©2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Legal Stuff
N SCALE NEW RELEASES:
20586, $14.50 - 40 Foot Single Door Boxcar (Superior or "Wide Rib" Door), Alton Railroad (Chicago & Alton).Aluminum with black ladders and details. Red lettering including roadname and number on left and herald on right. Road Number: 1200 (will be "Alton 1200" in website listing). Approximate Time Period: late 1940's (1945 built date given by MTL). NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The Alton Railroad is probably not one you've heard of if you're content with modeling the modern era. Or, for that matter, the second half of the 20th Century. The line, once known as the Chicago and Alton, was merged into the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio in June, 1947. Before that the company was a ward of the Baltimore and Ohio and before that a part of the Harriman system. In the September 1946 Official Guide of the Railways, the Alton recorded just 939 miles of line, forming a somewhat misshapen triangle with Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City on the points. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
This offering is the very first Micro-Trains car lettered for the Alton, and hopefully it won't be the last. While a relatively small line, it's got its share of railroad history. Alton is a town in Illinois, just up the Mississippi River from St. Louis and the line was the first to get from Chicago to the Mississippi at Alton by at least one account. A scan of an advertisement from 1860 (!) proclaimed that the Chicago, St. Louis and Alton was the only road between Chicago and St. Louis "without change of cars, baggage or conductor." The Alton Road was also the first to operate a sleeping car, which it pioneered with the George Pullman's "Pioneer" in 1858. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
These express boxcars may have been run in some of the Alton's more famous trains, of which you may have heard; for example, the Ann Rutledge, or the Abraham Lincoln, and of course the Alton Limited, which was once pulled by steam clad in a handsome maroon and gold livery. But my favorite name train out of a 1946 Official Guide is the "Midnight Special"... one example of a railroad style "red-eye." The southbound left Chicago at 11:59 PM and arrived in St. Louis at 7:43 AM. The "Advance Midnight Special" departed 11:30PM (for you early birds? yikes) and pulled into St Louie at 7:08. Returning, you had the "Advance" at 11:45 PM and the Special at 12:30 AM out of St Louis Union Station, which pulled into Chicago's Union Station at 6:30 AM and 7:45 AM, respectively. These trains were all diesel-electric powered with drawing-room sleeping cars and reclining seat coaches. I'll wager that they had a goodly amount of head end equipment. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Nearly all of the Alton's equipment had already been relettered "GM&O" by their new owner by the time of the July 1950 Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER), and that leads to quite the short ATP for these cars... less than five years from build date to reletter date. Or maybe not; the listing reads "Cars... are marked 'GM&O' or 'C&A' or 'Alton.'" However, I think it's safe to say that these cars retained their 1200 to 1209 road numbers, since there are no other "Box, Aluminum, Steel" cars in the listing for the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio. Therefore, I can read off the vital statistics: inside length 40 feet 5 inches, inside height 10 feet 6 inches, outside length 41 feet 8 inches, door opening 6 feet, capacity 3900 cubic feet or 100,000 pounds. All ten original cars are in place under the GM&O listing in 1950 and also in the January 1959 ORER, and were apparently renumbered 6000 to 6009 by the January 1964 Register. Car 6001 remained as the sole survivor of the series in the April 1970 ORER. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
28160, $13.70 - 40 Foot Single Sheathed Wood Boxcar, Single Door, Central Vermont.
28160, $13.70 - 40 Foot Single Sheathed Wood Boxcar, Single Door, Central Vermont.Boxcar red with white lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left and CV "wet noodle" herald on door. Reporting Marks: CV 40014. Approximate Time Period: mid 1960's (1964 service date given by MTL) to early 1980's. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
A wood boxcar in the 1960's? The 1970's? How about the 1980's? Say it isn't so!
No, it is so! Although maybe not in interchange service.
