©2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Legal Stuff
NOTE: This archive edition covers single car releases only. Reviews of and commentary on Micro-Trains locomotives (including the FTs) and Special Edition sets such as the Evergreen Express are available exclusively in the e-mail subscription edition of the UMTRR.
N SCALE NEW RELEASES:
20616, $14.50 - 40 Foot Single Door Boxcar (Youngstown or "Narrow Rib" Door), Seaboard Air Line.Aluminum with red lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left. Red and black "heart" herald on right. Reporting Marks: SAL 25196. Approximate Time Period: early 1950's (1952 built date given by MTL) or mid-1960's (1966 service date given by MTL) to mid-1970s. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The Silver Meteor, the Silver Star, why not the "silver" boxcar? This is but one variation of how the Seaboard painted its cars in the bright metallic hue; "big brother" Kadee has done several different SAL cars and they've all sold faster than the breakfast special at Waffle House. If this one does well for MTL, there could be plenty more where this came from. Meanwhile, cars modeled by Kadee and listed on their site date as early as 1959. And by the way, they do call them "silver." © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) for January 1964 is a little before the service date given by MTL. It shows the series 24500 to 25899, which is a total possible 1400 cars. There are 1250 cars in the main series and several subseries with various modifications. One of these applies to this particular car: "Equipped with insulated roof... and differing in inside height and cubical capacity." But of course you can't tell from the outside. Some of the other subgroups were even more exotic... how about a small set of cars equipped specifically to handle nylon thread? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Anyway, let's check the stats: Inside length 40 feet 6 inches, inside height 10 feet 1 inch (with the roof; the standard cars were 10 feet 5 inches), outside length 41 feet 10 inches, extreme height 15 feet even, door opening 8 feet. Uh, yep, a "door thing". © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
As you might recall from previous Seaboard releases, it merged with the Atlantic Coast Line to form the Seaboard Coast Line, it stopped reporting car quantities under the previous reporting marks. This time, though, the end notes help because they still have to call out the specific car numbers that were modified from the original series. So we can learn that car number 25196 is still in SAL paint in April 1970 and remains so in the April 1976 ORER. Don't forget that the roofwalk should have been gone by then. However, by April 1981 there is only one car from this group still on the roster, and it's not 25196. Based on the data I have, it looks like it was not renumbered into an SCL series either, just "retired." © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
You can see an example of how this aluminum paint scheme looked after some years of service via a photo online in "The Seaboard Lines Image Gallery". The pictured boxcar, SAL 13097 isn't in the series modeled by MTL; in fact it's got roof hatches, but it is painted up the same way and has a service date of sometime in 1965. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
37050, $18.80 - 50 Foot Double Door Boxcar Without Roofwalk, Northern Pacific.
37050, $18.80 - 50 Foot Double Door Boxcar Without Roofwalk, Northern Pacific.Boxcar red with mostly white lettering including large "NP" initials on left and large black, white and red herald on right. Reporting Marks: NP 7813. Approximate Time Period: late 1960's (1967 shop date given by MTL) to late 1970's. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
When, back in March, I picked up a low cost copy of the Morning Sun "NP Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment" by Todd Sullivan, I figured I'd just doomed Northern Pacific fans to a lack of releases for a while. Fortunately, the "drought" was just eight months, and the prototype series from which this model comes is contained in that volume. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
That series is NP 7500 to 7899, of "interior post" design built by the NP from 1955 to 1961, After that, according to Sullivan, the road switched to the "exterior post" design" that's common practice today. (Please don't say "outside braced" within earshot of a modern railroader!) The large NP and large monad herald are typical of how the NP dressed these cars in the 1960's. There was no longer a "North Coast Limited" slogan plugging the line's premier passenger train, though. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The ORER for April 1970 shows under the Burlington Northern listing an aggregation of various series that the NP built, numbered from 6000 to 7899 and consisting of 1762 cars. The inside length was 50 feet 6 inches, outside length 54 feet 5 inches, extreme height 15 feet 1 inch, and the door opening 15 feet. That would set up a minor "door thing" against the model as the MTL model has two 8 foot doors for a total 16 foot opening, but what's also different on the prototype is that the doors were centered, rather than staggered as was typical. That means the MTL doors are too far left versus the model. There is also a diagonal row of rivets on the panels immediately to either side of the doors that isn't modeled. Further, although this may not apply to all cars in the series, the photo in the Morning Sun book shows a galvanized roof, so get out the silver paint if you deem it necessary. I expect that given the "door placement thing" serious NP and BN modelers will declare this to be no more than a "stand in"; however, no one commercially mass produces double door cars with the correct door placement in N Scale as far as I know. You'd be on your own with a non-trivial modification to get it completely right, and my guess is you'd start with an undec 37er anyway. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Continuing through the relevant ORER listings, we find a large drop to 750 cars in the NP series in the BN's listing for April 1976. My guess is that these cars didn't go over to new lettering, and a quick check of the roster with BN markings didn't show any matches. By April 1981 there were just 61 cars remaining in the series, so that's where I stopped looking. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
If you can ignore the "door thing" there are three other paint schemes in which this NP series can be done, one after and two before this one, chronologically. So stay tuned, and I'll hang on to the NP Color Guide. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
52080, $27.00 - 52 Foot Plug Door Express Refrigerator, Railway Express Agency.
