UMTRR June, 2007 || Edited From Subscriber Edition
©2007 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 most Micro-Trains locomotives, most Special Editions such as the U.S. Navy Sets and the Canadian Province & Territory cars are available exclusively in the e-mail subscription edition of the UMTRR.

N SCALE NEW RELEASES:

024 00 330, $24.95
40 Foot Steel Boxcar, Single Superior Door, No Roofwalk, Arcade and Attica.

Reporting Marks: ARA 506.
Yellow sides and ends, black roof. White stripe along bottom of sides (including door). Black and white lettering including roadname in black, large reporting mark initials "ARA" (black "A"s and white "R") and small roadnumber on left and slogan "Serving Arcade Industry" in white.
Approximate Time Period: late 1960's through 1973.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

We begin with my feature car for the month. As you know, I enjoy writing about shortlines, and the Arcade and Attica is a bonus in that it's in my relative backyard here in Western New York, and might have gotten a lot closer had things been different. While it might seem at first to be a spinoff from a larger road, its history is, in fact, largely that of a truly local railroad. And believe it or not, we're going to connect dots from a famous brand of non-dairy creamer to these colorful boxcars! © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The history of the line begins way back in 1852 when the Attica and Allegheny Valley Railroad was formed, built a standard gauge grade from Attica, New York, in northern Wyoming County, and Arcade, near the southern part of that county, and then failed. The next attempt was to be the Attica and Arcade, but it too got nowhere. Actual track was not laid until 1880 by the Tonawanda Valley Railroad, building south from the Erie Railroad in Attica along the old grade. Oh, and in narrow gauge, not standard; just three feet between the rails. By 1882 the line was 59 miles long, renamed the Tonawanda Valley and Cuba and connected once again to the Erie in Cuba, New York, in Allegheny County. Well, perhaps "connection" is too strong a word, as there was a necessary truck-transfer at both points. I mean this literally: lift freight car, roll away standard gauge trucks, roll three foot gauge trucks under car, lower car onto slim gauge trucks, proceed. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The TV&A failed in 1886, was sold off in 1891 and cut back from Cuba to south of Sandusky, and failed again, this time as the Attica and Freedom Railroad. Those of you who know that Attica is the home of one of the most infamous state prisons in the country cannot miss the irony of that name! In 1894 the line reopened as the Buffalo, Attica and Arcade having been sold to a lumberman. It was converted to standard gauge during 1895 and an extension was built to the Pennsylvania Railroad's Buffalo Line at Arcade Junction in order to afford another connection besides the Erie. Charles Goodyear bought the line in 1905, intending to use it for a line of his Buffalo and Susquehanna to either Buffalo or Port Charlotte near Rochester. (And long time readers know I used to live near Port Charlotte!) That didn't happen; instead the Buffalo and Susquehanna went bankrupt and the BA&A returned to local control, after which it too went belly up. On May 23, 1917 the line was reorganized yet again as the Arcade and Attica, again locally owned. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

