CASO goes Cigar Band Part Two: Using an Athearn Blue Box kit

By Adrian Telizyn

Similar to the previous post using a Proto 2000 single door 50 foot car, I tried the same method on a double door old Athearn “Blue Box” kit I found in Calgary on the used shelves.

Again, an NYC in financial distress during that era would leave workmanship by the wayside. All that mattered was having 300 boxcars in Canadian service for the CASO and being in compliance with an order from a regulator.

The car received Kadee wheels and couplers, plus extra weights. I left the roof walk on, as I did not feel like filling in all the holes. I left the factory car number alone. Not bad for $5 and some old decals!


CASO meets the Cigar Band

By Adrian Telizyn

Taking the hypothetical continued investment in the Canadian boxcar fleet by tenant railroad NYC one step further, how might a 50 footer look in the Cigar Band era prior to the Penn Central merger of 1968?

This car was created using a factory lettered Proto 2000 car with a patchover of the reporting marks using an old Champ Decals set.

Once the operational decision was made to harmonize the existing PRR and NYC rosters prior to the merger, it’s a wild guess as to how the car numbering scheme might actually have landed for CASO equipment after 1968. Under “pure” NYC management there was logic to where the CASO cars sat on the roster between other NYC equipment classes. So I left the factory car number alone this time.

I also decided at this time that the car shops were taking less time and effort to perform the work due to the financial distress that the NYC was experiencing in that era. Workmanship and corporate pride suffered accordingly, compared to the first CASO rebuilds of 1941. Enjoy!

Next week, a double door Athearn Blue Box version of the same car.

Athearn Blue Box Patching

By Adrian Telizyn

About a month ago I found a plain blue boxcar that was begging to be patched out on the used shelf at a local hobby shop. How much fun can one have for $10?

Again, following my hypothetical business case that the CASO was alive and well in 1985 as a “paper railway” and continuing to invest in its car fleet, taking advantage of the fallout from the IPD boxcar bust. I patched out the factory CNW reporting marks using Floquil CR Blue, and substituted CASO ones from a Champ Decal set with the addition of a small CR Snail in the upper corner. Remember, CR made lease payments to the CASO for use of their Canadian property across Ontario between the Detroit River Tunnels and Niagara Falls/Fort Erie.

I then dusted the car with an application of Vallejo “Old Steel” and “New Rust” weathering powders before sealing it up with Dullcote. At the time I took the photo I had not yet installed the ladders and hand grabs.

Having spent 13 years as a trainman for the BCR, I encountered lots of colourful and very interesting 50 foot boxcars in different states of paint and disrepair at the various sawmills around me. In short, “anything goes” with those cars. There is no wrong answer.

Accurail Data-Only 50′ Boxcars in HO

By Adrian Telizyn

During the Christmas break of 2018, after stumbling upon the photo of the CASO 40′ boxcar in Vancouver seen in the previous blog post, I decided to attempt a quick and easy project.

I had been sitting upon several CASO decal sets for the past decade, and I came upon a trio of Accurail data-only boxcars online for a price I couldn’t pass up.

The end result is below. Between the lettering and light weathering, the project took all of three days including drying time. See for yourself.

Again, the HO modeler’s license premise here is that the NYC continued to invest in the CASO car fleet even after the first 299 cars were rebuilt in the 1940’s. The 139xxx series was vacant on the prototype car roster, so I put it to use. These cars hypothetically could have survived into the late 80’s. More car hire revenue for the old folks who held CASO stock!


By Adrian Telizyn

I used to have a CASO website in the early 2000’s, however raising toddlers and juggling the BCOL trainman’s spareboard determined that ultimate outcome.

My latest foray into online HO Scale modelling all began with a chance encounter with a CASO boxcar at Vancouver BC in their public library online archives from 1948.

In 1941, the Canadian government ordered that 300 boxcars be put into service under the CASO reporting mark. NYC’s shops quickly went to work relettering 299 40 foot boxcars into the 138xxx series.

While the CASO was purchased jointly by CN and CP from Conrail in 1985 and merged out of existence, why not revisit history using a bit of modeler’s license?

Let’s go forward assuming that NYC, PC, and later Conrail, invested in their CASO equipment fleet between WW2 and 1985; the Conrail breakup of 1999 played out a little differently on the Canadian side of the border, and the minority stockholders of the CASO joined the incentive per diem (IPD) boxcar craze of the late 70’s.

Keeping the above in mind, let’s break out the decals, airbrush, and get creative. Next up: Accurail 50 foot PS-1 boxcars in the CASO 139xxx series. Stay tuned. AJT