In the beginning, American railway equipment followed British practices. But the open gondola, which remained the basic British merchandise car for over a century, was not as well suited to American needs. Whereas Britain’s mild climate and coke-burning engines made it possible to transport freight in open cars, covered with a tarp when necessary, American winters were much harsher, distances traveled were greater, and wood-burning American engines threw off sparks that ignited unprotected goods.
Thus the covered merchandise car, or box car, became the archetypal American freight car, transporting everything from boxed goods to grain to automobiles. Our model represents the typical box car of the late 1800s, with a length around 34’, wooden underframe with metal truss rods, and arch bar trucks.
High quality, traditionally sized RailKing Freight Cars provide detailed bodies and colorful paint schemes for the O Gauge railroader. MTH makes an enormous variety of RailKing Freight Cars, including many different car types and roadnames. No matter what era or part of the country you are modeling, RailKing is sure to have something for you.