For about the next forty years, the line, called "moderately successful" by George Hinton in the book "American Narrow Gauge Railroads" (from which most of the above is gleaned), plied its trade quietly. Both freight and passenger service were offered until 1951. A one-eighth page entry in the Official Guide of the Railways for November 1946 shows the single round trip with Train #1 leaving Arcade at 6AM for arrival in Attica at 7:45AM, departing as Train #2 at 9:20 AM to be back in Arcade at 11:20AM. This service was daily except Sunday. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In 1957, washouts from flooding of Tonawanda Creek along which much of the line was built caused damage that the A&A could not repair, and so 17 miles of trackage from Attica south to North Java was abandoned. The 15 remaining miles from the Pennsylvania Railroad's interchange through Arcade to North Java remain in service. Most of the revenue had been generated from that end of the line although the A&A did provide a unique switching service to the Attica State Prison-- yes, that one-- which was lost. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In 1962, in order to supplement its relatively meager freight business the A&A was among the first lines to get into the passenger tourist trade. Over the next couple of years, the road purchased two commuter passenger cars from the Erie Lackawanna and a 2-8-0 and a 4-6-0 to pull them. The steamers served for a number of years but at this writing are both out of service due to the expense of servicing and maintaining them to Federal Railway Administration standards. Tourist trains are currently hauled by the A&A's freight engines, which a General Electric 44 ton diesel purchased new by the A&A in 1947 and the 112, a GE 65-ton loco built in 1945 and bought by the line in 1988. (A second 44 tonner is stored out of service.) The 65-tonner draws most freight duty and mostly hauls agricultural products, feed and lumber to several customers. The former Pennsylvania Railroad's line through Arcade is now part of the Norfolk Southern. The A&A's website contains information on the other industrial sites available along the road with an emphasis on the sites in and near Arcade. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Now, about those freight cars. The Borden plant in Arcade was once a typical dairy milk and cheese processing operation, but was converted to what was at the time the only facility manufacturing "Cremora," a non-dairy coffee whitener. (One website gives 1963 as the date of the debut of Cremora; that's after both Coffee Rich and Coffee-Mate.) Until the plant was closed the A&A brought material in and product out. Some of these cargoes were carried in a small group of colorful boxcars. A set of these were painted blue with black lettering, but the series 501 to 509 were orange and white, in a very eye-catching color scheme seen anywhere Cremora may have been shipped. (And that included past me and my dad in New Jersey at least once.) These cars were leased from Morrison Railway Supply through Premier Leasing Development according to a Pat Connors posting on the Arcade and Attica forum on Railroad.net. The lease on the 501 to 509 was terminated in July of 1973. here's a photo of the very ARA 506 as lensed in Council Bluffs, Iowa in June 1972 in the softcover "Classic Freight Cars Volume 7," page 5. The use of the Superior door matches the photo. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) for July 1970 shows that series 501 to 509 as nine of the total 31 boxcars in the A&A's listing. The inside length was 40 feet 6 inches, inside width 9 feet 2 inches, inside height 10 feet 6 inches, outside length 44 feet 4 inches, extreme height 15 feet, door opening 8 feet (oops, a "door thing" here) and capacity 3898 cubic feet or 100,000 pounds. At the time, the A&A also rostered nine cars numbered 510 to 518 with a six foot door opening, and 13 steel boxcars in the 400 series with a short 8 foot 7 inch inside height. The January 1973 Register has the 501 to 509 and a 510 to 522 group. But the July 1974 ORER shows no freight equipment at all registered to the A&A, and going backwards, neither does the January 1964 Register. So it's a colorful car, to be sure, but one with quite the short Approximate Time Period. I suspect that won't hurt sales too much as this is only the second A&A car to be released in my N Scale memory, the first being a 1970's entry from Con-Cor. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

038 00 450, $25.80
50 Foot Steel Box Car, Plug Door, Without Roofwalk, Santa Fe (AT&SF).

Reporting Marks: SFRB 5932.
Red with black ends and orange door. White and yellow lettering including reporting marks and large circle cross herald on left and "Shock Control / A Smoother Ride" on right. Black lettering on door including "DF" legend.
Approximate Time Period: 1973 (service date given by MTL) to early 1980's.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

The Morning Sun Color Guide to the Santa Fe, page 57, has a photo of sister car SFRB 5945 from the same series. Showing a build date in 1960, the look and feel is there including the full height ladders and "Keep off Roof" warning. This is just one of the many variations of the Shock Control paint scheme. David notes that a major difference is the roof paint: some are black while the 5945, and MTL's 5932 are red. He cites the "Santa Fe Railway Painting and Lettering Guide for Model Railroaders Vol. 1: Rolling Stock", by Richard Hendrickson, published by the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society, which states that all box cars with Shock Control and Super Shock Control Underframes had their sides and roofs painted "Indian Red" when repainted between 1972 and 1977. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

As with many insulated plug door boxcars, this car is technically called a Refrigerator, AAR Classification "RBL". Let's go to the July 1974 ORER. The Santa Fe had a total of 1273 cars with SFRB reporting marks, about a sixth of what was assigned to the "Santa Fe Refrigerator Department" at that time. (SFRC, SFRE, SFRP and of course SFRD were other markings.) The group in which we're most interested was numbered 5800 to 5998 and described as "Refrigerator, Steel, DF Loader." The inside length was 50 feet 6 inches, inside width 9 feet 2 inches, inside height 9 feet 7 inches (reduced by the insulation), outside length 56 feet 2 inches (so the extended draft gear trucks MTL uses are a good idea), extreme height 15 feet 1 inch, door opening 7 feet 7 inches, and capacity 4400 cubic feet or 130,000 pounds. There were 183 cars in the group. The group was down just two in April 1981. However, the January 1985 Register shows just 22 cars left in the group, and a takedown all the way to 75 cars in the entire SFRB group. By the October 1996 ORER the whole SFRB reporting mark is gone, and so are all the others that once belonged to the Santa Fe Refrigerator Department. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

078 00 110, $15.95
50 Foot Steel Box Car, Double Door and End Doors, Erie.

