News: Freight Cars

This report lists freight cars that are available or in the works. This page may also contain detailing parts and other items applicable to these cars. Click photos to visit the web sites.

September 17, 2023

Wizard Water Works Vat Car by B.T.S.

B.T.S. announces the availability of their vat car. The car's design is based on a Central Pacific 1880's drawing. These cars were used to transport any kind of liquid. The kit does not include couplers or trucks, but does include the Wizard Water Works decals. O-scale version shown in the photo.

September 10, 2023

New Freight Car Kits by B.T.S.

B.T.S. announces several new freight cars in S-scale. The McCabe flat car kit is available now. The kits for the others are currently in production.

August 17, 2023

New Freight Car Trucks by Plate C Model Prototypes

The company announces two new 3D-printed S-scale trucks. The package includes a pair of these trucks with nylon axle bearings and brake detail. They are designed to accept wheelsets with 1.270-1.280" axle lengths, such as S-Helper Service's and MTH's.

July 29, 2023

New Freight Cars by Lionel

July 10, 2023

ScaleTrains Delivery Dates Slip

ScaleTrains had previously estimated that the two-bay hopper car would arrive in August 2023, but their web site now shows September 30, 2023. The USRA box car was originally scheduled to arrive around the end of September, but it now shows to be arriving near the end of November, 2023.

June 17, 2023

Introducing Plate C Model Prototypes

Since 2019 Plate C Model Prototypes has been producing a wide variety of 3D-printed products in all scales, except for S, until now. After prompting from several S-scale modelers, the company has added their first two S-scale products, an ASF A-3 100-ton freight car truck, and the unique Taylor caboose truck. Prices shown on their web site are per-pair. The owner of the company has indicated that he is considering producing some of the other trucks he lists in other scales, in S. So, if you see something on their web site that is of interest to you, feel free to contact them.

May 01, 2023

New C&O High-sided Gondola Kits by Pre-Size Model Specialties

The company announces the availability of resin kits of four different versions of this C&O 40-foot, high-sided gondola. The various versions also cover different eras, bought new from 1936 through 1953, these cars remained in service into the 1980s. The kit comes with either angled, radial, or notched ends (the latter in PS or ACF versions). The kits come with everything you need to complete the model, except for trucks and couplers. Instructions are available via their web site, so you can preview them ahead of time. See the web site for close-up photos of the various ends.

April 21, 2023

USRA 40' Rebuilt Steel Box Cars (update) by ScaleTrains

ScaleTrains announces their second S-scale product, which is the 40-foot steel rebuilt box car. According to them, during World War I, the United States Railroad Administration (USRA) ordered 50,000 box cars divided equally with 25,000 40-ton double-sheathed box cars, and 25,000 50-ton single-sheathed cars being built. Steel use was limited, so these cars were built with steel underframes, ends and roofs. The basic car body was constructed of wood. After the war, these cars were well used and the wood bodies were starting to deteriorate. A number of railroad refurbished some of these cars, but since steel was more plentiful, another option was available. The Youngstown Steel Door and the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing companies developed a "kit" with pre-fabricated steel sides and doors that could be placed on the still useful steel underframes. When these wooden cars were rebuilt into full steel cars, the useful lifespan was greatly extended at a cost of about half what a new steel car would be. The first steel conversion was completed in 1933. After that, thousands of cars were rebuilt with the new steel sides and doors. These rebuilt steel sided box cars continued to serve railroads across the country well into the 1960s.

The models will come with hi-rail wheels and couplers factory-installed, and scale wheels and Kadee couplers included in the box. The deadline for placing your guaranteed pre-order is April 25, 2023, and the cars are expected to arrive by early October.

Based on the popularity of the requests for the undecorated fishbelly hoppers, the company adds two undecorated models of the box car from the get-go. The Andrews trucks version represents an older car whose trucks were carried over during the superstructure's rebuilding effort, while the Bettendorf trucks represent newer versions.

Update: ScaleTrains reminds us that Monday is the deadline for pre-ordering these cars.

