©2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Legal Stuff
N SCALE NEW RELEASES:
25620, $15.40 - 50 Foot Exterior Post Boxcar, (a.k.a. "Ribside" or "Railbox" Type), Single Door, Montana Rail Link.Dark blue with mostly white lettering including reporting marks and roadname on left. White MRL stripe logo on right. Boxcar red doors. Reporting Marks: MRL 20030. Approximate Time Period: late 1980's (1987 paint date given by MTL) to around 1990 (a guess, due to the doors). NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Hmm, Burlington Northern went to all of that trouble to paint up a boxcar for the Montana Rail Link, and they didn't bother to do the doors to match? What happened there? Did they run out of paint? Did the shift at the paint shop end? Did priorities change? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Well, maybe what actually happened was that the doors were handled apart from the car body, and didn't come back together until final re-assembly. Sliding doors get pretty beat up on a regular basis, given the constant back and forth motion and the occassional encounter with loading equipment or cargo. So they're replaced or repaired more frequently than other parts of the car. There's no doubt in my mind that Micro-Trains has photographic evidence of this particular car being painted this way, but it would be interesting to know whether all in the short series (noted below) started their careers for the MRL with boxcar red doors. Given the well-kept condition in which I usually find MRL rolling stock, I would estimate that the non-matching doors didn't stay that way for long, and that's how I've cast the ATP. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The listing in the Official Railway Equipment Register for July 1989, which is the closest I have to the birthday of the MRL of October 31, 1987, shows just 19 cars in the total series 20000 to 20031. The inside length is 50 feet 6 inches and the outside length 55 feet 7 inches (better get out the extended draft gear couplers). The door opening is ten feet which lines up with the MTL model regardless of what color the door is. At this early point in its history the MRL had just 977 cars, of which 350 were covered hoppers, 383 were boxcars of various types, and 100 were woodchip gondolas. By October 1991 the total number of MRL cars had risen to 1166, but this series hadn't gone up or down. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The next Register I checked was October 1996, where I found 13 cars left out of the original group; and I ended in January 2000 with 13 again, including, specifically, the 20030. Meanwhile, the MRL was apparently picking up similar cars second hand from other railroads. An example is posted on the "Northwest Rail Pics" site. MRL 20091 came from the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton, fortunately, with the blue door matching the rest of the car. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
While fooling around with all of this, I wondered just where the BN would have boxcar red doors laying around anyway. They certainly didn't use them on Cascade Green cars. How about the BN predecessors? Probably not. Well, how about the Frisco, which the BN purchased in 1980? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The MRL roster on Tim Harris' "Unofficial MRL" site, which was largely culled from a 1995 article in Diesel Era magazine, the cars were built in 1971 by ACF and came from the SLSF series 42000 to 42499. And therefore they would have had boxcar red doors. Mystery solved, perhaps? Sounds good enough for me. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
26010, $17.95 - 50 Foot Exterior Post Box Car (a.k.a. "Ribside" or "Railbox Type"), Combination Plug and Sliding Door, Railbox Corporation.
26010, $17.95 - 50 Foot Exterior Post Box Car (a.k.a. "Ribside" or "Railbox Type"), Combination Plug and Sliding Door, Railbox Corporation.Yellow with black lettering including reporting marks on left. Red, black and blue "Next Load/Any Road" logo on right. Aluminum roof. Black sliding door. Reporting Marks: ABOX 50062. Approximate Time Period: late 1970's (1978 built date given by MTL) to present, but see text. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
You didn't think the Class I railroads were going to let those little pipsqueak shortlines run away with all that incentive per diem, did you? I mean, how long were roads like the Moscow, Camden and San Augustine going to be able to collect on their boxcars roaming around the country, gathering up significant revenues and fat profits at the expense of the big guys? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The answer to that question was Railbox, a subsidiary of Trailer Train which was, as we noted last month, owned by the big guys. This ABOX boxcar was a later addition to the fleet; the more common RBOX-stenciled cars, which were single sliding door models, came first. But you've gotta like those reporting marks... what is this car again? "A BOX" of course. (Sorry.) Like the RBOX cars, the ABOX cars were sent off to other lines following the passing of the boxcar crisis and the subsequent deflation of the incentive per diem fleets. