©2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting Prohibited.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:
34310, $27.30 - 50 Foot Box Car, Double Sliding Door (Youngstown Door), Union Pacific.Yellow sides, aluminum roof, ends, sills, trucks and draft gear. Black lettering including reporting marks on left. Multicolor "Campbell Soup" herald on left and "Automated Rail Way" map herald on right. Reporting Marks: UP 160157. Approximate Time Period: early 1960's (1962 build date given by MTL). NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.© 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
I'm just tickled to see that the very short-lived "Campbell Soup Shield" of the UP has been memorialized by Micro-Trains. Licensing pass-through or not, more on that later. First, I think I'd better explain this somewhat odd naming of "Campbell's Soup Shield" to those of you who live outside of the United States (although I think Campbell's is sold in Canada and elsewhere too.) The reference is to the label of the extensive line of Campbell's condensed soup, which is red on top and white on the bottom. That label has been around since 1898 and is itself based on the red and white uniforms of Cornell University. The red and white cans were depicted as part of the very first streetcar advertising ever in New York City-- see, you knew I'd get back to trains, right? Campbell's was among the first to advertise nationally as well, and by the decade of the 1900's the brand was known across the country. Although now diversified into many different types of food products, Campbell's premier product remains to this day its line of condensed soups. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
So it's not surprising that when the Union Pacific bowed its own red on top, white on the bottom herald (if I may call it that) as a replacement for the venerable red, white and blue shield, it was immediately tagged with the "Campbell Soup" moniker. I'm not sure that was good. I'd say the UP didn't think it was good either. According to the railroad's official website, the design was introduced in 1962 and dropped in 1963, with the line returning to the 1950 version of the traditional UP shield. There were actually two versions of this attempt! The first had thinner lettering and a smaller roadname, and the second had a white inlay on the "U.P." above and below, the roadname in what even UP calls "redrawn in a quirky but much bolder lettering." There is a small but discernable photo of the very car UP 160157 that MTL modeled on the UP website alongside this explanation, but get this-- it appears to have the top half of the second design and the bottom half of the first design! By December 1962 this design and the whole idea of making boxcars reminscient of soup cans was tossed. Wise choice, Uncle Pete. But it does get you a very short Approximate Time Period, since, as we know, this is one road that's pretty good at repainting rolling stock in a timely manner. Especially high profile Armour Yellow boxcars. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
MTL helps my lookup cause by disclosing that the car is part of the series 160150 to 160181 built in 1962, so without delay we can check the January 1964 edition of the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER). This group of just 13 cars was given AAR Classification "XME" and description "Box, Steel, Cushion Underframe, Staggered Doors." Note Z declared that the cars had side wall lading anchors. The inside length of the cars was 50 feet 6 inches, inside height 10 feet 6 inches, outside length 52 feet even, extreme height 15 feet even, and door opening 15 feet even. That last stat indicates a "door thing" of minor proportion since the MTL 34000 body style has a 16 foot opening. The capacity was 4955 cubic feet or 100,000 pounds. This is the only ORER I checked, since although the cars remained into the 1970's at least, the paint scheme most likely did not. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
106230, $15.10 - 50 Foot 15 Panel Gondola with Fixed Ends and Low Cover, Chicago and North Western.
106230, $15.10 - 50 Foot 15 Panel Gondola with Fixed Ends and Low Cover, Chicago and North Western.Black with aluminum stirrups and cover. White lettering including reporting marks on left and herald on right. Reporting Marks: CNW 89000. Approximate Time Period: mid-1960's (1966 build date given by MTL) to late 1990's at least.