April 15, 2023

New Loads by Steel Mill Modelers Supply

March 29, 2023

Brass Couplers (update #6 - final) by Inventive Models

Last year, Inventive Models appeared on the scene producing working brass couplers that are based on Sergent Engineering's design (which Frank Sergent put in the public domain when he retired). Inventive Models is owned by Eric Xing, who is based in China. Eric was initially selling these through an eBay store, but ran into some eBay issues, oddly enough because he was selling "too many" of them, according to eBay! (he also makes HO-scale versions). Inventive Models has a web site now, but it is not ready to accept orders yet; it does show the couplers they produce. S-scale modeler John Degnan has been a champion of these couplers (he states that he likes these even better than the last version of the Sergent Engineering S-scale ones) and stands by them. John has been collecting reservations and pre-payments, to make one large purchase from Inventive Models. The deadline for the pre-orders has come and gone.

Update #1: John got an update on the price, and they are $7.95 for a pair. This is no small effort, as John now reports well over 450 pair are reserved!

Update #2: John is now reporting that he has received reservations for a total of over 700 pair of couplers! He is also asking that you contact him with your shipping/mailing address for when the couplers arrive. You can also start sending him your payment for your reservations. He accepts checks, money orders, and PayPal. Contact him to make arrangements for his mailing address or PayPal e-mail address. John will hold all the moneys received in his PayPal account, which he will use to make the final payment to Inventive Models. He plans to formally place the order with Inventive Models on March 31, 2023. He requests that you get your payments in to him by March 23, 2023, as it takes time to transfer moneys to PayPal.

Update #3: Inventive Models now offers a variant of the AAR type E coupler that has a top linkage pin type of uncoupling mechanism (see the fourth photo). These are available at $11.75 per pair. The minimum quantity to order has already been met based on reservations received by John, so these are a "go"! If you have already placed your reservation with John and would like to change your reservations to some or all of these types, please contact John.

Update #4: Inventive Models now also offers a variant of the AAR type E coupler that has a bottom linkage pin type of uncoupling mechanism. These are available at $8.55 per pair. The minimum quantity to order has already been met based on reservations received by John, so these are a "go"! If you have already placed your reservation with John and would like to change your reservations to some or all of these types, please contact John. John reports that there are now 895 pair reserved for the $7.95 ones, 120 for the $8.55 ones, and 139 for the $11.75 ones.

(note that the $7.95 version does not come with either the upper or lower linkage detail)
(note that the top linkages are not magnetic; according to John the locking mechanism is not magnetic)

Update #5: Inventive Models has announced that they will blacken the brass coupler for an additional charge of $0.20 per pair of couplers (see the fifth photo). If you would like to "upgrade" your pre-order with John, contact him and let him know how many of your pre-order you would like to have blackened. If you have already sent him your payment, you can send him an additional payment for the 20-cents-per-pair upgrade.

Update #6: John has officially closed the pre-order window for these couplers. He sent a summary statement, indicating a total of 1,391 pair of couplers (of different configurations) were ordered, for a total of $11,596.15.

Addendum: the above is for the couplers only. If you are in need of compatible gearboxes, Smoky Mountain Model Works has those available, now, in kit form (see second and third photos). Two different styles are available (to match your rolling stock's centersill), and they come in four different colors each. Each package contains enough parts for 5 pair of couplers.

March 28, 2023

Barber Trucks by Smoky Mountain Model Works

Jim King wants to remind us that he has a number of S-scale trucks available.

March 25, 2023

MILW Short Rib 40' Box Car Kit by Smoky Mountain Model Works

A while back, Jim King, owner of Smoky Mountain Model Works, released the Milwaukee Road "Long Rib" 40' box car kit. It easily met his minimum order quantity to justify his time and efforts in producing that kit.

