©2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Legal Stuff
N SCALE NEW RELEASES:
56330, $14.25 - 33 Foot Twin Bay Hopper, Rib Sides, Flat Ends, Lehigh Valley.Black with white lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname across car. Reporting Marks: LV 27432 C.T. (Columbia Trust). Approximate Time Period: late 1910's (1919 built date given by MTL) to the late 1920's as numbered, see text. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The LV certainly hauled "black diamonds"-- it was one of the "Anthracite Roads" and like others, it owned a large coal company before forced to divest it due to anti-trust laws. Much is made of coal going from the Pennsylvania fields East or West. But how about North for a change? The LV had a line that left the Jersey City to Niagara Falls main line at the division point of Sayre, Pennsylvania, and headed through Central New York to North Fair Haven, in rural Cayuga County. The terminal was about halfway between Oswego, where the Lackawanna and Ontario & Western called, and Sodus Point, where the Pennsylvania set up shop. The LV line started out as the Southern Central Railroad and was completed in 1871. A key reason for this line was a coal dumper at the end of it. No doubt it was kept busy in the teens and twenties. And if North Fair Haven is a bit too obscure, there's always the Buffalo area and Greater New York as your destinations for hoppers. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Meanwhile, boy, is this an old car! The Lehigh Valley stopped using black for hoppers in 1939 (according to RPI) and Andrews Trucks were starting to be replaced in the 1920's, and therefore this car predates that. And the real tipoff is the "C.T." in the reporting marks, which stands for "Columbia Trust." That's the plan under which the United States Railway Administration had rolling stock built and allocated for use by the railroads, during its control over them during the approximate period 1917 to 1920. (In fact, a major disaster on Valley property, the "Black Tom" explosions and fires in Jersey City was one impetus for the USRA takeover.) © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Seems simple enough. But who'd have thought a little black coal car would have caused so much trouble for the UMTRR Research Department?
The Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) for April 1928 shows various types of wood and steel hoppers including nearly 10,000 of 50 tons capacity. However, for some reason there is no match for this road number... the lineup of coal cars stops at 26999. What? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
After finding similar lack of entries in the rest of the relevant ORERs-- the 27000s appear to be used for gondolas later on, not hoppers-- a quick call out to our friends in Oregon ensued. It turns out that the source for this car is a builder's photo from American Car and Foundry which was submitted to MTL. Following official portraits, cars have been known to be renumbered and sometimes even repainted. (There are numerous examples of this phenomenon in issues of Rail Model Journal.) So it's possible that the car was used for a short while, perhaps from its build date into the 1920's, and then renumbered into a different series, after the Columbia Trust ceased to be relevant. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Okay, so... let's see what we can find. There are two series of cars in the '28 ORER that are close to the 1880 cubic foot size that MTL notes in its car copy. They are 16501 to 17000, of 497 cars, and 17001 to 18000, of 997 cars. They're listed as "Coal, Steel, Hopper Bottom," AAR Classification HM. The inside length of 30 feet and outside length of 31 feet 6 inches means the prototype was a little shorter than the MTL 56000 series body style. By 1940 more than 75 percent of these cars had been upgraded to 110,000 pounds capacity, possibly by just changing the trucks; they'd been listed in '28 at 100,000 pounds. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In the July 1950 Register there is a series 24000 to 24999 with the same dimensions as the groups listed above. Cubic footage was 1822 and capacity was 110,000 pounds for 184 of the 185 cars in the series; just the one was at 100,000 pounds. These cars were off the roster no later than January 1959, which, by the way, was around the time the LV went back to black for their hoppers. All of this is, admittedly, a little bit theoretical, but hey, I'm doing the best I can. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
76050, $19.65 - 50 Foot Combination Door Boxcar (Plug and Sliding Door), Without Roofwalk, British Columbia Railway.
