• Boxcar color schemes

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by chnaus
How many schemes did the A&A have over the
years, on its boxcars.
I have photos of two blue , one red and an orange one.

Any photos online anywhere ??

  by Benjamin Maggi
I am only aware of those schemes myself, but will check my stash of research materials to see if I can dig up the answer. Since most photos are black and white, though, they will not likely be conclusive. I am pretty sure that the ones you mentioned are the only ones. I am not even sure I remember the red scheme, just the orange and the baby-blue ones. Anyways, will look into it.

  by BSOR Patarak
The A&A had the three styles in their "modern" age. I use the term modern to describe the operations after 1960.

The first series was numbered 401-413. They were ex B&O's, AAR type B100 'XP'. They were purchased in 1967 and were off the equipment registers by 1970. However, 8 of them survived on the A&A at Reisdorf's Mill being used for storage. One was moved to Arcade to house a wooden water tower. Two others have been moved to Orchard Park by the WNYRRHS and are being repainted into their B&O scheme. The A&A had these painted a bright redish orange with black ends and roofs. They had thin black letters and minimal markings.


The second series was the 501-509 series. These are the ones most popularly modeled. They were the orange and white cars with large ARA on the sides and marked "Serving Arcade Industry". These were leased cars to serve the Borden's factory at Arcade. These disappeared off of the equipment registers by 1974


The final series of cars were the powder blue cars, numbered 510-523. These were purchased outright by the A&A, also for use at Bordens. These were similar to the orange and white series except that they had narrow doors. Borden's did not like these as well as it was tough to get the fork lifts into and out of the car for loading/unloading. #522 became the A&A's work flat car by being cut down. Many of the others survived around Western New York as storage cars. Two are currently at Hamburg on the BSOR (517/518) and two at Springville (510/515) behind the Ice Cream shop/station. These were removed from the equipment registers by 1974 also.


Pat Connors
Last edited by BSOR Patarak on Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by BSOR Patarak
The A&A also rostered wooden refers from 1918 up until around 1933. The first set was numbered 6,7,8,9 with later ones becoming 106-109. Several of these cars survived longer for use online. The last two were sold for scrap in 1955. Anyone know any more about these? I'd be curious to see Equipment Register entries for the various years to verify numberings.

The numbering scheme on the A&A seems to have gone as follows:
Single digits - Used on the steam locomotives 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
There also were some flat cars numbered 1-5 for the first few years.
They then adopted an equipment numbering sceme sometime in the 1920's.

Freight cars started at 100, with 100-104 being flat cars. The wooden refers came in next as mentioned above.

Gons for log loading were numbered 201-213 (from 1922-1930)

Coaches 301, 302; Caboose 303 and 304
(and then later the Lackawanna cars used in the modern era 305-312, and gon #300)

Box Cars 401-413
Box Cars 501-509 and 510-523

If anyone can fill in any more details, please let me know.

  by chnaus
Do you know the heritage of the wooden boxcar that sat near the
enginehouse for many years.60's-70's. It was a faded,weathered green.


  by thebigham
Thanks, Pat, for all the info and pictures.

  by BSOR Patarak
The green wooden box car is a bit of a mystery. I thought I've heard it mentioned that the car came with 18 and had parts in it. Perhaps side rods? Also, the A&A got some of the wooden patterns for castings for the locomotive. These may also have been it. Supposedly the A&A emptied it and tried to return it, but it was rejected...perhaps because of age. So, they ended up with the orphan and used it for storage.

For a time, the car sat next to the old fuel tank along route 98. Ed Lewis put together a period freight car display. This included the fireless cooker from Dunlop Tire, N. Tonawanda, the green car, the plow and one of the A&A's wooden cabooses.

From an early picture of the car, it appears to have reporting marks of AAMX. The number is either 7002 or 2002. It has a built date of 12/1918. (the picture is fuzzy, it could also be 2/1918. There are other dimensions listed, one being a CU FT of 3398.

If anyone has any more information on this car it would be greatly appreciated.

  by BSOR Patarak
The wooden refers were painted a canary yellow with black trim and letters. Here is a picture of #108:

Last edited by BSOR Patarak on Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Mountcastle
Holy baby blue boxcars, Batman! Somehow, that's a revelation to me. Or if I knew about them before, I've since forgotten.

