UMTRR February, 2002 || Edited From Subscriber Edition
©2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Legal Stuff

N SCALE NEW RELEASES:

20296, $12.80 - 40 Foot Single Door Boxcar (Youngstown or "Narrow Rib" Door), Union Pacific. Mineral Red (dark boxcar red) with yellow lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left. Alternating slogan "Road of the Streamliners" and "Be Specific-Ship Union Pacific" on right sides of car. Reporting Marks: UP 193450. Approximate Time Period: early 1950's (1950 shop date given by MTL) to as late as the mid-1970s, but more likely into the early 1960's. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

After last month's quite exotic entry for the Express Service business of the UP, here's a more typical boxcar that rode the rails in the fifties. This scheme reflects the circa-1949 replacement of the slogan "Serves All The West" with the slogan "Be Specific-Ship Union Pacific"-- I guess UP finally figured out that Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and North and South Dakota are considered to be part of the West? (Well, that depends on your point of view, I guess. Mine is with a decidedly Eastern bias.) © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The series 193000 to 193748 is listed in the July 1950 Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) (Westerfield CD-ROM) with the description "Box, Steel, Z-Bar" and the following vital statistics: Inside length 40 feet 5 inches, outside length 41 feet 10 inches, inside height 10 feet 6 inches, door opening 6 feet, and capacity 100,000 pounds. There were 741 cars in the group. And there were another five thousand or so cars with similar dimensions in the road number neighborhood as well. The total number of cars had eased to 729 in the January 1959 ORER (Westerfield CD-ROM again) and to 717 in the January 1964 Register. I'd call that the most probable time period for the operation of this car as painted, since in late 1953 the dual slogans were eliminated and the "Be Specific" slogan was painted on both sides of the car. My guess is that by '64, many (but not all!) of the series had been repainted. But for the record, the series didn't see its end until sometime after April 1976, when there were still 13 cars on the roster. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Both the "Road of the Streamliners" and the "Be Specific" slogans have appeared on Union Pacific boxcars before; in fact, on 20000 series MTL Union Pacific boxcars before. And even both on the same car... catalog number 20286, to be exact, which was released in a three-pack back in July 1995. And then there's the reprint of catalog 20620 from August 1996. All of these appear to carry identical paint schemes. What's up with this? The difference between the cars is in a detail. Take a look at the lower right of the car side, below the slogan. On this new release, the UP car class is B-50-33; on the 20620 reprint, it's B-50-32; and on the 20286 threesome, it's B-50-24. You mean, that's it? There are "not a reprints" with larger differences than that, and this is counted as a new release? Uh, yeah, I guess so. One problem: According to John Nehrich's various citations presented on the RPI website, all of these 50 ton boxcars (that's the "B-50" part) are variations on the 1937 AAR design and were built too early to be the PS-1s which are the base for the MTL 20000 series. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

As long as we're counting "up" 20000 series box cars for the Union Pacific, there is also the 20089/20070 release which began with the "Class of 1972" original series of Kadee Micro-Trains cars, and there's the 20710, released December 1986, which includes the large roadname, the shield herald, and the "Automated Railway" slogan. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

30190, $18.80 - 50 Foot Outside Post ("Ribside") Double Door Boxcar, Galveston Railroad/ Golden West Service. Dark blue with mostly yellow lettering including reporting marks on left, and red and yellow GWS herald on right. Reporting Marks: GVSR 774154. Approximate Time Period: mid-1990's to 2000's (present). NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The Golden West Service fleet of refurbished cars has gotten a little more attention from the folks in Talent in recent years, with the reprinted 25520 single door boxcar from 1999, the 54080 bulkhead flat car in June 2001, and now this car. Not a flood of dark blue, to be sure, but a nod to the fact that in modern railroading these cars are a pretty common sight. Unfortunately, most of them aren't as pristine as this month's release-- the prototypes appear to be favored canvases for graffiti "artists." We've covered both the GWS and the Galveston Railroad in previous editions. But to recap, the Galveston Railroad, L.P. is the current operator of the former Galveston Wharves trackage around the port of that Texas Gulf Coast city. And the Golden West Service, part of the Greenbrier/Gunderson family of rail equipment companies, has been in the business of refurbishing and leasing rolling stock for quite a while now. They got started with a partnership with the Southern Pacific in the late 1980's. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

