EXPRESS CARS

Back in the day of railroad-operated passenger service, carrying passengers rarely footed the entire bill for running the train. Mail and express traffic boosted the railroad's bottom line. These extra cars, tacked on just behind the locomotives, were referred to as head-end cars. They're easily modeled. Modelers love adding color to their train consists, so express cars are a great way to improve their passenger trains. If you have the entire Hiawatha or Empire Builder, how about a GN steel express reefer.

 Many Santa Fe passenger trains carried PRR, REA and NYC express reefers adding a dash of color to stainless steel consists. Railway Express Agency (REA) and similar companies handled expedited packages and shipments - they were the precursors of today's UPS and FedEx. REA had a unique status as a forwarder and was required to accept any and all shipments which could be anything from live chicks and Christmas presents to fresh fruit and hardware. Shipments were handled in express boxcars, baggage cars and express reefers (which also doubled as boxcars if there weren't any perishables to haul). Green REA-owned express cars ran on all kinds of passenger trains on almost every railroad - so they're natural builders to any one who likes pre- Amtrak passenger trains.

Flagship trains such as the 20th Century Limited and San Francisco Chief handled REA traffic in baggage cars until their later years (mid-1960s) when additional head-end cars were added. Secondary mail and express trains on the same routes carried many head-end cars, and the mixed roadnames added variety and color to their looks.

Unlike many passenger-hauling cars, express cars and some baggage cars weren't restricted to home rails - they were often handed off to connecting railroads. As a result, unique homebuilt PRR R50b and B60b cars could be found on trains from California to Florida. GN express boxcars were regulars on MILW Hiawathas and mail trains.

Again, familiar green REA-owned cars ran everywhere. Trains picked up and dropped off express cars at busy stations along their runs. Finally, because of their lack of windows, many express cars, including converted troop sleepers, went on to work train service late in their careers.

Outbound paper moves in boxcars and trucks. Typical 1960s and 
later paper roll-hauling boxcar models include WalthersProto 50' 
AAR Boxcars and WalthersMainline 50' Sliding-Door Boxcar and 50' 
Waffle-Side Boxcars. Budget-minded customers can use 
WalthersTrainline(R) 50' Plug-Door Boxcars. Paper pulp bales and 
rolls are hauled in various Gunderson and Pullman-Standard 60' 
cars, some of which are just like those used for auto parts. 
Walthers SceneMaster(R) highway semi trailers include Stoughton 
45' and 48' trailers for modern mills, plus 32' and 40' trailers 
for 1960s scenes.
 
There are many end points for paper. In HO Scale, businesses like 
the George Roberts Printing Company are typical end users. Other 
businesses called paper converters, usually housed in warehouse-
style factory buildings, transform it into bags, packaging, 
packaged papers, cardboard and other products. 
 
As you can see, there are many ways you can add paper 
traffic to your railroads. From a few kaolin tank cars on a 
through freight to an entire factory complex, there are many ways 
you can model paper industry-related products .

 

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