Reporting Marks: ERIE 68000.
Boxcar red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and small Erie "diamond" herald on right.
Approximate Time Period: 1928 (build date) to late 1940's.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

The MTL car copy for this latest in the sporadically released automobile boxcar series mirrors that in the September 1996 issue of Rail Model Journal, as reported in an article by Richard Hendrickson which was part of a multi-part series covering AAR 50 foot boxcars. This particular piece examined the end-door versions, which, at the time, had just been released by Life-Like/Proto 2000 in HO and by Micro-Trains in N (remember the Pennsylvania version, 78010 from November 1996?) and included a shot of the Erie 68000 that MTL offers this month. Hendrickson reported that the Magor's execution of these cars for the Erie predated the AAR design (and the AAR, actually) but "were similar in many respects." The Erie cars had a radial roof, twelve foot double doors, and ARA Type Y trucks. No, the MTL 78er body style does not have any of those, but the odds of getting a generally available car in N that does are pretty small. There's a builder's photo circa 1928 of the 68000. We'll come back to that. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The ORER for April 1928 just misses--rats-- but the July 1935 edition will do. There are two groups of cars, 68000 to 68099 and 68100 to 68199, that differ slightly, mostly in capacity, but Hendrickson's RMJ piece combines these. Both were described as "Furniture and Auto, Steel, Staggered Doors" with MCB Designation (later AAR Classification) "XAF". However, it appears that the second group was built by Pressed Steel Car Company, not Magor, so we'll focus on the 68000 to 68099. These had the following dimensions: inside length 50 feet 6 inches, inside width 9 feet, inside height of 10 feet, outside length 52 feet 3 inches, extreme height is 15 feet 2 inches, and side door openings of 12 feet ("door thing": the MTL model doors add to 16 feet). The capacity was 4545 cubic feet or 75,000 pounds. All 100 cars were present at that time. By July 1945, that had eased to 99 cars. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The January 1950 ORER showed a big decline, down to 33 cars in the series 68004 to 68097-- which means that the 68000 was already gone. But I'll keep going here. The July 1955 book showed only 17 cars and the January 1959 had 15 in service. That's the last ORER I have before the Erie and Lackawanna merged. Interestingly, the end doors were so uncommon by the 1959 Register that their dimensions had to be included in an end note since they were no longer listed in the main car tables. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The familiar Erie herald, like so many others, evolved over time. According to the RPI Website, the monogram had just been reintroduced in 1927 and the version of it at that time had a smaller road name-- let's oversimplify and call it plain block lettering. In 1941 that roadname inside the circle inside the tilted square was made taller, resulting in the "condensed" version that is perhaps most familiar to modelers, although still at a small size. In 1947 the much larger six foot tall version was introduced, like the one on the recent MTL boxcar reprint (020 00 870, December 2006-- though said herald should not have a black border). Given all this, my conclusion is that MTL didn't get this quite right; I think the early Erie herald with the smaller lettering would have been correct for a circa-1928 car. At least one official Erie Railroad photo of the 68000, available on Fallen Flags (you need to look under "Erie Lackawanna") also seems to show the monogram with a black background as well. At least one 'net account has the Erie not consistently using that black background, though, and that builder's photo of the 68000 that is published in Richard Hendrickson's RMJ article has the herald so washed out that the only thing we can conclude is that it's of small size-- no way of knowing which roadname version or whether it's got a black background. And a 50 foot double door boxcar with an "automobile / furniture" caption released by Proto 2000 (Life-Like) in HO Scale some years ago shows the earlier Erie monogram without the black background; however it is not in the same series, being numbered 65027. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

105 00 590, $15.75
50 Foot 15 Panel Gondola, Fixed Ends, Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT/Katy).

Reporting Marks: MKT 12447.
Green with mostly yellow lettering including reporting marks on left and large "MKT" initials in center.
Approximate Time Period: 1979 (build date given by MTL) to mid-1990s.
Note: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

UMTRR Gang Member David Carnell starts us out: "A picture of the actual MKT 12447 taken in September 1979 can be found on Page 31 of the Morning Sun Color Guide to Frisco/Katy Freight Equipment. This car is not an exact match as the actual car is a 52 foot 6 inch 15 panel car with thicker side ribs built by Ortner. Most of the copy in the Micro-News matches what's printed in the MSCG." © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

