A1G 2220 Series: 40 Foot Box Cars, Plug Door ("Refrigerator" Cars)

This series was manufactured in Austria by Roco. It's debatable whether these cars should really be in the refrigerator category, or in the box car group. Three data points push it in the "refrigerator" direction. First, many prototype plug door box cars received the AAR Class "RB" which does stand for refrigerator car, or at least insulated box car. Second, three of the four cars in the 2220 group are supposed to represent refrigerator cars (the KO&G doesn't). Third, Atlas itself referred to these as refrigerator cars. I suppose that should be enough for me, but I'm going to leave them in the boxcar category anyway, with the "refrigerator" disclaimer.

Of the four 2220s, at least one is somewhat prototypical. There actually was a Therm Ice car which carried dry ice, although a car lettered for "Publicker", painted almost identically, was more prevalent in real life. The KO&G car is open to question. The Blatz and National Dairy Despatch... no, "it ain't prototype". However, both do hold very special significance to me, as they were the first two cars I added on to my original Atlas Train Set. I purchased them with "birthday money" at the now legendary Model Railroad Equipment Corporation on West 45th Street in Manhattan, February, 1970. When buying them, I also got their price list of all of the N Scale material that they had available, four pages in very small print! It made me wish I had a birthday every week!

Much later, I purchased, and I can now present, a "thin lettering" version of the 2222 National Dairy Despatch. This isn't just a difference in the paint thickness; there are some subtle differences in the shape of the letters as well. Barry Wingard noted this in his "Collector's Guide to N Scale." The "thin lettering" version appears to be more scarce than the "thick lettering" version. But the 2224 Blatz "Old Heidelberg" with the red roof is the key car of this group. In general, though, there are plenty of these cars around as this was among the most common of the A1G series.

Key spotting features for this car are:
- underframe stamped "Atlas Austria"
- eight and a half foot plug door
- presence of a second, smaller tack board to the left of the plug door, and below the main, larger tack board (this distinguishes the 2220's from the "second generation" Atlas plug door cars, which do not have the second tack board)
- original trucks with wheels pressed on seperate axles and Rapido couplers, attached with "foldover" metal strips

Note: The following information on conditions and "Approximate Value" prices are intended to be a guideline only and is presented with no warranties, express or implied. Caution: Definitions and prices can and do vary with collectors, buyers and sellers, and, of course, whether a person is buying or selling an item. That's the way a "free market" works...

A 2220 series car in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
- all four stirrups intact
- brake wheel and running board (roofwalk) in place with no breakage or bending
- no weathering
- no abrasions, scratches or other damage to the paint
- the original trucks with the original metal wheels which were fitted to the axles
- "Rapido" type couplers, truck mounted (this is a case where changing to Micro-Trains® trucks and/or couplers is not a plus!).
Note that minor paint flaws on these cars were common and should not be considered especially "collectible"; in fact, I'd rather have a "perfect" paint job.

A 2220 series car in "mint in box" or "MIB," meets all "As Manufactured" criteria plus:
- no dust, dirt or wear on the car itself
- no wear on wheels (although discolored wheels are common)
- kept in the original Atlas box
- box itself is intact with no cracks, breakage or crazing, with original Atlas label (usually white with black printing), plastic liner (usually blue), and cover. Both inserts and labels vary as the A1G series was sold for years. Store price stickers may or may not detract depending on the placement, size and wear.

There are no approximate values for "runner" 2220 series cars.

Table of Releases: Where available, click on "Image" to popup an image of the actual car.
Catalog # Popup
Description AV
2221 Image KO&G 30011 Blue/White, Reporting Marks L, Initials + Roadname R
Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf
2222aImage NDDX 8133 Silver/Black, National Dairy Despatch
Thick Lettering
2222bImage NDDX 8133 Silver/Black, National Dairy Despatch
Thin Lettering
2223 Image TICX 8903 Silver/Blue,Red, Therm Ice Dry Ice4-65-7
2224aImage URTX 27107 Yellow/Red,Black, Blatz "Old Heidelberg"
Black Roof
2224bImage URTX 27107 Yellow/Red,Black, Blatz "Old Heidelberg"
Red/Orange Roof

AV = Approximate Value (US$ range)
AM = As Manufactured (see above)
MIB = Mint In Box (see above)
Abbreviations: Hld=Herald, R/N=Roadname, L/R=Left/Right Side of Car

In August 2001, Atlas-- at long last, perhaps?-- updated the Therm Ice plug door boxcar with a new release in its "Trainman" line. Atlas has definitely updated the paint and lettering on this run, as can be seen in the image above. Do I need to tell you that the A1G car from the late sixties is on the left? That A1G car was part of my original train set!

Oops! Looks like a registration error here. The red "Therm" is in the usual place on the car, but the "Ice" and the rest of the blue print isn't quite aligned... or straight. This car is an example of the pad printing process gone awry. I picked up this car on eBay in November 2015, illustrating that there are still some surprises out there with respect to A1G rolling stock.