On my layout sits the Harrison-Switzer Milling Co. Given my modeled year of 1955, grain arrives via boxcar. I lettered a quartet of cars as being leased by the company owning the mill from my St. Louis & Belleville Electric.

Since the cars were from Athearn with the requisite operating doors, I decided to add grain loads. When bulk grain shipped by boxcar, grain doors were placed within the door openings of boxcars, usually reaching about halfway up the opening, to prevent the grain from spilling prematurely. Most grain doors consisted of wood, although cardboard braced with boards also saw usage.

First I lettered the cars with decals produced using Microsoft Word and also Champ data sets, which I secured using Testor’s Dull Cote. I then made grain doors. I scribed part of the cardboard liner from one of the Athearn boxes every six scale inches using an X-acto knife. Since the door openings were six scale feet wide and nine scale feet high, I cut the doors nine scale feet long and four and a half high. My seven-year-old daughter, Maggie, painted the doors brown for me, and I installed them inside the openings using industrial grade rubber cement.

Boxcars - YouTube

Doing My Time - The Boxcars - YouTube

Posted by 2018 article