There are still 118 boxcars shown in this series in the January 2000 ORER, and given the public lack of access to car traces, it'll have to do for a proxy to "the present". The overall series is 774100 to 774223, AAR Class XP and basic description "Box, Steel." The inside length is 50 feet 7 inches and the outside length is 57 feet 11 inches (get out those extended draft gear trucks again). The double doors make for a 16 foot opening with which the MTL model aligns. Capacity is 149,000 pounds except for one lone example at 152,000 pounds. MTL says that this car was serviced in 1988; however my July 1989 ORER shows the GVSR without any freight cars... oops. I actually don't pick up this series until my October 1996 Register, where there are 119 cars in the group. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

73020, $15.05 - 40 Foot Single Door Boxcar (Youngstown or "Narrow Rib" Door), No Roofwalk, Full Ladders, The Rock (Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific). Blue with black lettering including reporting marks on left. Roadname "The Rock" on left; large black and white "R" herald on right. Reporting Marks: ROCK 57607. Approximate Time Period: mid 1970's to around 1980. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Well, sad to say, friends, that an Internet lookup on "The Rock" plus "boxcar" returns way too many citations to be useful. Not when "rock" is a genre of music... I didn't know there was a Boxcar Records! Yikes! So much for that idea. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

And we can use some research help on the tracing of the history of this and other Rock frieght cars, since, as I've mentioned before, they vanished from the ORERs after the Rock Island was shut down in 1980. I mean it... in the April 1976 Register, there are over 25 thousand cars listed under "RI" and "ROCK," and in April 1981's book, nothing, nada, zippo. (And it's also a bit hard for me to believe that I'm looking at a 20-plus year old Equipment Register for this!) © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Fortunately, we do have the single citation in the April '76 book for the series ROCK 57413 to 58149, AAR Class XM, the usual "Box, Steel." There were 737 cars in this group, with inside length 40 feet 6 inches, outside length 44 feet 4 inches, inside height 10 feet 5 inches, and door opening, 6 feet. This was by far the largest group of ROCK boxcars in existence at the time; it appears that there were no more than about 300 of the more familiar 50 foot outside post boxcars in "bankruptcy blue" at that point. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

MTL mentions that this car is a more prototypical update of Micro-Trains catalog number 24010, which is the same body style with cut-down ladders. That car was first issued in September 1976 with road number 57712, pretty contemporaneous with the real thing, actually. It was reprinted in October 1978 (road number 57717) and again in July 1990. In each of these cases there were blue and black door variations, and from a collector standpoint the black door versions have been more valuable. I doubt that we'll see two different color doors this time around. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

108090, $24.75 - 100 Ton 3 Bay Open Hopper, Reading and Northern (Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern). Black with red end panel. White lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname across top of car. Red, white and black herald on left. Red and yellow "Ease-Up" monogram on right. Reporting Marks: RBMN 7410. Approximate Time Period: late 1990's to present. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Please click here for commentary in the January 2002 UMTRR, Archive Version.

109040, $16.60 - Heavyweight Depressed Center Flat Car with 6 Wheel Commonwealth Trucks, Santa Fe (AT&SF). Freight car red with white lettering including reporting marks on left. Reporting Marks: ATSF 90000. Approximate Time Period: early 1950's (1953 built date) to mid-1980's (1987 retirement date, see below). NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

I was very pleasantly surprised to hit paydirt on the 'net for this one: You'll find two versions of the actual ATSF drawings for this one of a kind car on Russell Crump's Santa Fe Archives. Cool! And thus we can get out the N Scale Ruler and a previous 109er and compare. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