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The October 2000 issue of Rail Model Journal has a color photo of ABOX 50967, which isn't from the same prototype series as this offering, but it's close. The accompanying writeup notes that the combination door made life easier for the loading of items like plywood and wallboard. The "x" in Railbox goes right over the auxiliary plug door on the real thing, as with the MTL model. However, MTL chose the later smaller versions of both the Railbox name and the "next load any road" symbol, and deleted the "The Nationwide Box Car Pool" slogan. This should actually shift the ATP forward, but I can't find a date for when this newer scheme replaced the original one. Meanwhile, there are also articles in Railroad Model Craftsman on ABOX cars built by Pacific Car, in the July and August 1980 issues. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The ORER for April 1981 shows 400 cars in the series ABOX 50000 to 50399, AAR Class XM, description "Box, Steel, Nailable Steel Floor, Double Door, Lading Strap Anchors." The inside length is 50 feet 6 inches and the outside length, 55 feet 4 inches. Total door opening is 16 feet, no "door thing" there with respect to the model. Capacity is 154,000 pounds. The group slipped quickly to just 165 pieces in October 1986 but remained relatively stable at that level right through the 1990's. The January 2000 Register listed 162 cars. However, the paint and especially the lettering didn't hold up well. There's a dynamite piece by Mike Budde in the January 2002 RMJ that describes a process for "fading out" the red and blue arrows in the "Next Load Any Road" device. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
For those of you who don't like loose ends, note that the designation of this car as Catalog Number 26010 fills that space in the 26er lineup. Not like that's a big deal. There have been only 3 other paint schemes in this body style, namely, the Minnesota, Dakota and Western, Missouri Pacific, and Canadian National with CNA reporting marks, over the space of 17 years. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
31320, $12.80 - 50 Foot Single Door Boxcar, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (Burlington).
31320, $12.80 - 50 Foot Single Door Boxcar, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (Burlington).Boxcar red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and "Burlington Route" herald on right. Alternating slogans "Everywhere West" and "Way of the Zephyrs" on right side of car under herald. Reporting Marks: CB&Q 21383. Approximate Time Period: early 1940's (1941 build date given by MTL) to mid-1950s (Allied Trucks banned from interchange service in 1955), or change the trucks and go into the 1960's. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We can safely establish that despite the slogan, the Burlington did not go "Everywhere West," even with its friendly owner connections Great Northern and Northern Pacific. But that other slogan... "Way of the Zephyrs". Now that's the stuff of legend. The original Burlington Zephyr was built by the Budd Company of Philadelphia in 1933, and was christened on April 18, 1934. It was an immediate sensation; there was nothing else quite like the three (later four) car set clad in gleaming stainless steel. The "Q" pumped up the volume by staging a "Dawn to Dusk" run from Denver to Chicago on May 26, 1934, blasting across 1,015 miles in 13 hours and five minutes for an average speed of 77.5 miles per hour, hitting 112.5 MPH along the way for a new train speed record. The train was renamed the "Pioneer Zephyr" when similar trainsets of the same type joined the roster. In 1960 the train was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Visit the Pioneer Zephyr online at the Museum's website. And of course you can still see the Zephyr in person at the museum itself. And let's not forget the entire Nebraska Zephyr at the Illinois Railway Museum in nearby Union, Illinois. Hmm, another excuse to get to the Windy City and environs. I've already promised my son Kieran that we would go see "Sue" the T-Rex... © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Meanwhile, here's a basic late steam era car than can be logically placed in a pike anywhere in the USA if you're modeling that particular era. The ORER for July 1950 (Westerfield CD-ROM) shows the CB&Q series 21000 to 22749 with a total of 1093 cars, description "Box, All Steel". Most of these were AAR Classification "XM" but 25 were equipped with DF loaders and given AAR Classification XME, although that's probably not how they were built. The inside length was 50 feet 6 inches, outside length 52 feet 3 inches, inside height 10 feet 6 inches, extreme height 15 feet 1 inch, door opening 8 feet, capacity 4949 cubic feet or 100,000 pounds. Note, though, that since the MTL 31000 body style is technically of a PS-1 fifty foot car, the CB&Q prototype would predate that particular model's introduction and therefore I'd expect some differences. Since the Allied trucks went in '55, that's the only really relevant ORER I can cite, but for the record, let's go ahead a few more books. In January 1959 there were 935 cars without and 171 cars with the DF loaders. In January 1964 there were 922 without DF and 165 with, and in April 1970 under Burlington Northern, there were still nearly 400 cars remaining although 48 of them had been demoted to the dreaded "hide and tankage loading." Whether any of these cars continued to wear the original paint scheme at that point is questionable too, but since we're talking about the CB&Q and the BN, never say never. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
78100, $18.35 - 50 Foot Automobile Boxcar, Double Doors and End Doors, Pere Marquette.
