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Mass Produced S Scale Rolling Stock
Minnesota Heartland Railroad

Mass Produced S Scale (standard gauge*) Models
and Reference Articles
Revised December 12, 2003

Reference Section
S Articles
S Prototypes
S Models

Brass and Short Run Models

Mass produced S scale freight rolling stock on this page is listed by era, followed by cabooses, passenger equipment, and engines.  For news from S manufacturers, see Craig O'Connell's website.  Please inform me of links, photos, or info on any of these S scale models or their prototypes.
*Sorry, I do not have information posted regarding S narrow gauge products.

Item, Manufacturer Author Magazine Issue Summary

Modern Rolling Stock
( ~ post 1965 )

ACF RailBox Boxcar
American Models
March 1998
p. 132
Modeling 70-ton former Railbox cars in S scale.  Photos of Railbox cars as repainted since 1982, featuring Des Plaines Hobbiesdetail parts.
Dec. 1999 ACF; Jan. & Feb. 2000   see also:
Pullman Standard; March - May 2000
FMC; June 2000, August thru Nov. 2000
Evans cars; July 2001, Sept. 2001
Berwick cars; Jan. thru April 2001
Short frameless tank car  
Downs / Rusti 
      Now produced by Manheim Machine and Tool Co.
139 Nevin Street
Landcaster, Pa. 17603 (info from John Foley) 
Long frameless tank car 
Downs / Rusti 
Piggy-back "spine" cars
3 and 5 unit sets. 
American Models
 1984 "The prototype of American Models' IMPACK spine car (the articulated "trailer-hauler") is described on page 196 of the 1984 Car & Locomotive Cyclopedia and advertised by Itel Rail on page 197 of the same publication."   Tom Hawley
Husky Stack Container Flat
Des Plaines Hobbies
      Not currently in production.  Containers are available though.  Check the S products section of their webpage.
Long frameless tank car
American Models
  CBC  1984 "American Models' "modern" tank car appears to be the car shown on page 160 of the 1984 Car & Locomotive Cyclopedia, described as "ACF Industries tank car for clay slurry service - Class DOT 111A100-W-1, Light weight 60,500 pounds; water gallon capacity 13,575 gallons; truck capacity 100 tons; 4 inches fiberglass insulation with No. 11 ga steel insulation jacket."   Tom Hawley

1st - 2nd Generation Diesels and Later
( ~ 1955 - 1965 )

ACF 4650 cu. ft.
3-Bay Covered Hopper

Pacific Rail Shops
Photo and model by Terry Harrison

    Pacific Rail Shops, Tel (541)267-6664
P.O. Box  867, Coos Bay, Oregon 97420-0201
PS-2CD 4427 cu.ft.
3-Bay Covered Hopper     1964 - ?

American Models
James Eager RMJ Feb. 1994 "... with over 19,300 produced.  Santa Fe alone acquired over 7,500 cars!  Eighteen railroads operated the cars first hand.... numerous grain co-ops and milling companies leased from PTLX."
  Martin Lofton MM Nov. 1991 Photos of many TLDX and some RR owned cars.
PRR H39 70 ton
Open Hopper     1959
Bethlehem Car Co 

Des Plaines Hobbies

  RMC July 1986 "The prototype was the result of a coordination between the C&O, the PRR, and the N&W in 1959.  By the time the design was finalized, the C&O and the N&W were already interested in larger cars (100 tons).  The PRR acquired about 16,000 of them.  There is an article in the July, 1986 RMC about these cars.  According to this article, C&O had 501, D&RGW had 900, the original NS had 70 that went to the Southern, and WM had 400.  The article said that most of the PRR cars were painted in the simplified PRR scheme, but I think that is in error.  The ones I saw seemed to be mostly painted with Pennsylvania spelled out."  Jamie Bothwell
50'-10'6" Single Door AAR Boxcar 
Pacific Rail Shops
Built: 1955-61
Earl Tuson     50' long 10'6" high. - Postwar AAR Standard 50' boxcar 
Characteric features: DP (diagonal panel) roof, R+3/4 late IDE (improved dreadnaught ends), 8+8 riveted sides with full length straight side sill, single 4/5/5 - 8' IY (improved Youngstown) doors.   per Earl Tuson
50'-10'6" Double Door AAR Boxcar 
Pacific Rail Shops
Earl Tuson     50' long 10'6" high.   Postwar AAR Standard 50' auto car, Characteric features: DP roof, R+3/4 late IDE, 5+8 riveted sides with full length fishbelly side sill, 4/5/5  - 7' and 8' IY doors.  Built: 1955-61

