UMTRR June, 2006 || Edited From Subscriber Edition
©2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting Prohibited. Trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Legal Stuff

NOTE: This archive edition covers most single car releases only. Reviews of and commentary on Micro-Trains locomotives (including the FTs), most Special Editions such as the U.S. Army Sets and the "Twelve Days of Christmas" cars are available exclusively in the e-mail subscription edition of the UMTRR.

031 00 210, $23.75
50 Foot Steel Boxcar, Single Superior Door, Transport Leasing/Container Corporation of America.

Silver and black sides and doors, black ends and roof. Black and white lettering including reporting marks and large "CCA" trademark on left and company name and "Hydroframe 60" device on right.
Reporting Marks: TLDX 20.
Approximate Time Period: 1963 (build date) through the rest of the 1960's.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Even before the Container Corporation of America (CCA) was founded, the paper box industry depended on the acceptance of a key industry: the railroads. Prior to the coming of the paper box, the way to ship many goods by rail was in wooden crates. This was not only not subject to any particular standard, it was inefficient for shippers since much of the weight carried, and charged for by the railroads, was in the packaging, not the lading. It took a fair amount of legal and political maneuvering for the upstart paper box industry to get that changed. For more information on this and on the paper industry than you might ever want to know, try the 2004 Ph.D. thesis by Georgia Tech student Hannes Toivanen, titled "Learning and Corporate Strategy: The Dynamic Evolution of the North American Pulp and Paper Industry, 1860-1960." It's available in PDF format from the Tech repository. I am going to have to come back to that paper at some point; I'm such a sucker for economic history. By the way, Toivanen got his Ph.D. and published another paper in 2005 called "Antitrust and the Competitive Nature of the U.S. Pulp and Paper Industry, 1950-1990" for Georgia Tech from his position at the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

One forerunner of CCA was the Sefton Box Company of Chicago. Key CCA executive Walter Paepcke (some sources have him as the founder of CCA in 1926) is perhaps better known as a builder of Aspen, Colorado into a year round cultural and skiing Mecca. According to Toivanen's paper, the company was one of the few that integrated backwards from paper box "folding" into the actual production of the corrugated for these containers. CCA produced other types of packaging as well, but that trademark folding box on the railroad car that I'm supposed to be reviewing here is indicative of the product that the company was best known for. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In the 1930's, CCA produced a long series of modernistic ads for Fortune Magazine, working mostly in black and white. Some of these can be found on Their "Great Ideas of Western Man" advertising campaign was one of the best known in marketing history. CCA was also responsible for something you probably see every day: the recycling symbol. A contest CCA sponsored resulted in Gary Anderson's winning design of three arrows endlessly pointing to each other, a design which was placed in the public domain for all to use. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Okay, I suppose I should mention something about the boxcar. The majority of MTL's car copy is from the Morning Sun Color Guide (MSCG, an abbreviation you'll need for the rest of these bytes) to Pullman-Standard by James Kincaid. Page 26 of that volume shows both TCLX 20 and 23, two of five cars that P-S built in March 1963 with a number of features in the hope of attracting paper hauling business to its boxcars. The cars are variations on the theme of the standard 50 foot PS-1 type that Pullman had already built zillions of, key differences being the use of the Hydroframe-60 cushioned underframe which was relatively new, and a very non-standard ten foot door that looks more like something you'd see on a modern boxcar than anything else. Yes, we do have a "door thing" as the MTL model has an eight foot door. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

While we're on widths and lengths, let's check the January 1964 listing in the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) for Transport Leasing, the P-S subsidiary that owned and leased the cars to CCA. Surprise! There are just four cars, numbered 20 to 23, instead of the five mentioned in the MSCG caption. But there are TLCX 18 and 19 with the same dimensions. What? Anyway, the 20 to 23 had an inside length of 50 feet 6 inches, inside width of 9 feet 4 inches, inside height of 10 feet 6 inches, outside length of 57 feet 9 inches, extreme height of 15 feet 1 inch, and capacity of 4952 cubic feet or 140,000 pounds. The cars were described as "Box, Steel, Pullman Cushion Underframe" and had AAR Classification "XME". The four cars are present in the April 1970 ORER but gone by the April 1976 Register. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