His focus is now on the short rib version. Many people have pre-paid for their order of this kit (many ordered and paid for both the long and short rib versions at the same time). However, over the intervening months a number of people have dropped off the list for these cars (deaths and leaving S or the hobby). This has left Jim with fewer orders for these cars than what he normally sets as his minimum for these kits. As we are all painfully aware, at the same his costs for acquiring the raw materials for producing these kits is increasing at an alarming rate. Jim is committed to honoring to fullfil all of the pre-paid orders, but he would like to ask those of you whom have been on the fence about whether or not to get this kit to please contact him and place your reservation.

The kit comes with decals and the trucks, and includes the full instructions on how to build it. Having built several of Jim's kits, these are enjoyable projects and yield a very accurate model when completed.
Start an e-mail message.

March 16, 2023

Transformer Loads by Yelton Models

Two new freight car loads are available from this company. These are 3D-printed, unpainted models.

March 12, 2023

TTCX Flat Car Kit with Containers by Pre-Size Model Specialties

The company announces a brand new kit. The TTX built almost 6,000 of these flat cars starting in 1964. From 1984 to 1989 over 1,300 were converted to TTCX and VTTX cars designed to carry three 20' containers, or one 20' and one 40' container. The kit consists of a cast-resin frame and container brackets, grab irons, brake details, and decals. Also included in the kit are one 20' and one 40' container. The kit does not come with trucks or couplers.

Separately, the company also announces the archbar trucks. Pre-Size Model Specialties is importing these from Miniatures from the North in Canada, thereby saving U.S. customers the hassle of border delays and high shipping costs. The trucks are 3D-printed in black resin with nylon bearing inserts. They are sprung and equalizing. The springs are black. The wheels are machined stainless steel, code 110, blackened. Assembly is required.

March 09, 2023

Sn3 Southern Pacific Gondola Kit by Portland Locomotive Works

The company announces the plan for producing these kits later this year. The On3 version will be released first, and then the Sn3 one. The kit comes with 3D-printed end sills, needle beans, grab irons, stakes, and bolsters. The kit will include the correct trucks, but the modeler will need to provide their own wheelsets.

March 02, 2023

An Update from ScaleTrains

The ScaleTrains' Product Support Manager, Mark, announced that the fishbelly hopper has met their minimum order requirements, so the project is a "go". This means that all of us who pre-ordered our cars are assured their receipt sometime in the summer. The other three items they have recently been showing (two box cars and the extended-vision caboose) are in the works, and the expected announcement date, as stated by Mark, is largely dependent on the company's workload.

February 24, 2023

Undecorated Two-bay Hopper by ScaleTrains

The people at ScaleTrains have shown that they do listen to their customers' requests, and so they have announced that their first production run of the S-scale peaked-end fishbelly two-bay hopper will include an undecorated version. You can place your reservations on their web site.

February 18, 2023

Railway Car Parts by New Zealand Finescale

The New Zealand company has added a good number of items, some of which may be of use outside of the NZR. Only some are highlighted here; view the web site for additional parts.

February 15, 2023

Hatches for Covered Hoppers

Mike Fyten has designed these square hatches for covered hoppers, specifically for an ACF 70-ton cement hopper. These style of hatches are also applicable to the S-Helper Service PS-2 covered hoppers. They measure a scale 36 inches square and are 5 inches tall. Mike is offering a set of 8 of these 3D-printed hatches for $10 with free shipping. Contact Mike via e-mail to make arrangements, if you are interested in one or more sets of these. (right-click on the photos to be able to view larger versions).
Start an e-mail message.

January 29, 2023

Logging Disconnects by Jason's Brass Poles

Jason's Brass Poles has always only been reachable via postal mail or e-mail. They recently posted on one of the S-scale Facebook forums, and the company now has a Facebook page, and they have an eBay store (S-scale items are intermixed with their other scales' offerings). On it they announced the new S-scale standard-gauge logging car disconnects.

January 28, 2023

Big News for S by ScaleTrains

First, ScaleTrains officially adds S-scale to their list of scales that they carry.

Second, ScaleTrains will be releasing the S-scale product line under the brand name "S-Helper Service" to honor the originator of their product line, which was started and run by Don Thompson and Michael Ferraro.