One of the more critical metrics is the size of the depressed center itself, or, more properly, the "platform," and the MTL model compares pretty well there. The drawings show the prototype is nine feet wide and 21 feet long and the model is nine feet wide and around 21 feet long, give or depending on exactly where you put the ruler. On each side of the prototype's platform there is 14 feet 3 inches worth of 3 inch wide wood planking; the model is a little short there at around 13 feet 9 inches... I did say a short! The distance between the truck centers is dead on at 41 feet even on the real and model; note that distance doesn't put the truck center at dead center of the platform, as was discussed on my umtrr@yahoogroups list. I suspect that the discrepancy is related to the slope between the depressed platform and the rest of the car; on the drawing it looks more abrupt than on the model. This doesn't seem to impact the overall length dimension of 58 feet 4 inches over the strikers as the model appears to measure out within a couple of scale inches of that. The biggest difference I found was the length between the coupler pulling faces, which is listed at 60 feet 10 inches on the prototype and is a few scale feet more than that on the model. I'll bet that body mounting the couplers will take care of that difference. Not that that looks to be a quickie process, as there's not much room there to body mount without running afoul of the trucks. (MTL has provided a pre-drilled hole for you.) There is a whole bunch more data on the drawing, with which I am sure some nits could be picked on the model vis a vis the prototype, but all in all, though, this car looks pretty close indeed. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

How 'bout ORER lookups? Nope, don't have to, thanks to our ATSF Special Correspondent George Hollwedel, who checked the Santa Fe Modelers' "Listing of Freight Cars by Class and Car Number." That book shows ATSF 90000 on the roster from 1953 to 1987. "There is not too much to the paint scheme so it is doubtful that it would have been changed. ACI labels and the black lube boxes would be needed in later years," George notes, "both easy to add. Hope this helps!" It sure does... but for the record, in the 1959 ORER (Westerfield CD-ROM), the Santa Fe doesn't appear to have more than a few DC flats in total. In fact, it may be only one other car, road number 90005. One of the flat cars listed in the Recapitulation of Car Equipment offers a capacity of a whopping 450,000 pounds! This road number 90000 is a little more common for heavy duty flats at 250,000 pounds, all of which can be concentrated onto 18 feet of the platform, as one might expect with this type of car. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.


N SCALE REPRINTS:

23050, $13.70 - 40 Foot Double Door Boxcar, Seaboard Air Line. Box car red with white lettering including roadname, number and "The Route of Courteous Service" slogan on right. Red and white Seaboard "heart" herald on left. Road Number: 22297 (will be listed as "SAL 22297" on the website). Approximate Time Period: mid-1940's (1945 delivery date given by MTL) to probably the late 1960's. Previous Release: Road Number 22420, April 1973 (originally as Catalog Number 23160). NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

"The Route of Courteous Service" was one of the multiple concurent slogans painted on Seaboard Air Line boxcars. Richard Hendrickson, in his article in the January 1998 issue of Rail Model Journal, notes that the series of cars from which this model was taken were in fact the Seaboard's first to receive the "Courteous Service" slogan. SAL Class AF-3 was delivered in 1945, road numbers 22200 to 22449, carrying steel running boards (roofwalks) as per AAR directive outlawing wood running boards on cars built after 1944. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

RMJ "courteously" (sorry) includes the Pullman-Standard builder's photo of Seaboard 22449, the last of the 250 cars in the series, and a couple of things show up on what is otherwise a relatively faithful MTL portrayal of the flavor of the car. First, we have the infamous "door thing"-- the 23000 body style comes with two eight foot doors for a 16 foot door opening, whereas the real thing had two six foot doors for a 12 foot opening. This is not an easy change to make-- I've tried to do it just for some variety, and ended up with some less than displayable results. Second, the words "Automobile - Furniture" should appear above the heart herald on the left, in slightly larger than "dimensional data" sized lettering. And if you really want to get technical, add "S.A.L." to the center of each of the doors, in slightly smaller than "dimensional data" sized lettering. Yikes! Good news in the fidelity department is that the 4/5 Dreadnaught ends on the prototype are reproduced on the model. The builders' photo was a three-quarter view, enabling this comparison; I don't expect that to become a regular feature of these bytes. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Skimming the ORERs we find that in July 1950 (Westerfield CD-ROM) the series has 249 cars out of the possible 250 total. The dimensions: 40 feet 6 inch inside length, 41 feet 11 inch outside length, 10 feet interior height, 12 foot 6 inch door opening (a "door thing" on my "door thing"?), 3713 cubic feet and 100,000 pound capacity. Only two cars had been lost through the January 1959 Register (Westerfield CD-ROM) and just two more through January 1964, for a total of 245. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The next ORER I have is April 1970 and by then the Seaboard Coast Line merger had happened, with its accompanying renumbering. Therefore, while the SAL 22200 to 22499 series is still listed, there is no car total associated with it. Tracing the restencil instructions, we would have SCL 822200 to 822499; and that yields 68 cars. Effectively, though, you're probably out of the ATP, since we can't tell whether any cars continued to advertise the Route of Courteous Service as originally painted. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Despite my nitpicking around the missing stenciling, the reprint of this car is a good deal better than my copy of the original run done by Kadee in 1973. While still ahead of much of what was available in N Scale back then, it's downright blurry looking by comparison to this Micro-Trains effort. I think this new run will relegate the old one to the collector consists... well, if it's still new in box with factory air. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

