Made in USA

QUESTIONS? email us at mrrwarehouse(at)  or SASE to MRRW, Box 411, Roanoke, IN 46783. Check this page’s UPDATE link for latest availability info.



Cannonball Car Shops manufactures a variety of [otherwise hard to find] specific prototype military railcar kits and parts. Years of research (before web and prototype group accessibility) led to our WWII troop kitchen and sleeper car products. Over a hundred US railroads and firms (plus Algoma Central , Ontario Northland and PGE in Canada) are known to have purchased military surplus troop sleepers and kitchens for use as cabooses, heater cars, weed spray cars, dynamometer cars, Mof Way service cars and “headend cars.” Every US road head end variation is offered on our PASSENGER CAR page. Interesting special  MofW, caboose and freight car variations are found on our FREIGHT CARS page.  Extensive compilation of this research is found on this page.

Similarly the World War II hospital car found well known later use as Monon passenger cars and little known use on other roads. We produced the basic hospital car using Eastern Car Works cores until that firm ceased production. Plans were announced for modified versions of the hospital car as well. Those plans are on a “back burner” at this time, though hospital wrappers remain available for those wishing to kitbash using various PS cars as core.

As WWII progressed, existing heavyweight passenger cars were converted to hospital use, serving as troop sleepers and (baggage cars) mobile field kitchens on troop trains. Forerunners of the troop sleeper and kitchen were reputed to be the Pennsylvania’s P78 wartime coach and four kitchen cars converted from 50 foot turtle roof boxcars. We offer, in our Signature Series, both the prototype kitchen car and P78 coaches as serviced Camp Atterbury (Indiana). A similar PRR car later served in Pennsylvania with square, rather than porthole, windows in the doors.

Our Signature Series HO and O Scale Kits and LTD parts  are “signature” to specific roads.  LTD Project injection molded styrene and photo etched brass part sets in  HO, N, O, and S Scales are also prototypically unique and available only from MRRW and our select dealers. These are intended to add enjoyment for the serious model railroader age 14 and older. Associated parts by Tichy or Bethlehem Car are listed and in stock for prompt shipment.  Bethlehem Car makes the unique WW II Troop sleeper/ kitchen car trucks “Allied Full Cushion”  we stock and distribute.


SIGNATURE SERIES  kits (manufacturer #197) are complete, undecorated car body kits with instructions. They do not include trucks, underbody air brake details or couplers unless noted. All items are HO scale unless indicated (with a “48”for 1/48 O scale or “64” for 1/64 S scale) following the #197. 


LTD  SERIES (with manufacturer #772.2) are parts sets requiring additional materials for completing the model. Etched brass, plastic or soft metal parts and custom created decals  suited to a variety of projects have a manufacturer #772  or 772.2.  They are HO (1/87) scale unless noted behind #772  as above. (“48” for O; “64” for S; “160” for N scale or “20” for F – 1/20.3 scale running on G trackage).


CLICK HERE for  CURRENT MONTH’S UPDATES TO THIS MILITARY CAR PAGE that supersede other price or availability information found on this page. We reserve the right to correct posting errors and to change prices or product specifications without notice. Reservations are guaranteed the price effective at the time reservation was made.


Effective 1/1/17

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red cannonball with soldiers and blue v

“Celebrate the End of WWII”

            “Bring them home . . .”


Cannonball Troop Sleeper                      Cannonball Troop Kitchen Car                                                                         w/Hospital Kitchen decals

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#197-97012 TROOP TRAIN A – 2 Sleeper Cars w/ decals and 4 Tichy AB Brake Sets,(styrene) $39.95

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#197-97013 TROOP TRAIN B– 2 Sleepers & 1 Kitchen Car w/decals, 6 AB Brake sets (styrene) $49.95

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#197-97004 Troop Kitchen Car with 2 Tichy AB Brake set (injection molded styrene) $19.95

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#197-97022 Camp Car or Troop Sleeper styrene w/ 1 AB Brake set & Camp Conversion: $19.95

Camp Car Conversion includes: 4 ladders, smoke jack, 2 step plates, roof walk, window plugs for sealing off any windows as desired –dozens of railroads bought “war surplus” car for use as MofW camp cars and for other custom conversions. 

“Cannonball Car Shop’s HO TROOP SLEEPER KIT Can be built to either Phase 1 or Phase 2 version using the Stairwell (Ph1) or Stirrup step (Ph2) parts sold separately. These and other troop car decals and parts are listed below the troop car history and isometric construction view on this page. The Cannonball kitchen car includes parts for either phase 1 or phase 2 version. Cannonball’s styrene kit for converted kitchen cars and LTD Series etched brass sides & doors for every US revenue sleeper car conversion are found on the PASSENGER CAR SHOWROOM page. The popular D&RGW Dynamometer and Pere Marquette tool car brass sides are listed on the FREIGHT,CABOOSE,MofW SHOWROOM page.