I didn't think I would find a photo reference on the 'net for these cars, but as it turned out, nothing to it; there's a shot of sister car 89060 by Darrell Sawyer on his NorthWest Rail Pics site. It's definitely a 15 panel gondola, definitely has fixed ends, and definitely has a cover. The details are a bit different between photo and model; the first one I noticed was the placement of the brake wheel, a bit lower than it is on the MTL 106000 body style. What had me worried was the apparent height of the prototype car versus the model, but I needed to go to the ORER to check that out first, and then to an N Scale ruler. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
And actually we appear to be OK there too. The April 1970 Register calls out the series 89000 to 89089 with an inside height of 5 feet 8 inches and an extreme height of 11 feet 8 inches. I measured a previous covered gon release and its dimensions are close enough, maybe a little less tall overall depending on how you call it. It's the length that's actually more of an issue than the height, as the prototype was of inside length 52 feet 6 inches and outside length 58 feet which is more than the MTL gons are. The "Hydraulic Cushioning" stenciling on the model also appears on the prototype car, as does extended draft gear trucks. Changing to MTL's version will help get you closer to that 58 feet prototype length. The car capacity was 2494 cubic feet or 150,000 pounds. The GBSR designation is right on for this fleet; I commend someone in the R&D Department for doing their homework on the car copy explanation. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
By the April 1981 Register there's a slight drop to 86 cars in the series. Ten years later, in October 1991, there is a mess. There are no less than twenty-one different subgroups made out of this fleet! Twenty-five remain in the main series and have been uprated to 198,000 pounds capacity. The rest were relisted as just "Gondola" as opposed to the full length "Gondola, Steel, Cushion Underframe, Fixed Ends, Plain Bottom, Wood Floor, 25K." It looks like of those, twenty-two were further relieved of their covers and reclassed as AAR designation "GB" while the rest kept the "GBSR" designation. The capacities are all over the place. If you're wondering how the ORERs went from being small telephone directory sized in the 1960's and 1970's, to Manhattan telephone directory sized in the 1980's and beyond... well, there goes your answer. Darrell Sawyer's photo of CNW 89060 is copyrighted 1997 so I figured we're good at least to that point; to validate, I checked the October 1996 listing and actually located the 89000 MTL selected to model among the twenty-seven lines that covered this group. It hadn't lost its cover, either. One last check in the January 2002 ORER shows 32 cars left in three subseries, apparently some with covers and some without. I can't tell you specifically whether the 89000 was still around or whether it was covered or not at that point. Given the incredible beating that even special service gondolas get, I think the paint would have had it by then so I'll be conservative and cut off the ATP at the late 1990's. Based on consolidated stencils and such, the "strictly speaking" ATP would be shorter. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
113020, $15.95 - 40 Foot Skeleton Log Car. Black body, no lettering.
113020, $15.95 - 40 Foot Skeleton Log Car. Black body, no lettering.Comes with cast resin "Load B" of five Cedar Logs. Approximate Time Period: Most of the 20th Century, more or less. NOTE: This item is sold out and discontinued.
The book "Rails in the North Woods" was added to the UMTRR Library a few years ago, pretty much on a whim. This 1978 volume (still available at least in paperback) focuses on nine companies that had shortline operations in the Adirondack Region of New York, one of which still survives today (the Lowville and Beaver River). While there were other purposes for these shortlines' existence, a key reason for their building was logging. Hardwoods don't float well down rivers, so to harvest those, some other form of transportation was necessary. For example, the Rich Lumber Company set up near Cranberry Lake, around 1902. Photos of the operation in the book show Shay locomotives easing down track which used rough cut logs for crossties. Connection was made with the New York Central, but the firm had a sawmill and other processing right there at the site so the Central received more "finished goods" like board lumber. Hardwoods such as maple, spruce and beech were among the logs taken. Conservation was not a key word in those days, and the tract of land was cleared of all useful lumber by 1910 or so, after which the Rich Lumber Company moved on. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The first release of the skeleton log car in December 2002 came with "Load 1" which was of large cedar logs more common to the western part of the country. For this release, MTL moves East for "Load B" which is a group of ten hardwood logs. As I mentioned last time, my limit of tree knowledge is that I can tell an evergreen from a deciduous, and that's about it. So a quick trip to the Hardwood Council website informed me that among types of hardwoods are Red Alder, Ash, Aspen, Basswood, Beech, Yellow Birch, Cherry, Cottonwood, Red Elm, Gum, Hackberry, Hickory and Pecan, Hard and Soft Maple, Red and White Oak, Poplar, Sassafras, Sycamore, Black Walnut and Willow, and sometimes Cypress (technically a softwood but treated as a hardwood in processing). On further review, we find that Ash grows in the Eastern United States and to a diameter of between two and five feet, so the load MTL includes could be of those. The Hard Maple is the state tree of New York, and I think what's growing in my front yard. When I say I don't know what I'm talking about with respect to trees, I mean it! © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
MTL also notes on their website that these cars are "great for HOn30 modelers too;" that's a reference to HO narrow gauge equipment that runs on N Scale track. It's a compromise of sorts that can get HO folks started in slim gauge easily; there weren't many 2 1/2 foot narrow gauge lines extant in real life. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
116010.1, 116010.2, 116010.3, $18.55; Troop Sleeper Cars.