Ed Hawkins RMJ  August 1999 50 foot standard automobile box car, postwar 50-ton, 50-foot AAR Box Cars

Transition Era 
and Later 
( ~ 1945 - 1955 )

52' Mill Gondola
American Models
 P. Roos     According to the NEB&W Steam era guides, possible prototypes for a 52 ft, 14 panel gon are CN, CP, LV, NYC, WM, C&O, CNJ, PRR, D&H, B&O.  (P. Roos)  NEW
SP F-70-7 53' 6" Flat Car 
V&T Shops  1949 - 1950
      V&T shops, Box 5597, Reno, Nev.  89513     Cast Resin Kit
Some cars were converted to Piggy-back, Builkhead, and coil steel service.  - NEW  Similar to standard AAR 70 ton flat car,
usable for NH, CNJ, NYC and many other railroads (P. Roos).
SP F-50-16 40' Flat Car
V&T Shops
      Cast Resin Kit
Southern 50 ton 
low-side gondola      1947
REX Models / Putt Trains
   CBC 1949 SOU 55961-56560, built in 1947 by Mt. Vernon Car Mfg. Div., Pressed Steel Car, and shown in the 1949 CBC with 12 panels. 
REX now owned by Putt Trains
P.O. Box 463 - Orwell, OH 44076 
Die Cast flat car
REX Models / Putt Trains
PS-2 3-Bay Covered Hopper 
S Helper Service 
Martin Lofton MM Aug. 1991
Nov. 1991
Produced from 1953 through the early 70's
GSC Flat, bulkhead, and TOFC 
S Helper Service
Jim Eager MR'ing   March 1989  53'6" 70-ton Commonwealth Cast-Steel Flat Cars, 48' Bulkhead Flat 
1949 - 1971 (?)
PS-2 2-Bay Covered Hopper
S Helper Service
      "Built by Pullman-Standard starting in 1953."
40'-10'6" Sgl Door AAR Boxcar
Pacific Rail Shops
       Photo and model by Bill Lane.
40'-10'6" Dbl Door AAR Boxcar
Pacific Rail Shops

Steam Era and Later
( ~ pre-1945 )

