TSG MOW Boxcars, Water & Ballast Cars

TSG MOW Boxcars, Water & Ballast Cars

As I’ve stated in previous posts, a few years ago I painted some N scale equipment for our fictitious Tuscany & Sabine Grove railroad.  I envision the T&SG as a small but prosperous and well-maintained shortline operating somewhere in California.  Every railroad has to maintain its track.  Since I wanted my fictitious railroad to seem believable, some maintenance-of-way equipment would be essential.

MOW boxcars can be put to a variety of uses.  MOW tank cars are often used to carry potable water for work crews.  MOW ballast cars carry gravel to spread on the track in places that need additional ballast.

The two boxcars on both ends of the main picture are Micro-Trains models.  The other two are from Atlas.

TSG MOW Boxcars, Water & Ballast Cars

Tuscany & Sabine Grove

TSG 568 and 569 MW (MOW Boxcars)

Both of these cars are essentially identical.  They started out as Micro-Trains dimensional data boxcars.  That means that they had no railroad name or number, but came stenciled with capacity, load limit, and other typical freight car data.

I had originally lettered these cars for a previous freelanced railroad.  I don’t model that line anymore.  Instead of re-lettering the cars completely I decided on a different approach.  Shortline railroads on a budget often buy used equipment.  Painting isn’t always a big priority.  This is especially true for maintenance-of-way cars.

“Patching” is a quick and dirty way for a railroad to put its reporting marks on a piece of equipment with minimal painting.  To simulate this I blacked out the old reporting marks and part of the old number with black decal film.  Then I used some Microscale alphabet decals to add the “T&SG”.

Even the reporting mark is an attempt to give these cars a sense of history.  “T&SG” is old school.  Newer equipment lacks the ampersand and is just “TSG”.  So these cars have probably been around a while.

Some white Microscale maintenance-of-way decals label these MOW boxcars as tool and material cars.  I like how that lettering is whiter than the faded old roadname still painted on the side.

TSG 600 MW (Tank Car)

This car is a stock Atlas tank car.  I bought it undecorated and painted it in TSG MOW gray.  I used Microscale decals for the markings.  The reporting marks were done with an alphabet sheet.

The car is stenciled “For Potable Water Service Only”.  It still needs some weathering.

TSG 327 MW (Ballast Car)

This is another Atlas car.  I got an undecorated Hart ballast car and painted it in the same TSG MOW gray as the tank car.  It also has Microscale decals.  This car is also too clean right now.

All four of these cars have Micro-Trains trucks and InterMountain metal wheels.


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