There is a photo of CV 40014 in Morning Sun's Northern New England Color Guide, taken in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1970. (Thanks to Rich Roberg for pointing that one out.) The early 1970's is wild enough... but there's a photo of CV 40141, a car from the prototype series, in the book "Classic Freight Cars Volume 1" by John Maywald that is dated, believe it or not, 1982! The three-quarter view of the car shows some very funky-- OK, "distinctive" ends, nothing like on this or any other N Scale model I've seen, but the overall flavor of the car is present on the MTL depiction. The car does ride on basic friction bearing trucks, but not Andrews type, more like something in a Bettendorf. And you've gotta love the inclusion of an ACI label; if you want to include it as well, put it in between the first diagonal rib and the second vertical rib, counting from the left, with the bottom of the label just above the side sill. Sorry, no consolidated stencils though. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
This car belongs to the series CV 40000 to 40197, which comes up in the 1964 ORER as "Box, Steel Frame" for 116 cars. Here are the vital statistics: inside length 40 feet 6 inches, inside height just 8 feet 6 inches, outside length 42 feet 4 inches, door opening 6 feet, capacity 90,000 pounds. An additional 14 cars were equipped with loading openings in the roof and had the AAR Designation LC instead of the usual XM. No big deal here: "LC" translates to "house car with side doors and roof hatches, may be equipped with end doors." Oops, that subseries with the hatches includes road number 40014. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
By April 1970 the group of XM cars had dropped to just 37 but the number of LC cars had risen to 35. However, in the April 1981 Register, this series is missing, and yes, that was before CV 40141 was photographed. My sense is that these cars could have gone over to company service or perhaps captive service from one point on the CV to another. Either one of these scenarios would have taken them out of the ORER. The appearance of a large number of steel 50 foot exterior post boxcars on the property enabled the retirement of these cars, which were originally built in the 1920's. Rich Roberg notes that some of these cars live on off-line as storage sheds, sometimes with some of their markings intact. Speaking of which, remember that the CV "wet noodle" herald debuted in the early 1960's along with parent Canadian National's similar CN logo, so that would be the start of the ATP for this car in any case. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
31340, $24.70 - 50 Foot Single Door Boxcar, Santa Fe (AT&SF).
31340, $24.70 - 50 Foot Single Door Boxcar, Santa Fe (AT&SF).Red with black roof, ends, ladders and details. Black and white lettering including reporting marks and "early" circle cross herald on left. Large "DF with Shock Control" slogan in white and "Floating Underframe Gives Freight A Smoother Roll" in black, both across car. Reporting Marks: ATSF 10001. Approximate Time Period: late 1950's (1958 rebuild date given by MTL) through late 1960's (1969 repaint date given by reference data). NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
This is a one of a kind car with a one of a kind paint scheme. As soon as I saw it in what is commonly called "the Priest book" among Santa Fe fans (Full title: "Santa Fe Freight in Color... the Series, Volume One - Boxcars" and now you know why it's abbreviated), I fired a note off to MTL: "How could you not model this car?" © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
As you can see, they were already thinking about it.
The Santa Fe did have other cars that were similarly constructed and similarly painted, to be sure. But road number 10001 was the only one in the Santa Fe classification Bx-77, and the first ATSF box car to receive the famous "Shock Control" draft gear. It was rebuilt from a Bx-66 fifty foot boxcar and served as the prototype. In 1958 and 1959, Santa Fe built its series of Bx-76 cars from the ground up with Shock Control installed. Those Bx-76 cars received similar paint schemes, but again, car number 10001 was different: it had the older style circle cross herald with a serif font. This makes it unlike the later cars which got the circle cross herald with "Santa Fe" in the Cooper Black font that we're more familiar with today. In addition, the word "with" in the phrase "DF...with...Shock Control" is painted on a panel attached to the single sliding door on the Bx-76 series, instead of directly on the door as on this Bx-77. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Turning to the ORER of January 1959 (Westerfield CD-ROM), we find car 10001 in its own series, as you'd expect. Interestingly, it's described as "Auto, DF Loader," AAR class XML (and so are the other Bx-77 Shock Control cars built after the 10001). Key dimensions are as follows: inside length, 50 feet 6 inches, outside length 53 feet 7 inches, 8 foot door opening, 100,000 pound capacity. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Despite its one of a kind status, the car not only lasted at least into the mid-1980's, but the paint scheme apparently lasted into 1979. That's the date given in the Priest book for its having been shopped and repainted. At that point it was done up in a plainer all-red scheme, but retained a large circle cross and a "Shock Control" slogan. As you'd imagine the roofwalk was removed and the ladders were cut down. The Preist book includes a photo of the car taken in December 1986. However, it was apparently off the roster by 1989. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
64070, $16.55 - 57 Foot TOFC Flat Car, CP Rail.