You can compare for yourself as well, since the very car MKT 12447, looking very new also in September 1979, appears on the Fallen Flags website. A very old looking MKT 12473 from the same group appears as it looked in 1995. Well, that's the way gondolas get. I agree that the prototype gon looks a little "chunkier" (technical term) than the MTL model; maybe that's just perception although newer gondolas built by Evans, Ortner and Trinity were larger than their counterparts built in the 1950's and 1960's by Pullman-Standard. Whether that's an issue is of course left up to the individual modeler. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The ORER for April 1981 shows the group of 100 gondolas 12400 to 12499 with the description "Gondola, Steel Floor, Fixed Ends" and AAR Designation "GB" and Car Code "G312" (a reference to the length, floor and ends for unequipped gondolas). The inside length was 52 feet 6 inches, inside height 4 feet 6 inches, outside length 56 feet 11 inches, extreme height 8 foot 3 inches, and capacity 2245 cubic feet or 200,000 pounds. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Based on the 1995 image in Fallen Flags, I jumped all the way to the October 1996 ORER, where the Katy's cars are listed under the Missouri Pacific (and the whole works was already under the Union Pacific corporate umbrella anyway). Just ten cars remain in the group, and odds are they looked more like the photo of the 12473 than not. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

111 00 111 and 111 00 112, $36.90 each
89 Foot Tri-Level Enclosed Auto Rack, TTX (Trailer Train) / CSX Transportation.

Reporting Marks: TTGX 992046 with rack B-4423 (the 111) and TTGX 992071 with rack B-4240 (the 112).
Yellow flat car and racking; white roof on racking. Black and white lettering on flat car including reporting marks on left and TTX logo on right. Black lettering on racking and black and yellow underlined "CSX" initials left of center of racking.
Approximate Time Period: mid-1990's to present, but see text.
NOTE: This item (both numbers) has been sold out and discontinued.

"Trailer Train" yielded to TTX in 1991; but CSX, while it was incorporated in 1980, did not start absorbing railroads until 1986 (21 years ago?!?). So it's the TTX logo that would determine the start of the ATP for these cars, given other evidence. Keeping in mind the caveat that auto racks can be moved from one flat car to another and the further caveat that TTX flat cars don't appear to have been assigned to railroads in groups, let's look at the July 1992 ORER. And after all that, a strikeout: the last TTGX number in that issue is 997279. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

OK, well, fine then. The October 1996 Register has a pretty big group, 991376 to 993356, which can hold just about two thousand cars but at that point had just 422 plus two exceptions. The inside length is 89 feet 4 inches, outside length 93 feet 10 inches, and extreme height 19 feet, with capacity 67,000 pounds. The AAR Type Codes is V971. Let's translate: The "V" stands for "Vehicular Flat Cars" and the "9" designates a "bi-level rack..." Wait a minute. OK, we've had this trouble before, with the Norfolk Southern autorack release back in 2005, and it turned out not to be as it seemed. But the "TTGX" reporting mark is defined in TTX's own list of definitions as, in fact, "flat cars equipped with fully enclosed bi-level auto racks furnished by the railroads, equipped with end of car cushioning." Uh, oops? This would be the reason for the "see text" above. But to my untrained eye, there does not seem to be all that much difference between the photos of the prototype I cite below and the MTL model, with respect, for example, to the number of panels on the rack (nine), number of subsections of each panel (four) and the spacing of same (not completely even). To my Untrained Eye, that is. I expect that some modern modelers are gnashing their teeth right about now. But the point remains, one should not call a bi-level rack a tri-level one, even if Untrained Eyes can't tell the difference between them on a fully sealed example. (When the end doors are open, of course it's obvious.) © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Anyway, to close the ORER lookups, for the record the January 2006 book has 1001 cars in the main series 991376 to 993356 with AAR Type Code V971 and 411 more in a subset with AAR Type Code V978, the TTGX 992071 being one of those specifically called out. The last digit refers to the type of end doors used, which I guess does give us a "door thing" of another type on at least one of these cars. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Fallen Flags has an October 2006 Shannon Edwards photo of TTGX 993179 with a CSX rack like that on the MTL car, more or less validating the "to present" part of the ATP. The 992xxx photos that are out on Fallen Flags have Canadian National racks, but that doesn't mean anything unless there are photos of the specific 992406 and 992071, which there aren't, and maybe not even then. RailcarPhotos.com didn't have the specific numbers either. RRPictureArchives.net had sixty pages (!) containing over 5900 photos (!!!) of TTGX cars, but neither of the road numbers MTL chose. However, the TTGX 992015 that was taken by Joe Rogers in November 2004 and is shown there is similar if not identical. And there are three shots of TTGX 992017, also with a CSX rack. I'll leave other picture viewing for the reader-- don't get lost in there! © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.