52080, $27.00 - 52 Foot Plug Door Express Refrigerator, Railway Express Agency.Aluminum roof and ends, green sides with aluminum and red bands. Gold lettering including "Railway Express Agency" name across top. Reporting Marks: REX 6116. Approximate Time Period: late 1940's (1948 build date given by MTL) to sometime in the 1950's for this paint scheme (a guess). NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
According to Vic Roseman's book "Railway Express : An Overview" there were 498 cars built in the series to which this car belongs. These cars were built by American Car and Foundry in 1948 and were of all steel welded construction. The roof differs from the 58000 body style; it's rounded and without the diagonal pattern that is on the MTL model. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The cars ran until the end of the REA. Painted like that? Hmm, maybe not. ORERs won't help there. Roseman has a prototype photo of REX 6104 in the modeled scheme taken a month after it was built, but also two other cars in the series painted in the more typical green. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The July 1950 Register (Westerfield CD-ROM) has these statistics: inside length of 42 feet one-quarter inch (have to subtract the ice bunkers), outside length of 54 feet 10 and one-half inches, extreme height of just 13 feet and four and one-eighth inches. The ice bunkers could carry 12,900 pounds of chunk ice. Comparing the condensed roster in Roseman's book to the ORER, it looks as though these 6000's were the only steel cars on the REA's roster in 1950, important if you're modeling that time period. Hey, the company still had 42 horse cars in service at that time! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In January 1964, the series is still pretty much intact at 493 cars, representing almost a quarter of the whole fleet at that time. The REA itself only lasted another fifteen years, though some of these cars still had some life in them and went off to Colorado shortline San Luis Central. There they were painted in another bright color: orange. But that's another story, and perhaps another MTL release. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
57120, $14.25 - 33 Foot 2 Bay Hopper, Composite Sides, Flat Ends, Ann Arbor.
57120, $14.25 - 33 Foot 2 Bay Hopper, Composite Sides, Flat Ends, Ann Arbor.Black with with white lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname across side. Reporting Marks: AA 30920. Approximate Time Period: mid 1940's (1944 build date given by MTL) to late 1950's. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The Ann Arbor Railroad was controlled by the Wabash from 1925 to 1963, so it's not surprising that the Annie's cars looked a lot like the Wabash cars. In fact, according to an article covering these "War Emergency" hoppers that appears in the December 2000 issue of Rail Model Journal, these cars were built by the Wabash at its shop in Decatur, Illinois. The article's author, Ed Hawkins, also notes that the AA did not rebuild these cars with steel components after the war emergency was over, as most lines did. So that makes it a little easier on the ORER lookups. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Let's get to those: The July 1950 Register (Westerfield CD-ROM) shows the series 30900 to 30974, description "Hopper, Composite" and AAR classification HM. The inside length is 33 feet and the outside length 34 feet, capacity 1970 cubic feet or 100,000 pounds. This generally lines up with the War Production Board's specs for these cars, as you'd expect. The 75 car count was almost 40 percent of the AA's total 190 car hopper fleet at that time. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Well, there could be a reason why the cars were never rebuilt. By the January 1959 ORER (Westerfield CD-ROM again) there were only five cars left in the series! That's quite a short lifespan for a hopper collection. Meanwhile, the Annie's total hopper roster had slid to 64 cars as well. Just for giggles, I checked to see if these cars had reverted to parent Wabash. It looks like that didn't happen as that line had no composite hoppers at all at that point. So we have a short ATP and a short story this time around. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
65560, $19.15 - 39 Foot Single Dome Tank Car, Canadian National (Maintenance of Way).