An unlikely end to CCA as an independent company came in 1968 when it merged with, of all things, the Montgomery Ward department store and catalog retail company, to form Marcor. Marcor was bought by Mobil Oil in 1976, an acquisition that doesn't make all that much sense either. Following the history from there is headache-inducing. Montgomery Ward was spun out via a leveraged buyout, and CCA may or may not have gone with it since several sources show it going 50-50 between Mobil Corporation and the Morgan Stanley Equity Fund. Mobil sold its half in 1986 to Jefferson Smurfit, which later became part of Smurfit-Stone; which got the other half eventually as well. The composite can production was sold to Sonoco, a consumer packing company. Believe me, that's a condensed version. Excuse me whilst I locate the ibuprofen. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

038 00 380, $19.55
50 Foot Steel Boxcar, Plug Door, Without Roofwalk, Fruit Growers Express/Seaboard.

Yellow sides, freight car red ends, aluminum roof. Black stripes and lettering including reporting marks on left; and "Fruit Growers Express" name and "For Greatest Efficiency" slogan on right.
Reporting Marks: SAL 593491.
Approximate Time Period: late 1960's and early 1970's.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

We have another MSCG match to Page 65 of the Guide to the Seaboard Air Line. SAL 593491 is shown in April 1966, the month in which it was built, and already looks a little dirty. Such is the way of yellow paint. I've always liked the FGE paint scheme, though; I used to see plenty of their cars on the Pennsylvania's Harismus Cove freight line while growing up in Jersey City. It's possible that I saw this very car. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The original series was SAL 593415 to 593459, leased to that line by FGE. There is quite the short ATP on this one since it was built in 1966 and the Seaboard went into the Seaboard Coast Line in 1967. By now we know the drill: The SCL showed car series but not car counts for its predecessor lines. But restenciling is about as easy as it can get. The road numbers on the "RB" cars from the Seaboard didn't change if they were numbered 580000 to 591000, so one needed to change only the reporting marks. Or, less; change the "A" to a "C". I wonder how often that was done. As MTL states, these cars had load protection devices, DFB movable bulkheads, adjustable side fillers and 20 inch travel cushion underframe, and they had pallets "considered part of car" as well. MSCG author Paul Fulks says it well: "It is the high water mark of SAL refrigerator cars." © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The April 1970 ORER can still be used for the dimensions, though. The inside length was 50 feet 1 inch, inside width 9 feet 4 inches, inside height 9 feet 11 inches, outside length 57 feet 11 inches, extreme height 15 feet, capacity 4696 cubic feet or 137,000 pounds, and door opening 10 feet 6 inches. Yes, that's a "door thing" alright since the MTL car's plug door is about 8 feet wide. There were 41 cars shown as having been relettered to "SCL," which is just 4 short of the maximum possible. My sense is that if the ATP weren't already over for the car as painted and lettered with Seaboard reporting marks, it was real close to being done with. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The MTL 38er body style is not really a good match for the prototype car. Although the real one was just a plug door insulated boxcar, it's closer to the "FGE" design boxcar, which looks more "squarish," than it is to what MTL has available. For example, the ladders are not full height, and they're present on either side. In addition, the side sills go from end to end. I can't see the roof that well from the photo in the MSCG but it looks like it's more flat than peaked. Before running out to buy the FGE boxcar model that's available under another brand, please note that the door on that one is not close either. In short, I don't know of a really accurate model of this particular car anywhere in N Scale, so for now, this one will have to do. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

056 00 110, $18.20
33 Foot 2 Bay Open Hopper, Rib Sides, Flat Ends, Western Maryland.

Oxide red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and "speed lettering" roadname across car.
Reporting Marks: WM 10011.
Approximate Time Period: early 1950's (given paint scheme) or early 1960's (given specific rebuild date on car) to early 1970's, but see text.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

My reaction to this release, as expressed in smilies, falls somewhere between [sigh] and [banghead].