116010.1, 116010.2, 116010.3, $18.55; Troop Sleeper Cars.Pullman green with black roof. Yellow lettering including "Pullman" across top, "Troop Sleeper" across bottom, and road number on bottom left and bottom right. Comes with simulated windows, diaphragms and interiors. Road Numbers: 9010 (the .1), 9153 (the .2), and 9426 (the .3). Also: June 2003 releases: .4, Road Number 9082 and .5, Road Number 9340. Approximate Time Period: 1943 through about 1950. NOTE: These items have been sold out and discontinued.
118010, $17.70 - Troop Kitchen Car. Pullman green with black roof. Yellow lettering including "Troop Kitchen Car" across top, and road number at bottom left and bottom right. Comes with simulated windows, diaphragms and interiors. Road Number: K-100. Approximate Time Period: 1943 through about 1950. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.
The dark of night, or perhaps the break of day. The young recruit is steadfast, if a bit nervous in anticipation, as he and hundreds of his cohorts assemble for the trip to their first, or their next, destination. Pulling into the camp is a set of locomotives, made as clean as possible given that they have been overworked and have had little time for non-necessities like a thorough cleaning. Behind the motive power is a troop train. Some officers might board the Pullman passenger cars that have been pressed into service from long and short distance civilian trains. Others, like our soldier, are marched farther back to a piece of rolling stock that more resembles a boxcar with windows than a passenger car. Once inside, the soldier sees that there are bunks three high inside, the lowest of which is converted to a bench for seating during the day. As cramped as it may appear, at least he knows that the bunk will be his. He's not sure how comfortable it will be. The thought is a very brief one, though. What lies ahead, he knows as the train starts moving, is the great unknown. What will be the final destination for this trip, and what happens next? The questions are certainly in the minds of many soldiers in many troop sleepers, no matter what the day or hour. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
I had thought that perhaps there wouldn't be that much on troop sleepers on the Internet, or in recent print. Wrong! There are references in cyberspace to the cars themselves, previously released models in other scales, and the experiences of some WWII vets riding in troop sleepers on the way to somewhere else. Meanwhile, Kalmbach has done not one but three different articles in the last two years. First, as part of its extensive coverage of "World War II: Railroading's Finest Hour" in the Winter 2001 edition of "Classic Trains," there are eight pages devoted to the cars' history. That's followed up by articles and drawings of the sleeper and kitchen car in the December 2001 and February 2002 issues of Model Railroader. With prototype information like that at their (and our) fingertips, I suspect that MTL will have gotten the dimensions of these cars down to the gnat's eyelash, or at least to the satisfaction of most people. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
MTL's car copy captures the overall story of these cars well. In summary, the troop cars were built in two groups totaling 2400 cars. The first set was numbered 7000 to 8199 and was constructed from October 1943 to March 1944, and the second set was numbered 8300 to 8499 and 9000 to 9999 and built from October 1945 to May 1946. The 800 kitchen cars were built by American Car and Foundry from October 1943 to March 1944, and numbered K-100 to K-499 and K-600 to K-999. Yes, that means that troop sleepers didn't exist for much of World War II. That explains why there were so many "miltary surplus" available to be sold to railroads after hostilities ceased. Although thoroughly deployed while in service, they still were hardly "well used" especially compared to the old, tired equipment that the railroads had to hang onto from before the war. There were all sorts of jobs given to the second hand equipment, some of which can possibly be captured by MTL in future releases. For example, the May 1991 issue of Model Railroader has a fine article on postwar Express Box Car conversion. The New York Central had some of these conversions. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
And so might a number of other people. The positive feedback I have heard, read or otherwise received from my friends around the country seem to me to almost guarantee an immediate sellout of these cars and unsatisfied demand for more, not unlike the skeleton log car in fact. Many are buying more than one complete set in order to have a suitable length train. To a person, that I've heard from anyway, there is 100% approval of the price/value equation on these new body styles. Besides being the first troop cars available in N Scale, this release is MTL's first with interiors, simulated window glazing, and installed diaphragms. And even I am surprised at how reasonable the MSRP is. I guess there is more than I thought to the fraction of the sticker price that is consumed by masking and painting. Since the Pullman scheme is pretty basic, that probably kept the prices low. (Versus the UP "Campbell Soup" box car above, for instance.) © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
To see the real thing, you can head to a restored troop sleeper at the Mad River and NKP Museum in Bellevue, Ohio (near Sandusky). And there's a kitchen car at the Issaquah Depot Museum in Washington State. I'm also told that others exist at Fort Eustis, Virginia. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE REPRINTS:
20440, $11.10 - 40 Foot PS-1 Box Car, Single Door (Youngstown Door), Chesapeake and Ohio.Boxcar red with white lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left and "C&O For Progress" herald on right. Reporting Marks: C&O 18299. Approximate Time Period: early 1950's (1952 build date given by MTL) to mid-1960's. Previous Release: Road Number 18499, September 1985. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Cue Homer Simpson!
