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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

Maintenance Of Way Banner


These are just a few of the many types of cars used in Maintenance Of Way. Many are old recycled cars like the XL and X23 boxcars. I don’t claim to have any great knowledge of M O W.  To me they are a combination of rolling stock and scenery. You should have M O W shown on your layout on a siding but are not likely to run as a train very often.


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Norfolk Southern M O W Boxcar 517817

Added 1-7-23

This is a custom built Norfolk Southern M O W boxcar. I am not quite sure what the car is used for. A Facebook freind does a lot of custom building in S Scale for his father. I frequently get 1 built of whatever the current project is. Yes that is a solar panel on the roof.

I found these 2 photos on the internet.





Unless otherwise noted, all of the cars on this page were built by others. So far I have built none of them. I purchased all of them and are shown as bought without modifications. There are 2 projects I could do like a M O W Yellow 12-1 Pullman and maybe a N6b Cabin, but they are by far not a priority now.


Richard Hall PRR M O W Train


Added 11-20-18


These are photos of my PRR Wreck train built by the late Richard Hall. Richard was an extremely prolific modeler having built truly 1000s of O Scale wood rolling stock kits in his time. Richard’s building style was to show just enough detail to please the eye and think it is a nice model, but don’t get obsessed and bogged down with the details. Build, get it on the track and NEXT. They are wonderful models. His son John is a long time S Scaler. This train was built for him. I have wanted it since I first saw it on John’s layout 25+ years ago and inquired numerous times about buying. The opportunity to purchase it finally came in November 2018. The deal was done.


I generally fiddle with SOMETHING on every model I buy, if it was built by someone else. It is mostly changing to scale wheels, or to changing from Kadee #5 HO couplers to Kadee #802 S Scale couplers, and sometimes adding weight. I consider this train to be a work of folk art. I am not changing 1 thing. Since it will run infrequently and always as a unit it does not need 802 couplers or lots of weight added. I truly feel honored to finally own the train. John has always been very fair to me when selling extraneous trains.


I do not know for sure the origins of most of the cars. The flat cars are probably scratchbuilt. The XL boxcars are likely modified Sunshine wood kits. The crane 490775 is the biggest mystery. The cab shell is chopped at Lionel. I have not found for sure what the rest of the crane is made from.


490349 F24 Boom Car

M_O_W_4 small M_O_W_5 small M_O_W_6 small


494192 GR Gondola

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491225 FM Boom Car

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490775 W120 Crane

Per Mark Charles

PRR crane #490775 was rated at 100 tons capacity. It was built by Industrial Works at Bay City, Michigan in 1907, builder’s number 1702.


Industrial Works merged with Brownhoist in the mid 1920s to form Industrial-Brownhoist. Railroad equipment diagrams and other records after that date often refer to Industrial-Brownhoist as that's who they contacted for parts and repairs.


M_O_W_12 small  M_O_W_13 small M_O_W_14 small


492328 XL Cable Car

M_O_W_15 small M_O_W_16 small M_O_W_17 small



489475 XL Material Car

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492002 XL Riding/Locker Car

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First Run

My Rex B6 got the first run. I think the train just looks right with a switcher although a Baldwin S12 could be good too.


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Added 11-23-18

All of these cars were also bought on eBay mostly as shown. The first 2 flat cars are very nicely built, but I do not know who built them. They were bought from the same seller as the M O W tender.


495006 F21a Boom Car

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491063 Truck & Wheel Car

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498931 M O W Tender

This is an American Flyer tender shell. It is the only time I have ever mounted couplers on both ends of a tender.

M_O_W_31 small M_O_W_32 small M_O_W_33 small


490900 W250 Crane

This crane was also built by Richard Hall. Like the above crane the shell is Lionel but at full size. The rest of the crane is possibly Lionel as well with S Scale trucks.

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Other M O W Cars

These cars are less accurate and not real PRR prototypes. I have not seen a piece of a boxcar or shed on a PRR flatcar.



497800 Boom Car

This is an American Flyer flat car detailed as a Boom Car. The shed is a too high. It would be better at least ¼” shorter.


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This is a Bob Peare kit. It was green when I got it. I blasted it with gray and never got around to decaling it yet.


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This is a Rex flat car bought as shown, not quite completed yet. My intention is to make it a stand in PRSL FM wheel car.

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The B6 almost pulls the whole train. There is an unintentional slight hill that gives the B6 some problems – something else to fix.

 M_O_W_46 small  M_O_W_47 small


Added 11-24-18

New Crane Trucks

I wanted to put better trucks on my large crane to hopefully roll better and allow the B6 to pull the whole M O W train. When River Raisin released the well hole flat car I got 2 sets of extra Buckeye trucks. They were $75.00 per pair. I have been "saving them" for "something special" for 23 years!


1 pair got used today. I even had them stored in a zip bag already PAINTED for maybe 20 + years. Doing some checking the trucks that were on the crane had a bolster ride height at LEAST 1/4" higher than the River Raisin Buckeye trucks.

I realized with the original "bolster" the chances of having metal where I needed it was NONE. I made a new false floor from brass square tubing and sheet knowing I could solder anywhere. I made body bushings on my lathe -twice - I really miscalculated the ride height the first time.


The difference is apparent. The crane looks better with real Buckeye trucks on it. The B6 made it over a hump with a running start. Project accomplished.


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Rotary Snow Plow


Added 12-18-22

This is an eBay win. I was not sure of what it was until it got here. It is a cobble of Rail King O27 rotary plow and Bachmann On30 caboose. That falls right into my “one of a kind build” must get obsession. I had another On30 caboose before and sold it because it was much too high. For this one the width is fine and it "might" be 3/16" high, certainly squinty eyed good enough for me. The only remaining mystery is the origin of the front truck. It is not SHS. That is the only pick up and is insulated like the SHS caboose trucks. Further SHS wheels fit in perfectly. I had to change to scale wheels- 2 axles regular code 110 and 2 code 110 caboose. I am glad there is no lettering. It will probably stay just as is.


I changed the decoder to NCE D13NHJ. I am used to sound when there is movement but the rotary is really quiet. It is programmed to 1111, not likely ever another loco address. You could probably make your own for under $100.00. I had to dive a lot deeper than that to get it.



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Updated 1-7-23

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