When, in April 2002, the most recent run of the 56090 hopper in oxide red with the circular "Fast Freight Service" herald was issued, I remarked that the entire series of MTL releases were of a series of fishbelly side hoppers, characterized by the angled, not flat, sides at the base of the car. I also noted that perhaps MTL probably shouldn't have issued a car with a road number from within that series given that a more correct body style for the road number now exists in N Scale, from, eh, another manufacturer. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Well, take a look at the MSCG to the Western Maryland, page 4, and see if you don't agree: Sigh. Banghead. The real WM 10011 is a fishbelly side hopper, as the photo clearly indicates. Many of the WM's hoppers were of this type: their Class H-5, H-7, and H-9 for starters, and then various rebuilds, and I'm not providing an exhaustive list here. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

As I also pointed out back in '02, there are better road number choices for the body style. The following is more or less a lift from then: the series WM 16500 to 21179 represents rebuilds of a series of cars from back in 1916 and 1917 (!) that were worked over at the WM's own shops from 1927 to 1935. And some of the original series was still around as well, as WM numbers 15000 to 16499. These cars had channel sides instead of rib sides, as noted in even older UMTRR commentary and discussed in both a Rail Model Journal article from May 1997 (which is the source of most of the information I'm noting here) and a Railroad Model Craftsman article from January 1999. Otherwise they were more or less resemblant to the MTL 56000 body style at a typical viewing distance. In N Scale especially, the difference is not that noticeable in my opinion. (The RMC article describes a rework in O Scale... that, I'd notice.) Some rework is possible to better capture the "look and feel" of the prototype but you'll probably use a fair number of knife blades to slice off the factory-molded ribs. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

All that aside, if you're OK with keeping the road number as is, then you'll want to know about the WM series 10001 to 14400. These arrived on the property starting in 1939, peaked out at around 1955 or so at over 4,300 cars, and had dropped back to around 3,000 cars by the mid 1960's. By the mid-1970's they were just about gone. The speed lettering dates to April 1952 according to the MSCG. The reweigh date on the WM 10011 as pictured in the MSCG is June 1961 although it's noted that rebuilds of these hoppers took place in 1955 at Elkins, West Virginia. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

076 00 070, $19.15
50 Foot Steel Boxcar, Plug and Sliding Door, Without Roofwalk, Rock Island.

Freight car red with black ends. Mostly white lettering including reporting marks on left and large block lettering roadname on right.
Reporting Marks: RI 63290.
Approximate Time Period: 1966 (build date) to late 1970's at least.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Page 44 of the MSCG volume devoted to the Rock Island shows the exact car 63290 in a three-quarter view from March 1967. First, check out that spring under the coupler! It's part of the "Hydra Buff" cushioning system-- no, I am not making that up! While I am on the photo, the ladder on the right is only half height versus the MTL model and there should be an identical half height ladder on the left as well instead of grab irons. The photo does not afford a look at the roof so I can't comment there. Since Pullman-Standard built this car and the MTL 76er style is modeled after the P-S Design, we should be decent on fidelity at least. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

There were 94 cars in the series 63200 to 63299 with AAR Classification "XL" and description "Box, All Steel, Plug Doors." There are four different end notes which we'll get to. First, the usual numbers: inside length 50 feet 6 inches, inside width 9 feet 4 inches, inside height 10 feet 8 inches, outside length 56 feet 6 inches, extreme height 14 feet 8 inches, capacity 4929 cubic feet or 140,000 pounds. The door opening is 16 feet. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Note 19 explains the doors further: "Cars in series... have side door opening with one conventional sliding door and one plug type sliding door. Cars in series are suitable for grain loading." That gives us a technical "door thing" since the plug door on the 76er is six feet wide, but I just don't worry so much about that as with other mislengths. Note 25 indicates DF-2 loaders, but then, so does the car side. Note 29 says that the car floors are capable of handling a load on one lift truck axle of 50,000 pounds. Handy if you think you can take two of those 16 ton weights at a time... you can't. (Reference "Monty Python.") And finally, Note 45 calls out some individual car numbers in the group that have fork lift truck pallets to be considered part of the car, and are in assigned service. The 63290 is not one of these. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In the April 1976 ORER, there were 88 cars in two main groups, one with the fork lift pallets and one without. The capacity was raised to 154,000 pounds and the AAR Class changed to "XM". That's as good as I can get, since by my next available ORER, April 1981, "The Rock" had shut down and the Register listing had simply disappeared. I would doubt that any of these cars changed paint schemes before being dispositioned to either another railroad or the scrapper. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.


