UMTRR October, 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.


045 00 330, $16.90
Reporting Marks: SSW 85382.
50 Foot Flat Car, Fishbelly Sides, St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt).

Light brown (oxide red) with mostly white lettering including reporting marks (only) left of center. Black and white consolidated stencils right of center. Simulated generator load included.
Approximate Time Period: 1969 (build date) or 1978 (based on U-1 "yellow dot" stencil) to mid-2000's.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Our Special Correspondent David Carnell checks in with a photo of the real SSW 85382 in the Morning Sun Color Guide (MSCG) to the Southern Pacific, Volume 2, Page 118. "The car is an F-70-52 flat car from series 85200 to 85399," David reports, and "is a pretty good match for the actual car with two exceptions. The actual car has a collapsible end mounted brakewheel while the MTL car has a rigid side mounted brakewheel. Also, the actual car has 16 stake pockets on the side while the MTL car has 14. The paint scheme and lettering are a good match to the actual car and the car did come equipped with roller bearing trucks when built by Thrall." David did catch a error in the MTL car copy, though: "The reference to it being rebuilt in SP's Topeka's shops May 1975. Neither SP nor SSW reached Topeka until at least 1981 after SSW had purchased the ex-RI St. Louis to KC to El Paso Golden State line and even then they didn't have car shops there. SP would have rebuilt the car in Sacramento or SSW would have rebuilt it in Pine Bluff. Santa Fe had its shops in Topeka. I know of no instances when SF rebuilt cars for SP. I think the cut and paste gremlins are at work," David concludes. Hmm, I'm very familiar with that concept! (See "Oops Patrol" below.) But I'd also add that we may be looking at a reweigh date, not a rebuild date, as the cars were initially built only in 1969. This is according to Lee Gautreaux's website which also offers several undated photos each of SSW 85274 and SSW 85330 from the series lensed by Ted Curphey. Never mind that generator load... both cars, while technically "empty," are carrying rails spiked directly to what's left of the wood floor. Heavy duty use, indeed! © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Turning to the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) for April 1976 based on the rebuild or reweigh date, we find that series 85200 to 85399 described simply as "Flat, Steel Underframe" with AAR Classification "FM" and AAR Type Code F202. The inside length was 53 feet 6 inches, outside length 56 feet 6 inches, extreme height 3 feet 9 inches and capacity 154,000 pounds. That's more than the 70 tons, or 140,000 pounds, called out by the SP/SSW car class. There were 198 cars in service at that time. Note that the U-1 "yellow dot" symbol on the car was utilized starting January 1978 so I am being a bit anachronistic here. The double paneled consolidated stencils started sometime after 1974 so we're OK there. The end of the ATP might not yet be written yet as there remained nine cars in service under the Union Pacific ORER listing for January 2006. If that's cutting it too close, there were 66 on the rails as of January 2000 so I'd take things out to the "early 2000s" at the least. I'm splitting the difference somewhat in my official call although I'm sure someone would hasten to point out that we still are in the "mid-2000s." © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

075 00 150, $23.40
Reporting Marks: USLX 18019.
50 Foot Steel Box Car, Double Plug Door, No Roofwalk, Louisiana-Pacific.