#999-302    SureHold Plastic Surgery ®  superglue for plastics

    $  3.79

Has long shelf life after opening. Easily controlled semi-gel from tube’s special spout. Bonds Acrylics, ABS, EPDM, Nylon, fiberglass, phenolic, Plexiglass®, polycarbonate, polyester, polystyrene, PVC,urethane              

#999-SNIP Tiny Tin Snip for removing etched brass parts                      


    $  8.60                                                                      


Click for Larger Picture




As WWII commenced and severe car shortages plagued military movements the Pennsylvania rebuilt a group of fifty foot turtle or roundroof boxcars into class P78 coaches for troop movement to US Army Camp Atterbury on the Indianapolis-Louisville line. Additional cars were converted (with square door windows rather than porthole) for service in Pennsylvania. Four boxcars were similarly converted to troop kitchen cars- ours being the first prototype that was then used as a the pattern for mass produced troop kitchen cars. Our kit uses double etched brass sides and ends, steel “Athearn” boxcar roof and styrene floor. Use of “Bettendorf” trucks,  AB brake details (on freight car page) and PRR decals (on passenger car page) is appropriate for these Tuscan red cars. For clarity, theP78 car pictured is lacking the set back cast metal center stairwell included in our kit. The unique (but similar) kitchen car is not pictured [Stairwell included in P38 kit is omitted in model photo for clarity].

#772.2-4360 PRR P78 “Coach” HO body kit     (w/roof)                                   


 #772.2-4361 PRR WWII Kitchen Car HO body kit                                              


 #772.2-4360R  Athearn 50ft steel HO  Round /Turtle Roof 

    $  6.50

Cannonball Car Shops TROOP CARS

History of the Troop Car &
Our Mission to Recreate It

By Merle Rice

Imagine the number of fellows you know between the ages of, say 18 and 32 having to suddenly move halfway across the country. All but two or three such groups, at the same time this was happening, in EVERY town and city of the United States….Sounds easy? Not if there were NO Interstate Highways and hardly any passenger airplanes. This is the situation faced as our nation had to move huge numbers of men to military training camps, and then ports at seacoast cities to load onto ships headed for a war which needed Americans [quickly] in Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe. The giant Pennsylvania Railroad tried a solution to the problem all our railroads faced. The Pennsy cut porthole windows in the sides of some round roof boxcars and added hard riding bunks.[ We’re told some X29 boxcars became kitchen cars too.] An HO kit of the round roof “sleepers” [made with photo etched brass sides and a formed metal boxcar roof requiring glue assembly] of these cars is in the schedule of 60th Anniversary kits from Red Ball.
The government soon asked Pullman to study this car and capture all its features.

It looks like a boxcar, it rides like a boxcar, it’s a …. PULLMANTROOPCAR.gif (10351 bytes)
During World War II the government ordered two production runs of boxcar-like troop sleepers which originally carried the word PULLMAN above the center door. Though owned by the government, the cars were managed by Pullman and one of the thirty bunks carried a porter responsible for his passengers in the Pullman tradition. Though their lot number was for the passenger plant, the cars were built at Pullman’s Michigan City, IN freight car plant employing freight parts and production fixtures. The first 1200 (lot #6704 in 1943) were numbered 7000-8199. Lot number 6753 (believed 1945) included 200 cars #8300-8499 and 1000 cars #9000-9999. The intermediate group may explain discrepancies in end detail we’ve noted between “phase 1” and “phase 2” cars and certain photos.

In 1943, two or three runs of troop kitchen cars were also ordered from ACF and built using their freight car facilities, parts and fixtures. The first 400, numbered K100-K499 were lot # 2635 – Chicago. The last 400 (K600-K999) were lot #2852.-Berwick, Pa. It is unclear whether the second lot (#2654 ) of these were even built or perhaps converted to hospital cars before (after?) delivery. ( These should not to be confused with the “streamlined looking” hospital cars Monon and Barnum’s circus made famous).. If built, this lot apparently consisted of forty cars. .

Some claim the design was based on 50′ boxcar designs to allow easy conversion to other uses after the war. Although that certainly happened, other facts of life were the government restriction requiring construction during the war to established designs for locomotives, cars etc[ people to design new ones were scarce]; the possible availability of freight parts[ material was scarce to make new parts]; the existing operation of freight car assembly lines and fixtures[the job could be started quickly]. and the fact that passenger car plants were simply not producing passenger cars in 1943.

