White Boxcars

White LVRR boxcars are one of the most controversial subjects among LVRR modelers, perhaps right up there with “What color was Cornell Red?” Model manufacturers continue to bring out white 40 ft LVRR boxcars of questionable accuracy, but I’ve seen documentation for only one “standard” 40 ft car in revenue service. Here’s a list of all the white LVRR boxcars that I know of.

LV 62545, a 40ft PS-1, with a 7 ft, 7 panel door, was painted white overall in June 1963 as an experiment, and put into service. It’s not clear if any other cars in this series (62500-62999) were ever painted white. Herald King B-850 has the correct lettering for this car.

LV 62082, a 40 ft PS-1 in series 62000-62499, was also painted white overall, but according to Bossler’s book, it was converted for salt service, with roof hatches and floor chutes. Was it painted white when it was modified? I’ve never seen any documentation to support other white cars in this series. The lettering on this car is a different style from 62545, similar to the white lettering style used on the green 40 ft boxcars in series 65000-65124 and 66000-66524, but not as bold. As far as I know there are no commercial decals for it. Besides the color photo in Bossler’s book, there is a b&w photo of this car in Model Railroader, Sept. 2000, p. 37.

Another 40 ft boxcar had a panel installed in the door opening, and one side was painted white with a huge (and somewhat fanciful) LV system map in black with red lettering. Ends and roof were black, and the other side was also painted black. This car was used as a movable billboard, and was never used in revenue service in this paint scheme. The map car was numbered LV 97455 in white on the black end panels, but had no reporting marks on the sides. It probably came from series 62000-62499. No decals are available for this car. Several manufacturers have issued painted models, but none of them have the door opening paneled over flush with the car sides, as on the prototype, and clearly shown in a photo in Bossler’s book, page 126.

LV 7050-7053, 50 ft plug door boxcars, were originally leased as NIRX 41000-41003 in 1963, but were renumbered into the LV series in 1965. Bossler has a photo of 7050 on page 88, showing that it was all white. I don’t know if the other three cars in the series were also all white. Bossler notes that 7050 was repaired after a wreck, and the all-white scheme may have been applied to this one car only. Accurail’s #5800 (undec) 50 ft welded plug door kit is very close, except for the door, which has only one set of bars. Lettering is very similar to LV 62545, so Herald King B-850 decals may be usable, but Accurail is listing a Lehigh Valley paint scheme as a future release. Athearn’s #1329 (undec) 50 ft plug door kit, which was the previous choice, has riveted sides and has grabirons instead of ladders on the left end.

The original NIRX 41000-41003, according to Walthers decal sheet #60-45, had white sides, green ends and black roofs. IHC has produced a model of NIRX 41000 painted in this scheme. However, I’ve never seen a prototype photo to support this, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this scheme. Both the Walthers decal sheet and the IHC model use the same lettering style, which is different from the lettering used on the repainted LV 7050. Again, Accurail’s #5800 50 ft plug door kit is a reasonable stand-in, using the Walthers decal sheet #60-45, or use the IHC model if you don’t mind Talgo trucks and a generally lower standard of production.

LV 7100-7139 was a series of 50 ft insulated outside braced plug door cars built by PRR to their X58 design that were painted white with black roofs and ends. A photo of 7112 appeared in FD&S Vol. 10 No. 4, page 12, and a photo of 7113 (badly weathered by 1984) is on George Elwood’s Fallen Flags web site. Athearn’s #1343 is not really accurate, but is a “good-enough” representation of this series until a more accurate X58 becomes available. The black side sill should be painted white. You could also start with an Athearn 1336 (undec) and use Herald King B-852 decals provide the markings. Accurail #5256 (LV 7124) has the wrong number of panels & posts, but a better plug door than Athearn’s. Bachmann’s #17927 (LV 7120) bears little resemblance to the prototype. As far as N scale models,  click here for a review on the ESM  N-Scale Lehigh Valley 50 ft. insulated boxcar.

LV 8200-8259, a series of 50 ft uninsulated PRR-built X58B outside braced plug door cars, were also painted white with black roofs and ends, and are illustrated in Bossler’s book (LV 8208) as well as in FD&S Vol 10 No. 4 (LV 8202) and FD&S Vol 10 Nos 1&2 (LV 8234). A photo of LV 8243 can be found on the Fallen Flags web site. They can be modeled the same as series 7100-7139.

Click here for a paint/lettering diagram for 7100 & 8200 series boxcars.

LV 7113 by Tom Haag

Using the Rail Yard Models resin kit (released in late 2005), Tom Haag built, painted and weathered it as LV 7113. All of the details are included in the kit, many as photoetched brass parts, along with complete decals for both the 7100 series RBLs and 8200 series XLs.

LV 8208 by Tom Winlow

Scan by Tom Winlow

Tom Winlow started with an Athearn #1343 LV 50ft white boxcar. He removed the roofwalk and carved off the cast on grabs, replacing them with styrene rod. The black band along the lower edge has been oversprayed with Polyscale Reefer White and some additional decals have been added to match the photo on page 12 of FD&S Vol 10 as closely as possible. The weathering is a combination of artist’s watercolor and chalks, followed by Dullcote.

If readers can supply more info about LVRR’s white boxcars, I’ll be glad to add it to this compilation.

– Ed Schaller (with several updates from Joe Zyla)

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