76050, $19.65 - 50 Foot Combination Door Boxcar (Plug and Sliding Door), Without Roofwalk, British Columbia Railway.Green with mostly white lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname and herald on right. Reporting Marks: BCOL 5465. Approximate Time Period: early 1970's (1972 built date given by MTL) to at least the mid-1990s. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We've written about these green British Columbia rolling stock before, since MTL has done 40 foot boxcars in both plug door and sliding door versions, and most recently decorated a gondola in the attractive "dogwood" scheme. But did you know that the BCR used two different shades of green for these cars? I didn't either, until I happened to browse through a copy of a book devoted to Pacific Great Eastern and British Columbia Railway freight cars. (I don't recall the exact title; if I'd have known what was coming, I'd have taken better notes!) It seems that the original light green which was used, well, didn't wear very well. At some point the shade was darkened considerably, to what I would term more of a pine green. My best guess is that the MTL cars issued thus far are of the lighter shade. Keep that in mind if you're a "weatherer". © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The series 5400 to 5799, of all 400 cars, shows up in the April 1976 ORER with the AAR Classification XM and the description "Box, Steel, 1 Slide Door and 1 Plug Door Each Side, 50K." The inside length is 50 feet 6 inches, outside length 55 feet 6 inches, inside height 10 feet 9 inches and extreme height 15 feet 5 inches. Capacity is 5101 cubic feet or 162,000 pounds as mentioned by MTL. Door opening is 14 feet but the MTL 76000 body style measures out at 16 feet-- uh, oh, a "Door Thing". © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Well, it's actually a somewhat more severe "Door Thing" this time. There's a circa-1994 photo of BCOL 5717 from this series on George Elwood's Fallen Flags site which shows the plug door as being about 6 feet wide and of a different style than the one on the MTL 76er. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
By the way, Elwood's site also carries a shot of sister car 5573 painted in the "BC Rail" scheme; a shot which was lensed in 1992, or two years before the shot of the 5717 in the older BCR paint. That gives us an ATP into at least the mid-1990s, confirmed by a look in the October 1996 ORER which shows 77 cars remaining in a split series. But they barely squeaked into the next century, with only two cars left from the group in the January 2000 Register. But wait! An article by Tim Horton (no relation to the donut shop) in the November/December 2000 issue of N Scale Railroading mentions that this series was rebuilt and renumbered in the 1990's. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
100170, $17.70 - 36 Foot Riveted Steel Side Caboose, Offset Cupola, Norfolk and Western.
100170, $17.70 - 36 Foot Riveted Steel Side Caboose, Offset Cupola, Norfolk and Western.Red with white lettering including roadname and road number across center bottom of car and 1960's/1970's circle herald below cupola. Road Number 562748. Approximate Time Period: mid-1960's (N&W acquired Wabash in 1964) through mid-1970s. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
When I read the MTL car copy indicating that this N&W caboose was acquired from the Wabash, I thought, oh, no, it's going to be a "miss". The Wabash's most famous steel cabeese had a sloped and streamlined cupola. Anyone who's owned a version of the old Tyco cabooses in HO knows what I mean, since those are patterned after the Wabash prototype. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
As it turns out, though, photos on George Elwood's site indicate that the MTL 100000 series is a reasonable facsimile of at least a few of the line's crummies. There are shots of N&W 562733 and N&W 562768. These are both C17 class cars, and that's what's painted on the MTL car as well (the "C16" in the car copy is a typo). The actual cars have three windows per side, not four as on the MTL model. Yes, the 100170 is by no means an exact match to either car pictured, but it's not bad considering the home-brewed origins of the vast majority of cabeese in North America. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The book "Cabooses of the Norfolk and Western" by Robert Bowers and James Brewer has been called "the" reference guide in this area, a thought echoed by Joe Shaw who's become our resident N&W and NS expert of late. It's published by the N&W Historical Society, and Joe notes that there are six pages just on the C17's! We can infer from the caboose pages of Joe's website that end cupola cabooses have been retired by N&W successor Norfolk Southern, so the ATP for this car won't be "to present". Well, that's true for most cabeese, supplanted by technology for probably more years than I'd care to acknowledge. The circle or "hamburger" herald was introduced in late 1963, a bit before the Wabash went into the N&W. The herald was supplanted by the runtogether "NW" in 1971. So you're definitely good between '64 and '71 and knowing the N&Ws slowness in repainting, probably at least a few years past '71 as well. Joe tells me that the N&W Caboose book gives a build date of 10-41 and disposition of "Sold to Indiana and Ohio Eastern RR at Jackson, OH" in 7-88. "That makes it one of the last ones to leave the roster," says Joe, "most of the C-17s were disposed of in the early and mid 1980's." So the ATP could at least theoretically go out that far. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
109220, $19.95 - Heavyweight Depressed Center Flat Car with Commonwealth Trucks and Attached Load, Union Pacific.
