New Project: Penn Central N5B 22923

Another project has moved from the workbench to the layout. This time, it’s the first of three ex-Pennsy N5B cabooses I’ve been working on.


To build Penn Central 22923, I started with an undecorated Bowser N5B kit. I removed all of the molded-on grab irons and replaced them with Bowser detail parts from their N8 kit after drilling all of the necessary mounting holes. I plugged the holes in the roof where the roofwalk would have been and used small pieces of strip styrene to represent supports left behind when the roofwalk was removed at the car shops. I installed brake rigging and air lines underneath using Cal-Scale parts and brass wire., then and modified the coupler pocket to more closely resemble the prototype. The model is painted and lettered with Pollyscale paints and decals from Microscale and the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society. Weathering powders provided some grime and dust.

Two more to go. I’ll post pictures of them as they come off the workbench.


6 thoughts on “New Project: Penn Central N5B 22923

  1. Nice work! One can do a lot with some very simple upgrades to Bowser kits. Their H30 covered hopper is an RTR work of art. It’s a shame that they won’t upgrade the H21 and GLa hoppers to the same standard, but I can understand why.

  2. What does your PC caboose roster look like? I’m very curious about the NE-style caboose behind the N5B…

  3. Thanks! Keep up the good work, that first N5B looks amazing.

    Is it a confirmed CASO caboose, or Niagara Region?

    • Jason, I lettered this caboose according to a photo taken of that actual caboose with that number at Niagara Falls NY. It seems to me that cabooses were the least consistently lettered equipment on the Penn Central, so I like to work from a photo to make the model resemble the actual car (if possible). I don’t believe this particular caboose was assigned to St. Thomas, but given the photographic evidence, it appears to have operated across the CASO at least once. As far as I know, all of the cabooses that were maintained at St. Thomas during the Penn Central era eventually had “Northern Region Canada Division” lettered on the sides. I have one of those on the workbench right now. Stay tuned for that one.

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