These hybrid cars had [lightweight] passenger car-like ends [with heavy collision posts] but freight-like floors, sides and roofs. A ramp at each end of one series allowed a lower floor but walkover above the trucks and couplers The double AB brake set was a special adaptation of a production item to serve passenger braking functions. Sleeper car ends varied with some having a folded lip across the bottom which appears like an end sill unless seen from square-on-the-side. Kitchen car ends did not have this feature but had two styles across the top, one having “triangular gussets” at each side of each L&R collision post. Sleepers had two styles of underframes with three notable skirt designs shown (and easily modeled) with the CCS kit. “The most obvious difference in the phases is the center stairwell used in phase 1 cars [with the resulting “cutout “ of side tab, frame and floor] and the stirrup type step on phase 2 cars [no cutout in the tab design].” Both sides of the sleeper had identical windows and off-center doors. The kitchen cars had smaller windows and the two sides differed in numbers of windows. There were more roof vents on the kitchen cars than on sleepers. All but one were similar, however.

Industry news accounts at war’s close refer to Defense Plant Corp moving to dispose of 1900 sleepers, 400 kitchen and 50 hospital cars. Perhaps this is explained by a “mothball fleet” A contemporary (1946) RAILWAY AGE account lists 200 hospital cars by ACF and 10 by Pullman-Standard to the kitchen car design. This discrepancy generally is discounted, perhaps because the final batches of troop cars were completed after the war’s conclusion when hospital cars for returning troops were a major need. Initially, movement of troops for two theaters of action created their need; movement of them in a compacted time frame after the war created a demand we often overlook. The first sleeper order, called “Phase I” by earlier researchers, is represented by the CCS carside as supplied. The second order, “Phase II” is cosmetically achieved by a two minute modification to the CCS carside using a modeler’s knife.. [The major difference was in underframe design]. Although the kit instructions appear to result in a “phase II end,” there are photographic evidences that suggest the ends varied within each run or with the “interim 200.”. The CCS car end is readily modified to any “phase end.” It carries the collision posts which were retained on most later day modifications. The spotting differences in each case are along the lower “skirt” which Cannonball has rendered delicately thin for good appearance as well as simple modification-by-removal. Only one style of kitchen cars were made by American Car & Foundry . Cannonball’s kitchen car demonstrates the similarities in design to the sleepers but shows subtle difference besides the car window design (which is THE spotting feature).

The Official Register of passenger equipment lists 165 troop kitchens, 11 hospital kitchens and 89 hospital/troop kitchens in US Army service as of Jan 1953. The number declined slightly by March 1965 to 150 kitchens (#100-264), 1 hospital kitchen, 88 hospital /troop kitchens and 21 called “guard cars”. 161 kitchen cars (#100-264). . Chain link fences kept rail fans at a good distance, but a source of awe in the 1950s and early 60s was a military storage yard such as Casad Depot along the NKP at New Haven, In. A veritable rainbow of interesting colors and Pullman designs awaited their next challenge. It never came for most, but the troop cars were a different story from A to Z.

ALASKA railroad converted them to boxcars and BANGOR AND AROOSTOOK turned sleepers to cabooses. MofW sleepers on the Wabash were hardly modified and REA sleepers turned reefers were seen in Xenia, we hear. The rosters researched from official guides are likely incomplete. Conversions to MofW service were usually under the direction of wreckmasters or carshops with no prints and PERHAPS general diagrams. Forty two road names of MofW car photos are available from one source alone. Even conversion for revenue service, coast to coast, is poorly documented. Skilled craftsmen with good foremen or Master Car Builders didn’t need prints for everything they did.
Rock Island is known to have used troop cars as mixed train cabooses, storage sheds, MofW cars and needed cash in sadder times. METRA and Belt Railway of Chicago are among the later owners of RI cars..

By linking here, SPECIFIC ROAD INFORMATION (and illustrations) is detailed by road name for those roads which converted cars to revenue fleets, for caboose and maintenance of way fleets (by region), as well as military (and museum) information. Champ is scheduling CORRECT troop car decals. Photos of many are available from John C LaRue, Jr, 3914 Acccomack Dr, Apt 12, Louisville, KY 40241. Send him a double stamped self addressed envelope for specific list and ordering information. We list his subjects as JL: references in our information capsules.