N SCALE REPRINTS:

062 00 040, $18.05
50 Foot Composite Side "War Emergency" Gondola, Fishbelly Sides, Drop Ends, Rock Island.

Reporting Marks: RI 1176.
Freight car red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname across sides. Includes simulated rail load.
Approximate Time Period: 1943 (build date) to late 1950's.
Previous Releases (as catalog number 62040, without loads): Road Number 1199, September 1992; Road Number 1197, April 2000.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

The story of what happened to these gondolas after they left the configuration in which MTL depicts them is probably more interesting than their history as "war emergency" gondolas. But let's start where we should here! The Pressed Steel Car Company built 400 of these composite side gondolas in 1943 for the Rock Island, numbered 900 to 1299 which is a pretty low number series for revenue equipment on a Class I railroad. The January 1945 ORER shows that group with the description "Coal, Steel Underframe, Drop Ends" and the AAR Classification "GB" which is a gondola despite the "coal" in the listing. (Some roads did ship coal in gondolas; they were often unloaded with shovels.) The inside length was 52 feet 6 inches, inside width 9 feet 1 inch, inside height 3 feet 6 inches, extreme height 7 feet 5 inches, end door opening 8 feet 8 inches (really the drop end), and capacity 1669 cubic feet or 140,000 pounds. All 400 were on the roster as of that time. The group was down just two pieces to 398 in July 1950 and stood at 388 in January 1955. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Then the fun started. According to the Morning Sun Color Guide to the Rock Island, some of these cars received steel sides, fixed ends, and in some cases, a roof, making for an unusual covered gondola. For example, the 2513 shown in a 1965 photo in the MSCG, was reshopped, got all of the above plus bulkheads, and was reclassed "GBSR" in 1957. In 1958, the RI converted 250 of the war emergency cars to trailer service by pulling out the sides altogether, keeping only the frame which was further modified; and removing the ends, replacing them with bridge plates for "circus style" loading and unloading. These cars were reclassed to "FC" and eventually renumbered to the 93700 to 93949 series. There are four photos of these cars in the MSCG, taken from August 1959 to July 1966. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

So the January 1959 ORER listing is pretty interesting: there are three groups of cars in the 900 to 1299 series. The first is 164 cars with the composite sides, 124 cars with "corrugated steel sides" and 20 more with steel sides, fixed ends and a roof. And there were 75 more cars already converted to trailer service and numbered 93702 to 93789. By the January 1964 Register, 232 of the former war emergency cars had become trailer carriers, and just 139 cars were left in the original 900 to 1299, none with composite sides. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

092 00 080, $23.95
2 Bay Center Flow® Covered Hopper, Burlington Northern.

Reporting Marks: BN 435755.
Green with mostly white lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left and herald on right.
Approximate Time Period: mid-1970's to mid-1980's at least; see text.
Previous Release (as catalog number 92080): Road Number 435759, December 1997, as part of 92102 "BNSF Merger 2-Pack."
Note: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

