A1G 2280 Series: 40 Foot Flat Cars, Steel, with Bulkheads

Well, isn't this fascinating... this is the second 2280 series in the A1G aggregation. This group is of only two roadnames-- well, maybe three-- but there are at least two variations on each one, with respect to the loads that they carry. Originally made by Roco for Atlas, Atlas later did its own very similar version in several other roadnames before issuing a completely retooled pulpwood car in the late 1990's.

These cars are interesting for a couple of reasons.

First, the "Southern Pacific" roadname comes with "N&W" reporting marks-- yep, Norfolk and Western! I guess that's how one could count three railroads with only two releases. In addition, there are "light" and "heavy" lettering variations; probably based simply on how much paint was being used that day.

Second, the cars came with two distinct loads, one of which appears to have been offered in two different ways. There was a simulated log load, which could also pass for pipes given its uniformity. And there was a simulated lumber load, made of of several snap-together plastic pieces. In most cases this was four pieces to depict a lumber load eight layers high (four pieces of two "boards" each). But in some cases, the load was comprised of just six layers high, three pieces of two boards each. Until January 2006, I'd not considered the idea that there could be two different lumber loads; but upon a more thorough examination of my own accumulation, I noted that I had both types myself! So I'm considering this to be an ongoing story... for cars that are more than 30 years old. For now, while I try to more completely authenticate the two different lumber loads (which might take a while!) I am listing them as sub-variations.

You'll notice from the images, by the way, that my copies of some of these cars are really not in the best shape. I am passively seeking replacements (meaning if I see them at a reasonable price, I'll get them). So if you have or know of better kept copies of these cars, please drop me a line.

Thanks to Dan McDonough for his help in acquiring "new" copies of two of the Illinois Central cars for the accumulation, which are actually quite old based on the plastic boxes in which they were enclosed. Note how there are no plastic inserts at all; instead there are two hard plastic pieces (marked with a "3") that fall away when the car is taken out of the box. Trust me, it's a non-trivial task to get them back into position.

There's also no paper insert, just a not carefully placed sticker with the catalog number, road name and body style. Although I'm not sure what "Jll" stands for, perhaps the "Jllinois Central"?!?

While refreshing this page, I've also found an image sent to me in 2006 of the 2281a2 car with six board lumber load. However, I don't have the information on who sent it to me... if it's your image please let me know so I can give you proper credit for sharing!

The 2280 series also covers 40 foot double door box cars (see that page); fortunately, the actual catalog numbers don't overlap.

Key spotting features for this car are:
- underframe stamped "Atlas Austria"
- removeable bulkhead ends (as anyone who has dropped one of these will confirm)
- plastic "log" or "lumber" load; the "logs" could pass for "pipes" as well, except that they are solid
- small stirrups at ends of the car
- original trucks with wheels pressed on seperate axles and Rapido couplers, attached with "foldover" metal strips

I cannot say for sure whether there is supposed to be a brake wheel on these cars. There seems to be a point on one of the bulkheads that could accept a vertical brake wheel but none of my cars have one and I've not seen any pictures or scans of cars with them either.

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 2280 series flat car in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
- all four stirrups intact (not all the ones in the scan are!)
- bulkheads intact via the pins that hold it into the body with no bending
- log or lumber load intact with no damage
- 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 2280 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" 2280 series cars.

Table of Releases: Where available, click on "Image" to popup an image of the actual car.
Catalog # Popup
Description AV
2281a1Image SP 5373 Black,White, 8 Board Lumber Load, "N&W" Reporting Marks4-65-7
2281a2ImageSP 5373 Black,White, 6 Board Lumber Load, "N&W" Reporting Marks4-65-7
2281bImage SP 5373 Black,White, Log Load, "N&W" Reporting Marks 4-65-7
2282a1Image IC 63234 Black,White, 8 Board Lumber Load
Rep Mks Only Left
2282a2Image IC 63234 Black,White, 6 Board Lumber Load
Rep Mks Only Left
2282b Image IC 63234 Black,White, Log Load
Rep Mks Only Left

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