64070, $16.55 - 57 Foot TOFC Flat Car, CP Rail."Action" Red with mostly white lettering including reporting marks in center and roadname on right. Reporting Marks: CP 504485. Approximate Time Period: mid-1970's (1975 build date given by MTL) to late 1990's at least. (Note that the Wheel Inspection "yellow dot" stencil didn't appear until 1978.) NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In 1975 when these single trailer flat cars were placed into service on CP Rail, the line advertised in the Official Guide of the Railways that it had piggyback ramps in locations all over Canada, from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia. There were more than sixty ramps available in every province in which CP Rail operated. Given the explosion of intermodal, one might have thought that the number of ramps would have increased at an increasing rate, but in the OG of January 1981, CP's locations had been cut by more than half to just 29. Of these, 13 handled containers and trailers and two handled just containers. Perhaps the consolidation of loading points was a reflection on the complexity needed to lift containers onto flat cars as opposed to just driving trailers onto cars, or maybe it was just a matter of economies of scale-- fewer locations, more work per location. Based on MTL's car copy, the number of ramps appeared to remain roughly steady at 28 in 1983-- perhaps they have a copy of an Official Guide from that year. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Whatever the number of locations, CP Rail had plenty of these flat cars to haul trailers out. From the January 1976 ORER we have the series 504000 to 504649, AAR Classification "FC", of 57 feet 7 inch outside length and equipped with one trailer hitch. There were 650 cars in this group plus 372 more in the nearby series 505000 to 505389 with the same dimensions and description. Nearly 300 of these cars were still in operation in mid-1996, and 70 cars remained in the January 2000 ORER. That makes sense to me since I'm pretty sure I've personally observed them in intermodal trains on the CSX Water Level Route line here in my area. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Marine Industries Limited, the builder of these cars back in 1975, is better known as a shipbuilder, as you might glean from the company's name. According to a circa-1963 unpublished manuscript on Canadian builders by Andrew Merrilees, found on Ian Cranstone's "Canadian Freight Cars" site, the equipment needed for shipbuilding can be adopted to railway car building, and can help keep business humming during the down cycles of marine construction. Marine Industries was founded in 1934 and also did dredging contracts. I did not see any significant current day web presence for them, though. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
67210, $22.50 - 45 Foot Trailer, Burlington Northern "Cityview" Portland.