At any rate, pardon me for reviving a really old topic thread, but I have a question about the reddish orange boxcars (the 400 series): it's difficult to tell from the posted image if there's any lettering on the right side of the car; is there? I can only clearly make out the 'ARA' and the number beneath it (and below the number, the small-print specifications) on the left of the car. It looks like there may be something on the right but the image is too grainy to say for sure. Does anybody know? I've painted up two HO boxcars in this color scheme since reading this thread on Friday and I just want to make sure I letter them correctly.

Also, any idea why the light blue boxcars do not feature an ampersand in the name of the railroad? I modelled one of these over the weekend as well but felt funny about not including the ampersand. People will look at it and think "he ran out of ampersands and was too cheap to buy another dry transfer sheet."


PS: does anyone else think it's odd that this topic--with its highly esoteric subject and whopping eight responses--has been viewed over 3100 times?
  by Benjamin Maggi
If I remember correct, this post was cross-referenced on other website forums. If I remember correctly, one forum member here is also a member on the Aristocraft G scale forum (as am I), and he was pushing for that company to make a model of the A&A boxcar. So, anyone who looked at Aristocraft forums probably viewed this forum too. Other cross-links might also exist. Frankly, it is also an older forum, so anyone who goes through to read "all the old threads" will hit it and enjoy it due to the included photographs.

I have seen Athean HO custom painted models of the A&A "baby blue" scheme (my name, not sure what the official name is) but they were just the orange/white scheme with blue replacing orange... not solid blue. Maybe that scheme existed too.
  by BSOR Patarak
The 400 series cars did have additional markings. The color of the orange made it tough to see the black letters. They were pretty thin too. There are 7 or 8 of these cars that survived, and not one can you see the lettering on. The car we moved into the display at Arcade was lettered in a fashion similar to what these cars wore. The A&A painted this series themselves. The orange came in large drums and the letters were stenciled on.

The letters were all capital letters in the following pattern:


(#406 was also done as below. I think it was the only one lettered this way)



This was on the upper right side of the car and the numbers were on the lower left



As for the All blue 510-523 series, the & (ampersand) should be there. The picture posted may have been as they were being painted or something. I don't know why it isn't there. All of the other shots of the cars I have do indeed have it. Spend the extra and put it in man! :D

The Athern Series of Blue and White cars was someone's imagination. The A&A didn't have them like that. I always wondered if Athern just heard they also had a blue series and wanted to issue something different than the orange and white series, and just incorrectly copied the scheme?
  by Mountcastle
As for the All blue 510-523 series, the & (ampersand) should be there. The picture posted may have been as they were being painted or something. I don't know why it isn't there. All of the other shots of the cars I have do indeed have it. Spend the extra and put it in man! :D
Great: I go and use the one screwball picture that exists as a prototype reference. It's all your fault for posting it! :wink:

Well, maybe I'll just leave it and paint another one up. The boxcar I've already done is heavily weathered and I can just say the ampersand is meant to have worn off. :wink:

As to the 400 series, I'm on my second, now, and I plan to paint up more as I mixed too much paint and need to get rid of it. But now I know what their correct markings are. Thank you so much. On to the yellow refrigerator cars!

Orange and white boxcars, reddish orange boxcars, baby blue boxcars, canary yellow refrigerator cars, orange and black coaches, combines, cabooses and locomotives...I can't think of a more colorful railroad!

If I've left anything out of the above litany, please feel free to fill in the blanks. I've developed a sort of modelling fetish of the A&A's more obscure equipment. So far, baby blue boxcars take the cake, though. I'm half tempted to trick out my model of No. 14 in her red, white, blue and orange 1976 Bicentennial colors.

Well...only half tempted.
  by thebigham
There are still 5 boxcars stored at the Reisdorf Mill, correct? One used to be off the tracks.
  by Benjamin Maggi
Really? I was there taking photos recently and I didn't see any. However, I didn't go digging behind the complex.
  by jgallaway81
Unless Mr. Reisdorf got rid of them in the last few years, they were there about five years ago, when I was up @ the mill doing some research.