025 00 570, $16.55
50 Foot Steel Exterior Post Boxcar, Single Door, Wisconsin and Southern.

Blue with white lettering including reporting marks and very small herald on left and large roadname on right.
Reporting Marks: WSOR 101541.
Approximate Time Period: 1980's to present.
Previous Release: Road Number 101545, July 1997.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Being the third largest railroad in Wisconsin is no small feat considering that numbers one and two are both large Class Ones. The WSOR operates over 600 miles of trackage directly, plus another 100 via trackage rights, all in Southern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois. Most of those trackage rights get the W&S into Clearing Yard in Chicago and the rest connect its northern and southern lines. I'll quote right from their website: "WSOR operates on former Milwaukee Road and Chicago & North Western tracks that were earmarked for abandonment in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These tracks are now owned and managed cooperatively by the State of Wisconsin and 17 counties. WSOR has a 50-year operating agreement with the State and the counties to provide freight rail service on the 700-mile publicly-owned railroad system." The line gets as far west as Prarie du Chien, as far north as Oshkosh, and as far east as Milwaukee. Another key point for the road is Madison, the state capital. The Horicon Shops have done some impressive outsource paint work for the Class One railroads as well. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Car number 101545 was part of the series 101494 to 101572 which numbered 76 cars in April of 1981, 73 (including a subseries) in October of 1991, and back up to 76 in October 2004 (in a number of annoying subseries). Let's check the vital statistics: inside length 50 feet 6 inches, inside height 10 feet 7 inches, outside length, 52 feet 11 inches, extreme height 15 feet, door opening ten feet, and capacity 5077 cubic feet or 160,000 pounds. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Based on Joe Shaw's 2005 photo of sister car 101563, the MTL model is a reasonably close match to the prototype. The roof is X-panel, the sides have seven panels on each side of the door, and the ends are of about the right configuration (I think I'm correct in calling these "non terminating box-corrugated ends"). The side sill on the prototype has the look of a SIECO/USRE boxcar (Southern Iron and Equipment/United States Railway Equipment, both divisions at one time of Evans). The ends are riveted to the sides on the prototype, which is a spotting feature of the Evans-SIECO "kits" from 1978, the year that MTL gives as the build date. I won't grind the axe on those points since I don't rate the car to be that far off the FMC 5077 boxcar that is the actual 25er body style. The largest issue of note is actually the door. The ten foot width is on target but the type isn't; the real one is more of a "Superior" door type. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

106 00 020, $15.85
50 Foot 14 Panel Steel Gondola with Low Cover, Union Pacific.

Light oxide red with yellow lettering including reporting marks on left and large roadname in center.
Reporting Marks: UP 229609.
Approximate Time Period: 1957 (renumber date) to late 1960's.
Previous Release: Road Number 229606, October 1998.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

It's a second number representing a short series that had a short Approximate Time Period on the Union Pacific-- hey, does that mean a smaller royalty payment? I guess not-- and we have a little more ORER information this time versus the original release back in 1998. Unfortunately, I have no better luck this time around on 'net based images, and the UMTRR Research Accumulation is sorely lacking in good UP material. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

And one of those lacking data items is the series from which these cars were renumbered, after the original 1953 build date given by MTL. There are plenty of UP gondolas in their 20000s in the January 1955 ORER (Westerfield CD-ROM) but no obvious choice I can call out for the origin of the small group modeled this month, although if I had to guess, I'd use the 29000 to 29499 group. I should also note that there is no mention of any covers for any gondolas in the Union Pacific listing for that issue. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

