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This is a Laser-Cut Boxcar kit made from solid basswood and plywood.

Amesbille Shops PRR XB Boxcat kit

Amesville Shops PRR XC Boxcar kit

Amesville Shops PRR XC Boxcat kit

1880's Pennsylvania RR Type XB or XC Boxcar in HO scale - $34.00

Actual test builds of each kit shown.  Kit includes detail parts and wire from A-Line, Tichy Train Group and custom decals. Trucks and couplers not included.

This style of boxcar began being built in the early 1880’s when the PRR was looking to create a new standard boxcar size that would carry more in volume and weight than the earlier XA boxcar. The XB Boxcar was similar in design and construction to the XA, just much larger at about 36’ long and twice the capacity (40,000 Lbs). The XC Boxcar (first delivered in 1885) was outwardly nearly identical to the XB except for a few details, but inside it used a different type of construction allowing it to carry 50% more weight than the XB (60,000 Lbs). The XC was also the first boxcar on the Pennsylvania fleet to use the distinctive Wagner ‘Plug’ door, which became standard for almost all PRR wood boxcars going forward. XC boxcars also came equipped with air brakes, while XB’s did not.

For anyone wondering what era these cars would have been seen in, turns out they had a long service life! According to Steve Hedlund, "If you think that the Xb and Xc cars are too early for you guys think again. In 1919, there were 3 Xb cars (probably not a great one to pick) but there were 3,320 Xc cars (more like it). Xc cars in 1919 were lettered: C&P, E&P, PB&W, PCC&StL, PFtW&C, PL (Pennsylvania Lines), PL Union Line, PRR, PRR Anchor Line , PRR Empire Line, PRR Union Line, PY&A, TWV&O, WNY&P."

Our Amesville Shops model of the XB / XC Boxcar is designed from photographs, PRR freight car diagrams and technical drawings appearing in Model Railroader magazine, and features:

Decals are available for the follwing railroads:

I am interested in producing decals for other lines and schemes. If you have photos of these cars in other livery please send them to me, I may be able to include them as well.

At some point (probably post-1908) many of these cars had safety appliance upgrades, the most notable of which is an additional long horizontal grab iron added to each side near the ends. I expect to be doing these upgraded cars as well in the near future along with more "modern" post-1910 decals. Stay tuned!

What's with the heralds on these cars? What are the Anchor Line, Union Line and Great Southern Despatch?

In the late 19th Century, many railroads grouped together to form Fast Freight Lines as a Extra-Fee service that in theory expedited service and handling of the shipper's goods across the member railroads. Fast freight lines date back to the 1860's when shipments moving from one railroad to another were actually unloaded from a car belonging to railroad A and re-loaded into a car belonging to railroad B. Most railroads did not allow their cars to operate outside of home rails, and many did not even connect to each other. On top of that, there were a variety of rail gauges so often a car would not work on another railroad's tracks.

By the 1880's most of these issues had been overcome. Nearly all railroads were relaid to standard gauge (or very close), most railroads freely interchanged cars and the trans-loading of freight cars was pretty much a thing of the past. The Fast Freight Lines evolved and became services that performed freight forwarding services for customers, taking care of selecting optimal routes to send freight on, aquiring suitable cars for shipping and other things - again for a nominal service fee. Many railroads like the Pennsylvania were members of several different Fast Freight Lines, and often a majority of their newest boxcars were assigned to and painted to represent these lines. There were nearly as many Fast Freight Lines as there were railroads.

Like all models produced by Amesville Shops, these cars were very common and could have been seen regularly in trains anywhere in the country from 1881 through 1910 or so. It is an everyday working car, and will fit right in with the rest of your fleet. Of course, common doesn’t mean dull - for those who notice it the fine level of detail will be a pleasant reward.

Couplers and trucks not included, Kadee #158 scale couplers recommended. Tahoe Model Works 5' Wheelbase Archbar Trucks recommended.

Order yours today!

*The Little Miami Railroad was a small railroad line in Ohio absorbed into the PRR in the 1880's. There's no direct evidence any XB boxcars were ever actually lettered for the LMRR but we put some decal sets together as a tribute to a friend, Ryan Andersen, host of the Model Railcast Show who passed away a couple of years ago.

Ryan modeled the Little Miami Railroad and we hope he would have really appreciated the effort. Our Little Miami decal set includes heralds for the Pennsy's Empire Line fast freight line.

Last update:  June 25, 2014