2 Bay 55 Ton Composite Hopper
S Helper Service
Coal hopper built during WWII using wood slat outside braced sides, typical of cars built for the Lehigh Valley in 1942, remaining in service into the 50's when the wooden sides were replaced with steel.
1937 Modified AAR 40'-10'6" Sgl Door Boxcar
Pacific Rail Shops 1940 - 1946
      40' - 10'6" high boxcar.  6' door.  Notched side sills.  5/5 early style Dreadnaught ends.  W-section corners.  Flat panel roof.
  Ted Culotta Steam Era Freight Cars Website   1937 Modified AAR 40'-10'6" webpage 
1937 AAR Standard 40'-10' Sgl & Dbl Door Boxcar
Pacific Rail Shops
Rail Model Journal July 1991 (ACF),
July 1994
40' - 10' high boxcar.  6' door.  Notched side sills.  4/5 Dreadnaught ends.  W and square corners.  Flat panel and Viking roofs
  Ed Hawkins Rail Model Journal 8/96, 10/96, 12/96  
April 1989
pp. 44-49
1937 & 1942 AAR Standard Box Car History, Part II 
10,000 Gallon Tank Car Uninsulated 
Des Plaines Hobbies
      "Not a bad representation of a pre-war General American car, except that it needs some modification to the body bolsters.  Look at a 1937 CBC for reference.  It would not be hard to modify the car to make it a post-war GA car.  The manway hatch also needs some correction, which would not be too difficult."  Comments by Richard Hendrickson, furnished by Jeff English.
  Richard Hendrickson Rail Model Journal August 1996 In reference to our recent discussion on the DPH ICC 103 tank cars, I was looking through some magazines this week and ran across the August 1996 Rail Model Journal.  It contains an article on "Modeling Fifties Era tank Cars" by Richard Hendrickson which includes prototype photos and detailing suggestions for the Athearn tank car, including converting it to a 10,000 gallon car.  The cars shown are all GATX manufactured cars; the same prototype as the DPH cars.   Most of the same detailing steps apply.  At least we don't have to shorten the car or modify the dome as the author does with the HO car.  Pieter Roos
Steel Swinging Door Reefer
Pacific Rail Shops
 P. Roos     PFE R-40-23 Steel Ice Refrigerator Car.  The car was also used by Northern Pacific, I think all other paint schemes
are approximations at best.    P. Roos   NEW
Wooden Ice-cooled Reefer
Crown Products
 P. Roos     Wood sides, steel ends.  Marketed by Port-Lines Hobbies
Apparently not based on a particular prototype.  It is not too far off from some PFE cars, MDT rebuilds or maybe a Mather car (depends on how well you squint).  P. Roos  NEW
Wooden Ice-cooled Reefer 
S Helper Service
RMC Dec. 1988
pp. 63 - 70
The SHS wooden reefer " modeled after the 40' wooden, end bunker, ice cooled refrigerator cars built for the NWX (Northwestern Refrigerator Line Company) 7000 -7999 series in 1928 by American Car & Foundry."
Rebuilt steel side 40' Boxcar
S Helper Service
      "In the late '20's, railroads started to buy steel sides from Youngstown steel and The Pullman Standard Co. to rebuild their aging wooden boxcar fleets."
40' Wooden Stock Car
S Helper Service
      "UP S-40-10 40' Stock Car.  Rebuilt from 1916 era automobile stock cars..... lasted until the early '70's."
40' USRA Single Sheathed Wooden Boxcar
S Helper Service 
      "Built by the USRA to aid the WWI effort.  They were seen in steam and diesel consists until the mid-60's, and in work train servcie until the '80's."
40' USRA Double Sheathed Wooden Boxcar
S Helper Service
      "These cars were designed byt the USRA to aid the war effort during WWI.  These were seen in steam and diesel consists until the mid-60's, and in work train servcie into the '80's."
4 Bay Ribbed Side Open Hopper
American Models
      "Ribbed" sides.  No known exact prototype. 
4 Bay Offset Side Open Hopper
American Models
      "Offset" sides.  "not too bad of a model of an AAR design of the late 20's."  Jeff English
"Purchased by B&M, and B&O, C&O, Erie, M-K-T, MoPac, Milwaukee."  David Thompson
2 Bay Ribbed Side Open Hopper
American Models 
      "If you are looking for a SOU hopper car, try the AM ribbed twin.  It is 33' IL, vs the prototype's 34', but does feature the correct 8 panels."  Earl Tuson
2 Bay Offset Side Open  Hopper
American Models 
      "The AM two bay offset set hopper is <strictly> correct for no prototype cars.  However, if one alters or overlooks the taper in the last side panel, it is closest to a large number of IC hoppers (as many as 12,678 in 1949,) a small number of D&M cars, and perhaps some GBW cars.  An IC car is shown on page 232 of the ACF book.  It has ASF A-3 trucks, available from PRS.  A few other roads did have slightly longer 8 panel twin offset hoppers.  Perhaps an eastern modeler could use it as a DL&W car, but I cannot find or do not have a 10/87 MM to check the model against."  Earl Tuson
1930 USRA 46' Flat Car
American Models 
      Spruce planking.  Available with loads; diesel engine or army tank.
 3 Bay Offset Side Open Hopper
American Flyer
    Bud Rindfleisch "...prototype of the Am Flyer 3 bay offset side hopper.  A link to a
photo of one turned up on the Steam era freight car list....   
The trucks are unique to these cars having friction bearings and
outside brake hangers.                                                               
PRR X-29 (and similar cars) Boxcar
American Flyer
      Readily available at train shops and train shows.
Pennsylvaia X-29 & ARA 40-foot Steel-Sheathed Box Cars    Richard Hendrickson Railmodel Journal Aug. 1977,
June 1998,
Nov. 2001,
Dec. 2001
Detailing the AF boxcar for the Pennsy X-29, and similar boxcars for other lines, such as PM, C&O, ERIE.
Pennsylvaia X-29 Sand Car
Apr. 1979
p. 26 - 37
Excellent drawings for X-29 boxcar. 
Baltimore & Ohio M-26 
Apr. 1979
p. 38 - 41
Similar to AF Pennsy X-29. 
Pennsy X29 in O Gauge
Oct. 1978
p. 24-33
Construction of riveted end version.
Pennsylvania's X-29 and 
Other X's In The Family
Jack Amerine,
Jeff Freeman
Oct. 1978
p. 6 -23
Includes photos of similar cars; SBC X-25, and similar ARA cars for NYC and LNE,
Patching up X29 Boxcars
Bill Darnaby Model
Nov. 1998
"Rub-on metal foil easily represents side repair panels."  Prototype for AF boxcar. 
Pere Marquette 
1930 Steel Box Car
Jeffrey Koeller Mainline Modeler May 2001
June 2001
Includes PRR X-29 information, and similar boxcars which could be modeled using the AF boxcar.
40' wood Boxcar
Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff
      Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff, 
P.O. Box 53, Penn. Furnace, Penn.  16865-0053
36' wood Boxcar
Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff
      Wood Kit 
40' Steel Boxcar

