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Home / News & Reviews / Product Reviews / JTC N scale 53-foot high-cube containers

JTC N scale 53-foot high-cube containers

By Steven Otte associate editor | June 25, 2021

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Three high-cube containers

Three high-cube containers

While Jacksonville Terminal Co. has up until now stuck to producing accurate scale models of prototypical intermodal equipment, the company is branching out into fantasy schemes with its new Visionary Series. The first three offerings in this series let N scale modelers simulate interchange with the well-known railroads of the fictional Appalachian Lines: W. Allen McClelland’s Virginian & Ohio (V&O), Tony Koester’s Allegheny Midland (AM), and Steve King’s Virginia Midland (VM). Jacksonville Terminal Co. (JTC) is now offering its accurately modeled, finely detailed N scale 53-foot cargo containers decorated in schemes for these three influential proto-freelanced railroads.

Though the layouts that made up the Appalachian Lines are gone, JTC’s models bring the fictional railroads into the modern era with three sets of 53-foot intermodal containers decorated for the V&O, AM, and VM. The containers are painted white with the railroads’ iconic gothic-letter heralds on the sides, and the ends painted in a contrasting scheme using the railroads’ official colors: royal blue and white for the V&O, red and yellow for the AM, and green and yellow for the VM. Each comes in a two-pack.

The paint jobs are exceptionally well done. The white sides make the containers perfect candidates for a subtle weathering job, and the colored ends really stand out. All but the very smallest printing is legible under magnification. The closure rods are molded-in details, but the accurate painting makes them stand out like separately applied parts.

The containers are injection-molded plastic, with the roof and sides a single piece; the floor is friction-fit. Steel plates are attached inside the roof, while three magnets are mounted to the inside floor. This makes containers stay stacked when well cars rock and roll through uneven track. The containers can be picked up by a magnetic crane, like the one from Walthers (part no. 933-3222).

Interior magnetics of a high-cube container
JTC’s N scale containers come with steel plates inside the roof and three button magnets inside the bottom, allowing the containers to stack securely.

According to my caliper, the containers’ dimensions were all within fractions of a scale inch of the prototype.

We have a good number of intermodal containers and well cars in the MR workshop, so I tested the containers out with them. The containers fit into JTC’s own N scale NSC 9-post 53-foot well car and stack with the company’s 20- and 40-foot containers, as expected. They also fit in Kato’s Gunderson Maxi-IV three-unit well car and stack with Kato 40-foot containers. But they won’t stack with Kato 53-foot containers.

Intermodal traffic has brought to railroading a color and variety not seen on the rails since billboard reefers. Jackson­ville Terminal Co.’s new Visionary Series containers offer N scale modelers a way to boost their railroad’s container traffic while paying tribute to three of the all-time great freelanced model railroads.

Facts & features

Price: Two-pack, $33.95
Jacksonville Terminal Co.
9526 Argyle Forest Blvd.
Suite B2, no. 406
Jacksonville, FL 32222
Era: 1989-present
Road names: Allegheny Midland, Virginia Midland, Virginian & Ohio (all fictional schemes)
– 6-42-6 side corrugations
– Injection-molded plastic body
– Magnetic bottoms and steel top plate
– Weight: .4 ounces each

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