78100, $18.35 - 50 Foot Automobile Boxcar, Double Doors and End Doors, Pere Marquette.Boxcar red sides and roof, black ends. White lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname on right. Reporting Marks: PM 72142. Approximate Time Period: early 1940's (1941 built date given by MTL) through the 1950's. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Here's the first Micro-Trains car ever for the Pere Marquette Railway. The PM was a line that criss-crossed much of the State of Michigan, serving Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint, and as far north as Bay View. It also leaped across Ontario to reach Buffalo, half on its own track and half through trackage rights (east of St. Thomas). You need to back up 55 years for the end of the PM, for it was absorbed into the Chesapeake and Ohio back in 1947. Control by the C&O went back to 1929, though; notice the resemblance in the roadname lettering style to C&O roadnames of the same time period. The PM was formed by a three-way merger in 1900. What does "Pere Marquette" mean? Literally, "Father Marquette," and check your history books: Father Jacques Marquette was a Jesuit missionary and explorer of what is now the Great Lakes region of the United States. I'm being lazy here but I think this is the only case in which a major North American railroad was named in honor of an actual person. "Pere" is pronounced "pear" like the fruit, says my wife Rosemary, who took French in high school. I'm glad I asked, I've been pronouncing it "peer". Oops. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
"Pere Marquette" was not only the name of the railroad, but the name of several of its premier passenger trains, which covered 152 miles between Detroit and Grand Rapids in 160 minutes including stops. The "Pere Marquettes" were among the early all-streamlined trains. Amtrak brought the name back when it returned passenger service to Grand Rapids; unlike the original Pere Marquettes, these went west out of town, not east. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The October 1996 issue of Rail Model Journal gives a mini-history of these cars. As MTL notes, these cars in the 72125 to 72149 came from Greenville Car Company in 1941, and fifty more numbered from 72150 to 72199 arrived in 1942. The restenciling algorithm for the post-PM era was pretty simple: Drop a '2' in front of the five digit number and change the reporting marks to C&O. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Although the C&O had swallowed the PM by the July 1950 ORER, the "Pere Marquette District" had its own listing in the book and I almost missed it on the Westerfield CD-ROM version. PM stencils remained on all 25 cars in the series 72125 to 72149 in this listing. Inside length was 50 feet 6 inches, outside length 51 feet 9 inches, inside height just 10 feet, a little lower than usual. The side door opening was 14 feet 6 inches, so there is a moderate "door thing" here, as the MTL doors cover 16 feet. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In the January 1959 ORER there were 24 cars in three subseries: six were AAR class XM and called "Box, Steel, Staggered Doors." One was AAR Class XAP with description "Automobile, Steel, Staggered Doors" with a capacity of 100,000 pounds and was requipped to handle automobile frames. Seventeen cars were requipped to handle auto axles, with capacity marked down to 95,000 pounds. The 72142 was not in either of these exceptions, and isn't it interesting that the exceptions are 18 cars and the "rule" is just six cars? Go figure. By January 1964's Register, the C&O markings had replaced the PM stencil on the series. Rats. I had hoped to be able to run this car on my 1963-era Wilmington and New York... well, I might just do that anyway! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
I would also be remiss if I did not mention that not only is there a Pere Marquette Historical Society, but that it has a nice web presence as well. Surf there and you'll find maps, rosters, surviving features and a bibliography of available PM related books. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
94200, $22.85 - 3 Bay Center Flow® Covered Hopper with Long Hatches, Illinois Central.