Kitchen cars became mail storage cars on the Monon (#203-206, 2203-2210); Burlington express (#8600-8895); C&EI (#6, 7 Milk Cars; express 8-24) , C&S express #240-243; FtW&D express #109-110 and N&W (#2203-2210). Rock Island’s ten kitchen cars went directly into non-revenue service (#95341-95350).
Troop Sleepers in express service include Algoma Central (#305); Baltimore & Ohio express #1700-1813; Boston & Maine (#3180-82 RPO, 3225-49, 3260-76); C&EI (#6 & 7 Milk cars; ?? 50 sleepers purchased), C&O (#355-376); DL&W express 2111-2121; KCS express refrigerators (CRDX #1001-1025); Lackawanna (#2111-2121); Minneapolis & St Louis (#400-402); [and heater car #501], MN&S (?); New Haven (#3600-86, 3700-62); New York Central (#9200-9599); Ont. Northland (#325-327); Railway Express (Express refrigerator #6600-6799, Express Refrig inside door #6800-6879, from NYC 9500 series #8200-8299); Rock Island (#4200-49); and Frisco (#450-464), Wabash (??).. Eventually most headend cars listed had all side windows sheathed in sheet metal, but published CB&Q and Wabash photos have real windows during the 1947-48 era as troop cars were rushed into service during the car–short postwar years. Burlington, in fact, was until the 1953-55 overhauls getting this plating done. The CCS kit has taken care of this detail for the conversion minded modeler. “The FRISCO purchased fifteen troop sleepers and converted two into “Working Baggage” cars #450 and #451 in June 1948. These would be made using brass sides& doors #772.2-4109. The remaining thirteen were made into [outside door] “Storage Baggage” cars. Cars #455-464 in September through November 1948 and #452,453,454 in 1950 and would be modelled with sides #772.2-41XX. Now to do BAR caboose C 85 or WM caboose 3060– or a myriad of MofW conversions [two were steam heater cars on the Algoma Central and C&O], or an Army guard car to accompany cold war shipments, CCS has designed our kits to help you have any windows or vents treated prototypically.

Although the railroads could pick up a troop car for about $2000 – $3000 and new boxcars were over $5000 (and a wait), troop cars were equipped for work train bunk service or for passenger train operation. Most cars thus found themselves in applications which eliminated waiting or expensive conversion/upgrading. New baggage cars could easily cost nearly $60,000 and rebuilt heavyweights were still rebuilt, heavyweight and old– in an era anxious for lightweight streamliners.. Troop cars were a natural for express, baggage or mail storage cars. They often were “reincarnated” more than once. M&StL ex-sleeper baggage #400 became dining car X-919 in 1960 and 402 became bunk car X-910 in 1958 and the heater car (as X-978) survived to C&NW renumbering. Some C&O cars carried the Chessy cat logo…troopers were alive and well in recent history.

The original, unique Allied full cushion truck is found under some cars while others received Chrysler, Bettendorfs or others. The original trucks tended to wear excessively so low mileage MofW cars retained them while fleets of express, reefer or mail cars were usually re-equipped. HO Allied trucks are made by Eastern Car works and included in the CCS styrene kits most likely to use them.. (33″ wheels were used). Brake sets were originally at both ends (with levers in vestibules-no brake wheels, ladders, roof walks).. Many of REA’s conversions did have brake wheels but these are the exception on troop rebuilds, we believe. Some REA cars had the ends revised to a solid end, as well. [ Many roads simply retained the collision posts and filled in the doors. Most removed the diaphragms]. Signal and steam lines were originally in place for passenger service and these would have been retained on the express cars (at least).
Surviving cars in museums, photos and diagram books can assist modelers, but it is likely “no two were alike” in many applications — even in the “fleets.” There were two major series in the NYC cars, one with boxcar doors, the other with inside sliding doors.
Eight of the Burlington’s 300 kitchen cars received wider doors between 1956 and 65. (A few got ladders & grabs like boxcars, too).

Alert rail fans may still find troop cars in MofW service–one MP car was reported to us in Illinois during the winter of 1996-97. SSW MofW car 95070 (ex-CRI&P) was seen in Hutchison , KS, June 21, 1996 and DODX guard car #16 (ex-kitchen) was spotted Valentine’s Day 1997 at Camp Navajo, AZ. Photos in our collection reveal owners we haven’t mentioned as we have “just one photo.” A listing of photos [ available from vendors] is included in the resource list.. Our memory can trick us, but we seem to recall troop cars on other favorite roads including the San Luis. Those setback roofs, sheathed windows and heavy “diaphragms” (collision posts with diaphragms removed) were just so unique they were notable. The men who rode them claim the ride was unforgettable, you had to be there.

Spotting converted troop cars at the head end of photos is not too difficult because of the skirts and sheathed windows. It can be misleading, however. We suspect Burlington cars were often in Wabash trains through Huntington, IN for instance– but Wabash didn’t have them. At Huntington they were attached to Chicago bound Erie trains. But Erie didn’t have them either! Excellent prototype research information and photos are found in the Rock Island Digest and Model Railroader NYC articles. TRAINS 9/79 carried an article by David P. Morgan which sets a “flavor.” Photos in our “military” link show restored cars at New Buffalo MI and HOOSIER VALLEY ( North Judson IN) museums. Other cars may be found in California and Washington museums, we understand.