Yellow with red and maroon stripes along lower sill. Black lettering including reporting marks on left. Red and brown company logo on left.
Approximate Time Period: 1973 to about 1980 at least (a guess).
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Regardless of when this car was actually built-- which, for the record, was September 1971 per MTL's car copy-- the earliest this car in this paint scheme could have been spotted would have been 1973, when the company Louisiana-Pacific was forcibly spun out of building products behemoth Georgia-Pacific. (That's forcibly as in "court order resulting from anti-trust ruling.") Despite its name, it's never actually been headquartered in Louisiana; from 1973 to 2004 it was in Portland, Oregon and now it's in Nashville, Tennessee. LP Field, home of the American Football NFL team the Titans (formerly the Houston Oilers), "will help make LP a household name throughout the US." Yes, they've shortened the hyphenated name to just two letters. Among LP's major products is "oriented strand board" which is also known as waferboard and might just be the foundation of your layout-- it was of the last few iterations of my own N Scale pike before I discovered two inch thick blue foam, and is the underlay of the kids' HO Scale layout. Think plywood without the external smooth veneer and you'll get the idea, although that's, if you'll pardon the expression, a rough approximation. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In the days before graffiti was the main color seen on American railroads and lessors still wanted to take advantage of rolling billboards, one would see attractive schemes such as this. The problem for this reviewer, as many of you already know, is calling out an Approximate Time Period. MTL notes that "by 1992 there were 19 cars left in the series," but that doesn't mean that they were painted for L-P. I think it's fair to say that with the corporate change from the full name to just LP, this particular car won't be found today. I did spot a 1977 photo of USLX 18009, partially obscured and a bit dark, on Ken Harstine's "Boxcars and Freight Cars of North America". But I did not spot anything that told me when L-P stopped leasing these cars. Other website search attempts pointed right back to MTL's own car copy(!), on its own and dealer sites. But I did find an interesting story on the "Inbound Logistics" website of how L-P founded a transportation department and how its first manager, Winona Speed (how's that for an appropriate name!) had some "Adventures in Negotiation" with the railroads. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The ORER for April 1974 shows the series USLX 18000 to 18049 described as "Box, Insulated" which gives it the AAR Classification of "RBL." Dimensions show the usual issue with MTL cars on this body style: inside length 52 feet 5 inches, outside length 60 feet 3 inches; the Micro-Trains car isn't long enough. (But it fits on their standard 50 foot underframe, which I think would be the source of the discrepancy.) The rest of the stats: inside height 10 feet 5 inches, extreme height 15 feet 5 inches, capacity 5100 cubic feet or 136,000 pounds. Note that the United States Railway Equipment company and its USLX reporting marks eventually became part of General Electric Rail Services... speaking of behemoths. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

085 00 040, $17.80
Reporting Marks: C&O 63353.
33 Foot Panel Side Hopper, Chesapeake and Ohio.

Black with white lettering including reporting marks on left and roadname on right.
Approximate Time Period: 1932 to 1952.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

How'd I get that ATP so exact this time? Well, our resident C&O expert James Pugh provided me with information from the publication "Freight Car Equipment of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company - August 1, 1937" which was annotated and reprinted by the C&O Historical Society in 1980. According to that source, twenty three cars out of two thousand, originally built in 1919 for the United States Railway Administration by American Car & Foundry and Pressed Steel Car Company and assigned to the C&O, were converted to panel sides in 1932. The work was done at the C&O shops in Raceland, Kentucky with parts from Union Metal Products Company. The exact road numbers were not known, but twenty of the twenty-three came from the series 62000 to 63749 and the last three from the series 63750 to 63999. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The ORER for July 1935 shows the main series 62000 to 63999, alright, but as happened with the New Haven panel side car I reviewed back in August, there is no list of exceptions with the larger capacity, 1933 cubic feet versus 1880. Here are the other vital statistics: inside length 30 feet 6 inches, inside width 9 feet 5 inches, outside length 31 feet 11 inches, extreme height 11 feet 4 inches. The capacity shown for the group was 100,000 pounds, but according to the source above, should have been an extra ton (2000 pounds) for the panel side cars. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Note that the dimensions in the ORER indicate a little smaller car than the MTL model; the USRA design for the two bay hopper is in fact a bit less large than what MTL uses. But they clearly leveraged parts from other hoppers already in their compendium of body styles. Your mileage may vary... The C&O Historical Society states that all of the panel side conversions were off the roster by 1952 and the entire series had been retired by 1954. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

112 00 051 and 112 00 052, $27.85 each
Reporting Marks: ATSF 89396 and ATSF 89363.
Tri-Level Open Auto Rack, Santa Fe (AT&SF).

Red with mostly white lettering including reporting marks on left of flat car. Santa Fe "circle cross" herald on placard on left side of racking. White and yellow "Shock Control-A Smoother Ride" slogan on placard on right side of racking.
Approximate Time Period: early 1960's (build date on car) to early 1970's.
NOTE: This item (both numbers) has been sold out and discontinued.