65560, $19.15 - 39 Foot Single Dome Tank Car, Canadian National (Maintenance of Way).Red with mostly white lettering including reporting marks on left. Reporting Marks: CN 990984. Approximate Time Period: late 1970's (1978 service date given by MTL) at least, see text. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
When the Z Scale version of this car was released back in March, my research on the real thing turned up a goose egg, zip, zero, nada. A check with MTL revealed that what they had was just a couple of prototype photos. So I was dreading this N Scale offering, from a UMTRR perspective only of course. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
As it turns out, at least some of those prototype photos received by MTL were from a long-time subscriber, who captured sister car CN 990710 in Cornwall, Ontario in 1999. At first glance, this car looked to me like the classic "chemical tank car" marketed variously in N Scale and HO by Atlas and AHM. There's a full four-sided platform on the prototype which makes it different from the MTL model. I also think that the real thing could have a somewhat smaller diameter than the 65000 body style. But the overall effect is good, and I can say without a doubt that the fire engine red is right on! Also keep in mind that this was a sister car, not the exact prototype MTL chose to model. (That probably means that more than one person sent in photos.) © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Meanwhile, there's no shortage of points on the CN from which diesel fuel can be loaded into these company service cars. I know from personal observation that not far north of Montreal there are refineries. There's a five mile spur off the Levis division that serves an Ultramar refinery, and the CN runs an "Ultratrain" unit train daily for that site. In fact, several Internet sources show that there are 21 refineries in Canada, although only 18 of them manufacture gasoline and other distillates. The plants are sprinkled throughout the country from Newfoundland to British Columbia. One estimate from Statistics Canada pegs diesel fuel as constituting 22 percent of the total output of these refineries. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We can tag the start of the ATP for this car pretty accurately to the introduction of the U-1 yellow and black stencil in 1978. These were "wheel inspection dots" that were required on all cars that had 33 inch wheels. If the car had a white dot on a black background, inspection showed that the wheels were of the "U-1" type and replacement was required. If the car had a yellow dot, the wheels were OK. All U-1s were supposed to be replaced by December 1978 so the dots were dropped after that. As a point of reference, the CN 990710 caught by Martin doesn't have it. Tank cars require fairly frequent inspection but that doesn't necessarily mean they are repainted. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
106080, $15.10 - 50 Foot 14 Panel Gondola with Low Cover, Pennsylvania Railroad.
106080, $15.10 - 50 Foot 14 Panel Gondola with Low Cover, Pennsylvania Railroad.Red oxide with mostly white lettering including roadname across car and "shadow keystone" herald on right. Road Number: 376704 (will be "PRR 376704" in wesbite listing). Approximate Time Period: late 1950's (1957 service date given by MTL) to early 1970's at the latest. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
According to MTL, this car was serviced in 1957, three years after the Pennsy's famous "shadow keystone" was introduced. The shadow keystone replaced the venerable "circle keystone" and was almost twice as big as the circle was on most cars. The shadow lasted until 1961 when it was removed, but the large keystone remained. When the shadow keystone was introduced, the roadname was also made significantly larger; that lasted until it was replaced with just the "PRR" reporting marks, also in 1961. This MTL offering is its first PRR gondola in something other than the circle keystone. And the roadname! Check out the size of it! She's a beauty! (No, wait, I'm George Irwin, not Steve Irwin...) © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The ORER for January 1959 shows a large series, Pennsy class G31d, numbered 375750 to 376949, of 1,196 cars, of which the 376704 is one of a subset of just five pieces. They're described specifically in Note 94: "...equipped with four movable bulkheads and three sectional [sic] roof, for shipments of cold rolled bar steel or tin plate on coils on pallets, and differing in AAR Mechanical Designation, dimensions and capacity from other cars in the series: [class] GBR, inside length 52 feet 3 inches, inside width 8 feet 8 inches, inside height 4 feet 4 inches... extreme height 9 feet 2 inches, capacity 2,171 cubic feet, 130,000 pounds. For the renumberers out there, the other cars were 375774, 375910, 375945, and 376839. The outside length of these cars was the same as the rest of the gang, at 54 feet 8 inches. The MTL model is just about right on that measurement, but the inside length of the body is a little short. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In the January 1964 ORER we find the same five cars and roughly the same note, except that the AAR Class has changed to GBSR which is the same as used for coil cars. The April 1970 listing for Penn Central has the former quintet down to a trio, but the 376704 is still part of that group. However, there is a Penn Central series 622500 to 622504 which is of the same description, is the old Pennsy class G31d and has room for five cars. Just one has been moved over though, and that's PC 622853. (And that's enough for a follow on MTL release. Somebody send them some pictures!) I don't know what happened to the fifth gon... but then, the PC was known for losing cars, and maybe that's an example! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The April 1976 Register moves us to the Conrail era, and it looks like the Pennsy gons are gone. There are none with covers and only 22 total cars where there were once 1200. I am calling the ATP out to the early 1970's although it is possible that the cars were repainted into a more spartan Pennsy scheme; I just don't think it's that likely. And who's to say? © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
For even more data on the G31d series, Prr.railfan.net which has scans of the actual prototype drawings of the cars, with and without covers. You'll also find on that site a photo of an uncovered G31a circa 1974 with the later paint scheme of reporting marks and unshadowed keystone, as well as a cousin G31e gondola in the paint scheme that's on the MTL model. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE REPRINTS:
21140, $14.75 - 40 Foot Plug Door Boxcar, Union Pacific.Boxcar red (OK, "UP Brown") with mostly white lettering including large roadname on left and slogan "Ship & Travel the Automated Rail Way" on right. Red, white and blue UP shield herald on right. Reporting Marks: UP 113397. Approximate Time Period: early 1960's (1962 rebuild date given by MTL) to 1970's, but see text. Previous Release: Road Number 113596, June 1988. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Uh, oh, here comes trouble.
There is no series corresponding to the road number 113397 or the previous roadnumber 113596 in either of the January 1959 or January 1964 ORERs. There is a series 113100 to 113599 listed in the April 1970 Register, and shown as a 40 foot "plug doors" box car? And with a 14 foot door opening? Something is not right here... © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
With help from a UMTRR reader, who sent a link to a table of 60's and 70's UP boxcars that's on the Union Pacific Historical Society's website, plus a look at prototype photos-- and an HO Athearn UP boxcar!-- I can start to straighten this out. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The UP class B-50-49 printed on the car (well, the original release and I assume the reprint) actually corresponds to 300 fifty foot double door boxcars built in 1957. Note that the "50" in "B-50-49" stands for 50 tons capacity, not 50 feet long. The number series to which the 113397 and predecessor 113596 belong is the BF-50-2, which is 40 feet long and has two plug doors, an 8 foot standard and a 6 foot full height "grain" door. That makes the prototype car much more like the "grainloading" boxcar that Athearn has had out for years in HO, of which there is no commerically available model in N Scale. (At least not yet, though as you may already know, the blue box folks are going into 1:160.) There are reference photos of this group in Volumes 1 and 2 of Morning Sun's Color Guides (not in the UMTRR book accumulation). © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
So, to sum it up, I am a little confused. I'm not sure what prototype MTL is trying to represent here. At best, they've got the wrong road number. At worst, they're missing a couple of plug doors. The paint scheme is generally on target for early 1960's UP cars, and they've also done it on catalog 20710, a single door boxcar released in 1986. I'm going to put a generic ATP on these cars into the 1970's, since that's approximately when the roofwalks were removed, the paint scheme would have changed, and 40 footers would have fallen out of favor.
Finally, though, note that the ORER description of these cars just says "Plug Doors," not "Double Plug Doors" as some other descriptions do, which is, let us say, potentially misleading in itself. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
34220, $15.40 - 50 Foot Double Door Boxcar, New York Central "Earlybird".