NASG Dispatch
Feb. 2002
Stamped Sheet metal components - Construction article
by Bill Fraley - A popular kit from the early years of  S scale modeling
41'6" Inside Length Gondola
American Flyer
Earl Tuson     11 panel straight side riveted steel gondola
6 rib outward Murphy end, lever-style handbrake.
Cross between T&P 17000-17749, built 1926 by PSC, and T&P 17750-18249, built 1928 by PSC
The <outside> of the AF gon is a respectable model of its
intended prototype.  Earl Tuson

Extended Vision Caboose
S Helper Service 
      "Our car is modeled after  C&O 3100-3259 (later Chessie class C-25) caboose built in 1968 by the International Car Co."  SHS 
"Extended vision cabooses started to appear on railroads in the 1950's and most were made by the International Car Company (ICC)." 
Bay Window Caboose
American Models 
       NEW Loosely based on an Eire prototype, later used by Conrail and D&H (P. Roos).  
Wooden caboose with cupola 
American Models 
      Similar to the steam and early diesel era cabooses of MANY railroads.
 Not too far off NYC/Rutland, Lackawanna or CN/Grand Trunk/Central Vermont cars (P. Roos).
Northeastern Caboose
American Flyer
      Out of production.  Readily available at train shops and train shows.
Jersey Central cabooses 
in HO scale
May 1987
p. 86
Jersey Central Lines Northeastern caboose
The ubiquitous 
Northeastern caboose
RMC July 1982
p. 76
First of a three part look at the Reading designed Northeastern caboose.     See 1980 for more info.
Reading Steel Cabooses Robert Berkley RCT&HS Winter 1980 Reading Company Tecnhical and Historical Soc.
Cabooses of the WM Dwight Jones Rails NE Dec. 1980 Rails Northeast