So, at least in theory, if I could figure out how to get 89 foot cars through the tunnels of my Wilmington and New York Railroad, could I run them on my 1963-era pike? Well, it depends. MTL gives the "era" (their term for the Approximate Time Period--?!) as starting in 1963, but the "New" date on the car is June 1964. Technically, that could be a rebuild, but a year after the original? Maybe not so much, although not impossible. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Page 64 of the MSCG to the Santa Fe doesn't help that much; the text accompanying the photo of the real 89396 gives 1963 as the build date of 1963 but the photo clearly shows "New 6-64" and I think I can make out a build date that is the same. (It's not on the MTL model). An additional clue is that the MSCG caption tags the 89396 as a Santa Fe class Ft-27 but the lettering on the actual car reads Ft-31. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

This might help: The January 1964 ORER skips right past the road numbers of these cars, going from 89348 to 89700; although the preceding four groups of cars, which occupied 89200 to 89348, were described as "Flat, Tri-Level, Shock Control." So we must go to the April 1970 Register for this series, which numbers from 89349 to 89460 and was described the same way. The inside length on these 89 feet 4 inches, outside length 94 feet 5 inches, extreme height 13 feet 11 inches and capacity 106,000 pounds. I'll wager that the extreme height is not counting the height of the cars parked on that top level! There were 101 cars in the group then and 99 in the April 1976 book, but they are all gone by the April 1981 Register. I suspect that they weren't truly gone, just converted to partially or fully enclosed racks and renumbered. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

David Carnell offers some deltas on the model versus the prototype: "Although both the MTL car and the actual SF car have 11 side panel sections, the SF car has eleven sets of alternating bottom deck and middle deck X cross-bracing between the vertical posts while the MTL car only has four sets of X cross-bracing on the bottom deck. Also the position of the sheet metal panels for the Circle Cross herald and the Super Shock Control slogan doesn't match the correct position on the actual cars. On these the sheet metal panels are located on the second section in from the ends of the car. Also missing from the MTL car are the upper row of posts and the chains running between them." David notes that these differences, which I think would classify the model as a stand-in, doesn't change his interest in purchasing these models; in fact, he'd like to put in a plug for Micro-Trains also doing the open bi-level racks in Santa Fe red as well, please. Both the Topeka-built bi- and tri-levels appear to be somewhat different than any other open cars with which I'm familiar, meaning that the chances of a widely available model that adheres exactly to the prototype are about the same as that of a new motor vehicle escaping damage today were it to be carried in one of these cars. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.


049 00 370, $23.95
Reporting Marks: CX 50055.
40 Foot Wood Sheathed Refrigerator Car, Vertical Brake Staff, Colorado and Southern/Burlington Route.

Yellow sides, freight car red ends, roof, and lower sills. Black fishbelly underframe and door details. Black lettering including roadname and reporting marks on left. Red, black and white rectangle "Burlington Route" herald on right.
Approximate Time Period: mid-1930's to late 1950's.
Previous Release (as catalog number 49370): Road Number 50050, December 1991.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