67210, $22.50 - 45 Foot Trailer, Burlington Northern "Cityview" Portland.White with multicolor lettering including large four-color process cityview mural across side. Reporting Marks: BNZ 237862. Approximate Time Period: early to mid 1990's as painted. Eleventh in the Cityview series. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We're winding up the Cityview trailers with this eleventh release, as that's how many were in the original Burlington Northern series. [Unless you count the containers... and don't count those out, either.] One of my wife's favorite cities has been saved for this month. Rosemary lived in Portland for some time before heading east, and she remembers The Rose City quite fondly. I've been to Portland just twice myself, once passing through and once for a brief stay that included Powell's Books, a ride on the light rail and a visit to the American Advertising Museum. That time I came down by train from Seattle-- bonus points! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
As you may already know, Portland was named via a coin flip; if it had gone the other way, I'd be writing about Boston, Oregon. Asa Lovejoy and William Overton were the original purchasers of the land along the Willamette River that became the Rose City, but it was Francis Pettygrove, who purchased Overton's share, that actually got to name the settlement in 1845. The city was officially incorporated in 1851 and in that year the first municipal building was erected-- a jail! The Oregon Central was the first rail line in Portland, circa 1868, and the Northern Pacific made it into town in 1883. The first electric streetcar bowed in 1890, and Union Station opened six years later. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
While the city is currently known for innovation, planning and progressiveness, that started quite a while ago: Portland's first woman mayor was elected in 1948, and an early plan to move the government from "directing expansive growth to preventing premature obsolescence and blight" was put together in the mid-1930s. More recent examples of the city's dedication to its values is the "1% For Art" ordinance of 1980 and the 1979 enactment of the "Urban Growth Boundary." Portland's light rail system began operating in 1985, as one component of a pedestrian friendly (and some would say motor vehicle-unfriendly) agenda. In the year 2000, just before its 150th anniversary, Money Magazine declared Portland the number one city to live in the United States. Portland's official sites and some related sites can provide more on the city's history. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We turn one more time to Jim Czarnecki's QStation site for some photo citations. BN trailer 237866 is captured in its original paint scheme with BN logos, as modeled by MTL, and an example of the Redon relettering job is also shown in the form of a shot of REDZ 234789. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
94210, $25.40 - 3 Bay Center Flow® Covered Hopper with Long (Trough) Hatches, Shell Oil Company.
94210, $25.40 - 3 Bay Center Flow® Covered Hopper with Long (Trough) Hatches, Shell Oil Company.Gray with black lettering including reporting marks on left. Multicolor Shell "scallop" logo on right. Reporting Marks: SNFX 4610. Approximate Time Period: mid-1960's (1965 build date given by MTL) or early 1970's (1971 service date given by MTL) to early-1980's as painted, see text.
My first question: SNFX? What's a "SNFX"? And why wouldn't an Oil Company have just tank cars, especially if it also had a Chemical Company subsidiary?
Fortunately, the ORER for April 1970 sets me straight: There are "SNFX" reporting marks under the listing for Shell Oil Company. And there are 25 cars with description "Covered Hopper, Interior Lined, Center Flow, Gravity Unloading Outlets" numbered 4600 to 4624. These are 4,650 cubic foot cars, which should align them reasonably well with the CF4650 that MTL models as its 94000 series. (There are always those possible nit-picky variations.) The inside length is 49 feet 9 inches and the outside length 55 feet 6 inches, and capacity is 195,000 pounds. Now, if the ORER would only tell us how they were painted! The April 1976 and April 1981 ORER entries effectively duplicate the one from '70. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Then... a hard right turn! The Shell Oil Company listing for January 1985 no longer has the SNFX cars, or for that matter the SNFX reporting marks. But the cars are in fact still around! They've been transferred to a firm called IND/AG Chemicals, Inc. with headquarters in Walnut Creek, California. The description of the cars and the quantity is exactly the same. And except for subsets based on capacity, the listing remains at 25 cars in the SNFX series 4600 to 4624 all the way into the January 2000 Register, except that the HQ of IND/AG has moved to Alpaugh, California. (That's in Tulare County, about halfway between Visalia and Bakersfield... I checked.) An Internet search turned up an almost complete goose egg on this company; the only thing I found out is that they paid $1,416 for lobbying in the State of California in 1996. Not exactly useful information for the accumulator. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
So what does all this mean? Well, if you're modeling the 1970's, you're good with this relatively rare prototype car that, based on the number of home points Shell had, could have traveled all over the country. If you're past 1985, though, and want to run this car, you're probably going to have to paint out that Shell logo, which is no doubt one of the more expensive attributes of this release! By the way, even if the SNFX fleet had stayed with Shell, that logo was transitioned to the one without the word "Shell" starting in the mid-1970s, so that trademark may have to have been removed anyway. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
109210, $18.25 - Heavyweight Depressed Center Flat Car with 6 Wheel Commonwealth Trucks and Generator Load, Baltimore and Ohio.