Bringing you this kit has been an uphill but enjoyable challenge. Many, including Bill Hunt, Rob Pepper, Jim Singer, Al Askerberg,, the late Gordon Odegard historical societies and retired military assisted in research in obscure places. Doing the kit right required doing “impossible” things which challenged outstanding molders and toolmakers-it’s not a regular boxcar!

Cast on detail ends in all kitchen and all sleeper kits became standard with second run (Sept 2000) and third run (Jan 2001) Cannonball troop kits. Eastern Car Works Allied trucks became unavailable and were discontinued in our kits about 2005.”

> Underframe/stepwell modification part is included (in 9702) for those wishing this phase 2 feature.
> Sides and ends are thinwall for appearance’s sake as well as ease of conversion among [original and modification] styles.
> Windows and doors are easily plugged [as most modifications would require].
> Roof vents are separate (“already shaved”) and easily added .
> Carside vents allow light passage after painting, but may be easily modified to sheathing inside or outside the screen.
> Car accepts KD draft gear box (#5) and shims to match the trucks you choose.
> Stepped floor allows easy weight addition or body removal for interior detailing and protypical floor endramp treatment.
> No grabs, steps, or handrails are molded which would require removal

TROOP HISTORY UPDATES by Merle Rice March 2015
Our original research to develop the Cannonball Troop Sleeper and Kitchen cars (in the late 1980s) was before the vast information a photo resources of the internet. Mr LaRue’s photo resources were invaluable, and he relocated to Florida.
We constantly receive inquiries and uncover misconceptions in discussions of the troop cars and in products offered by others in O & HO. Since no book has ever appeared (two were promised in the 1990s) please accept a little more basic information. Troop Sleepers (see the Cannonball Car Shop model left above) of both phases, or lots, had identical window patterns and both sides of a car were the same. They were painted military green and lettered “PULLMAN” ( with “Troop Sleeper” at left end ) and staffed by Pullman Porters. Ph 1 cars had a stairwell at the “center” (really off center) door while Ph 2 had simple stirrup steps. This meant the side sill of Ph1 cars had to break and “wave” behind the stairwell. The Cannonball kit has thin center tab for ease of cutaway and has a molded plastic former to install underfloor with styrene strip for the “wave.” In the prototype cars this meant Ph2 was preferred for its structural strength in express car conversions. Phase 2 cars were frequently converted to company service MofW camp cars—often with stairwells removed—and wooden stairways on the ground. These troop cars were not converted boxcars. The Pennsylvania RR troop cars (see below) were converted from X32 class 50ft turtle or round roof boxcars and were painted and lettered for the Pennsylvania. Since the troop cars were built to boxcar profiles many troops claimed they rode in boxcars—and probably some of them really did. Some PRR X29 boxcars are understood to have served as “troop coaches.” No troop sleepers were lettered for a railroad (except the PRR’s own) until they were purchased for conversion. All postwar US sleeper conversions to revenue service are represented by the brass sides available in our LTD Series. Other roads offered by other kitmakers likely had MofW conversions, but not revenue service cars. PGE, ON and Algoma Central purchased and converted troop sleepers for Canadian service. The Allied Full Cushion trucks which carried troop cars were designed to be used with the restrictions of clearance in Europe and elsewhere. Despite claims by some veterans they rode these cars across France or Africa, no troop sleepers (or kitchens) of these designs ever ran outside North America.
The troop kitchen cars were identical in phases 1 and 2 except for a “W” gusset across the top of the car ends on Ph 2 cars. The TROOP kitchen car (see Cannonball model above right) was painted military green with yellow-gold lettering ARMY KITCHEN CAR at the top. Those in HOSPITAL trains were lettered in white with the Red Cross emblem as shown on the Cannonball model above. The two types of car can be identified by their windows. Sleeper windows were of uniform size and spacing while kitchen sides were both irregular in size and different from side to side. Because of their insulation, troop cars were prime candidates fort refrigerator & express car conversions. Alaska RR refrigerators (really they were heated) were originally kitchens while the REA and KCS refrigerators were ex-sleepers. Early in our research a MODEL RAILROADER editor related that the Norfolk and Western had converted troop sleepers in express service. We have been unable to confirm this though the other roads (Monon, C&EI, FtW&D, C&S and CB&Q are well known for such cars. CB&Q had a vast fleet that appeared frequently in other road’s passenger trains. The Burlington put their cars into service before sealing the window openings so they often appeared with protected glass instead of steel “windows”!
Questions frequently arise in internet groups “what was that car?” The blanked in windows are the obvious clue though often the lighting of a photo obscures that detail. Other cars in express service rarely had tabs along the Sides in the late 40s- early 50s—the ex- troop cars did (except M&StL) . Boxcars do often appear at the head end of passenger trains in express or “storage mail” service but only the troop car conversions will have boxcar profiles with tabs, no ladders, no roof walks and heavy collision posts and doors on the ends. The converted troop cars in express service did NOT have ladders or roof walks with exception of the REA and KCS reefers and Alaska’s cars. These same exceptions were the only troop conversions that received new ends without doorways and collision posts when rebuilt. Of course the myriad MofW cars converted by the hundred or so roads had “no rules” and often had ladders and roof walks added. Some claim the troop cars were deliberately designed for conversion. Maybe so. But they certainly WERE deliberately designed to use existing materials, designs, machinery and factories efficiently and quickly.