CX? What kind of a reporting mark is "CX"? Well, two letter private owner reporting marks were quite uncommon even when they were in use; for example, in the January 1940 ORER there were only two others I found. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Why the January 1940 Register in particular? Because it's a good place to start for the car of interest here, the CX 50055, which carries an October 1939 "New" date. It's found under the Burlington Refrigerator Express Company, specifically, the series CX 50050 to 50249, of 199 cars described as "Refrigerator, Steel Underframe." Let's do the dimensions: inside length 33 feet 2 inches between ice tanks with bulkheads in place, inside height 7 feet 0 inches, inside width 8 feet 2 inches, height to eaves 12 feet 6 inches, extreme height 14 feet 7 inches, door opening 4 feet wide by 6 feet 4 inches high, and capacity 1927 cubic feet or 75,000 pounds, of which 10,000 pounds can be of chunk ice. (I truncated the fractional inches from these dimensions as they aren't clear enough to read.) There were 199 cars in this listing, one short of the maximum. It's noted that the capacity is limited by MCB Rule 86 to that 75,000 pounds even though the cars are equipped with 80,000 pound journals. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The 199 cars in the CX series, which is the only one under the BREX, accounted for just a bit under ten percent of the entire roster in service for the Burlington Refrigerator Express at that time. These were assigned to the Colorado and Southern, at least nominally since they could go anywhere. Except for another hundred with FWDX reporting marks, assigned to the Fort Worth and Denver, the rest were marked with the more familiar BREX. The entire company was headquartered out of Washington, DC, was incorporated in 1926 by the Burlington and was part of the trio which also included Western Fruit Express and Fruit Growers Express. These "operated as one company" according to Gene Green writing in the "Refrigerator Car Color Guide" from Morning Sun. The April 1928 ORER did not include a CX (or an FWDX) in the Burlington Refrigerator Listing, but the July 1935 issue did, and so did the January 1943, January 1945 and the July 1950. In that last issue we note a decline in the total number of CX cars, still in that single series, to 159; it had been pretty steady through the forties. Just 73 cars remained in January 1955 and the entire series was gone by the January 1959 ORER, as steel cars had become the majority of the BREX fleet and mechanical refrigerators were getting set to supplant ice-cooled cars. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

065 00 190, $19.95
Reporting Marks: GATX 74350.
39 Foot Single Dome Tank Car, Diamond Chemicals.

Gray tank, black underframe and details. Black lettering including reporting marks on left and company name on right. Black and red logo on left (diamond inside stylized small letter "d").
Approximate Time Period: late 1950's to late 1960's.
Previous Releases (as catalog number 65190): Road Number 74245, July 1987 (with misspelling of "Cleveland" as "Clevelad" on all copies of the car); a six pack (catalog 65192) with road numbers 71424, 71545, 71574, 74277, 74324 and 74425, September 1987.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

It's "Diamond Chemicals" in large print but the real company behind the trademark is Diamond Alkali. That firm was founded in Pittsburgh in 1910 to make soda ash, a key component in glass. (Remember Pittsburgh Plate Glass or PPG? Probably a big customer.) Diamond Alkali expanded into calcium carbonate, chlorine and other products, and relocated its headquarters to Cleveland in 1948. Further expansion and acquisition made them more diversified but the firm felt it was still too small. This led to a merger with Texas-based Shamrock Oil and Gas in 1967. (Which explains how I found information on the Handbook of Texas Online.) In 1983 the Sigmor independent service station chain was added to the fold, although they'd never been that far from Shamrock in corporate affiliation terms. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

That marriage was short-lived, for in 1987 Diamond Shamrock separated its refining and marketing operations out, letting them keep the Diamond Shamrock name, while the rest of the company became Maxus Energy Corporation. Maxus was bought by Argentine firm YPF in 1995. What happened to the chemicals? Well, some of them went into Superfund sites, including a project to clean up three quarters of a million pounds of chromates near Painesville, Ohio, where Diamond Alkali once manufactured caustic soda-- a byproduct of which was the chlorine carried by these tank cars. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

A webpage on a project by the NMRA's Western Reserve Division provides a thumbnail sketch of tank cars numbered DAX 268 to 285 built March 1939, including the paint schemes these cars wore while in service for the Diamond Alkali Company. This helps narrow the Approximate Time Period to what I've called out above, subject to the caveat that it's nearly impossible to determine an exact date span for leasing, and therefore painting, of private owner cars. However, the data on the web page also raises the question of whether these should be "chlorine tank cars" which have a different dome than the MTL 65er model. A photo of Shipper's Car Line SHPX 19419 painted in a similar Diamond Chemicals scheme with larger trademark, found in "Classic Freight Cars Volume 2" tends to support this point. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The ORER entry for General American Transportation Corporation, owner and lessor of these cars, shows quite a mess: a main series numbered GATX 70000 to 74699, but with no less than 25 rows of exceptions which range from AAR Classification to capacity. The 74350 is called out as one of those exceptions, with capacity of 140,000 pounds and AAR Class TLI (Insulated, Lined Tank). Looking at the previous road numbers, the 74425, 71574, 71545 and 71424 also show up in these exceptions. The 74245 and 74324 don't. I suspect this might have been a function of just grabbing some road numbers out of the main series back in September 1987. As usual with tank cars, there's not much else to go on; dimensions and gallonage would have been nice, but they're not provided. I will depart from my usual diligence in following a series through its end in the ORERs given the dearth of data within for that reason. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

These releases are covered exclusively in the subscriber edition of the UMTRR.


