5 Tips and Tricks for Detailing a Modern Boxcar

Posted by Dustin Bethel on

When it comes to your model railroad layout it's important to note what era you're theme is and consider the important details. Boxcars play a vital role in your layout as they've been used for years to transport goods across North America. When utilizing modern boxcars, it's important to maintain consistency for a realistic railway approach.

Here are five tips and tricks for detailing a modern boxcar:

1.) Reflective Strips - Initially designed to prevent accidents and collisions on unprotected or dimly lit crossings, reflective strips allow for greater visibility at night. It's important to remember this detail when decorating your modern boxcar. 

2.) Reporting Marks - Many railroads and leasing companies now require adding their FRA Reporting Mark over their name and logo. This feature is essential as all equipment is required to display these marks.

3.) End of Train Devices - In the late 80's, End of Train devices became the norm. These are often attached to the air hose of the last car on most freights. Some short lines and industrial railroads don't utilize EOT's, but contain a red flag mounted to the coupler in their place.

4.) Graffiti - While you may desire a classic and clean look... realistically speaking graffiti is a significant detail to consider when it comes to implementing modern boxcars into your model. Many boxcars have experienced some point of tagging along their lifetime and feature some type of artwork on them. 

5.) No Roof Walks - In 1968, Roof Walks were outlawed as they were seen as hazardous. If you're decorating a modern boxcar, do not implement roof walks as it will differ from your model. 


Throughout the years, railroad mandates have changed. When designing your railway model it is important to do your research and stay on track for a consistent model. Are you designing a railway layout? Visit www.allabouttoytrains.com for everything trains! 


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