Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wordy Wednesday - Delaware & Hudson 36-foot Double Sheathed Box Car D&H 23659

Al Armitage photo, late 1940s
Delaware & Hudson 23659 is highlighted in “Wordy Wednesday” for several reasons. Foremost, it is an extremely interesting car. For modelers of the postwar era into the 1950s, finding 36-foot box cars to model is always a challenge (I will present a subsequent post covering a roster of some of my favorite early 1950s 36-foot box car modeling possibilities). When the Canadian Fowler patent single sheathed cars are excepted, the field of 36-foot candidates shrinks markedly, particularly for West Coast modelers. These D&H cars are suitable subjects for modeling, as many were still around in the early 1950s.

The prototypes were acquired in 1907, 2,800 cars in total. They were progressively rebuilt between 1924 and 1936. Improvements included Hutchins Dry Lading roofs, new ends (indented Hutchins) or refurbishing of the composite or facsimiles of the ‘Indestructible’ ends, replacement trucks, AB schedule brakes (eventually), Ajax power hand brakes to most cars, if not all, and Wine ladders. 

The other main reason for profiling these cars is that they are unusual prototypes, but would not be extremely difficult to replicate through judicious use of kitbashing and/or scratchbuilding. One could either scratchbash the models using an Accurail 1300 or 1700-series car as the starting point* or scratchbuild most of the model. Either means would yield an attractive result.

My plan is to model one of the cars following the latter approach. I will scratchbuild most components, fabricating the sides, ends (‘Indestructible’ as shown in the photo), and underframe and use a spare resin casting of a Hutchins Dry Lading roof. I will chronicle my efforts for publication in some medium. Decals will be made available for those wishing to collaborate virtually.

*I seem to remember that years ago John Nehrich kitbashed at least one of these cars using an MDC model as the starting point. I have a copy of the article somewhere and once I locate it, I will publish a separate post with the details. I think it was in Railroad Model Craftsman and I believe it included drawings, likely from the late Chuck Yungkurth.


  1. Hello Ted,
    There is an article about the cars, but no drawings in the November 1987 issue of RMC. The construction article is in the December 1987 issue.
    Jamie Bothwell

  2. I briefly covered these cars in my talk at Cocoa Beach. Remember there is one still extant in the RR Museum of Pennsylvania at Strasburg.

  3. The Nehrich construction article, featuring an extensive kitbash of the MDC 36 ft DS boxcar, appeared in the December 1987 issue of RMC. The Chuck Yungkurth drawings were published in the November 1987 issue.

  4. I'd buy a few sets for my Funaro & Camerlengo kits, with either slogan. I'm looking to model the early to mid-Fifties in the Albany area, when plenty of the D&H's oddball wooden and early steel cars were kicking around.

  5. Can't this be built from the F&C 3400 series kits? I covered the 36 ft cars briefly in my clinic at Cocoa Beach.


Comments always welcome!