Third, they now show their first S-scale product to be the two-bay, peaked-end, fishbelly hopper cars. There are six cars announced for which they have a reduced-price, pre-order deadline of February 27, 2023, with a delivery date expected by the end of August 2023. Their web site photos show hi-rail couplers, and the product description states that scale wheels and couplers are included in the box. This is the same approach that S-Helper Service took back in the day. On ScaleTrains' web site, be sure to click on their photos to see the high-resolution ones.

Their Amherst train show display also showed pre-production box cars and the extended-vision caboose.

Let's all support this company in their efforts to support our favorite scale.

January 18, 2023

Sn3 Freight Car Kits by Leadville Designs

December 09, 2022

Air Hose w/Angle Cock & Glad Hand by Model Railroad Resource 3D Division

Dan Dawdy announces these resin, flexible air hoses. This is a 12-pack, enough for 6 cars.

December 07, 2022

Barber S-2 50-ton Truck with Spring Planks by Smoky Mountain Model Works

Jim King announces his latest, never before seen in S-scale, Barber truck with spring planks. This truck is suitable for the Milwaukee ribside box cars produced by Smoky Mountain Model Works of which the long-rib body kits shipped earlier this year, and their short-rib body is in the design stage. Jim notes that customers who ordered trucks with the long-rib body kit, will be receiving them soon. This truck was a very common one that ran under all types of 40- and 50-ton cars from 1939 into the 1980s.

December 05, 2022

New Loads by Multiscale Digital

Multiscale Digital has moved their online store from their own web site to the Dutch Shapeways site, but in the process they have added a large number of new items to their S-scale line-up. All links to their store have been updated on this web site. Remember that these are large components, suitable for transport on flat cars or gondolas.

October 25, 2022

NP 60-foot Experimental Box Car Kit by All-Nation Line

All-Nation Line is a brand name of Conductor Railway Hobbies, LLC, which operates out of Pennsylvania. They are primarily an O-scale kit manufacturer, but they have produced this unique S-scale kit. This double-door 60-foot box car was a Northern Pacific experimental less-than-carload car from around 1920. The model is based on an original Red Ball kit produced in O-scale that All-Nation Line has converted to S-scale. The original kit was designed by Merle Rice of Wabash Valley Lines, Inc (later Model RR Warehouse) fame. The kit is essentially a duplication of the original kit pieces, except 3D-printed plastic parts make up the kit instead of the original wood. The kit consists of the roof, floor, side panels, ends, doors, roofwalk, bolsters, coupler mounts, corner posts, and channels. It does not include detailing parts, trucks, couplers, nor decals. If you want to see what you are in for, visit the web site for the link to the instruction sheets. Thanks goes to Tom Lennon who made me aware of this kit, and he says he is building one of these kits right now.

October 24, 2022

NASG CNR Annual Cars Preview

Joe Calamia of American Models showed a brief video on the S Scale Facebook page where it shows how each step of the printing process adds something more to the model. This a screen capture of that video showing a 2022 NASG Annual Car in production. Right-click on the image to show a larger version.

October 11, 2022

Brake Parts by Model Railroad Resource 3D Division

Dan Dawdy, of the S Scale Resource magazine and the NASG Dispatch editor, announces the availability of S-scale products in their 3D-printing division.

October 11, 2022

Proposed Coupler Box by Smoky Mountain Model Works

Jim King is proposing producing a coupler box/lid combo to fit the San Juan Evolution coupler. If you use these couplers, and you wish to see more details in your coupler boxes (rivet detail with coupler key, key pin, riveted bottom plate, and a lid with riveted bulkhead), then contact Jim via e-mail and let him know of your interest in this project.
Start an e-mail message.

October 05, 2022

U-channel Centersill Coupler Box by Smoky Mountain Model Works

Jim King is announcing the "U-channel" shape coupler box that was the basis for freight car design starting in the 40s. The U-channel style replaced the older "paired C-channels" used on wood-sheathed house cars and gondolas. The part is available for Kadee S-scale couplers as well as the Sergent-based couplers.

Product Gallery