94200, $22.85 - 3 Bay Center Flow® Covered Hopper with Long Hatches, Illinois Central.Dark gray with white lettering including reporting marks on left and 1990's IC herald on right. Reporting Marks: IC 799623. Approximate Time Period: mid-1990's (1996 build date given by MTL) to present. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The CSX took abuse for its "Stealth" paint scheme on locomotives, but this car trumps that livery! A dark gray car with not much above minimalist lettering, how's that for stealth? But up until its acquisition in 1998 by the Canadian National, the railroad itself was getting to a higher profile, after seemingly heading in a "stealth" direction for a number of years. It rebought some of the trackage it had spun off, including the Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad, its former Iowa Division of which it had let go in 1985. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
After the CN picked up the IC, it was divided into two "CN" divisions. The Midwest Division comprised everything north of Centralia, Illinois and the Gulf Division comprised everything south of there. Appropriate that Centralia would be the division point, since it was an early "railroad town" and the origination point for the IC's original "Chicago Branch"-- the IC's initial route was from Cairo to Galena! It's also interesting that there would be only two divisions for the entire former IC, a far cry from the quite old rule of thumb that a division was "as far as a steam train could travel in a day". © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Three hundred cars in the series 799500 to 799799 were listed in the July 1998 ORER, with capacity of 5150 cubic feet or 223,000 pounds, outside length of 59 feet and extreme height of 15 feet 6 inches. The car quantity holds in the January 2000 ORER as one would expect. I'd love to tell you about a public car trace but I can't since they're gone. (The Union Pacific has an abbreviated version but only said that it's not found on their system.) Even so, I don't think "to present" is a stretch on the ATP this time around. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
110040, $25.35 - 56 Foot General Service Tank Car, Burlington Northern.
110040, $25.35 - 56 Foot General Service Tank Car, Burlington Northern.Black with white lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left and large BN herald on right. Reporting Marks: BN 875000. Approximate Time Period: mid 1970's (1975 build date given by MTL) to present. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Don't ask me how I ended up in Alliance, Nebraska, in the late summer of the year 2000, but I did. Those of you who are Burlington Route fans are aware that the "Q" had a big locomotive shop there, and without a doubt it was the biggest employer in town. The BN and now BNSF continue to service diesels there, being that it's directly on the Powder River Coal Basin route, and at the time I visited, hundreds of locomotives called Alliance a home port. On the back side of the shop area, away from the town, were a number of storage tracks, and I could swear that I saw one of these Burlington Northern tank cars sitting there. I'd wager that these were company service cars, bringing fuel oil out to thirsty diesels in Nebraska and elsewhere. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Much to my surprise, there is a listing for car number 875000 in the "Tank Car" section of the BN's listing in the April 1981 ORER. It's a series of one-- well, that's a contradiction, isn't it? But is it unique? Maybe not, as there is also a group 875001 to 875029 which differs by capacity only based on the meager data printed in the Register, and there are 29 cars in that set, all of which are classified as DOT-111A100W1. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We go to the October 1996 book: ah, that's better. There is a series 875000 to 875034, of 34 cars, all with the same capacity. That same group has shrunk by two pieces but is still around in the January 2000 Register under BNSF. In fact, none of the tankers have been restenciled for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe at that point in time, whether they were from the ATSF side or the BN side. There were even 5 tank cars left from the BN's predecessors! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Don't confuse these tank cars with the specialty "fuel tenders" that the BN used to keep it helpers out of the fuel line and, well, helping, as much as possible. Those are (or were) painted up in a green and black scheme and carry the reporting marks BNFT. At least of couple of them resemble the MTL model, so perhaps this would be a starting point. You'd better be sure before plunking down $25 plus MSRP, though. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE REPRINTS:
29030, $12.85 - 40 Foot Single Sheathed (aka "Outside Braced") Boxcar, 1 1/2 Door, Horizontal Brake Wheel, Northern Pacific.Boxcar red with white lettering including arched roadname and road number on left and "AUTOMOBILE" on right. Road Number: 8008 (will be "NP 8008" in website listing). Approximate Time Period: 1940's to mid-1950's (though 1928 built date given by MTL), see text. Previous Releases: Road Number 8000, February 1975 (originally as catalog number 29170); Road Number 8002, August 1990; Road Number 8006, September 1994. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