"Mmmmmm... Double Donuts!"
Sorry, C&O fans, I couldn't resist. Yes, the C&O herald, introduced circa 1948 and slightly modified in 1954, is occassionally referred to as the "double donuts." The version on this car is the later one, with a straight "smoke trail" above the word "Progress" which is itself below the large letter "O" of the "C and O". It's kind of interesting to think that the "For Progress" with the straight line above it suggests a steam locomotive, which usually wasn't associated with Progress in the 1950's; but let's not forget that the C&O had been trying to modernize its steam fleet long after other roads had given up in favor of the diesel. As the C&O gave up the roadname on its boxcars starting in 1956, the "strictly speaking" Approximate Time Period is pretty narrow. However, we can open it up with the understanding that repainting into the simpler C&O scheme consisting of just reporting marks and herald could have happened anytime after '56. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Our C&O Special Correspondent James Pugh passed along a bunch of information on the C&O's PS-1s, starting with a couple of citations from the Morning Sun C&O Color Guide by David H. Hickcox. In that volume there's a photo of C&O 18302, just three off the reprint's road number of 18299, with a caption that was drawn from for MTL's car copy. Hickcox cites the Chessie as one of the driving forces behind Pullman-Standard's decision to develop the PS-1 boxcar, and the line eventually bought over four thousand of the cars. Hickcox also references a more detailed article by Carl Shaver in the May 1979 issue of the "C&O Historical Newsletter." But he also notes that only the first series of C&O PS-1s, numbered 15000 to 15999, used six foot doors, while the later built groups had eight foot doors. So, yes, we've set up a "door thing" here. But my website feature by that name will show you how to remedy that if you so desire. I guess I know what my next project in this area is going to be! The other option would be to renumber the cars into the 15000 group with a little help from CDS dry transfer set number 47. Meanwhile, James notes that the Morning Sun Guide also has a photo of C&O 18719 with a Superior door and painted in black with white lettering. This designated the car as being in special service or having special equipment, starting in around 1957. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Let's do the numbers from the January 1959 ORER (Westerfield CD-ROM): The series from which road number 18299, and previously run road number 18499, was taken was numbered from 16000 to 18499, of 2316 cars with AAR Classification "XM" and description "Box, Steel." The inside length was 40 feet 6 inches, inside height 10 feet 5 inches, outside length 41 feet 10 inches, extreme height 15 feet, door opening 8 feet (as noted above), and capacity 3888 cubic feet or 100,000 pounds. There were another 150 cars in the group with classification "XME" and had DF loaders; I don't know if these were the ones that were painted black. All of these cars were in the 16000's, by the way. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We'll check the January 1964 Register next. There were 2060 cars in the main series, plus another 367 cars in six subseries of various exceptions including the previously cited DF loaders, cars equipped for sand loading, cars with "quick loaders" (whatever those are!), and cars assigned to laminated glass sheet loading, rough glass blanks loading, and even biscuit products. (Biscuit products?!?) In April 1970, although beyond what I'd call a reasonable end to the ATP given the paint scheme, there were still over than 2300 cars in service from the original 2500 in the series. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
James brings up one more point of interest on this release, related to MTL's "brother" company, Kadee, which is of course making exceptionally accurate models of various versions of the PS-1 in HO Scale. One road for which they have not done PS-1s is, in fact, the C&O, because the tack boards on the Chessie's boxcars were not located on the center of the door, but offset to the left. No, not to the left of the door, on the left of the door. I have a photo from the Classic Freight Cars book series that illustrates their point. How's that for not sacrificing fidelity for sales? I wonder how many people would have noticed; I certainly wouldn't have. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
25100, $15.40 - 50 Foot Exterior Post Box Car ("Railbox" Type), Sabine River and Northern.