The Frisco inside door express cars #1001-1025 (similar to the B&O C17 cars except the doors) were not their only Frisco troop sleeper revenue conversions. Elusive data also indicates the road converted many additional sleepers to outside door storage mail boxcars. These later reverted to “regular” boxcar service (with roof walks & ladders) , many were even reconverted to double door boxcars. The Algoma Central’s five cars (which varied regarding which windows were closed off) were dark green originally as #AC201-205. In 1952 car #204 was converted to steam generator service and in the 1980s the cars were repainted maroon and gray except #306 silver with maroon letter board. 306 you say? Renumbering in 1984 found them as #303-306 as new diesels received the old numbers.
Various “threads” include comments explaining the troop cars as having been built too late to have been valuable in the war effort. Such comments fail to recognize that the overall strategy was to concentrate on the European (and North Africa) front and stall on the Pacific front while building up the naval fleet and keeping only one major war front for Russia’s concern. Aside from traffic to training camps, the majority of massive troop movement was eastbound until the Pacific front could be developed. Then there would be a need to transport huge numbers of ground invasion troops west as well as east. The military orders for troop cars (1943) were timed to meet both this need and the need for the steel to build tanks bound to Europe and ships to the Pacific. Planners knew heavy movements both east and westbound would require greater resources than the railroads had been able to offer. They also knew that the war’s end would mean even more intense troop movements (from both coasts simultaneously) as troops were returned home. They couldn’t know that the expected massive ground invasion forces would not be required in the Pacific. War needs (European front ground forces; Pacific fleet forces; returning troops) were met by the troop cars’ supplementing the strained rail resources. At the end of war troop cars were quickly channeled to rebuild the government owned Alaska RR while car builders strained to supply the lower 48 states roads’ rebuilding. Railroads purchased available surplus cars while many remained available for service when the Korean action began. Large numbers of troop kitchens have continued as gray caboose “guard cars” for military trains and for guarding classified cargo [ nuclear materials, missiles or ??]. A friend who was a conductor on the Erie—EL once told me of receiving strict orders to stay in his caboose if the train stopped—or be shot. His caboose wasn’t the only one on the train! Mysterious “gray trains in the night” have been seen passing our town on the Wabash- N&W- NS. So paint a kitchen car or two gray, add to your freight train and when friends ask what it is? “I can’t tell you, I’d have to kill you.”


Click for Larger Picture
Click for Larger Picture








Cannonball Car Shop’s troop cars were designed to permit readily modeling the hundreds of variations that were found across the US and Canada from the 1940s through today. Either phase version of the troop sleeper and either phase version of the troop kitchen are facilitated and sides are available for ease of construction- or revision. We use an injection molded styrene core and offer both the kitchen and sleeper sides with open windows and with sheathed windows. Phase 1 sleepers used an unusual bowed side sill to clear the central stairwell. [Thus most rail conversions for revenue service used the stronger phase 2 cars and conversions for MofW camp cars, etc. often used phase 1]. For phase 1, we include a plastic mounting template to attach with strip styrene after you clean off the molded side sill as found on the phase 2. Phase 2 kitchen cars had extra gussets bracing on the top of the car end–we include them for attachment.  O and S scale etched brass body parts are also offered. Many of these cars continue to serve in MofW service. Original Allied trucks may be found on cars that were originally converted to railroad service but they were replaced on cars that ran in revenue (mostly express) service by the early 1950s.  Converted troop kitchen cars are still used by the US government as “gray cabooses” (guard cars) in military and nuclear train service. Revenue conversions of troop kitchen cars were made by Alaska RR (heated refrigerator cars); Burlington (express boxcar/baggage #8600-8899); C&EI (milk #6,7 and express/baggage #8-24); C&S (baggage 240-243); FtW&D (baggage 109-110); Monon (storage mail #203-206 and more) and  N&W  (baggage) . The sheathed window kitchen car sides should be used to model these.  [Roof walks and ladders were not  used on any US revenue car conversions except the refrigerator and express refrigerator cars and earlier era ARR boxcars]. Ladders and walks  were added on many MofW conversions. Nearly early one hundred railroads and firms bought war surplus troop cars and made their own passenger train heater cars, unique weed sprayers, cabooses (C&O, Monon, Bangor & Aroostook, Miss Term, Detroit & Mackinac),  MofW camp and kitchen cars etc. Algoma Central baggage and steam heater cars should use the open window sleeper sides with optional window plugs as do other Canadian conversions (PGE and ON) we have managed to isolate. As built, the troop cars used two underbody AB brake sets. Over a decade of research (before internet access and interest groups made research easier) were involved in the development of the Cannonball Car troop car models.


