Santa Maria Valley Railroad in HO-scale

HO MORX #9204 Reefer

Billboard reefers were the rage in the early 20th century. Regulation #201 from the ICC in 1934 banned the advertisements on freight cars. Compliance was immediate for manufacturing, while existing cars would not be required to be repainted until 1937. The first all-steel reefers coming into service in 1936, signaled the end of wooden reefers, billboard or not. Iced reefers were, however, still in use into the 1970s. 

With this background, I decided to build this kit and weather it as if it had been built before 1934 but was still in service many years later. After the ICC ban, it would have been being used on a captive short line, like my Santa Maria Valley Railroad.

Here is the "billboard" side as supplied in the kit.

IMG 0707

Here is the finished car.

IMG 7955

SMVRR #8 Flat Car


After visiting the Santa Maria Valley Railroad in 2008, I got the idea of building a flat car to model the "benign neglect" I found on some of their rolling stock. Witness MOW #11, that I photographed that day: 

4-18-2008 7-55-05 AM
4-18-2008 7-55-57 AM

I present SMVRR #8, a fantasy car built in their shop from bits and pieces available: redwood decking material, metal angle and plate, and some 100 ton ASF trucks. This car will never leave the railroad, but be used to move large items around the 20 mile short line between its interchange yard with the Southern Pacific at Guadalupe CA and out to its easternmost terminus. Thus, it has none of the traditional reporting marks. It has no stake pockets and the deck has been widened a bit to keep the outside dimension the same as a traditional flat car with external stake pockets.

HO SMVRR #8 Flat Car

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