34220, $15.40 - 50 Foot Double Door Boxcar, New York Central "Earlybird".Boxcar red with white lettering including reporting marks on left. Black and yellow "Earlybird Fast Freight Service" herald on right. Reporting Marks: NYC 45335. Approximate Time Period: late 1950's (1957 built date given by MTL) to early 1970's at least. Previous Release: Road Number 45390, April 1996. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Here's a reprint of a car that was built just up the road from UMTRR HQ, in East Rochester, New York. The town was originally known as "Despatch" after the huge shop erected there by what was properly a subsidiary of the New York Central Railroad-- tax treatment, you know. The site of Despatch Shops, Incoporated, closed in 1970, is now an industrial park, and there is hardly any track left. On the south side of the tracks is the actual town of East Rochester, complete with wide-streeted business district (cars park diagonally!) and collection of modest houses. A historical marker commemorates what once was, near the place where an underpass allowed workers to get from home to work without crossing the mainline at grade. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In the Morning Sun NYC Color Guide there's a three-quarter view of the 45390, MTL's first release. The Emery Gulash photo is captioned as "one of the more memorable of 'boxcar red' boxcars" and I, NYC fan that I am, won't disagree. NYC purists may find a few nitpicky things off between the real and the model, but they are pretty nitpicky in this case and I'm not complaining. Alright, maybe one thing: the prototype doors offered a 15 foot opening versus the model's 16 feet. It just doesn't seem that noticable here, even though the prototype apears to have had a 7 foot plus 8 foot arrangement for its double doors. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The ORER for January, 1959 shows the series 45000 to 46249 plus two more series going to 46399, which all had inside length of 50 feet 6 inches, outside length of 51 feet 10 inches, extreme height of 15 feet 1 inch, and capacity of 100,000 pounds. The 45335 and predecessor 45390 fit into the "plain jane" group of 1,256 cars, while the other two groups were equipped to handle automobile engines (106 cars) and automobile axles (34 cars) for a sum of 1,396 cars. Add 494 more pieces in the group 46250 to 46899, which also fell under NYC's lot 862-B, and you have 1,990 cars total. Yeah, I guess there can be reprints for a while! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The January 1964 Register shows this group down to 1,491, and under Penn Central in April 1970, down to 989 with some of them upgraded to 110,000 pounds capacity. At this point they were pretty tired, but some of them were still in the original livery. I know this from experience, having seen them as a child in the Central's Weehawken yards (former West Shore) just across the Hudson from Manhattan. And 501 total cars survived into Conrail as shown in the April 1976 ORER, and 94 made it all the way to April 1981.
© 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
53510, $25.05 - 60 Foot Gunderson® Center Partition Flat Car, Domtar Gypsum.
53510, $25.05 - 60 Foot Gunderson® Center Partition Flat Car, Domtar Gypsum.White with blue lettering including company name across top. Blue, yellow, green and red logo left of company name. Reporting Marks: GBRX 9022. Approximate Time Period: 1989 (build date given by MTL) to mid-1990's at the latest. Previous Release: Road Number 9020, September 1997. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
From the folks who also brought you the Golden West Service, here's a second number on a pretty short series of cars. Gunderson tried to get on the bandwagon started by Thrall with their Centerbeam cars; they couldn't use the name "Centerbeam" which Thrall had registered as a trademark so they tried "Center Partition." The only cars Gunderson built to this length were these for Domtar; longer cars of this type were already the standard. Think of it, folks... an MTL body style with perhaps a single prototype! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Domtar Incorporated is a Montreal-based company in the business of making specialty and fine papers, and accounted for one-third of Canada's capacity in that area in 1999. It also produces wood products and pulp. But it doesn't own Domtar Gypsum, which it sold to Georgia-Pacific in 1995. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The ORER for January 1991 shows fifty cars in the series GBRX 9020 to 9069 registered to Greenbrier Leasing Company. The inside length is 60 feet 8 inches and the outside length 68 feet. Don't forget that the inside length is inside the bulkheads so there will be a pretty big difference between it and the length over the couplers in this case. Capacity is 199,000 pounds. Good thing, as these cars were built for carrying sheetrock and I know how much just one 4x8 foot slab weighs. These cars are in AAR Classification "FBC" and fall within Plate C dimensions. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The ATP for this group isn't very long. In the October 1996 book the series had dropped to 24 pieces numbered 9020 to 9044. By July 1998 the series is gone completely. It does not look like they moved to a different number series or to Greenbrier's other reporting marks, "OTDX." Maybe the sale of Domtar Gypsum to Georgia-Pacific had something to do with this, but I checked the various G-P registrations in the '98 Register and there was nothing doing there either. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the cars are gone. Going by the old Fort Worth Union Station area on Interstate 30 last month, I thought I saw a plain white centerbeam... oops, I mean center partition... flat car in a consist. I couldn't check for certain that it was one of these cars in a new role, but there aren't many examples of 'beams painted white. Maybe... © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE SPECIAL EDITION RELEASES:
64082, $36.50 - 2002 Holiday Car, "Holiday Transportation Company."Consists of two pieces: (1) 64000 series 57 foot TOFC flat car, red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and company name on right ("Holiday Transportation Company"). Reporting Marks HTC 1230. (2) 67000 series 45 foot trailer, aluminum with red ribbon, green bow and red and green "Overnight Delivery" banner. Micro-Mouse character left of banner. Reporting Marks: MTL 2002. 12th in the MTL N Scale Holiday Series. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
It's the return of the Micro-Mouse! He or she was "exiled" from Talent following the release of the 1997 "Noel" two pack (hoppers in N, gondolas in Z) and is now welcomed back with open arms. Well, maybe not with open arms, but certainly not with a mouse trap, either. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The trailer on which the "mascot" of MTL appears is decorated in a manner that hasn't been seen yet, certainly in the history of MTL, and maybe not in N Scale anywhere. The red ribbon on the ends and roof and the green bow besides, isn't something you'd see every day, and it makes this quite eyecatching and attractive. You won't mistake this for anything else! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We're talking $36.50 MSRP here, friends. I think that's going to give a few folks pause; in fact, in as unscientific a survey as there could be, two friends of mine have said they would break their streak of purchasing Holiday Cars. I suspect that they aren't alone. While it's as true with non-prototypical cars as with prototypical models that the paint scheme is a major factor in the price of MTL cars, the non-prototypes are where MTL has some discretion and could trade off complexity for cost. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
In MTL's defense, you are getting two items. The last TOFC flat released cost $16.55 (the 54070 CP Rail), although the 54080 flat in this pair seems a little less complicated. I would think the BN Cityview trailers are comparable in complexity to this one, and the last of those (67210 Portland) was $22.50. So if you look at it that way, the Holiday Release isn't out of line. That won't satisfy some objections. But then, neither would releasing the trailer without something to put it on. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Nn3 SCALE (NARROW GAUGE): No releases this month.
This release repeats the road number of the N Scale release, which goes back to June 1997 (or farther back than I thought). The prototypes for this car are available for your viewing via three photos in Morning Sun's Pennsylvania Color Guide, Volume 2 (not in the UMTRR Accumulation, I'm afraid). © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The Pennsy operated these cars under lease from 1960 to 1964 and then took direct ownership of them. The January 1964 ORER has them already in PRR marks, series 47100 to 47209, for all 109 cars possible, in AAR Classification XME, Pennsy Class X48 and description "Box, Cushion Underframe." Inside length is 50 feet 6 inches, outside length 53 feet, extreme height 15 feet 1 inch. The door opening is 8 feet and I assume that matches the model; I don't have any Z Scale boxcars around here to measure! © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
By the April 1970 Register under the Penn Central, the series had been expanded to 150 possible numbers, 47100 to 47249, and there were 138 cars with 100,000 pounds capacity plus nine more with 110,000 pounds capacity. This time the DF loaders were mentioned, I'm surprised that they weren't in '64 when they were less common. In addition, some of these cars had pallets considered to be part of the car. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We know from a photo and caption in Classic Freight Cars Volume 8 that these cars were renumbered into the Penn Central series 264651 to 264789. In at least one case it was just a very quick reststencil and the "No Damage" "General American" and even the Pennsy Keystone herald was left intact! The April 1976 ORER's Conrail listing shows 66 cars in PC lettering and none left with PRR reporting marks. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Special Edition New Release:
Special Edition New Release:
The Z Scale Holiday Car series began a little later than the N Scale one, having been started up in 1993. And once again the 1:220 fans have also been given a different body style for their cars... no Z Scale TOFC's, at least not yet, right? The idea of doing the boxcar as a "box" still works, though. © 2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.