109210, $18.25 - Heavyweight Depressed Center Flat Car with 6 Wheel Commonwealth Trucks and Generator Load, Baltimore and Ohio.Black with white lettering including reporting marks on left. Reporting Marks: B&O 9935. Approximate Time Period: early 1960's (though 1953 built date given by MTL) to early 1980's. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
One of the nice things about some of my earlier ORERs is that they list all of the special type cars in one supplemental section in the back. For example, the April 1970 Register, close to the 1969 service date for this car, lists all the "Heavy Capacity and Special Type Flat Cars." And that includes B&O 9935 and its sister car 9936. Both of these cars are AAR Class FD, with steel and wood decks. The load carrying platform is 21 feet long by 9 feet wide, a good match on the model, and the total length over the couplers is 60 feet 10 inches, close enough on the model. (The couplers hang over a little past that.) Both the 9935 and 9936 had two six-wheel trucks on 41 foot centers; that metric looks just about exactly the same on the MTL model. Interestingly, the two prototype B&O cars were sisters but not identical twins: the 9935 had a light weight of 126,400 pounds and a capacity of 250,000 pounds, but the 9936 had a light weight of 128,000 pounds and a capacity of 248,000 pounds. You can't be too careful when you're shipping a generator! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The service date of 1969 is intriguing, since it's possible that the Gothic sans serif font was applied then, replacing the more Railroad Roman-y serif font that had been used by the B&O earlier, like maybe when the car was built. RPI's website tags 1963 as a date for early use of the Gothic style (on the blue boxcars), so the type of lettering depicted on this release could go back at least to there. But it won't reach all the way back to the 1953 build date in my estimation. Considering that the lettering in question here is probably less than a scale foot high, is that a big deal? Probably not, but I thought you might like to know, and Beano fans would certainly point it out. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Both 9935 and 9936 are still on the roster in April 1976 and April 1981, with the capacity of both back up to the standard 250,000 pounds. By 1981 the B&O was part of the Chessie System but I doubt that repaint into Chessie Blue was uppermost on the maintenance department's mind. The 9935 was off the line by January 1985 but the 9936 remained through sometime between 1987 and 1989 according to the ORERs. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE REPRINTS:
54070, $15.70 - 62 Foot Bulkhead Flat Car, CP Rail."Action" Red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname on right. Reporting Marks: CPI 317137. Approximate Time Period: early 1970's (1973 build date given by MTL) to mid-1980's as painted, then to present with "CP" reporting marks, see text. Previous Releases: A six pack with road numbers 317027, 317029, 317054, 317060, 317125 and 317161, May 1988 (reporting marks "CP" not "CPI" on these six), then a single reprint with road number 317135 (reporting marks "CPI"), January 1994. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
There may be a bit of confusion about the reporting marks, and I think I finally have this clear in my head. CPI marked cars are built in Canada but are used exclusively for service between the USA and Canada. CPAA cars, ditto, but they were built in the United States. But as you'll see, the CP could have had a change of mind about these cars as well. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
George Elwood's "Fallen Flags Railroad Photos" site has a single shot of car CPI 317029 from this prototype series as caught in North Little Rock, Arkansas. It's carrying a load of what appears to be rather large pipe. Which leads me to the point that may have some of you commenting, "So?" or "Duh..." but I'll make it anyway: While many of these cars have carried lumber products of some sort or another, there are a variety of uses for bulkhead flats. And in a pinch these can also work as regular flats as long as the lading doesn't bump up against the bulkheads. Recently a train coming through my area included two bulkheads, one with two stacks of rebar steel, which is used to reinforce concrete, and another with a single plastic-covered stack of steel square columns. Not a bit of wood in the bunch, except perhaps to brace and help stack the lading. OK, maybe it's a "Duh..." but sometimes I forget. Supporting this is a note back in the April 1976 ORER for this series, describing the weight limit of a load by its length. For example, a five foot long load could weigh up to 125,000 pounds; a ten foot load, 130,000 pounds, and so on. For loads forty feet in length or more, the weight allowed was the load limit of 187,000 pounds. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The main part of the listing in the April 1976 ORER reveals a discrepancy though too: The series 317000 to 317349 is actually of 66 feet interior length versus something around 57 feet between the bulkheads on the model. (The 61 feet 8 inch length given as the 54000's description refers to the length between the outside ends of the bulkheads.) The outside length of the prototype is 76 feet 10 inches, and I measure the MTL model at just above 67 feet. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Blowing through the ORER accumulation to get the number of cars in the series through the years, there were 285 out of a possible 350 in April 1976, 198 cars in April 1981 with the series dropped back to 317000 to 317199, 191 in January 1985, and... whoops, Zero in October 1991? Hold it, the series went back to being just "CP"! And there are 187 over in the CP 317000 to 317199 group, including one subseries by capacity. There are 182 with "CP" markings in October 1996 and 176 in the January 2000 ORER-- and note that the railroad name was once again "Canadian Pacific Railway Company". So that "CP Rail" may be gone from the car by this point. The public no longer has access to the CP's Car Trace anymore but I think it's a safe bet that some of these cars are still extant here in 2002. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Although the MTL car copy indicates that the Action Red paint was applied when the car was serviced in 1987, it's a good bet that the "CP Rail" scheme was on this car as early as its 1973 build date. That's because the CP Rail theme was first introduced in 1967, giving plenty of time for the car to appear in red and white fresh from the builder. Perhaps in 1987 the Action Red was painted over, well, Action Red. But it seems that at the same time, the car's reporting marks were flipped to just "CP" if they hadn't been already. And here I thought this would be a nice easy writeup! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE SPECIAL EDITION RELEASES:
1512, $179.99 - "Patriotic" Train Set.Includes red, white and blue painted equipment with "United States of America" lettering. Individual items as follows: 985 10 014, Life-Like® SW-9 Switcher painted by MTL and equipped with MTL couplers; 74070, 40 Foot Plug Door Boxcar Without Roofwalk; 106070, 50 Foot Steel Gondola, 14 Panel Sides and Fixed Ends with Low Cover; 38290, 50 Foot Plug Door Boxcar Without Roofwalk; 100150, 36' Riveted Steel Caboose, Offset Cupola. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Micro-Trains has had a proud history of releasing American patriotically-themed items. For example, there was the 14 car Bicentennial series, 13 cars and a caboose, back in the mid 1970's. More recently, we've seen the "Congratulations America" Canfor boxcar and my personal favorite, the Cambria and Indiana Special Edition set. And anyone who belongs to the N Scale Collector's Society should be receiving the 2002 subscriber only car, "United We Stand," if that boxcar hasn't already arrived via post to your address. This set provides a nice consist in which to run the United We Stand car. I wonder if the folks in Talent were thinking about this tie-in all along? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Speaking of tie-in, take a good look at the caboose. It's more than vaguely reminiscent of the 50990 "Bicentennial" caboose that was done back in August 1976. The alternating red and white stripes are similar, and the blue cupola is the same, and the lettering is close. The overall impact is probably that of a flag "waving" as the caboose rolls down the track. You won't confuse this car with the 50990, though; for one thing, they are different body styles, steel versus wood. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Nn3 SCALE (NARROW GAUGE): No releases this month.
Going back to the July 1950 ORER (Westerfield CD-ROM), we pick up almost half a page of the GN's Company Service tank cars, which are prefaced as such in the listing. There are-- let me get my calculator!-- a total of 415 in service-- whoa! That's more tank cars than many railroads had cars in their entire rolling stock roster. The group X-1125 to X-1164 is of our particular interest. With one exception (X-1137), these cars were 37 feet 4 inches outside length and 14 feet high, with 100,000 gallons capacity. There were 38 cars in the group overall. Yes, I know that doesn't say much about the shape of the car or its dome size, et cetera, but the ORER only goes so far. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In the January 1964 ORER the collection of GN tank cars was down just a bit to 400 even, and the series from which this car comes is off just two to 36. With the coming of the Burlington Northern in 1970, the company service cars were no longer listed. But I'd wager that more than a few of them made it to that date and beyond, without benefit of repaint or even restenciling. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.