one the the PRR's steel-sided rebuilds of the single-sheathed X-26, using an Athearn boxcar and the Tichy 5/5/5 Youngstown ends. The only tricky part is getting all that essential rivet detail into the enlarged portions of the ends.