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All boxes are sealed and it will be a surprise which truck types are included with each set until the box is opened.
At 85′ over the end buffers, these Union Pacific Baggage Cars were certainly full length. In April 2011, Kato released the 11-car City of Los Angeles set which included a single Baggage car 5643.
As always, if you have more information to share about this particular prototype car, or want to share your N scale model or consist information, please let us knows so we can keep this resource up-to-date. Congress enacted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and we must now note that these ARE NOT TOYS, AND ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY CHILDREN UNDER AGE OF 14. The pictures above, and throughout this website, are the property of Zscale Monster Trains.
Many modelers have complained that Accumate couplers tend to “explode,” meaning the coupler knuckle may break free of the truck when under load.
Another point of contention was the fact that the Accumate coupler sticks out further than Micro-Trains trucks. Like the Tichy Train Group’s Fox trucks, Atlas produces some styles available only with the purchase of a full car. On the other end of the spectrum, I have included a few high quality trucks that come included with lower end equipment.
For these photos, I used low-profile wheels from the truck manufacturers whenever possible. For those looking to upgrade your models to a more realistic appearance, here are a few suggestions. For nearly four decades, N scale modelers have had to compromise the look and reliability of their rolling stock with poorly molded, inaccurate trucks.
Special thanks to Athearn, Atlas, Bachmann, BLMA, Micro-Trains and several individuals for providing samples of various truck types.
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Little Bill's drive was used to build the current Model T railcar which is still unnamed but very much appreciated.
The above is a Missouri, Kansas, & Texas inspection car which was powered by a vertical boiler and probably a single cylinder. The Unitah Railway had this cool superintendent's car obviously made from a Model T with a neat chain drive to the rear wheels. And another one from the Uintah Railway, both these cars were 3 foot gauge and great examples of what a dedicated shop crew could do with a little imagination. Parts of this bulletin board may not function unless you enable JavaScript (also called Active Scripting) in your browser.


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Several manufactures offer a wide range of models from the ancient Fox style to the latest Barber S2. They have produced a great many types of trucks covering all eras from the late 1800’s to modern equipment.
Athearn also produced a line of Accumate equipped trucks, but has since started using McHenry couplers in these trucks. Newer Atlas trucks, such as the National C1, Andrews and a redesigned Barber S2 100 ton truck feature a much shorter coupler shank. For example, the single axle International Union of Railways truck included on the Front Runner is not available separately. The friction bearing trucks included with most Life-Like freight cars are actually well detailed, though the flanges are oversized.
If you use Atlas code 55 track products, I recommend using wheel sets from Fox Valley Models. The trucks feature short shank Accumate couplers, which look a lot better than their standard version. Early Bettendorf trucks, commonly known as Bettendorf T for the shape of their cross section have not been produced.
Thanks to many recent additions, we now have the ability to improve the freight trucks on our models. The truck was named Little Bill and he went off the turntable before the crew (I) could catch him and became a kit with lots of broken parts. My friend Jim Cooke built this Brill railbus in HO using a Jordan (Highway miniatures) plastic kit which is unobtainable now. You can distinguish the early 100 ton roller bearing truck from the redesigned truck by the prototypes they represent. BLMA has just introduced beautifully detailed ASF roller bearing trucks in 70 and 100 ton configurations. Not only are these trucks crude and incorrect for much of their equipment, but they are generally unreliable.
In addition, the trucks on the new Bachmann log cars are much improved over their predecessors. Do to the low profile coupler box; these trucks fit the MDC Huskystack as well as most modern tank cars, hoppers and gondolas with little or no modification. I would also love to see a converted roller bearing equipped Bettendorf truck that was a staple of freight cars in the 1970’s. For pictures and a more in-depth history of prototype freight trucks, I recommend reading Jeff Wilson’s article “Modeler’s Guide to Freight Car Trucks” in the December, 2003 issue of Model Railroader.


Atlas has supplied OEM trucks and couplers to several manufacturers such as Deluxe, Walthers and Intermountain while Athearn supplies Exactrail.
Most Athearn trucks are not easily available as parts while Atlas and MTL make great efforts to make most of their trucks available through retail channels.
Likewise, Con-Cor used the same roller bearing trucks in their modern tank cars as they do on their transition area equipment. Intermountain produced a small line of trucks equipped with dummy couplers a few years ago. Many of these cars include the incorrect 70 ton Barber roller bearing trucks by Micro-Trains. This one is a short 40 or so footer and has cooling coils on the roof because it uses distillate to run and it needed to be kept cool in the desert heat. Thus, the cars received a red star under the Railway Express Agency lettering denoting that they were equipped for messenger service. Both Atlas and Athearn produce a true 100 ton roller bearing truck with accurate 36” wheels, though only the Atlas trucks are available through retail channels. The prototype for these trucks date back to the 1860’s and at least one piece of equipment (a Conrail rotary plow) was in active service using these trucks into 2000! Metal wheels are also available from Northwest Short Line and Intermountain, but cost substantially more. I have been known to swap out MTL trucks with proper style Accumate trucks on a Micro-Trains car. She runs great and when Jim takes it to the "club", everybody crowds around to watch her run. One note is Micro-Train’s Barber Roller Bearing truck is a 70 ton model, not the 100 ton variety seen on hopper cars, tankers and intermodal equipment. There are numerous other examples of poor trucks, many dating to the early days of N scale. I often pull the trip pins from my Accumate couplers since I do not use magnetic uncoupling and the trip pins sometimes fall out. While MTL has recently introduced a new 36” wheel set for passenger equipment, they have not yet produced a true 100T freight truck. Many model train manufacturers use Micro-Trains trucks on their equipment, notably Intermountain, Red Caboose, Deluxe, and Huberts. Fortunately, there are higher quality counterparts available to every style manufactured poorly.



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