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N Scale - Bluford Shops - 86391 - Boxcar, 85 or 86 Foot, Auto Parts - Detroit Toledo & Ironton

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N Scale - Bluford Shops - 86391 - Boxcar, 85 or 86 Foot, Auto Parts - Detroit Toledo & Ironton Image Courtesy of Bluford Shops


Brand Bluford Shops
Stock Number 86391
Manufacturer Bluford
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Bluford Box Car 86 Foot Auto Parts Double Door
Prototype Boxcar, 85 or 86 Foot, Auto Parts (Details)
Road or Company Name Detroit Toledo & Ironton (Details)
Reporting Marks DTI
Paint Color(s) Dark Green with Aluminum Doors
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type Generic Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 86 Foot
Model Variety Auto Parts Double Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Detroit Toledo & Ironton -Cypress Green 86391 single car; 86392 2-Pack. DT&I received 258 of these cars painted cypress green from Pullman Standard in two groups in 1965 and 1966. As you would expect from a group this large, they were assigned to several different plants both on an off the DT&I.

Prototype History:
The three major automobile manufacturers in the United States, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, each developed specifications in the 1960s for specially built boxcars to transport automobile parts (not actual cars). They stated, if you build this type of car, your will be welcome to pick up and drop off parts at our plants. Thousands of these cars were built in the 1960s and 1970s. Three railcar manufacturers, Greenville, Pullman-Standard and Thrall took up the challenge and constructed 86 foot boxcars.

These cars are not only distinctive for their length (86 foot, also listed as 85 foot) but also for the fact that they were designed for a post-roofwalk world so they took advantage of the fact they didn't need to leave room for the roofwalk and instead are simply built taller. Hence they are considered High-Cube cars. They come in two major varieties: 8-door and 4-door. The eight door types were typically made for use at GM plants and have two sets of 9 foot doors on each side. When these doors are full opened, they created a pair of 18 foot opening on each side of the car. Their 4-door sisters, as specified by Ford and Chrysler, had one pair of 10 foot doors centered on each side, permitting a 20 foot opening.

As containers gradually replaced these cars for use in the auto industry, many were re-purposed for use in other industries that involve low-density commodities such as scrap paper.

Road Name History:
The DT&I was born in 1905 with the sale and reorganization of the Detroit Southern Railroad. Beginning in Detroit, the DT&I carved a huge northwest to southeast arc around western Ohio, serving Lima (like the bean, not Peru), Springfield, Jackson, and finally the Ohio River port of Ironton on the Kentucky border. Toledo was reached via a short segment of trackage rights on the Ann Arbor.

In 1920, as part of a complicated solution to realigning a shipping channel that served Henry Ford’s River Rouge plant, Ford bought the DT&I. The Ford years brought a ban on facial hair, uniform white hats and an expectation that crews keep their overalls clean and tidy. He also strung catenary and bought heavy electric locomotives for a 17 mile line segment between his River Rouge plant and Carolton, Michigan. During this period, the DT&I closed for business on Sundays. In 1929, Ford sold the line to Pennroad Corporation, a holding company affiliated with the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The steam fleet of the DT&I was a pretty homely lot. 2-8-0s and Russian Decapods were the kings of the road for the first few decades. As the tide of traffic turned from coal and minerals from the south end of the line to automobiles from the north end of the line, DT&I went to Lima Locomotive Works for faster stronger 2-8-4 Berkshires. Although the DT&I Berks were light and stumpy by Berkshire standards, they were a bit too much for DT&I’s physical plant so their final steam orders were for very heavy Mikados ( 20 tons heavier than USRA Heavy Mikes.) By 1955, they had completely dieselized with 37 EMD GP7’s and GP9’s setup for short hood forward operation (interesting given their ties to the Pennsylvania Railroad who preferred long hood forward operation) and 24 various EMD switchers.

The DT&I diesel fleet has always been solid orange but the logo on the long hood was smaller and more reserved in the 1950s. Second generation diesels included 8 GP35’s, 21 GP38’s, 6 GP40’s, 5 SD38’s (used in hump service,) 8 GP38-2’s, and 20 GP40-2’s. Features included a general lack of dynamic brakes and nose mounted gong style bells (a feature familiar to fans of Chicago & North Western.)

The freight car fleet was very, very colorful. Often, special colors were used to identify groups of cars for large customers. Ocean blue boxcars were for General Mills, Army green went to a paper mill on the Soo Line, yellow went to Campbell Soup, and of course, the auto parts cars which came in sky blue, cypress green, and magenta.

In 1963, and with control having been passed from Pennroad to The Pennsylvania Company (another holding company at arms length from the PRR,) the DT&I gained control of the Ann Arbor from their parent Wabash, turning the AA orange. This was part of the complicated arrangements made in the run up to the Penn Central merger. PRR needed to end their control of Wabash but wanted to hold onto DT&I and Ann Arbor. DT&I control ended in 1973 when AA declared bankruptcy.

In 1976, the DT&I was profitable even though parent Penn Central was in bankruptcy. Therefore DT&I was not included in the Conrail consolidation. In fact Conrail gave DT&I trackage rights on their lines from Springfield to Cincinnati, which gave DT&I even more Ohio River access as well as friendly connections with Southern and Louisville & Nashville. Meanwhile, The Pennsylvania Company, stripped of its Penn Central parent, put the DT&I up for sale. Grand Trunk Western offered to buy it and Chessie and N&W offered to jointly buy it. The ICC went with Grand Trunk Western and the sale was completed in 1980. Some locomotives were painted in GTW blue and red but with DT&I logos. In 1983, the DT&I officially merged into GTW.

Brand/Importer Information:
Bluford Shops began in 2007 as a side project of two model railroad industry veterans, Craig Ross and Steve Rodgers. They saw a gap between road names available on N scale locomotives but not available on cabooses. They commissioned special runs of Atlas cabooses in Atlantic Coast Line, Central of Georgia, Monon, Boston & Maine and Southern plus runs on Grand Trunk Western and Central Vermont on the MDC wooden cabooses. While these were in process, they began to develop their first all new tooling project, 86' Auto Parts Boxcars in double door and quad door editions in N scale. By January of 2008, Bluford Shops became a full time venture. Along with additional N scale freight cars and their own tooling for new cabooses, they have brought their own caboose line to HO scale. They also have their popular Cornfields in both HO and N. The future looks bright as they continue to develop new products for your railroad.

The town of Bluford in southern Illinois featured a small yard on Illinois Central's Edgewood Cutoff (currently part of CN.) The yard included a roundhouse, concrete coaling tower (which still stands) and large ice house. Reefer trains running between the Gulf Coast and Chicago were re-iced in Bluford. Things are more quiet now in Bluford with the remaining tracks in the yard used to stage hoppers for mines to the south and store covered hoppers. Intersecting the IC line in Bluford is Southern Railway's (currently NS) line between Louisville and St. Louis. Traffic on this single track line remains relatively heavy.

Item created by: gdm on 2017-05-02 12:05:08

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