35090, $12.00 - 40 Foot Despatch Stock Car, Denver & Rio Grande Western. Black with white lettering including reporting marks on left and "speed lettering" Rio Grande roadname on right. Reporting Marks: D&RGW 36413. Approximate Time Period: mid 1950's to mid 1970's. Previous Releases: Road Number 36498, July 1974; Road Number 36405, November 1974; Road Number 36457, January 1988; Road Number 36428, February 1993; Road Number 36419, August 1996. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Denver, we have a problem.

While the MTL car copy says this car was built in the early 1920's, the speed lettering scheme wasn't adopted by the Rio Grande until the late 1930's. More importantly, the number series doesn't show up until the January 1959 ORER (Westerfield CD-ROM); before that the only cars in the 36000s aren't long enough or tall enough to be close. A check of the rosters posted on the site of the Rio Grande Modeling and Historical Society shows that these cars were built in 1955, not in the 1920's; it is of course always possible that they were rebuilds, but this time I kind of doubt that. From the roster tables it looks like these were the most recent stock cars the Rio Grande built; the RGM&HS lists them as retired by 1976. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In the January 1959 ORER we do have 100 cars in D&RGW series 36400 to 36499, AAR Class "SF" and description "Stock, Steel Underframe, Double Deck." A note gives the heights of each deck: 4 feet 2 inches on top and 5 feet 8 inches on the bottom, if you're curious. Inside length is 40 feet 7 inches and outside length is 41 feet 10 inches. The door opening is 6 feet. In January 1964's Register there was one less car but nothing else had changed. Skipping forward, the April 1970 book shows 95 cars, the April 1976 book shows 90 cars (not necessarily contradicting the above historical society data-- ORER data took a while to update), and the April 1981 book shows zip, not only of this series but of D&RGW stock cars in general. That reflects the decline, to just about nothing, of livestock service provided by railroads by that time. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

53020, $22.50 - 60 Foot Thrall® Centerbeam Flat Car, Trailer Train. Yellow with black lettering including reporting marks on left, "TT" logo in center and company name on right. Reporting Marks: TTZX 86097. Approximate Time Period: mid 1980's (1986 built date given by MTL) to present. Previous Release: Road Number 86090, April 1995. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

From its humble startup in March 1956 with 500 ex-Pennsylvania Railroad flat cars, Trailer Train, now TTX Corporation, has become one of the most visible "roadnames" on North American rails. It's not really a railroad, but a private equipment owner that is owned by its member railroads. Owned and serviced by the firm, over one hundred thousand cars are in a pool arrangement and are generally free to roam around railroad systems. Most of these cars carry containers, trailers, and automotive products, but a fair amount carry wood products as well. The TTX website has a nice array of technical data on the car types it owns and supports, including the TTZX series of 63 foot and 76 foot centerbeam flat cars. These are mostly PDF files so you'll need Adobe Acrobat to read them... including Figure D-27 which calls out the series 86000 to 86274 as being TTX car class TSH64, which were built by Thrall and are 60 feet 8 and 1/2 inches long. No pictures, though. Pity. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

