Proto 48 Conversion Atlas Master 53’ Evans Box Car

I’ve spent most of April working on a Proto48 conversions to a couple of Atlas Box Cars. Both cars were 3 Rail O scale. I updated them both to Protocraft P48 trucks and Kadee O scale couplers.

Atlas O Master 53’ Evans Box Car

Atlas O Master 53’ Evans Box Car BCIT 800502
UP BI 70-16 Drawing on
I started the project by removing the underframe and the 3 rail trucks.
I chiseled of the bolster pin from the underframe with a chisel blade.
I chiseled off the pair of nubs that protrude from one of the body bolsters.
I reamed out the body bolster to with a #2 bit to accept the Protocraft conversion bolster bushings.
I test fit the Protocraft conversion bolster bushing kit into the reamed out hole.
I test fit the Protocraft proto 48 trucks.
I used a homemade gage to verify door height.
The car was riding just a hair too low, so I cut some .010” shims with my Cricut to slide over the bolster bushings.
I used thick black rubberized CA to secure the Protocraft conversion bolster bushing.
I drilled and tapped holes too accept the Kadee Coupler boxes.
Testing coupler height. I used .020” of shim for this model.
Since the floor, the coupler and the coupler box are all metal I decided to use nylon screws and plastic shims between the floor and the coupler box to mount the Kadees.
I used the long Kadee Coupler box for this model.
The Kadee coupler box is pretty plain so I dressed it up with styrene.
The dressed up coupler and draft gear box painted.

This car is ready for service. My first conversion. It was pretty rocky getting to this point, with lots of mistakes and lots of lessons learned. I’m looking forward to improving my skills with future conversions.



Author: Greg Amer

4 thoughts on “Proto 48 Conversion Atlas Master 53’ Evans Box Car

  1. Greg,

    You and I conversed about The Industrial Lead many years ago. My HO layout is no where near completion and frankly has been sitting idle for over a year. I wondered if a simpler O Scale model might be the way to go instead. I am in my late 40s and am enjoying my eyesight declining, so the larger models of O Scale are appealing.

    How have your pursuits into O Scale been coming along?

    I currently have a 18′ x 19′ room for HO, but if I went TOMA with O Scale, I think I could get additional real estate to do a shelf layout in 18′ x 40′ with turnaround loops in the crawlspace. Maybe even some temporary modules that could be put up in the room for operations. I want the layout to be operable, but also have options for continuous running.



    1. Hi Ryan.

      Good to hear from you.

      I think you could do something really neat in O Scale with that amount of space. I’m thinking of a modular solution for O scale myself. Something I can set up at in my long hallway or backyard or at a show and still be able to store easily. My vision is also waiting so the larger scale is a relief.

      I’ve been working almost exclusively in O scale for at least a year, but mostly for other people. Which is neat in itself because it allows me to see other aspects of the scale, improve some existing skills and try my hand at new skills.

      I’d like to build a small modular set up next year. Even if it’s just a tosser, I want to be able test my p48 equipment and show it off of course 🙂


  2. Does this mean The Industrial Lead is changing scales? Seeing P:48 here piqued my interest as that’s what I’m (slowly) modeling in as well.

    1. Hi Rich,

      Thanks for following my blog and thanks for commenting.

      The Industrial Lead will stay HO. I’m close to finished, just need 2 more buildings and a little more scenery. As I’m nearing completion I keep thinking about what the next project will be. I’m leaning toward a p48 exhibition layout.

      The heft of O scale really gets me excited, the visible details, the weight of the equipment, and the depth of the sound. So I’ve dabbled in p48 over the years, building a section of track, an almost completed turnout and a simple replace the axles locomotive conversion. These are the first cars I’ve converted.

      P48 has been a real quest for information (and parts). I’m keeping a separate blog roll for p48 and 2 rail O scale and I comb those blogs for information. I spend a lot of time reading through the old posts at And I’ve found a lot of useful information on the OGR forum

      I think if more of us make the jump from dabbling to modeling and sharing our experience, the better it will be for p48.


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