109220, $19.95 - Heavyweight Depressed Center Flat Car with Commonwealth Trucks and Attached Load, Union Pacific.Brown with yellow lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname in center. Reporting Marks: UP 50001. Approximate Time Period: early 1950's (1953 build date reported by MTL) or early 1970's (1972 truck change date given by MTL) to late 1980's. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Pick your own ATP on this one!
The MTL car copy notes that the car was built in 1953 and painted then. But the RPI site notes that periods were used on the reporting marks (i.e. "U.P.") until 1957, although the yellow lettering was policy from 1947 and Railroad Roman was in use from 1939 on. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
But then MTL adds that the trucks were flipped to the Commonwealth type in 1972. Backdating would certainly be possible by changing the trucks back to the Buckeye style.
So, to quote the pointy-haired boss in Dilbert, "let's do both."
Or maybe not. The ORER for January 1959 (Westerfield CD-ROM) shows only the road number 50000. It's not until I get to the January 1964 Register that the road number modeled, 50001, shows up. The dimensions are as follows: Inside length 21 feet for the depressed part, 57 feet 9 inches for the whole platform; outside length 58 feet 4 inches, truck center spacing 41 feet. The depressed part of the deck is steel and the rest of the platform is wood. This all lines up pretty well with the MTL model. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Both these cars are listed in the next few ORERs I have in the accumulation, right through the given 1972 service date. Some Really Big Flats join them by April 1981; the 50002 and 50003 are 91 feet long and hold 382,000 pounds each, and the 50010 and 50011 are listed at an amazing 600,000 pounds capacity! That'll "bend the iron" alright! By October 1991 the 50001 is gone, leaving only the 50000 on the roster. It too was gone by October 1996. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE REPRINTS:
22020, $15.35 - 40 Foot Combination Door Box Car (Plug and Sliding Door), Great Northern.Red with mostly white lettering including small herald and reporting marks on left and large roadname on right. Reporting Marks: GN 11879. Approximate Time Period: mid-1950's (1953 built date and 1956 service date given by MTL) to mid-1970's. Previous Releases: Road Number 11876, May 1978; Road Number 11875, November 1987; Road Number 11877, April 1989. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
This car has been, to borrow the term from coin collecting, a "semi-key" car for the accumulator. It's not that they aren't out there in large numbers; there's never been anything I've heard with respect to any of the previous three runs being "short." And in the aftermarket, they don't fetch very high premiums. But the cars are still somewhat annoyingly difficult to come by. Maybe all those GN fans want them to run, and they're keepin' 'em. No matter, this re-release will be welcomed, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a quick sprint to the bye-bye board for this "goat". (It's really an Antelope! I give up.) © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Fitting into the years of color on the GN, it's pretty contemporaneous with the famous "circus cars" which were used to help the Great Northern's brass figure out what scheme to use to paint their boxcars. At least theoretically. Did they eventually decide on one motif? I'd say no. In fact, on the RPI website there's a citation from the June 1986 Mainline Modeler on this. The "Empire Builder" roadname style was to be used on repainted cars, and the large slanted roadname was to be used on new cars only-- that didn't exactly happen. The policy was adapted about 1956, the same time that vermillion red replaced boxcar red on GN boxcars and also about the same time that these cars were serviced. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The January 1959 ORER shows quite the surprise: Just five cars in the series 11875 to 11879, described as "Box, All Steel." The inside length was 40 feet 5 inches, inside height 10 feet 6 inches, outside height 41 feet 10 inches, and door opening 12 feet. That should match the MTL model; no "door thing" in terms of width. Note S adds only that the cars have nailable steel flooring; I'd expected something specifically about the combination doors. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Ah, that's fixed in the January 1964 ORER, Note "OO" states "Cars in series... have one 6 foot sliding door and one 6 foot plug door each side of car." Strangely, the door opening has grown to 12 feet 3 inches. I guess that's the New Math. All five cars are still in service at that time. And several series numbered just after this short one appear to be of the same general type of combination door boxcar, adding about 1200 more of these body styles to the GN ranks. That's going to help out the prospects for further reprints. In April 1970 under the Burlington Northern, all five cars are still around, and in April 1976, four are left. Only road number 11878 is left in April 1981, and that happens to be the only road number of the five that MTL hasn't yet done. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
27200, $16.20 - 50 Foot Outside Post ("Ribside") Boxcar, Plug Door, Wisconsin Central.