It is indeed a short series, just 229600 to 229609, that shows in the January 1959 ORER (Westerfield CD-ROM) with AAR Classification "GBS" and the description "U.P. Gondola, Steel, Fixed Ends." (The "U.P." in the description stems from some equipment still being lettered for subsidiaries most notably the Oregon Short Line- "O.S.L.") The inside length was 49 feet 2 inches, inside width 8 feet 11 inches, inside height 4 feet 6 inches, outside length 53 feet 11 inches, extreme height 9 feet 3 inches, and capacity 1985 cubic feet or 130,000 pounds. An end note conveys what is basically the last sentence of the MTL car copy: "Cars... are equipped with adjustable bulkheads and removable roofs for coil tin plate loading and are not suitable for general service." The next two series in sequence, 229610 to 229624 and 229625 to 229649, have this same notation, and similar but not identical dimensions. That last group was an addition with no cars actually called out as of that January 1959 date. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Jumping forward, the January 1964 ORER has the same ten cars, but the series is gone from the April 1970 Register. What happened there? I can't be sure, but I can tell you that two other groups of 100 cars each are in this listing with the same end note. The 229700 to 229799 group has an inside length of 49 feet 3 inches, which is close, but the other dimensions don't line up as nicely. The 229800 to 229899 is less close with an inside length of 52 feet 5 inches. Perhaps the small group with which we're concerned was simply made obsolete. They were just 17 years old in 1970 so they probably didn't disappear, but as with the "from" group, it's not obvious where these went "to." (Terrible grammatical construction, I know.) And wherever they went, it's apparently without their removable covers. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Note: Releases not listed are covered exclusively in the subscriber edition of the UMTRR.

021 00 402, $19.85
40 Foot Steel Boxcar, Plug Door, Vermont State Car.

Aluminum sides, black roof, ends, sills and door hardware; blue and black primary lettering including reporting marks, state name and outline map on left. Four color process graphics including state flag, state bird (Hermit Thrush) and state flower (Red Clover) on right.
Reporting Marks: VT 1791.
Thirty-eighth release in the States of the Union series.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Our fourteenth state gets its star turn this month. The slogan aligns with the name: Vermont derives from the French for "Green Mountain"-- that's the physical feature, not the railroad. The actual French is "Les Monts Verts," my wife would tell you, which would have resulted in the only three word state in the union had the phrase not been corrupted. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

According to "Virtual Vermont," quite the fascinating and humorously irreverrent online magazine, "Both of the great eastern nations - the Algonquian and the Iroquois - knew the land that became Vermont. In a lifetime of studying the Native place-names of New England, the late John C. Huden was able to identify roughly two hundred names that one or more of the Native tribes had applied to places within Vermont. Nearly one hundred derive from the Abnaki, who spent more time in the area than any of the other Algonquian tribes. Another dozen derive from the Mahican, while a few come from the Narragansett, Natick, Pennacook, Pocumtuc and Wampanoag. The Mohawk tribe of the Iroquois nation gave names to about fifty places, and the Chippewa also seem to have named a few places." © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In 1535 Jacques Cartier was the first European to see the territory; it took until 1609 for Samuel de Champlain to find the lake that bears his name. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

A border dispute and the resulting conflicting claims led the formation of the Green Mountain Boys, led by transplant (from Connecticut) Ethan Allen. It seems that having bought their land from one , the future Vermonters weren't going to just let New York, which had gotten a ruling that they owned land out to the Connecticut River, take over and "resell" the same land to them. The New Yorkers gave the Green Mountain Boys their name when they stated-- incorrectly-- that they were going to push the boys all the way back to the Green Mountains. Allen was also briefly involved in the American Revolution, taking Fort Ticonderoga without a shot but being captured by the British after a disastrous attempt to attack Montreal. The 1777 Battle of Bennington-- which was actually fought outside the town-- was a turning point in the Revolution. In the same year, Vermont declared its independence and proclaimed itself a republic. In 1791 that republic became a state. Montpelier became the capital in 1805 and is still the smallest of our capitals in terms of population. (And the only one without a McDonalds according to several 'net references.) © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Vermont was an early leader in the anti-slavery movement; in fact, the Republic passed a law forbidding transport of African Americans out of Vermont back in 1786! There probably wasn't a direct relationship but the northernmost battle of the Civil War was the St. Albans Raid in 1865, brashly undertaken by Confererates who came down from Canada. Perhaps a more direct relationship was that the Republican party held the governorship from 1855 to 1962. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