Specific information and Etched brass Carsides to create converted troop cars in HO and N Scales are found on our Passenger Car page (express, mail & milk cars) and our Freight and MofW Car page (cabooses and MofW). S scale converted express car is listed on this page.








HO TROOP CARS ITEMS Injection molded Styrene:

#197-9700          Troop Car Core (floor,ends,roof,vents)

    $  9.00

#197-9701 Troop Sleeper Sides pr

    $  8.00

#197-9704  Troop & Hospital Kitchen Sides                                              $9.00

#197-9703  Troop Kitchen Sides-blanked windows                              $10.00

#197-9701.1 Sleeper Side window plugs                                                    $2.00

#10-72       Trp Slpr Stairwell (phase 1) cast metal pr                                 $2.50

772.2 4701 PH2#772.2- 4701PH2 Stirrup Steps –etched brass (for phase2 sleepers)     $2.50

#293-3013 AB Brake set by Tichy       styrene                                             $3.00


#10-1201   Allied Full Cushion Trucks                                                    $11.95

#197-97002 Troop Car Decals (for 2 sleepers,1 kitchen)             $10.00

 Includes number jungles designed for prototypical number series                               

#197-97010 Hospital Kitchen Decals (2 color)                                                        


Includes additional material for unique military service cars


Please note we design our brass products in HO in a manner that allows relative ease of retooling in other scales. Firm interest in other scales will result in our production in those scales. These are double etched brass.




#772.2-48-9701 Troop Sleeper  O scale  roof, sides, ends,vents                   $249.95

#772.2-64-9701 Troop Sleeper  S scale  roof, sides, ends, vents                   $249.95

#772.2-64-9705  C&O Style Express Conv.  S roof,sides, ends, vents          $249.95

#772.2-48-97003 Decals O Scale (for 2 sleeper,1 kitchen)                                  $19.95

HO World War II HOSPITAL CAR   The etched brass wrapper for these cars has been continued in recent years as a special order item since the Eastern Car Works core components became unavailable. 


#772.2-9708S  WWII Hospital brass wrap FLAT w/decal                         $149.95

#772.2-9708F WWII Hospital brass wrap FORMED w/decal              $145.00  

#772.2-97004 HO Hospital Car (2 color Decal)                                            $9.95

For use with our ACF Hospital car or with heavyweight car conversions. Includes roof badges.

REFERENCE ARCHIVES these pages of information list items that are not for sale.

By clicking further on the TROOP CAR link you will find much specific information about the prototypes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ORDER FROM THESE PAGES, PLEASE. AVAILABLE KITS AND PRICES INFO IS OBSOLETE.




Click here for Price and Availability UPDATES for this catalog page with shared info and photos.


Click here for information about RESERVING NEW PRODUCTS and items in other scales.


Click here to return to top of this  MILITARY & CIRCUS  CARS PAGE


Click here for more info and shared photos of CONVERTED TROOP CARS


Click here for Alaska Boxcar, D&M and BAR ex troop cabooses, D&RGW Dynamometer, REA Express Reefer  conversions for FREIGHT, CABOOSE and MofW CARS PAGE


Click here for every US road conversion to revenue service in PASSENGER CARS PAGE.


Click for ARCHIVES including much of our early research in developing the military cars.

Circus Modelers



For several years Model Railroad Warehouse has offered the WWII Hospital car as a kit and it’s “wrapper” as a part for HO scale scratch builders.  This is a “natural” for recent vintage modeling of the RBB&B circus conversions for this car. It is listed in the Military Cars above.  Appropriate 6 wheel trucks are found on the PASSENGER CARS page.