27200, $16.20 - 50 Foot Outside Post ("Ribside") Boxcar, Plug Door, Wisconsin Central.Maroon with yellow and white lettering including reporting marks and shield herald on left and roadname on right. Reporting Marks: WC 27114. Approximate Time Period: late 1980's (WC "re-formed" in 1987) to present. Previous Release: Road Number 27102, February 1994. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The International Model and Hobby Expo, held every September and known around UMTRR HQ as "The Chicago Show" is held in Rosemont, Illinois, a small city just northeast of O'Hare International Airport. Rosemont is also where Wisconsin Central Ltd. called home. The second one, that is. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The first Wisconsin Central existed from the around 1871 to around 1908. The first date is when the initial WC line from Menasha to Stevens Point opened; the second is when the WC was leased by the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Saint Marie Railroad, popularly known as the Soo Line. I use "about" for both dates because the first line was, obviously, constructed prior to its 1871 opening; and because the lease didn't really obliterate the WC as a corporate entity. That didn't occur until 1960 with the three-way merger of the WC, the Soo Line and the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic into the "new" Soo Line, controlled by the Canadian Pacific. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The second Wisconsin Central began service on October 1987 with the sale of the Lake States Transportation Division of the Soo Line to a consortium led by railroad industry veterans. From that point, service was emphasized, and growth was steady, but the prospects for a regional line in the shadow of Class I giants was uncertain. So the line was put up for sale and the Canadian National bought it in 2001. I don't think the irony of the situation should be lost here... a piece of railroad once owned by the CP became a vital link for archrival CN! Speaking of which, there is a lot more to the WC story posted on the CN's website but you'll need to navigate through a few screens to get there. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We can do a two for one special on the ORER lookups, covering the new road number 27114 and also the previous road number 27102. We've got both in the series 26745 to 27376, as listed in the April 1989 Register. As of that date there were 448 cars in the group described as simply "Box, Steel" with AAR Classification XM. The inside length was 50 feet 6 inches, outside length 57 feet 6 inches (most likely indicating a cushion underframe-- get out the extended length MTL trucks), and inside height 10 feet 7 inches. The door opening was 10 feet even which would match the MTL 27000 series. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In October 1996 the original series has been split into an annoying number of subseries varying on several dimensions including extreme width, outside length and capacity. Why, I don't know, but I can tell you that 27114 and 27102 appear to have stayed in the main series. Overall it adds up to 474 cars if my math is right. I made one last stop, the January 2002 ORER listing (still as WC Limited) and found more subseries and about 420 cars still rolling. Not bad considering that, according to MTL's car copy, they were originally built in 1967. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
George Elwood's site includes a shot of sister car 27170 lensed in late August 2001 in Utah. The plug door is a bit different and the lettering of the roadname looks a little more "stencil-ly," but overall the MTL car's a good representation of the real thing. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
53050, $22.50 - 60 Foot Thrall® Centerbeam Flat Car, Milwaukee Road.
53050, $22.50 - 60 Foot Thrall® Centerbeam Flat Car, Milwaukee Road.Yellow with black lettering including roadname across top of centerbeam. Reporting Marks: MILW 63035. Approximate Time Period: late 1970's to present (1985 and later as part of Soo Line). Previous Release: Road Number 63056, January 1996. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Most of my travels take me through or over, not into, Chicago, but once in a while I have some actual business there and so I get to set foot in the City of the Broad Shoulders. Somewhere on the near north side, there is a restaurant where I had a nice dinner. And less than a block from there is an impressive, very long building... long by even city standards. It doesn't look like it was constructed all at the same time; there are subtle variations in the details from one end to the other, like the shade of brick that was used. Today it is used for housing, but my host told me that it was once an office building of the Milwaukee Road. I didn't remember the exact address, and the Official Guide of the Railways lists Union Station on Jackson Boulevard as the Milwaukee's "general offices" so I can't officially confirm or deny my host's assertion. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Well, even if they had offices there, I'm not sure that the Milwaukee would have occupied all of that huge building by the 1977 date when these cars were first placed into service. The company had already fallen on hard times, and within three years would start its final retrench away from the "Pacific" part of its official title Chicago, Milwaukee, Saint Paul and Pacific. Chances are that these cars were among the last built new for the MILW. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The April 1981 edition of the ORER shows the series 63000 to 63099, of 99 cars, with an unusual description: "Flat, Permanent Bulkheads, Tie Downs, A Frame Down Center (Lumber), Truck Centers 52 Feet." I think this roundabout way of saying "Centerbeam" may have been because of the relative newness of the body style. In fact, according to an article by D. Scott Chatfield in the January 1996 issue of Rail Model Journal, Thrall built its first Centerbeams in 1969, and just nine for the BN, but didn't build more until 1977, and this MILW group was among that cycle. Anyway, the dimensions of the real thing line up well with the MTL model, as you'd expect for what is a pretty specific prototype base. To wit: 60 foot 8 inch inside length, 68 foot outside length, 15 feet 6 inch extreme height. Chatfield noted in his piece that technically, the MTL model is based on the later version built for Trailer Train and the Burlington Northern, but by real rivet counting differences: pulling eyes in the corner posts and centered key slots. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The Soo Line picked up this group of cars when it purchased what was left of the Milwaukee in 1985, and the October 1996 ORER shows 97 cars with MILW reporting marks on the roster. Note also that the "A Frame" stuff was changed to the description "Centerbeam." The Soo didn't rush to repaint these. There were still 86 in July 1992 and 70 in October 1996, where, interestingly, the description has been truncated to just "Flat" but still with the "FBC" AAR Classification indicative of bulkhead type cars. In the January 2002 Register there are still 68 cars in the Soo roster with MILW reporting marks. No guarantees on how well the yellow paint has held up though. Probably none too well. But here's another ATP that reaches all the way to "present," unlike, unfortunately, the fallen flag railroad itself. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
65020, $19.15 - 39 Foot Single Dome Tank Car, Baltimore and Ohio (Company Service).
65020, $19.15 - 39 Foot Single Dome Tank Car, Baltimore and Ohio (Company Service).Black with white lettering including roadname and number on left and capital dome herald on right. Reporting Marks: B&O X417. Approximate Time Period: mid-1940's (1946 built date given by MTL) to at least the 1960's. Previous Release: Road Number X416, November 1981. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
OK, I won't go so far as to say "the prayers have been answered" but I will agree that the various lobbying efforts in the direction of Talent, Oregon have finally paid off. I and a number of other accumulators have been putting in requests for this reprint for a good long time. Why? Because, among other things, the original run of this car is pretty much in the aftermarket stratosphere-- over $400 per on a regular basis. When it's been offered, which is not frequently. As I have commented before in cases where top dollar Micro-Trains cars are redone, it will be interesting to see whether this takes any air out of the price balloon on the initial run. Certainly it's going to take some runners out of the running, but at this level of premium I really doubt that there were that many to begin with. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
I would have been in good shape, ORER-wise, if the prototype car in question had been built in time to make the January 1940 Register. In that edition, the work and company service equipment of the B&O are actually called out by series. But no such luck in the July 1950 Register; it's all one big glob of 3289 cars tagged as "Miscellaneous Service Equipment." I figured as much. Ditto in January 1959 except the glob is down to 1893 cars. Wonder what happened there? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
At any rate, your faithful umtrr-author is left to take a guess on the Approximate Time Period. And so I will wager that it is, as painted, at least into the 1960's, and probably into the 1970's, since first, the capitol dome herald lasted in some form (although not the exact variation on the car) into the mid 1950's, and second, company service equipment was not painted frequently, to say the least. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE SPECIAL EDITION RELEASES:
21310, $21.25 - 40 Foot Plug Door Boxcar, Hershey's® Mr. Goodbar®.Yellow with aluminum ends. Red and brown lettering including large "Mr. Goodbar" logo across car. Reporting Marks: HFC 9002. Number 8 of 8 in the Hershey's series. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Although popular, Mr. Goodbar is not one of the Hershey products that I'll be sampling for research purposes, as I'm just not fond of nuts. And, to oversimplify, a "Mr. Goodbar" is a Hershey's chocolate bar with peanuts. But a net search is more than likely to find lots of references to the film "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" as opposed to lots of references to chocolate. And that's another story entirely. I can tell you that the Mr. Goodbar with which we're concerned runs about 100 calories and 2 grams of protein, but with 9 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fat. No cholesterol, though. What I also found interesting was that the "Miniatures" version is half the size of the full bar; I'd have expected something, well, more miniature. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Meanwhile, the big news surrounding Hershey Foods, the maker of all these goodies, has nothing to do with any of the confections it offers. The Milton Hershey Trust, which controls 77% of the voting shares of the company, announced in July that it wanted to sell the company. The ensuing, eh, discussions have been, eh, pretty sporty. Believe it or not, the Pennsylvania Orphan's Court might have jurisdiction over this possible sale, since the Milton Hershey Trust has as its beneficiary the Milton Hershey School for disadvantaged children. But it's the for-profit Hershey Trust Company that actually controls the stock. The buzz in the town of Hershey about all this is, to say the least, loud. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Possible suitors named for Hershey's include Kraft Foods, itself a household name, and Nestle, which already owns a fair amount of chocolate brands (and also Purina Chows, Carnation Milk and other products that have appeared on N Scale rolling stock). Were Nestle to get Hershey's, at a currently estimated price of $12 Billion (US$), there could be an awfully long train of "sweet" SE cars out of that deal. Crunch and Krackel in the same consist, even! But no, that is probably not to be, for we have reached the eighth and final release in the Hershey's SE series. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
24300, $18.95 - 40 Foot Single Door Boxcar Without Roofwalk (Superior Door), Pepsi-Cola®.