There have never been that many people in Vermont, relatively speaking. In 1930 cattle outnumbered humans. It wasn't until 1964 that the last three towns in the state got electricity. Hate billboards? You'll like Vermont, where they've been banned since 1968. Small standard signs replaced them to point out businesses along main highways and off on side roads. Vermont was probably also the last state to get radio traffic reports; they were begun this year according to fellow 'net content provider Scott Fybush. Why they need them, he and I are not sure. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Vermont natives include two Presidents: Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge, and at least one contender, Stephen A. Douglas. The man responsible for all of those Athearn special runs, John Deere, was born in Vermont also-- I think he had something to do with farm implements as well. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, LDS Church founder and leader, were natives. The original crooner, Rudy Vallee, was from Vermont as well, as was speculator and rail baron Jim Fisk, Wells Fargo founder Henry Wells, and, in a more contemporary mode, golfer Patty Sheehan. Virtual Vermont identifies other "transplants" besides Ethan Allen, including painter Norman Rockwell, poet Robert Frost, petroleum pioneer Edwin Drake, and Hetty Green, "The Witch of Wall Street" who was the wealthiest woman in America. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

I hate to have to say this, but my memory is unclear as to when I first set foot in the state. It could have been a quick hop over to Bennington during a trip to Massachusetts, or a longer stay that began in St. Johnsbury and wound through Montpelier and Barre (a great name for a railroad, by the way) and on to Burlington. I do know that I've been there several different times, although it's been a while since the last trip was just before Kieran learned to walk. One place I'd still like to visit is Derby Line, where the Haskell Library and Opera House straddles the border with Rock Island, Quebec. During performances the players are in Canada while the audience is in the United States. And the library books are in Canada while the reading room is in the USA. Houses sit on the border there as well. Quick, before the passport laws take effect... I'll resist any further editorial commentary. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

No releases this month.


New Release:
850 00 021, $37.15
30 Foot Wood Sheathed Refrigerator Car, Rio Grande Southern.

Yellow sides, freight car red ends and roof. Black lettering including reporting marks (only) on left and "Refrigerator" on right.
Reporting Marks: RGS 2101.
Approximate Time Period: 1938 (sale date) to no later than 1952 (RGS abandonment date).
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Please see the review of the previous road number in the May 2006 UMTRR.


500 00 110, Magne-Matic Coupler, $17.30, 500 00 111, Marklin Coupler, $15.50.
40 Foot Steel Box Car, Single Superior Door, Canadian Pacific.

Boxcar red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and stepped roadname on right.
Reporting Marks: CP 51022.
Approximate Time Period: 1956 (build date) to early 1970s.
NOTE: This item (both versions) has been sold out and discontinued.

Thousands of these boxcars roamed North American rails starting in the mid-1950's, and anyone modeling that time period should certainly consider adding one to their roster. The stepped lettering wasn't the flashiest scheme around, or even the flashiest scheme that the CP itself had in pre-CP Rail days, but it did get the job done. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Ian Cranstone validates much of the MTL car copy on his Canadian Freight Cars site and the CDS Lettering people confirm the stepped lettering time period. CDS does note that the lines above and below the reporting marks were not dropped until about 1958 although the car was built in 1956. A check of the N Scale release (MTL catalog number 20436, one of four road numbers released in 1999) shows the new and build dates the same, meaning that MTL would be modeling an "as delivered" car. So there may be a quibble with either the lettering, or with CDS. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Cranstone shows the series 51000 to 51999 built between May and November 1956 at National Steel Car in Hamilton, Ontario-- a plant still in business, by the way, though not with the NSC name. NSC constructed over a thousand more of these and Canadian Car and Foundry built another two thousand or so similar cars with the same paint scheme, adding to my suggestion that one belong on a late fifties layout-- at least one. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In fact, the January 1959 ORER shows the series running from 51000 to 52499, incorporating the thousand from NSC and five hundred more from CC&F! The vital statistics are the same: inside length 40 feet 6 inches, inside height 10 feet 6 inches, outside length 41 feet 10 inches, extreme height 15 feet 1 inch. Oh, and there's a "door thing"-- it's 8 feet on the prototype and the MTL 500er body style has a six foot door. I'm pretty sure that the real doors were more of a Youngstown type than the Superior type MTL used, rivet, rivet. Capacity was 3900 cubic feet or 125,000 pounds. In January 1964 there were 1473 cars and in April 1970 there were 1422, but by that point you need to be thinking "roofwalk removal" and "CP Rail action red." © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