MTL reports that this car is one of one hundred Center Flows that came into the BN from the Northern Pacific, pictures of which can be found in the Morning Sun Color Guide to the Northern Pacific. The NP got these in 1967, and given that the BN was pretty darn slow at repainting, one wonders how long it took for Cascade Green to overtake American Car and Foundry Gray. Well, I wondered, anyway... © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Let's start with the April 1970 ORER, where the BN count is, as I already knew, zero. Four years later, the July 1974 Register shows all of four moved over from the NP series 75000 to 75099 to the BN series 435700 to 435799, with 95 left in the NP group. Either of the line items yields the same information: description "Covered Hopper, Center Flow, Four Loading Hatches, Two Gravity Outlets," with AAR Classification "LO" and Car Code "L131", inside length 29 feet 3 inches, outside length 37 feet 9 inches, extreme height 13 feet 3 inches, capacity 2970 cubic feet or 205,000 pounds. The cubic footage is part of the model as well: CF2970, which is the basis for the MTL model so we should be pretty good in the fidelity department. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The April 1976 ORER shows no change in the count: BN 4, NP 95. Hmm, perhaps I should rethink that ATP. Strictly speaking, the presence of the double panel consolidated stencils would bring that Approximate Time Period up to this point anyway. OK, so let's go to the next Register in the UMTRR Accumulation, April 1981, where the score is BN 14, NP 81; but of somewhat non-trivial interest is that the dimensions listed changed! The "new" inside length is 34 feet 9 inches, outside length 39 feet 8 inches, and extreme height 15 feet 1 inch. But the capacity is still 2970 cubic feet. Anyone who would like to explain that is welcome to contribute! In April 1984 it's BN 16, NP 79. See what I mean by slow repainting? © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Finally, some progress with the paint brushes is found in the October 1996 book, with the BN overtaking the NP by a score of 58 to 34. Picking up again the October 1991 book, a mere 21 years after the formation of the Burlington Northern, we have 88 cars in BN paint and just two left in NP colors. By this point the repainting could have been in the more spartan BN lettering as well, directly from the big "Northern Pacific" roadname to a little set of reporting marks and a small herald. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Oh, that's assuming that they were green at all; a October 2002 photo on Fallen Flags shows BN 435725 in gray with black lettering. All of the images on rrpicturearchives.net show gray Center Flows as well. I am not doubting that some of these cars were green, but I do think that later repaints were in fact gray. Certainly the gray and the green schemes co-existed, and still do at this writing based on some shots posted to RailcarPhotos.com, but for me this throws more doubt into the ATP after all. (For the record, 32 cars in the series remained in January 2006 under the BNSF listing.) Could be that only those first 16 through April 1984 were done in green, and the rest in gray. I will need to leave that to those more expert in the Burlington Northern than I. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.



N SCALE SPECIAL EDITION RELEASES:
This month's releases are covered exclusively in the subscriber edition of the UMTRR.


Nn3 SCALE (NARROW GAUGE):
No releases this month.


Z SCALE NEW RELEASES:

500 00 460, $20.45
40 Foot Boxcar, Single Superior Door, New Haven.

Reporting Marks: NH 31728.
Bright red with white lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left. Black and white "stacked letter" McGuiness-era herald on left.
Approximate Time Period: mid-1950's to early 1970's.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

This car started as one of two thousand; that's how many cars were delivered by Pullman-Standard to the NH in 1944. Though these were P-S cars with six foot door openings, the inside height was just ten feet, in contrast to the 10 foot 6 inch boxcars that were already the commonplace choice at that time. As delivered, these cars wore boxcar red with the classic script herald. In February 1956 the 31728 was repainted into the bright red with bold black and white graphics known as the McGuiness scheme; that's the way it is pictured on Page 12 of the Morning Sun Color Guide to the New Haven. These cars had Dreadnaught ends and either Superior or Youngstown doors. The prototype 31728 is shown with a Youngstown door but on the preceding page is the 31519 with a Superior door. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

We'll grab the ORER for January 1955 although that's a bit before the repaint date. The 31728 is shown as part of the group 31650 to 32999, of 1324 cars plus nine exceptions described as "Box, All Steel" with the usual AAR Designation "XM" and the following vital statistics: inside length 40 feet 6 inches, inside width 9 feet 2 inches, inside height, as mentioned, 10 feet even, outside length 40 feet 8 inches, extreme height 14 feet 6 inches, door opening 6 feet, capacity 3715 cubic feet or 120,000 pounds. The exceptions had a door opening of just 5 feet 9 inches due to "side door and lading protection posts". Whatever that was. The New Haven certainly liked 10 foot interior height boxcars as it had nearly five thousand of them at the time, versus about one thousand boxcars with the 10 foot 6 inch interior height. Yeah, that gives the MTL model a "height thing"-- but it works out to 0.027272727... (repeating) of an actual inch scaled down to Z. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The decade of the 1960's brought a large selloff of New Haven cars, dropping the total from 8300 in 1960 down to 2600 just after the line was pushed into the Penn Central. A summary table in the MSCG shows 176 of those from the series we're interested in surviving to that time. Chances are that the paint scheme remained, though perhaps the roofwalks did not. It looks like just one made it all the way into Conrail according to the April 1976 Register. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

515 00 140, $16.50
40 Foot Double Sheathed Wood Boxcar, Single Door, Vertical Brake Wheel, Spokane, Portland and Seattle.

Reporting Marks: SP&S 10053.
Boxcar red with white lettering including reporting marks on left and small roadname on right.
Approximate Time Period: early 1920's to late 1950's.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

[Some of this commentary comes from the UMTRR coverage of the N Scale release of this car (Catalog 39230, August 2003).]

