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Nickel Plate Road
40' ARA Aluminum Express Boxcar


TRUE Limited Editions for the Serious Collector - SM

Nickel Plate Road 40' ARA Aluminum Express Boxcar

Production Model: Nickel Plate Road 40' ARA aluminum Express boxcar with 3-rail trucks.

Another Exclusive from Buffalo Creek Graphics . . .

Nickel Plate Road (NKP)

Aluminum Express Boxcars (40' ARA Boxcar)

  • Buffalo Creek Graphics Founder’s Series #3.
  • Issued in conjunction with the 2007 NKPHTS Convention in Ft. Wayne, Indiana - the home of TrainTown and Berkshire steam locomotive #765.
  • TRUE Limited Edition: only 105 cars produced.
  • Project date: 4-2007.
  • Sold out: 5-23-2008.
  • Accurately modeled in 1:48 O Scale.
  • With roller bearing trucks as per prototype.
  • Custom decorated on Crown / Weaver carbodies for Buffalo Creek Graphics.
  • Prototypically accurate lettering and graphics.
  • Aluminum car body, black lettering and trim.
  • Road numbers 8500, 8507, 8509.
  • Set of three included specially marked convention car.
  • Special box labeling.
  • Certificate of authenticity.



In 1946, the Nickel Plate Road began the modernization of its passenger fleet with the purchase of the now-famous Bluebird Alco PA-1 diesels and new stainless steel coaches and sleepers.

At the same time, the NKP began shopping its diners, diner-lounges, and 80-series coaches at Stoney Island, IL, with the intent of upgrading its passenger service to post-war standards. With the opening of the Calumet, IL, shops in 1948, that rebuilding was moved to the new facility.

The Nickel Plate decided to enhance and expand express service in the new passenger fleet with the construction of ten light weight aluminum boxcars. Since the Frankfort, IN, shops had been upgrading older wooden boxcars with steel sides and new appliances since the end of World War II, this facility was chosen to build these new specialty cars from aluminum parts supplied by Railroad Division of Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA).

Built in 1947, these ten cars were engineered from an Advisory Mechanical Committee (AMC) design that was based on the standard A.R.A. 50-Ton boxcar. The use of the aluminum alloys in the construction of the cars produced a weight saving of approximately 8949 pounds versus the comparable steel prototype.

Additional modifications were made for service high-speed passenger trains, including the use of Timken roller bearings, and the addition of steam and air signal lines. Since the 8500 series cars did not have end doors, their service on passenger trains was limited to the head end, between the locomotives and the passenger cars, or the trailing at the rear of the train. The 8500-8509 cars provided the service for which they were built, but no additional express cars were ever needed or built.

Historical Society


This page is current as of 5.24.2008.

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