25100, $15.40 - 50 Foot Exterior Post Box Car ("Railbox" Type), Sabine River and Northern.Red with white lettering including herald, roadname and reporting marks on left. Reporting Marks: SRN 5159. Approximate Time Period: mid-1970's (1976 build date given by MTL) to present. Previous Release: Road Number 5149, September 1982. NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Here's another of those Incentive Per Diem type boxcars that was so popular in the 1970's, in service for a relatively obscure shortline owned by a paper products manufacturer. The builder of the car was FMC, the shortline is the Sabine River and Northern, and the owner is Inland Container Corporation. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
But guess what? This line doesn't have as long a history as you might expect. In fact, it wasn't built until the mid 1960's, having been chartered on April 20, 1965. The Handbook of Texas Online includes a history of the shortline and the thread of its ownership; it was originally built to service an Owens-Illinois linerboard mill and grew to serve other mills including Temple-Inland's in Evadale. The line is located in southeast Texas, north of Beaumont; the Sabine River in the name forms the boundary between Texas and Louisiana about another twenty miles to the east. It looks like there might be some train chasing possibilities along US 96 if my Rand McNally atlas is correct. The Union Pacific has an interline marketing agreement with the SR&N. Inland, part of Temple-Inland, has an interesting history in itself; it grew out of the invention of the "Chick Pullman," the first paperboard container designed for baby chicks, was owned by Time Incorporated for a while, and was spun off in the 1980's. Its website mentions its financial services, but not the railroad. Pity. I was a bit surprised to find myself in the list of 'net search citations for the SR&N! I noted back in the September 1999 edition of the UMTRR that some former New Orleans Public Belt boxcars had found their way to the road. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Let's take a look at this series: First, George Elwood's Fallen Flags site has several shots of various SR&N boxcars all in including a roster shot of what looks like a brand new car, road number 5092, a three-quarter view of road number 5183, and a not so new looking road number 5327. All of these are in the red and white paint job that MTL reprinted. The door types on these cars vary and at least one, installed on 5327, reasonably matches the one that Micro-Trains uses. In fact, comparison of the previous Micro-Trains SR&N release to the photo of SR&N 5183 looks pretty favorable to me except for the door, with the same number of side ribs, a close if not exact side sill, and the same end type. This should be good enough to satisfy just about all, and remember that boxcar doors are changed frequently without regard to exact replacments. (Note that Elwood has the SR&N under "Miscellaneous 'S' Railroads.) © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Next, the ORER for April 1981 shows 400 cars in three different series with some minor dimensional differences. Our focus would be the group 5000 to 5199, of 200 cars with AAR Classification "XM" and description "Box, Steel, Nailable Steel Floor, Cushion Underframe." They're not kidding about that last point, for the inside length is 50 feet 6 inches and the outside length is 57 feet 3 inches. You'll definitely want those extended draft gear trucks for a more exact model. Ten years later, in October 1991, just nine cars had slipped out of this series, and eleven years after that, in January 2002, there are still a total of 144 cars with some variance in Gross Rail Weight, meaning, for our purposes, an ATP of "to present." But I wouldn't vouch for the cleanness of the paint scheme. Elwood's photos of the "not so good looking" SR&N examples date to the late 80's and early 90's so add more weathering to that if you're in the present day. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
45170, $10.65 - 50 Foot Flat Car, Fishbelly Sides, Seaboard Coast Line.
45170, $10.65 - 50 Foot Flat Car, Fishbelly Sides, Seaboard Coast Line.Black with yellow lettering including reporting marks on left and stylized "SCL" initials in center. Reporting Marks: SCL 677176. Approximate Time Period: early 1970's (1973 service date given by MTL) to mid-1980's. Previous Release: Road Number 677172, July 1988.
I thought I could discern the predecessor railroad that provided this Seaboard Coast Line series of flat cars by doing some reverse engineering on the instructions for renumbering Atlantic Coast Line, Seaboard and Charleston and West Carolina rolling stock that appears in the April 1970 ORER. And apparently this group came from the ACL, since the instructions for the former ACL cars 10000 to 99999 were to add a "6" to the front. That would mean that SCL 677176 was formerly ACL 77176. Let's test with the January 1964 ORER: Yep, looks good. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Now, back to the April 1970 ORER. There are a total of 246 cars across the main group SCL 677172 to 677741 and some subgroups which have modifications like lumber fixtures, tractor fixtures, piggyback equipment, and bulkheads for gypsum service. It doesn't look like the 677176 is one of those cars, just a standard FM class flat as MTL notes. The dimensions of the prototype are longer than the MTL 45000 body style though, at an inside length of 53 feet 6 inch and out outside length (over the couplers) of 56 feet 8 inches. There were still some ACL cars in the original series but the ORER does not call out their numbers. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Moving to the April 1976 ORER, the overall SCL series is down to 213 cars and it looks like the exceptions with the special devices have taken the hit. And the ACL series is still listed but again without any car totals. In the April 1981 Register there are 107 cars in the main series and just 19 exceptions. In the January 1985 book under Seaboard System there are just 18 cars left, but remember that's forty years after the original build date of the cars as noted by Micro-Trains. At that point the cars still lettered ACL are called out in the listing, and actually outnumber the SCL cars at 28 including one still hauling gypsum board. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
N SCALE SPECIAL EDITION RELEASES: No releases this month.