It's clear that MTL owns the book "Spokane, Portland and Seattle Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment" by Ed Austin, published by Morning Sun. Pages 34 and 35 of this book are devoted to this series of cars and there's an example of this paint scheme included. Since it's a color guide, naturally we're not talking "as delivered" here; in fact, former SP&S 10019 is relettered for maintenance of way. Also, the original door is long gone, having been filled in and replaced with a much smaller entry door. Although very faded, the original lettering is amazingly still somewhat intact. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

MTL also borrows Austin's caption for the car copy. He notes that these cars were allocated by the United States Railway Administration in 1918, during World War I. The SP&S was owned by the Northern Pacific and Great Northern, as you may know. What I didn't know was that the two roads were pretty stingy with allocating cars for their child line. (As we'll illustrate in a moment.) The demands of war traffic were overwhelming, though, and the GN and NP relented and allowed the SP&S to take the cars allocated to them by the USRA. Unfortunately, Austin doesn't give us the actual builder of the cars; perhaps that detail is lost in the mists of time. We do know from the photos that they had three-section steel ends, with five ribs each, which I think translates to 5/5/5 in freight car shorthand. The ends on the Z Scale car are wood in construction so we don't really have a match there. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) for January 1928 shows a total of just 653 cars on the entire roster of the SP&S, so the 300 cars in this series represented was around half the number of revenue service pieces that the line had at the time. The series 10000 to 10299 was AAR Class "XM" and was described as "Box, Steel Underframe" with these dimension: inside length 40 feet 6 inches, inside height 9 feet even, outside length 41 feet even, extreme height 14 feet 2 inches, door opening 6 feet, and capacity 3098 cubic feet or 80,000 pounds. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

We know from the information on the N Scale release of this car that by 1963, most prototype cars were gone from revenue service. So I jumped all the way to the January 1964 ORER, where we find 14 cars remaining in the group 10078 to 10299. (That means the 10053 is gone.) There were also three cars called out in a subseries that were fitted with roof hatches and assigned to Ralston Purina for bulk feed loading. That would be an interesting conversion. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Although this is apparently the only set of wood double sheathed boxcars that the SP&S had, we're not done with the potential releases quite yet. The scheme depicted by MTL appears to be the "as delivered" version, but there was a later scheme with the roadname replaced by the well-known "football" herald. It's also on Page 35 of the Color Guide. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

524 00 030, $15.05
60 Foot Flat Car, Missouri Pacific.

Reporting Marks: MP 819720.
Brown with brown simulated wood deck. White lettering including reporting marks on left and small C&EI herald on right.
Approximate Time Period: early 1980's to early 2000's.
Note: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

The Chicago and Eastern Illinois was already a corporate satellite of the Missouri Pacific when these sixty foot flat cars were built, in 1974 according to MTL. Of note, though, is the fact that the prototype series doesn't show in the April 1975 ORER listing for either the C&EI or the MP. I guess the ORER folks were a little slow on this one. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

OK, then, let's try the April 1976 Register. Nothing doing under the C&EI or the MP-- again. I know updates can be slow, but this is ridiculous. That pushes us out to my next ORER, which is April 1981. By that time the C&EI is merged into the MP and the CEI reporting marks appear in the Missouri Pacific's listing. And the cars appear as MP 819600 to 819779, and, well, also CEI 819600 to 819779, with 65 cars in the latter group and 115 in the former, adding to the possible 180 cars in the group. The dimensional data is the same in both entries-- well, it had better be! The description was "Flat, Steel, End of Car Cushioning, Axle Spacing 5 feet 10 inches, Truck Centers 49 feet" with AAR Designation "FMS" (denoting special devices included) and AAR Type Code F213 (a reference back to the length and capacity). The inside length was 61 feet 4 inches, inside width 10 feet 3 inches, outside length 65 feet 8 inches, extreme height 3 feet 9 inches, and capacity 189,000 pounds. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

By the October 1986 ORER there were just three cars lettered "CEI" and 174 lettered "MP." The 819720 was one of 59 of these that were in a subseries demoted to just "Flat, Steel" and reclassified "FM" and "F303". The capacity was lowered a bit to 187,000 pounds; it was dropped to 179,000 for the FMS subgroup as well. In the October 1991 Register, the totals were 117 FMS cars and 61 FM cars, all lettered MP. By this time, there were no flat cars and only 120 total cars still sporting Chicago and Eastern Illinois lettering. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

I almost wish I hadn't checked the January 2000 ORER, for therein lies a headache-inducing number of subsets of the main series with MP reporting marks under the Union Pacific listing, varying by capacity but all classified as AAR Type FMS again. The total of the subsets is still a respectable 133. There are 89 total cars listed in the January 2006 ORER, which would in theory give a "to present" ATP. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

