Athearn Blue BOX Tank Car Kits!

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NP2626

Active Member
#1
I have added a few Athearn Blue Box Kits to my roster and have to say that these kits are very nicely done and build into great freight cars! However, they are almost 1/2 the weight that the NMRA recommends them to be. So, adding weight is paramount to there good running, as String Lining can occur with these cars if they are at the front of the train! Of all the Athearn Blue Box Cars that I have, I have to say I like the tank cars best! I have several petroleum single and triple dome tanks cars and several Chemical Tank Cars, which are my favorite!
 
#2
I don't think that there was a single Blue Box kit made that met NMRA weight standards. I glue pennies inside every one to bring it up to recommended standard. Pennies are a lot cheaper than the A-Line stick-on weights.

Willie
 
#10
I have added a few Athearn Blue Box Kits to my roster and have to say that these kits are very nicely done and build into great freight cars! Of all the Athearn Blue Box Cars that I have, I have to say I like the tank cars best! I have several petroleum single and triple dome tanks cars and several Chemical Tank Cars, which are my favorite!
I like the tank cars too, but have issues through time with the couplers "drooping". I don't think the coupler box cover was designed to handle the relatively heavy Kadee couplers. I've solved the issue in various ways, but don't really like any of those methods I've used. Has anyone else noticed this and if so how have you fixed it?
 
#13
Yes, I end up gluing the boxes shut, this cures the problem; but, makes maintenance a problem.
That was one of my solutions I didn't like. Were yours done with Kadee #5 type with the brass springs, or with the whisker type? I'm now wondering if the extra thickness of the brass spring had something to do with the issue.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#14
Yes, Selector, I used the Kadee Number 5 coupler with the stamped Phosphor Bronze springs. I place the springs so they are atop the coupler. The springs are only .005 thick, so they shouldn't be placing much pressure on the box. Also, the sides of the spring is shorter than the thickness of the coupler shank. I guess it might be worth checking to see if the whisker sprung couplers do a better job in this application. I do make sure that the coupler swings freely from side to side; but, always come back to center. This is one flaw of the design of Athearn's BB Tank cars.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#16
The last tank car I built was a diesel tank for the Southern Pacific. The coupler box had a hollow shaft for the coupler that I could drill out and use a screw to secure the coupler in the box. The box was yellow on the sides and had a newer Santa Fe diesel on the cover. I don't believe I have ever seen an Athearn tank car like this before. I used a screw and cut the screw off on the top of the coupler box and painted the screw's end black, this makes the screw pretty much invisible.
 



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