Rails Unlimited – 1932 ARA Standard Boxcar with Radial Roof

Lee Turner's model of the Rails Unlimited NKP/C&O 1932 ARA boxcar

Lee Turner’s model and photo of the Rails Unlimited NKP/C&O 1932 ARA boxcar

Manufactured By: Rails Unlimited
MSRP August 2012: Flat kit $80.00  Assembled body $110.00

Rails Unlimited released a 1932 ARA Standard Boxcar with radial roof. The masters for this car were done by Lee Turner who also built the car in the photo. I picked up a kit at  this year’s National. Ted is offering the kits two ways, either a built up car body that needs to be detailed or as a flat kit.

Prototype History
The 1932 ARA Standard Boxcar was the first all-steel boxcar adopted by the American Railway Association. Unfortunately for the design it was adopted near the height of the Depression. Because of this, not many railroads had the funds to buy this design. The total number of cars was only 14,500 cars. The history of these cars are thoroughly described in Ted Culotta’s book, The American Railway Association Standard Box Car of 1932 (Speedwitch Media, 2004).

The models are based on two orders of cars for the NKP and C&O which were built with a Hutchins radial roof. The prototype cars were built in 1934, 500 cars for the NKP in series 13000-13499 and 650 cars for the C&O in series 7000-7649.

The instruction list these cars lasting into the mid sixties in large number while a few cars survived into the early 70’s. My January 1952 ORER lists 634 out of the 650 C&O cars in service and 479 out of the 500 NKP cars in service plus 5 cars with Note H. So what was Note H you ask?

“Note H – Individual numbers of cars in service in series 13000 to 13400 having roof hatches and differing in A.A.R. Mech. Designation from other cars in same series; A.A.R. Mech. Designation LC: 13065,  13084,  13213,  13311,  13313”