If you're one of those folks who simply has to have one of everything, the 29000 series of Micro-Trains cars is probably a good one of everything to aim for. Including this release, there have only been 14 cars in eight roadnames, and none of the above are rare, terribly hard to find or all that expensive. In fact, given the general lack of popularity of this car type, with a little time and patience, it shouldn't take long to assemble the whole gang. The better availability of N Scale steam may change that picture over time, but for now, it's an easy target. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Now, to the car at hand. Unlike recent MTL wood boxcar reruns that have substantially different lettering than the original, and are thus classified as "not a reprint," this fourth iteration appears to be identical in data to the first three runs-- I checked. The 1975 edition of the car does have much more red in the boxcar red, but that's about it. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
While built in 1928, as far as I can tell this road number actually lines up with a series that did not appear on the NP until after 1940; there is no record of this road number in the 1928 or 1940 ORERs that I have at my disposal. In the July 1950 Register (Westerfield CD-ROM) is the series 8000 to 8099, of 98 cars. They are AAR Class XAR, description "Automobile, Steel Underframe, Staggered Doors"-- and that phrase "steel underframe" is a tip-off that these are wood cars. The listing has the prototype door opening at 12 feet, but the MTL model's door and a half come out to 9 feet, so there is a "door thing" here. Other dimensions: Inside length 40 feet 6 inches, outside length 42 feet 2 inches, extreme height 15 feet 4 inches. And speaking of "door thing," these had 18 inch by 12 inch end doors, perhaps for lumber loading. These cars were being used at least partially in automobile service as they were equipped with loading racks which could be stowed up against the ceiling of the car. I would speculate that these cars previously existed in other number series and were consolidated into this grouping to make room for other cars coming onto the roster. As evidence of this, there's another series of "Box, Steel Underframe, Staggered Doors" from 8100 to 8199, another series that didn't show in 1940. Caution: I don't have access to any ORERs between 1940 and 1950 and it's possible that the 8000 series could have appeared immediately after January 1940. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Even through it appears to have the incorrect road number for "as built", given that this is a pretty nondescript car, I'd be surprised if anyone were to see it on a 1930's era pike and claim it to be an anachronism. Unless you're modeling a time period of the present back to 1959. By then, the 8000 number series had been claimed by the combination door steel box cars that have appeared numerous times as MTL catalog number 22040. These cars were either moved to yet another series or were gone from the NP for good. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
45030, $9.80 - 50 Foot Flat Car, Fishbelly Sides, Southern Pacific.
45030, $9.80 - 50 Foot Flat Car, Fishbelly Sides, Southern Pacific.Freight car red with white lettering including roadname and number across car. Road Number: 142549 (will be "SP 142549" in website listing). Approximate Time Period: decade of the 1950's (1950 build date given by MTL). Previous Release: Road Number 140539, March 1977. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Flat cars usually last a long time. But sometimes specific road numbers do not. This is an apparent case in point.
The July 1950 ORER shows the SP series 140500 to 142549 with a whopping 2,050 cars (of which this reprint road number is the last), AAR Class FM and description "Flat, All Steel." The "inside" length along the deck is 53 feet 6 inches long along the deck and the "outside" length is 54 feet 2 inches. As with several other recently done MTL flats, the model's deck length is a little short and the overall length over the couplers is a little long. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
But by the January 1959 Register, most of the series is gone; only 306 remain. Then, in January 1964, it's a mere 84 cars between 140541 and 142508, thereby excluding this month's reprint and the first run's road number as well. What happened? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We have a clue about this from the "SP Modeler's Home Page," which has those neat SP Freight Car Specification sheets. The folks there list all of the line's more than 5,000 general service flat cars in the 500,000 series, and the spec sheet dates to 1964. Renumbering? Yep, as Lee Gautreaux contributes on his website. These F-70-7 class cars went to the series 560824-562854. Lee adds that many of these general service cars were converted to specialized service such as coil steel. A photo on Lee's site and the spec sheet on the espee.railfan site confirm that this is not just a renumbering job... the cars were repainted and restenciled with simply the initials "SP" and the road number, plus any other required information. Lee reports that these cars lasted into the 1980's as renumbered, but we have to cut the ATP back to the early 1960's which is a bit more limiting than you'd expect. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
60010, $13.95 - 50 Foot Gondola, Composite Straight Sides, Drop Ends, Milwaukee Road (CMStP&P).