24300, $18.95 - 40 Foot Single Door Boxcar Without Roofwalk (Superior Door), Pepsi-Cola®.Aluminum with black lettering including reporting marks on left. Contemporary Pepsi logo in black, red, white and blue on right. Reporting Marks: PCMT 30042. 16th in the overall Pepsi series. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Just when you thought it was safe... yes, I know I've said that before. But I've observed it before!
Anyway, it's been more than three years now since the first Pepsi-Cola Special Edition was released in August 1999, and given that the readership has grown significantly since that time, a quick rehash of the Pepsi Story may be in order. (And also, I am running short of things to say about the beverage.) Yes, it's certainly accurate that Caleb Brandham developed Pepsi-Cola and was a driving force behind the initial success of the venture. But the companies that marketed the drink smacked against the bankruptcy wall several times, once because of a runious runup then crash of sugar prices. Eventually the Loft's Candy Company came to own the brand and with the help of the "Twice as Much for a Nickel" campaign Pepsi began riding high again. But there was also corporate intrigue involved, which led to several high-profile court battles. Loft's won and became PepsiCo with the cola easily outstripping the candy in the popularity race. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The trademark on this month's release reflects the state of today's Pepsi Cola Corporation: colorful and bold. What isn't different from the Loft's days is the extensive use of advertising. Britney Spears and Austin Powers appear in a single television ad that runs in the USA, but the red white and blue ball device is recognized around the world as well. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Nn3 SCALE (NARROW GAUGE): No releases this month.
With the release of this car I returned to the recently acquired video presentation "American Railroad Collection Volume 1" (Pentrex, 2002, VHS and DVD) to view once again the BN's "Portrait of a Railroad." It was convenient that the filmmakers knew what I'd be looking for, as there were plenty of aerial shots of strings of boxcars freshly painted in BN green. I can just imagine the Excedrin headaches caused among classification yard crews: "Yeah, we want all BN cars in this train, yeah, just new BN cars, nothing else! Yeah, it's for some movie!" Anyway, what I was looking for was roofwalks. Like the one on this car. Unfortunately, I didn't see any. Well, maybe one on a forty foot BN car rolling down the hump in a yard, but I can't be sure, even after a freeze frame inspection. And the roofwalk is in fact the principal issue with this new issue. If the car was rebuilt from an NP box in 1972, at that point the running board would surely have been removed. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The ORER for April 1976 shows the series 245700 to 246196, of 492 cars, with inside length 50 feet 5 inches, inside height 10 feet 6 inches, outside length 55 feet 5 inches, and door opening 10 feet. Oops, a "door thing" too, although the 2 foot difference isn't all that much in Z Scale. The capacity is 110,000 pounds. By the way, not the entire series of NP cars that MTL cites were rebuilt in this program; there remained 142 cars in the NP group 19000 to 19999 that MTL mentions in its car copy. Those cars were forty footers with 6 foot doors, so when rebuilt the cars were apparently "stretched." In April 1985 the BN series was up slightly to 465 pieces, so perhaps more of the original NP series were rounded up and rebuilt by then. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
By January 1985 the series was down to 273 cars in regular service, plus eight that had been relegated to the dreaded "hide only" assignment. In the July 1989 Register there was just one car left of the series, road number 246126. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.