David Carnell notes that a picture of MP 819720 taken in Kansas City, Missouri in March 1992 can be found on Page 102 of the Morning Sun Guide to MP Freight Equipment. The MTL car appears to be a very close match. The copy in the Micro-News mirrors what's found in the MSCG. The photo below on the same page shows MP 819820 from the same series loaded with a wrecked blue DT&I 60' DPD Auto Parts box car on it's way to the shops. "Let's hope MTL will make a 60' boxcar in Z in the future so we can de-truck it and put it on this flat," David added. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

A shot of MP 819629 from June 1987 on Fallen Flags illustrates MTL's point about the restenciling. It's quite clear from the image that the MP is in white over a black patch, and a rather frugal patch at that since the left side of it appears to be in a "C" shape. As in, yes, "CEI". (Note to Talent, Oregon: If you haven't already thought of this, here we have an incredibly cheap way to milk this body style for another roadname...) A close up of the "B" end shows the vertical brake staff in more or less the same position as it is on the car, as well as a Missouri Pacific Equipment Trust stencil. I'd be really impressed if that's on the Micro-Trains model! Overall, the look and feel is there, but the wood deck on the prototype car is quite beaten up. Simulating that would be a challenge to the 1:220 modeler, but I'll bet some of you are up to it. You might note that MTL describes a C&EI logo on the car, an item I've confirmed with them. It is possible that there is the remains of a small one right of center on the prototype car; but it's too hard to tell definitively. Get out those weathering compounds! Whether all of the MP-style lettering on flat cars has given way to the UP font is another call I'll leave to the reader, though I've selected a more conservative ATP in deference to Uncle Pete's rather aggressive redecorating program. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

525 00 130, $14.90.
40 Foot Flat Car, Fishbelly Sides, Canadian Pacific.

Reporting Marks: CP 307110.
Black with white lettering including roadname and reporting marks left of center of sides.
Approximate Time Period: late 1940's to early 1960's or early 1980's, see text.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Like the Penn Central flat car last month, a forty foot flat car lettered Canadian Pacific running in the 1970's certainly seems like an anachronism. But in at least one case, it's not. The Morning Sun Color Guide to the CP, Page 92, shows the CP 307401 from the series 307100 to 307499 which also includes the 307110 that MTL models this month. The photo is undated but the service date on the car is clearly August 1969, and the build date is June 1919! That would cover quite a bit of ATP, wouldn't it? © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

On the Canadian Freight Cars site, Ian Cranstone gives us 1949 as the start date and 1983 as the end date for the 307100 to 307499 series, based on his ORER accumulation. We'll narrow that a bit more in a moment. Ian doesn't specify a predecessor group for these cars, though. The MSCG calls out the CP's own Angus Shops as the builder. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The ORER for July 1950 shows that 307100 to 307499 series with 190 of the possible 400 cars it could hold and the following dimensions: inside length 41 feet 8 inches, inside width 9 feet, outside length 43 feet, extreme height 3 feet 11 inches, and capacity 100,000 pounds. In January 1955 the car count was up to 257, suggesting that the renumbering from the predecessor series wasn't all at once. Speaking of predecessors, perhaps it was the group 335500 to 336559? Only a guess there. Anyway, in the January 1959 Register... hmm, just 58 cars left? © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Panicking at that point, I elected to work backwards from the end of the ATP that Ian specified. The April 1981 ORER does in fact have just one left, keeping it in the roster listing, but the number series is 370387 to 307395 which easily excludes the 307110. When does that number last appear in the car group? Actually, it's all the way back in January 1964, where there are a mere 27 cars numbered between 307108 and 307499. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

So, the Z Scaler needs to choose ATPs here... either the stricter date span corresponding to the specific 307110 that MTL did, or the broader range given by the lifespan of the series. Turning back to the MSCG, the caption notes that the flat car-- or, should I say, the CP 307401-- had a lever hand brake, i.e. not the brake wheel that the MTL car has, and KC air brakes, along with thirteen side and four end stake pockets. No, I did not count the number of stake pockets on the MTL model... OK, I did, twelve. I would say that this adds a new dimension to rivet counting, but the fact is that the rivets are prominent and numerous in the prototype photo, which would make sense for a car built way in 1919. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.



Z SCALE REPRINTS:
No releases this month.


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


HOn3 SCALE (NARROW GAUGE):
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