PLW has announced S-scale double sheathed box cars (O-scale too). The MEC and NYC versions will have printed sides. Gary indicates he will produce them with any car number you request. So what numbers to get?
Honestly, I have no idea the date of the paint scheme.
I’m planning to model 1912-1914 time frame. So I took a look at the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) for 1912. (FYI: Many ORER’s were scanned in for google docs you can find them by searching and including google docs in the search string). Here is the ORER I found: https://books.google.com/books?id=tboMAQAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
If you’ve never looked at an ORER, you will find a “Index of Railroads” in the first few pages (This was after the powers of attorney pages). It will list each railroad and a page number. One can than use that page number to find the page for the railroad. The page number does not correspond to the PDF’s digital page number. So it can take a bit of scrolling to find the proper page.
The Maine Central pages seem to be 340 to 341. So I scrolled down to those pages. It’s hard to read the page numbers in the book as they are cut off in the scan.
According to PLW, the S-scale, box cars are roughly 6 5/8″ long, or roughly 35′. The number on the pilot model is 1897, but others are in the 8000 series. In the 1912 ORER, the 1800’s are used for coal hoppers, so that number does not seem appropriate for my time frame. Possibly it is correct for an earlier time frame. The 1912 ORER lists 8001-10400 as 36′ box cars (actually 36′ 9″ outside length and note that 9818 had an end door), so I’ll go with 8000 numbers. The length is off by a bit more than one foot, and I do not know if the lettering is accurate for 1912, but who cares, close enough.
So I’m picking 8015 and 8301 for my two cars. Hopefully no one else picks my numbers, that way I can pick up an additional car and not have a conflict.
Additionally, I’ll order an NYC car with number 53504
I plan to rotate standard gauge cars on and off the layout in Farmington. My hope is to have the waybills for the SR&RL cars have a specific standard gauge car to deliver to. 2-3 SR&RL cars will be billed to a standard gauge car. Think of each standard gauge car as a unique industry in Farmington and what’s even better, the industries in Farmington will change location between or even during an operating session. The Farmington switcher (SR&RL #7) will have to deliver to make multiple spots at a standard gauge car to fill it up (or unload). Then the standard gauge car will be moved off layout. This should make the Farmington switcher a full filling job to work.
In addition to the two MEC cars and the NYC car, I plan to order two undecorated cars. Looking through the SR&RL books, it seems that B&M, Erie, CV, and other boxcars game to Farmington.
Like most PLW offerings, I expect the standard gauge cars to have limited availability. Reruns would depend on demand.