At least one car from the series, the 51916, survived to be photographed in 2003 as it looked without a roofwalk and in the classic CP Rail red, white and black scheme with large multimark. It certainly looked the worse for wear. That photo is on the Canadian Freight Car Gallery site. There is an undated photo of CP 51936, also in CP Rail paint, on Fallen Flags. I didn't have any luck finding a 'net image with the paint scheme depicted by MTL. There are cars in other series in the stepped lettering pictured in the MSCG to the CP and in "Classic Freight Cars Volume 7," one of which is from 1971 which is a good enough excuse to pull the ATP out that far. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

500 00 120, Magne-Matic Coupler, $18.90, 500 00 121, Marklin Coupler, $17.10.
40 Foot Steel Box Car, Single Superior Door, Monon (Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville).

Gray with red lettering including Monon roadname and reporting marks on left. Red and white herald and slogan "The Hoosier Line" on right.
Reporting Marks: CIL 1223.
Approximate Time Period: late 1940's (1948 service date given by MTL) to early 1960's.
NOTE: This item (both versions) has been sold out and discontinued.

[The following is reprinted from the coverage of the N Scale release of April 2002.]

Here's a car that could perhaps be unique. It's certainly eye-catching.

The March 1994 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman contains an article by Montford Switzer titled "Monon's XML Boxcars." No, we're not referring to a computer language in popular use across the Internet! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Actually, "XML" is the Association of American Railroads code for boxcars with specialized load securing devices. The series of Monon cars with reporting marks CIL 1200 to 1225 were one of the line's early forays into this type of equipment. The cars were converted from selections out of a group of cars built in 1942 by Pullman-Standard, with the addition of Evans "Damage Free" or "DF" loaders. That much was known; what wasn't apparent for quite a while was whether the gray paint was legit. Finally, a photo of CIL 1223 emerged, proving that at least one car in the series was painted up in this special scheme. A check at the Monon Historical and Technical Society's website referenced only this article, so I don't know if any other photos have ever surfaced or if any other car was ever painted this way.

The July 1950 edition of the Official Railway Equipment Register (Westerfield CD-ROM) shows all 25 cars in the series 1200 to 1225, with inside length 40 feet 6 inches, outside length 41 feet 10 inches, inside height 10 feet, extreme height 14 feet 6 inches, and a 6 foot door opening. Capacity is 3659 cubic feet or 100,000 pounds. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

"Note A" in this Register listing, well, notes that the cars have "Utility Loaders" and are marked "DF Loader." Sorry, that's not what the prototype photo in the RMC article shows! The photo also shows that there's a seven panel Superior door on this car, and the MTL model matches. In fact, although the Micro-Trains car is actually a later vintage PS-1, it seems relatively close to the prototype. The biggest quibble would probably be on the height, as PS-1s are a little taller than 10 feet inside. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

For the record, this series was used primarily for appliance loading, and lasted into the 1970's. But I doubt that the gray paint did. The Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railroad officially changed to its familiar nickname-- the Monon-- in January 1956, and from that point onward the cars lettered "CIL" were slowly flipped to "MON" reporting marks. So the end of the ATP for this car could be as early as 1956. Switzer, in the RMC article, said that he recalls the 1200 to 1225 series only in the more standard boxcar red and white color scheme from the early 1960's on. MTL released a similar scheme to this later livery in March 2000 in N Scale as their Catalog 20536, but it still has CIL reporting marks and a road number of 778. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

535 00 180, Magne-Matic Coupler, $19.25, 500 00 181, Marklin Coupler, $17.45.
30 Foot Steel Caboose, Center Cupola, Union Pacific.
Yellow with red lettering including roadname top center and road number bottom center. Black and white rectangle with slogan "What do we do? We Work for You." in center.
Road Number: 25457 (will be "UP 25457" in website listings).
Approximate Time Period: 1970's and 1980's (or later, see text).
Note: This item (both coupler versions) has been sold out and discontinued.

