A1G 2390 Series: Ice Refrigerators, Steel, 40 Foot, Hinged Door


This series was initially manufactured by Rivarossi for Atlas. Similar cars have been made over the years for AHM (very late in their history), Life-Like and Trix. More recently, in the mid-1990's, E-R Models revived this body style for a limited run of two numbers each of some roadnames including Railway Express and several meat packers. (See below for some bonus photos of those cars!) And Rivarossi still marketed at least the ATSF version of the car in its multipack sets in the late 1990's; it will have the "Atlas" removed from the underside of course.

The eight different releases in the series is tied for tops in any one group. There are no major variations known for any of these eight paint schemes. This series includes some of my personal favorites in the A1G collection, including the 2391 Illinois Central (which almost looks metal), the 2392 ATSF "El Capitan" and of course the 2393 Railway Express (REA), for which my grandfather worked for more than 50 years. The painting of the door detail on the 2391 Illinois Central, 2392 ATSF "El Capitan" and 2397 Morrell are among the earliest examples of this feature in N Scale. It took Micro-Trains until the decade of the 1990's to do this!

These cars are pretty popular and sometimes not that easy to find. The 2398 Carnation Milk can be particularly vexing and I'm quite sure I paid too much to get it! So the estimated value for these cars is a little more than typical for say, box cars.

Key spotting features for this car are:
- underframe stamped "Atlas"
- four hatches on roof (some similar cars marketed by other firms have only two hatches... humph)
- 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 2390 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 2390 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" 2390 series cars.

Table of Releases: Where available, click on "Image" to popup an image of the actual car.
Catalog # Popup
Image
Reporting
Marks
Description AV
AM
AV
MIB
2391Image IC 51004 Silver, Green, Diamond Hld L, Illinois Central5-77-9
2392Image ATSF 8155Orange/Black, Black Roof, Ends, "El Capitan" Slogan R5-77-9
2393Image REX 6101 Dk Green/Yellow,Red, Black Roof,Ends, REA Herald R5-77-9
2394Image MHLX 4326White/Red Black Ends, Miller High Life6-88-10
2395Image MDT 11288Orange/Black, Brown Roof, Ends, NYC "Earlybird" R5-77-9
2396Image NADX 6499Yellow/Green, Brown Roof, Ends, Safeway Foods5-77-9
2397Image MORX 9210Yellow/Black, Red, Silver Roof, Ends, Morrell Refrigerator Line5-77-9
2398Image CM 25001 White/Black, Red, Black Roof, Ends, Carnation Milk8-1012-15

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


BONUS! Here are images of some of the E-R Models releases from my accumulation. These were commissioned by E-R (now out of business) and were on the Rivarossi shells. I don't think I have all of them, but here are the models I do have. Like the A1G models that preceded them, these are not really more than "stand ins" for the prototype, but I liked them. Despite a very short run of each car, they didn't sell well; by the time these were released, better models of steel refrigerator cars were available. Note that on the Morrell cars, one had the "Morrell Refrigerator Line" legend on the left and one didn't. I think that was intentional and not necessarily a valuable error on the MORX 9903.

The insert label of the 70206 PFE states, "This model is one of 250 pieces of this roadnumber. Two roadnumbers are available per roadname. This production consists of a total of 10 roadnames. Models are produced in part in Italy, Canada and USA." Ten roadnames?!? Yikes, I guess I need to keep searching.

Update May 2013: Thanks to an e-mail sent to me quite a while ago by Internet Denizen "Spikre" (those of you who were active on the former Atlas Forum certainly recognize that handle!) and just re-located in my typically unorganized files, I have a complete list of the roadnames and catalog numbers. "Spikre" cited an E-R Models advertisement on Page 65 of the March 1995 issue of Rail Model Journal, which is quite embarassing since I actually own that particular magazine...

Anyway, with a very belated thanks to "Spikre," here's the table of the E-R Reissues, although as you can see, at this writing there remains a fair amount of data needed. As usual, where available, click on the "Image" to see what the car looks like.
Catalog Roadname Popup
Image
Reporting
Marks
Description
70201ArmourImage TRAX 12303 Yellow, Black Ends/Black, Red, Trademark R
70202ArmourImage TRAX 12304 Yellow, Black Ends/Black, Red, Trademark R
70203Swift's PremiumImage SRLX 1017 Silver/Red, Black, Trademark R
70204Swift's PremiumImage SRLX 1019 Silver/Red, Black, Trademark R
70205Pacific Fruit Express-PFE ?????Aluminum/Black, Red, White, SP & UP Heralds R
70206Pacific Fruit ExpressImagePFE 45691Aluminum/Black, Red, White, SP & UP Heralds R
70207Supreme Beef----------Description Not Confirmed
70208Supreme Beef----------Description Not Confirmed
70209Needham Packing----------Description Not Confirmed
70210Needham Packing----------Description Not Confirmed
70211Rock Island ----------Description Not Confirmed
70212Rock Island ----------Description Not Confirmed
70213Raskin Packing ----------Description Not Confirmed
70214Raskin Packing ----------Description Not Confirmed
70215Northern Pacific----------Description Not Confirmed
70216Northern Pacific----------Description Not Confirmed
70217Iowa Beef Packers----------Description Not Confirmed
70218Iowa Beef Packers----------Description Not Confirmed
70219Railway Express AgencyImage REX 6102 Green/Gold, Red, White, Diamond Hld R
70220Railway Express AgencyImage REX 6103 Green/Gold, Red, White, Diamond Hld R
70221Rath PackingImage RPRX 657 Yellow/Black, White, Red, Trademark R
70222Rath PackingImage RPRX 659 Yellow/Black, White, Red, Trademark R
70223MorrellImage MORX 9896Yellow/Black, Red, Blue, White, Trademark R, with "Morrell Refrigerator Line"
70224MorrellImage MORX 9903Yellow/Black, Red, Blue, White, Trademark R, without "Morrell Refrigerator Line"
70224Chicago & North Western----------Description Not Confirmed
70225Chicago & North Western----------Description Not Confirmed