We are now accepting  reservations for  both Warren and Mt Vernon Circus Flat Car kits in HO, N,S and O scale as well as a shortened O version for “tinplate” curves.  The circus flat car kits would include basswood floor and double etched brass body structures designed for assembly using either ACC cements or solder. Our LTD  Series double etched brass body kits have been well received by traction modelers and those desiring prototypical troop car conversions. Trucks, couplers, and brake gear are not included as modelers have individual preferences. The engineering of these kits has reached the point where firm reservations in specific scales are now required to proceed with the tooling.  Sufficient firm reservations of  LTD series itens move them into active status in our priority list.


Prices are $TBA at this time. We expect the  O, S and shorty O cars to be in the  $50-$65 price range while HO and N cars should be in the $25-$39 price range. These estimates assume reservations of several dozens in the given scale and stabilization of brass prices. There will be a “cheaper by the dozen” pricing of bulk packed kits in dozen packs. Appropriate trucks are found on the FREIGHT CARS page.

Firm reservations for circus flats should indicate scale, and car type. Click here  for information about the reservations procedure. Catalog numbers  (#772.2-) will be listed here with guaranteed advance order prices as reservation levels move items along into active tooling.   

Be sure to visit our YARDSALE page often. Circus models are frequently listed there. 

CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR YARDSALE  featuring “new”  but long out of production engines, kits and parts  as well  bargain priced  current products (new in boxes) with firm “buy now”  prices (and showing current msrp so you KNOW your savings ).  YARDSALE listings are changed monthly.



“There will be a price increase coming, just as soon as I can shake the accounting mountain I am working on.  Existing prices will apply to the orders we have on hand, but there will be little to no notice once I get new pricing calculated.  We have had several supplier price increases in the past 24 months or so since I reviewed pricing last.  Other pricing pressures have been mounting especially related to several recent regulatory changes.  Some of these changes we are not only experiencing directly, but each of our suppliers have had similar impacts that are affecting the prices we pay them.  It is a sad circumstance that government officials don’t seem to understand, but this impact is a growing factor in manufacturing life.  Sorry to be the messenger.”


All items on this showroom page are open stock and IN STOCK OR IN TRANSIT unless they are noted for reservation OR listed in the PAGE UPDATE as temporarily unavailable.  Exceptions and details on reservations are:


These items are tooled and are available on a custom order basis rather than open stock. KIT Delivery depends on the production schedule of our etchers but is typically 3-6 weeks. Firm orders with payment by credit card, website shopping cart, check or money order is required


HO Hospital Car wrappers- flat or formed

O & S Scale Troop Sleeper body kit

O& S Scale Converted Troop Sleeper- C&O Style Express body k



These items are tooled or tooling nearing completion. Production is expected within the year. They must be reserved before release for the prerelease price posted. Reserve NOW by:                     1) Phone or mail giving credit card (Visa or MC) information name and address. Card will be charged when shipped our address Model RR Warehouse, PO Box 411, Roanoke, IN 46783 OR     

2) Sending one email (subject line “RESERVATION for…) per item giving quantity  & scale wanted;  name and address (both mailing and UPS delivery) and phone in case email bounces We will send an email for easy paypal email; phone;  or mail payment when ready to ship. IF YOU CHANGE email address: don’t just tell us—send a new reservation from the new address.   You will not be put on an emailing list. Your message will be filed in a reservation folder and any updates and the call for payment will be personal email replies.  Our address: mrrwarehouse (at)               OR

3) Any checks or money orders will be cashed when received (at Model Railroad Warehouse, PO Box 411, Roanoke, IN 46783) and order is firm Any shopping cart orders will be charged when order is placed and order is firm. 



READY FOR FINAL TOOLING STEPS – BUT NEED ADDITIONAL RESERVATIONS IN ORDER FOR US TO PROCEED. RESERVE using # 2 method listed above. Send no money.  Scheduling will depend on firm reservations.




Preliminary engineering of these kits has been done. Advance reservations will determine whether we proceed with tooling. Use method # 2 outlined above. If you’d like to add items to this list, please send returnable photos & plans or dimensioned sketches (w/ SSAE) for our consideration.  Steel streetcars & interurbans, heavyweight or modernized passenger & baggage-express cars are particularly suited for consideration Wood or steel cabooses considered as well—our former Red Ball caboose project is stirring.

MILITARY AND CIRCUS PAGEOurExisting HO or previous etched brass kits (specify quantity in each scale wanted) Any dealers or clubs wishing “exclusive” models may have 1 or 2 year exclusive rights upon introduction with sufficient reservations. True Exclusive rights require significant tooling investment. Suggested links show prototype photos.

Circus Flatcars

Military Mortuary or Coffin Car 


Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.


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