Vintage N Scale Rolling Stock

Atlas (Rivarossi) 40’ Single Sheathed Box Car–


Yes, I know this isn’t a B&M car (or even from a North-Eastern road) but it sure is neat, at least in my book.  I found out about this car after I mistakenly stated that early N scale manufacturers only seemed to make locomotives and rolling stock for the major Class I players of the time.  An astute Trainboard member pointed to this car and a few others to show that, while limited, there was some interesting diversity in the early days; in fact this car is part of what is known as Atlas 1st Generation (1).  I knew I had to get a copy for my collection just for the sake of it.

The Chicago & Illinois Midland didn’t actually operate around Chicago but rather in the middle of the Illinois around the capital of Springfield, north to Peoria and, via Illinois Central trackage, to destinations south.  The railroad was originally a Class I generating most of its revenue from moving coal, but was later reclassified as a shortline and in 1996 it was bought by the large shortline operator Genesee & Wyoming.  I have never seen a picture of a Chicago & Illinois Midland car on the B&M, but I am willing to fudge things a bit to add some contrast in my freight consists.

At any rate this is an Atlas/Rivarossi 40 foot wood box car, sometimes called single sheathed, sometimes called outside braced.  Apparently these N scale models are pretty common and not very popular, largely due to detail (I guess).  I found this one on eBay this past week for about $8.00 shipped to my door, which I consider a reasonable enough price for something unique (if not particularly rare) from the early days.

Historical Information:

Chicago & Illinois Midland did in fact own 40 foot single sheathed box cars designed by the Mather Stock Car Company, however I couldn’t establish how many or any particular special features.  If this Atlas model were based on a Mather car then it would have had to have been through some sort of rebuilding process due to the riveted, corrugated, metal roof that was not found on the original Mather cars.  In addition it appears that the herald should be centered on the door, rather than on the body its self.

(1) Abbreviated as “A1G”, Atlas’ 1st generation of N scale production basically lasted until the late 1960s and early 1970s.  There is an excellent A1G website/resource to be found at:


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One response to “Vintage N Scale Rolling Stock”

  1. Jonathan Caswell says :

    i used to have one of these…until I gave away most of my equipment.

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