800 00 150, $14.65
Reporting Marks: SR&RL 74.
30 Foot Wood Double Sheathed Box Car, Single Door, Vertical Brake Staff, Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes.

Brown with large reporting marks on left.
Approximate Time Period: Approximate Time Period: 1908 (though 1897 build date given by MTL) to early 1930's (1935 closure date for railroad), but see text.
Previous Release (as catalog 15115): Road Number 68, March 2003.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

Let's get right to the "see text": the prototype Sandy River was a two foot gauge line, not a three foot gauge one, so technically speaking there shouldn't be a box car with trucks for 36 inch track lettered for this line. But there aren't many two foot gauge items that I'm aware of in N Scale, and this release can always be looked at as a pre-decorated car suitable for relettering into another road, in either Nn3 or Z Scale. (If you didn't already know, the body is the same for both releases.) © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Turning briefly to the my usual source for slim gauge information, the book "American Narrow Gauge Railroads" by George W. Hilton, we find 1908 as the date for the consolidation of six Maine two-foot gauge lines into the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes. The Maine Central took control of the line in 1911. Nearly twenty thousand cars of pulpwood-- its chief reason for existence-- were handled in 1919, and it was all downhill, revenue-wise, from there. But in that year the SR&RL purchased a 2-6-0 steam locomotive, quite the powerhouse for a narrow gauge line, especially a two footer. By 1932 the line was shut down, having lost all of its pulpwood mill traffic, and was dismantled during the period 1934 to 1936. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Photos accompanying the entry on the Sandy River show several boxcars with the simple lettering depicted by MTL as well as simply constructed pulpwood cars and passenger equipment. Prior to the Depression, the SR&RL did bring summer vacationers into the Rangeley Lakes region, but the advent of improved highways killed off that business. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The ORER for October 1919 includes a full page listing for the line, with many individual entries for the box, flat and stock cars operated. (A harbinger of things to come in ORERs of decades later!) These cars Were Small-- 27 feet 6 inches to 27 feet 8 inches inside length, inside width mostly 5 feet 7 inches but up to 6 feet 6 inches, and inside height of between 5 feet 5 inches and 6 feet 1 inch. Which means many of us would not be able to stand up straight in many of these cars! The capacity of these cars was not over 1000 cubic feet in any case, and they could hold only between 20,000 and 30,000 pounds. The largest group was of 25 cars numbered from 121 to 145, but both the 74 and the previous number MTL did, 68, are shown. The line had a total of 297 cars and 15 locomotives listed, and 104 miles of line. The only connection was with the Maine Central at Farmington, but American Express Company did operate over it. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

The actual Maine two-footers are long gone, but some of their equipment is preserved-- and operational!-- at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum in Portland. In between the SR&RL and the Maine Narrow Gauge, the Edaville Railroad in Carver, Massachusetts owned and operated some of the Maine two-footers' equipment. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.


527 00 021 and 527 00 022, $21.25 each
Reporting Marks: TTPX 80280 and 80252.
60 Foot Bulkhead Flat Car, Trailer Train.

Brown with mostly white lettering including reporting marks on left. White and yellow Trailer Train name on right. Simulated stacked board lumber load included.
Approximate Time Period: 1969 (build date given by MTL) to 1980's at least.
NOTE: This item (both numbers) has been sold out and discontinued.