No problem, though, for in the January 1996 issue of Rail Model Journal is a photo of the TTZX 86015 which accompanies a pretty extensive piece by D. Scott Chatfield on the centerbeam flat car. Chatfield tags the MTL car as a match to this series, down to the pulling eye in the corner posts which was included in Thrall's later construction of these cars. He also describes the 60 foot 8 inch version of the car as "short beams" versus the later and more populous 73 foot "long beam" cars. (And by the way, in the article, Chatfield also called out all of the roadnames that MTL has done as 53000s: BN, UP, Milwaukee and even the Domtar release-- and also notes that Western Pacific got 10 "short beam" cars, a paint scheme that MTL has yet to do.) © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Turning briefly to the ORERs, we do a two for one special on this number and the previous one and jump right to the January 2000 edition which is the latest one I own. Across various series and sub-series are a total of 271 cars in the group of road numbers from 86000 to 86274, which is just four shy of the theoretical maximum, so I think it's quite safe to say that "to present" is the appropriate ATP. Although I really do miss those public equipment traces! There is the possibility that an updated paint scheme, to just "TTX" and dropping the "Trailer Train" moniker, could have been applied, but I have no photo evidence one way or the other on that. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.


N SCALE SPECIAL EDITION RELEASES:

69170, $17.95 - 51 Foot Mechanical Refrigerator, Rivet Sides, Klondike® Mint Bar. Aluminum with blue lettering including reporting marks on left. Blue and green Klondike Mint logo on right. Reporting Marks: GH 696. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

My personal research on-- that is, eating of-- the various frozen products depicted on recent Micro-Trains SE releases comes to a grinding halt this month. Why? I don't like mint, never have. (Good thing Girl Scouts offer shortbread cookies as well as Thin Mints, otherwise, no sale.) There's another more practical reason as well-- the local supermarkets don't stock this particular brand extension. So I couldn't try it even if I wanted to. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Now, if I could get them to do a car for "Klondike Chocolate," which is chocolate ice cream with chocolate coating, mmmmm, now we're talkin'. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, there's "Krunch!" (chocolate with crisped rice coating, barely skirting the edges of another popular trademarked brand if you ask me), Dark Chocolate, Caramel Crunch, Almond, Cappucino, and for the dieters, the No Sugar Added/Reduced Fat version. And another type of mint-- the Klondike/York Peppermint Pattie which has the instead of the vanilla ice cream, peppermint flavored ice cream (!) covered in semi-sweet chocolate. Would this have been a licensing problem for MTL? Well, considering that York is a brand name of Hershey's, I don't think so! Meanwhile, there doesn't seem to be a Klondike Mint listed on their website...? Could this be a "fantasy flavor" to go on the "fantasy car"? I guess I wouldn't go that far. And I wouldn't go here either: former flavors of Klondike Bars offered in the 1920's include "maple" and "grape." Grape? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Anyway, this very short run (pun not intended) of SE releases concludes at two for the Klondike Bar, or at least that's what we've been told. I guess I'll have to research the other flavors on my own. Meanwhile, the same inappropriate "XF - Food Loading Only" designation appears on this car, as it did on the first one; if you're just joining us, "XF" is an AAR Class for boxcars, not refrigerator cars like this one. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

And, hold the "presses", here's another piece of data! According to the "Go Eat Your Homework! Pittsburgh" website, the Klondike Bar was marketed by William Isaly, the founder of the Isaly's Dairy chain (as reported last month) but was actually invented by his son Chester and named by Chester's wife Nelle. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.


Nn3 SCALE (NARROW GAUGE):
No releases this month.

Z SCALE:

New Release:
14145, Marklin Coupler, $16.25, 14145-2, Micro-Trains Coupler, $17.95;
40 Foot Single Door Boxcar, Union Pacific.
Mineral red (dark boxcar red) with yellow lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left. Alternating slogan "Road of the Streamliners" and "Be Specific-Ship Union Pacific" on right sides of car. Approximate Time Period: early 1950's (1950 shop date given by MTL) to as late as the mid-1970s, but more likely into the early 1960's. NOTE: This item (both versions) has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

See the N Scale listing above for commentary, excepting that about the three different releases of similarly painted UP box cars which only applies to N Scale.