Nn3 SCALE (NARROW GAUGE): No releases this month.
New Release: 14147, Marklin Coupler, $20.00, 14147-2, Micro-Trains Coupler, $21.70, 40 Foot Box Car, Single Door, Santa Fe (AT&SF).Mineral red with white door and mostly white lettering including reporting marks and large "circle cross" herald on left and large roadname on right. Reporting Marks: ATSF 22640. Approximate Time Period: late 1960's (1969 rebuild date) to early 1980's. NOTE: This item (both versions) has been sold out and discontinued. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
This car was released in N Scale as the first in the 73000 body style, a boxcar without roofwalk but with full size ladders, but unfortunately Z Scalers will have a "do it yourself" job ahead of them to get to a car without the running boards. While they're at it, I suppose they could put the correct eight foot door on as well, although two feet in 1:220 isn't all that much. (It's .109091 actual inch, to be relatively specific.) © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
We covered this car in more detail back in November 2001 when the N Scale version was released, mostly via the the book "Santa Fe Freight in Color... The Series - Volume One Box Cars" a.k.a. "the Priest book" at UMTRR HQ. There are several color photo of the ATSF's Bx-136 class that MTL is using as the base for this model. The ORER data I have closest to the 1969 rebuild date appears in the April 1976 Register, with subsets in the series 22590 to 22705. The road number modelled, 22640, is listed in one of the sub groups. Besides the already noted "door thing," other dimensions are: inside length 40 feet 6 inches, outside length 44 feet 5 inches, capacity 110,000 pounds. The Priest book shows some differences as in the shape of the side sills. In Z, this may not be much of a concern. This series appears to last to sometime between April 1981, when most of the cars are still listed, to January 1985, when there are no box cars at all remaining in any numbers in the 20000s. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Reprint: 14916, Marklin Coupler, $22.25, 14916-2, Micro-Trains Coupler, $23.95, 40 Foot Box Car, Plug Door, British Columbia Railway.
Reprint: 14916, Marklin Coupler, $22.25, 14916-2, Micro-Trains Coupler, $23.95, 40 Foot Box Car, Plug Door, British Columbia Railway.Green with mostly white lettering including reporting marks on left. Herald consisting of roadname with multicolor "dogwood" device on right. Reporting Marks: BCOL 8002. Approximate Time Period: early 1970's to early 1980's. Previous Release: Road Number 8004, October 1996. NOTE: This item (both versions) has been sold out and discontinued. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
When this car was last reprinted in N Scale, back in June 1995, I wrote the sum total of one paragraph about it, including just about zero prototype data. We'll have to do better this time! The history of the British Columbia Railway, of course, hasn't changed; it was the name of the line owned by the Province in between Pacific Great Eastern and BC Rail, from April 1972 to June 1984. The April 2003 issue of Trains Magazine contains a piece on BC Rail which includes a bit of its history; at this writing, though, the future of the road is a bit in doubt. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
The short series 8000 to 8011 could have been lettered for either the BCOL or predecessor PGE (a follow on release?) and was described in the April 1976 ORER as "Box, Steel, 3 Inch Thick Insulation, Thermostatically Controlled Underslung Alcohol Heaters" with AAR Class XMIH. The inside length was 40 feet 6 inches and outside length 42 feet 9 inches, with an 8 foot door and capacity of 3356 cubic feet or 113,000 pounds. All that insulation, of course, limited that capacity a bit. The 11 cars in the series also showed in April 1981 but was down to six cars with BCOL reporting marks only in January 1985. By that time I would imagine the roofwalks were gone, but by October 1991 it's a moot point since the series is gone too. Meanwhile, though MTL states that this particular car was repainted in 1979, I'm pushing the ATP backward to the renaming of the PGE to the BCR, just to make it a little longer, and since it's possible that other numbers in the series could have been repainted prior to the 8002. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Lest anyone think that the price tag on this second iteration is out of line, a look at the MTL database reveals that the car cost $18.35 and $19.95 with the Marklin and Magne-Matic couplers, respectively, back in 1996, so it's never been a really cheap release. © 2003 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.