60010, $13.95 - 50 Foot Gondola, Composite Straight Sides, Drop Ends, Milwaukee Road (CMStP&P).Freight car red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and "CMStP&P" roadname on right (for the formal name of the Milwaukee Road: Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific). Reporting Marks: MILW 80361. Approximate Time Period: late 1930's (1937 build date given by MTL) through at least the 1950's. Previous Releases: Road Number 80354, March 1989; Road Number 80344, January 1995. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Here's another in the "never thought I'd see this again" category, following the January 2002 release of the one road name only 63000 gondola for the Grand Trunk. This body style is 100% more utilized than the 63er, having had runs for two railroads, the Milwaukee and the Burlington. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
You might think that 1937 is a little early for a "war emergency" gondola, unless the Milwaukee Road was really good at forecasting the future. (If it was, would it have seen its own demise and sale to the Soo Line?) But I don't think these can be called "war emergency" even though they are of composite wood and steel construction. Actually, the line had designed a 40 foot composite gondola, based on a USRA plan, and had built over 7,000 of them built by four different builders. So they were familiar with the concept of using wood where applicable. Westerfield, the folks who bring you the Equipment Register CD-ROMs, make an HO model of that 40 footer in HO, by the way. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
And speaking of those ORER CD-ROMs, let's go to the January 1940 edition: The series MILW 80000 to 81034 is described as "Gondola, Mill Type, Steel Underframe, Composite Body" with AAR Class GH. The inside length is 48 feet 6 inches, outside length 52 feet 2 and one-half inches, inside height 5 feet and extreme height 8 feet 8 inches. All 1,035 possible entries are shown. By the way it looks as though all of the Milwaukee's gons circa 1940 were composite types, interesting. In the July 1950 ORER, this group is down just ten pieces to 1,025. Between then and January 1959, though, the total was nearly halved to 514, and the description adds "eight steel drop doors." © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
George Werkema, contributing to Helmut Wisinger's excellent "Lines West" site, states that there are drawings for and a photo of a 70-ton gondola with 48 foot composite sides, steel drop ends and drop doors in the book "Train Shed Cyclopedia, No.5" (page 232). Sounds like this car to me, except for the drop door part. At least one citation I found suggests that the wood siding on these cars was eventually removed, leaving "open sided" gons. Not an easy modeling exercise! Meanwhile, we wrap up the ORER checks: In January 1964 the series was down to 314 pieces, and April 1970 saw just eight. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
For us freelancers, the easy to remove lettering suggests-- no, begs-- for the "sale" of some of these cars to shortlines for a second life after their turn on the Milwaukee Road, perhaps in place of meeting the scrapper's torch. I'm certainly thinking about it for my pike. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
65180, $18.30 - 39 Foot Single Dome Tank Car, Union Pacific.
65180, $18.30 - 39 Foot Single Dome Tank Car, Union Pacific.Black with white lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left. Reporting Marks: UP 69019. Approximate Time Period: late 1930's (1937 build date given by MTL) to mid-1970's. Previous Release: Road Number 69012, May 1987. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
"Union Pacific received only 200 tankers in the 1930s and 40s," MTL reports, and yep, they're all here in this one series. Suprisingly, they are listed as if they are general service cars in the ORER for January 1940, which is good news because that means we have some data! The road numbers run from 69000 to 69199, and the cars are 39 feet 1 inch "inside" length, 42 feet 2 inches outside length and 13 feet 11 inches extreme height. Capacity is only listed as 100,000 pounds, no gallons shown. This series holds up straight through the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's and is down only eight to 192 in the April 1970 ORER. And 178 remained in the April 1976 book. Hey, just like MTL said... maybe they have the same Equipment Registers? Well, not all car stories are going to be exciting. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
By 1985, though, it looks like the fleet was either retired or flipped explicitly to company service which took them out of the register. In any case, I'd wager that there were subtle and perhaps not so subtle changes to the paint and or lettering between 1937 and 1976; and then of course there is rebuilding. The degree to which someone will nitpick this over the rather longish ATP will vary; a plain black tank car just doesn't stand out for close examination like some of the other rolling stock might. Anyone out there who has a copy of Model Railroading magazine's March/April 1999 issue will be able to find out more about this O-50-6 series of cars; there's an article devoted to them in those pages. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE SPECIAL EDITION RELEASES:
No single car releases this month. MTL Special Edition sets announced in February are listed in the 2002 Release Table.
Nn3 SCALE (NARROW GAUGE):
No releases this month.
Well, you're not likely to miss this one in a crowd. The "fire engine red" looks almost toylike, but "blame" that on the prototype not the model. Theoretically, you'd want a car carrying fuel to get a lot of attention around the yard; red has more or less become the "traditional" color for objects which store flammable materials. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
After the N Scale streak of "nothing but boxcars" for the CN went away in January, the same occurs in Z Scale this month, but not with a refrigerator car. MTL doesn't offer that body style in 1:220, so it's to this Maintenance of Way tank car we go. And it's to the ORERs we don't go, since as usual there is no information on MOW equipment, just revenue cars. A check with Micro-Trains revealed that this car was photographed and sent in by a modeler from Canada, not a surprise there. But besides the photographs taken on CN rails, there was also a shot of the car lensed in Sacramento, California! Now that's a long way from home for this car. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.