MTL notes that these cars were built in 1969 and so we go to the April 1970 ORER for a look. Sneeze and you'll miss it: only two lines in the entire Trailer Train Company's listing, down at the bottom of Page 861. (As you can guess, I sneezed.) There is a single car numbered 80000 as Class F68h, then another 234 numbered from 80001 to 80240 as Class F68ah. Wait a minute, that doesn't include the numbers MTL modeled! That lag in ORER updates sometimes... really... © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Take two... July 1974, that's better. This time, the series of Class F68ah goes from 80001 all the way to 81259, taking in 1031 cars. The inside length is 62 feet, inside width 10 feet 4 inches, outside length 73 feet 4 inches, extreme height 15 feet, and capacity 180,000 pounds (no cubic footage given). That group was numbered up to 81359 and totaled 1235 cars in the July 1992 ORER, but keep in mind that Trailer Train had become TTX and the paint scheme might therefore have been replaced. If you're not worried about this, you should be able to get all the way "To Present" as there are a total of 956 cars in the series listed in the January 2006 Equipment Register. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

In the definition of the Trailer Train reporting marks, "TTPX" is listed as "Flat cars equipped with bulkheads spaced 62 feet 0 inches apart and seventeen (17) transverse tie-down anchors with chains; used for transporting wallboard, plywood, etc." Thanks for counting those anchors, I was so not ready to try that myself from a photo. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

Speaking of which, Fallen Flags has one of sister car 80318 as of September 1972. We get a good look at the lettering, which appears to match pretty well. I'm fairly sure that the build date on the prototype is in 1969, despite what the April '70 ORER says, or doesn't say. If only that Bethlehem Steel trademark were a little bigger, it would have been nice to include, but even MTL has its limits at 1:220 actual size. We can confirm the use of wood to line the inside of the bulkheads. There does appear to be somewhat of a difference in the design of the outside of the bulkheads as well as overhang of the wood lining past the edge of said bulkheads, and the truck placement on the actual car is more inboard than on the MTL model. Fallen Flags has sister car TTPX 80290 in full length and a close up shot as of March 1985. It's carrying, guess what? A stacked lumber load, although in not the same configuration as what's included with each of the MTL virtual two-pack. It appears that there are metal channels attached to the floor of the car, upon which the cargo is loaded. All this is detail that can be added by the modeler, and I don't doubt that some Z Scalers will do exactly that. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

535 00 190, $26.30
Road Number: 477730.
30 Foot Steel Caboose, Center Cupola, Pennsylvania Railroad.

Brown with black roof. Brown details, white grab irons at ends of sides. White lettering including roadname and road number across center. Black and white "shadow keystone" herald below cupola.
Approximate Time Period: 1955 to late 1960's.
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.

The exact Pennsylvania 477730, one of 200 N5B cabin cars built in 1941, is pictured in the Morning Sun Color Guide to the Pennsylvania Volume 2, page 98. This class of cars was numbered from 477620 to 477819 and went through a number of paint schemes during their service on the PRR. The 477730 was photographed in 1965, at which point the Pennsy had gone to Focal Orange as its cabin car color, with no roadname, just a plain keystone herald and roadnumber. But the 477730 was still decorated in the circa-1955 scheme when photographed ten years later, and that's the scheme that MTL selected. And that MTL paint job looks good down to the "Buckeye Region" assignment below the road number. Given that the Pennsy had bigger things to worry about than repainting cabeese, I'm calling the ATP to the late 1960's and the coming of the Penn Central, but that could be a little bit of a stretch. © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

And some of you could be thinking that using the standard "Northeastern" style MTL body style to stand in for a Pennsy N5B could also be a bit of a stretch. Ah, but, perhaps frustratingly, one is left with the decision to either use what's available or not do a 'boose at all. There are key differences you'd notice straight away: first, there are two windows, not four, and they are up against the roofline, which is curved and slightly over the sides as well. Second, the so-called center cupola is actually just over a foot off-center, enough to be noticeable, at least to me. But this release does enable running something behind those Micro-Trains PRR GP35's! © 2007 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.

No releases this month.

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


New Release:
855 00 012, $29.60
Reporting Marks: C&S 7132.
30 Foot Flat Car, Composite Frame, Colorado and Southern.

Brown with white lettering including reporting marks on left / right ("C&S" on left and road number on right).
Approximate Time Period: late 1930's (reweigh date July 1938).
NOTE: This item has been sold out and discontinued.
This is the second number released, as announced last month by MTL.

Please see the review in the September 2007 (last month's) UMTRR.