So how many slogans did the Union Pacific have on its cabeese? A quick non-exhaustive 'net crawl yielded the following list:
'A Second Glance You Living Chance'
'There's No Romance In Taking A Chance'
'Carefully We Roll Along'
'Safety is an Equal Opportunity For All'
'Absence of Accidents Depends on Presence of Mind'
'Make Safety Your First Thought - Not Your Last'
'Don't Get Carried Away, Think Safety'
'Keep on Truckin' By Train'
'I Follow The Leader'
'Safety The Living End'
'Safety - A Life Savings Account'
'Energy's The Game, UP's The Name'
'Safety Is The Golden Rule In Action'
'Don't Be Curt, Be Courteous'
'We're Moving the Future Today'
'Go Big Train'
'Safety Is Everybody's Business'
'We Want to Entertrain You'
'Trucking On Down The Track'
'Put It Here - We'll Get It There'
'Safety The Living End'
'Safety Who Needs It? You Do'
'Please, Let's Don't Meet By Accident'
'Safety Aware Because We Care'
'End Of Train But Safety Rolls On'
'America, We're Pulling For You'
'UPpermost In Safety'
'Safety Reigns On Our Train'
'The Great American Car Pull'
'Safety Pays Dividends, If You Pay Interest'
'We're A Great Big Rolling Railroad'
'Safety In Minds Leaves Accidents Behind'
'You Deserve It - Let's Observe It'
'Remember No Accidents In August'
'Drive With Care Everywhere'
'Stop Look and Live'
'Make Courtesy Contagious'
'At Grade Crossings Every Time is Train Time - Be Careful'
'Have Train Will Travel'
'We Want Our 5% From Modelers Everywhere'

Wait a minute, I'm not so sure about that last one. I do know that the book "Cabooses of the Union Pacific Railroad" published by the Union Pacific Historical Society would shed even more light on the subject, but it's not in the UMTRR Accumulation of Research Material. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Anyway, these slogans, which variously appeared on the UP's cabeese, further subdivide into the "early" version which had the entire 'boose side covered in white with black words in the Union Pacific's roadname font and the "late" version which has a much smaller area on the car for the slogan. I've seen at least one photo of a slogan on a placard attached to the car, as opposed to being painted on it. The steel cabeese on the UP were their CA-3 through CA-12 classes (plus CA-13 and later for ex-Rock Island, WP and MP cars) and several different classes received slogans as far as I can see. They are not all "Safety" slogans, as you can see; some are more like "Marketing" slogans. I wonder whether the "Remember No Accidents" slogan was applied to any other months. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

A series of photos of the prototype UP 25457 being prepared and moved away from Blackfoot, Idaho, plus a shot of it on display there in August 2005, appear courtesy of Dave Krumenacker on Fallen Flags. It's a Class CA-7 that is on display at the Oregon Short Line Depot Museum, part of the Bingham County Historic . This from the UPHS site, which shows a lot of captive cabooses of the Union Pacific. Technically, that would make the ATP "to present" but I think I'm pushing things a little, unless you too want to display that "We Work For You" on a disconnected length of track. Microscale Decals' online catalog gives 1970 and later for this and similar Safety Slogans they offer (set 87-257 although way too big for Z), but I think that's pushing things too widely. Well, it is an Approximate Time Period, after all. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

You might have guessed by now that the MTL body style is a stand in for the UP's actual 'beese, and you'd be right. The UP cars are steel, and are center cupola, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. As tough as it is to "Be Specific" (sorry) on cars unique to a single railroad in any other scale, it's even more difficult in 1:220. At least for now. © 2006 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

No releases this month.

Z SCALE SPECIAL EDITIONS: These releases are covered exclusively in the Subscriber Edition of the UMTRR.