Passenger Cars
Amtrak Superliner Set
American Models

Lightweight Passenger Set
American Models
(out of production)
Dec. 1991
pp. 108 - 123
I understand that AM used the GN 1947 Empire Builder consist as the prototype for their lightweight passenger set. 
Very close to exact scale size per Ed. Loizeaux, June 2001 Dispatch 
New Haven Coaches
American Flyer
(out of production)
Jan. 19'98
pp. 156-158
"American Flyer Passenger cars in HO scale"  ...when the A.C. Gilbert Co. of New Haven, Conn., based its toy passenger cars on the New Haven's cars, the prototypes earned the American Flyer nickname." Available on the used equipment market.  Foreshortened for the toy train market.  
Heavyweight Coaches
American Models
      NEW  The American Models heavyweight cars fall in two groups: those still in
production are about 70 ft, the prototypes are from Jersey Central's "Blue
Comet" train.  These are the same prototype as the Trainstuff cars.  The
longer 80 ft cars were Pullman cars (two sleepers and a diner as I recall).  P. Roos 
Cast Resin, 
out of production
      The Trainstuff passenger cars are 70' NYC baggage, baggage and RPO built for the Big Four in the 20's, Pullman 12-1 that was made after Train Stuff was sold to Wayne and Diane Pier, and the CRRofNJ 83' cafe car.  Don Thompson
Budd Coaches 
American Models 
      Cars are fore-shortened for operation on small radius track.
See Empire State Express steam engine below.
Budd Coaches
American Flyer

Foreshortened for Toy Train market.  
Heavyweight Coaches
American Flyer

Foreshortened for Toy Train market.  

Item, Manufacturer Author Magazine Issue Summary
Diesel Engines

American Models
EMD F-40 PH   1976 - 1988  (Amtrak)
American Models
EMD GP-35       1963 - 1966 
American Models
  Rail Model 
June 1993 Review
EMD GP9 / 18   1954 - 1959
American Models 
      "I compared mine to the scale plans for the GP-18 in Mainline Modeler and they are right on in most dimensions.  I believe Ron used the Mainline Modeler article for much of his information as it was a 
suggestion of mine to him to make it so either the 9 or 18 could be made with very little modification by changing  fans and radiator grills. However mine had to be changed to represent the later phase GP-9 which had the same fans as the GP-18 (pan top) and the battery box louvers shortened to 2 rows of 3 each spaced apart. The trucks appearing to be too far from the frame might be due in fact to there not being any "frame channel" visible between the trucks.  You could overlook that by painting everything black beneath the shell including the gear towers that are visible.  I ended up making "fake" channel frames out of styrene  which go above the fuel and air tanks and fill 
the open space nicely.  I also changed the fuel tank using a shortened GP-35 tank cause it had the right shape for that phase of units."   Bud Rindfleisch

Review MR May 1989
Alco RS-3
American Models 
Alco RS-1, RS-2, RS-3, S-2, S-4

Pewter Kits

EMD FP-7 and F7 B unit
American Models
EMD F7 A&B Phase I      1947 - 1953
S Helper Service 
EMD E-8/9 Passenger Locomotive
American Models

EMD SW-9      1951 - 1956
S Helper Service 
  Rail Model 
Oct. 1998 Review
EMD NW-2, SW-7

Pewter Kits
Alco PA-1       1946 - 1953
American Models 
Alco FA-2       1946 - 1956
American Models
EMD F-3          1946 - 1949   Phase II A & B
S Helper Service 
Baldwin S-12   1945 - 1956
American Models
Phase II 1942 Version
S Helper Service 
Review MR April 2000  
FM Trainmaster 
PA Heritage Models

FM Trainmaster   1953-54 
American Models

    "H-24-66  Fairbanks Morse 2400 horsepower "Train Master" made in 1953 and 54." 
EMD BL-2   1948-?
Bills Train Shop

    "In 1948, the first of 59 branch line locos rolled out of the EMD shops. This loco was the link between the F-units and the first of  the Geeps. With curved fenders, slab sides, and angled hoods, most folks either love or hate the beast!  According to our sources*, nine railroads owned BL2s:" 
Plymouth ML6  Switcher

Pewter Kits

Steam Engines

4-6-2  heavy USRA Pacific
American Models 
PRR K-4 Streamlined 4-6-2
American Models 
   CTT  Oct. 2001  2 page review 
B&O E-27 2-8-0 Consolidation 
S Helper Service 

    built in 1905
NYC J3a Hudson
American Models 
      See matching passenger cars above.
Pennsy K4
American Flyer
Kris Kollar Mainline Modeler Jan. 2002
Feb. 2002
Detailing a Pennsy K4 Locomotive

Electric Engines

American Models