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Specific Item Information: Model Railroader 60th Anniversary
Model Information: This model was originally manufactured by Kato for Con-Cor. Manufacturing was later moved to Con-Cor's Chicago facility. The model sort-of resembles the PRR C41 prototype.
These models have issues, and I would advise most modelers and runners to stay away. First, they use a wonky clip-in truck that is not easy to swap out for MTL (or other knuckle-coupler equipped) trucks. For all of the samples of this model I have seen, the metal underframes, though nicely detailed, arrive out-of-the-box scuffed. The early Kato versions come with some very nice low-profile nickel-silver plated wheels, but the Con-Cor made version have some of the WORST wheelsets I have ever seen. They are plastic, low-profile jobs which have casting flaws that make them run horribly. Since you cannot swap the trucks easily, you simply cannot run this junk. Perhaps Con-Cor improved their wheelset quality in later runs, but the ones I looked at (VNOR 7739) are awful. Furthermore the Con-Cor releases have LOWER quality pad-printing than the earlier Kato releases. Unfortunately, the Kato releases used a high-gloss paint that looks terrible. So no matter which version you get, it will be disappointing.
These cars came in many variations. For instance, double-doors became practical for large/wide loads, end-doors useful for very large lading such as automobiles, and interior tie-down equipment was helpful in keeping sensitive products from being damaged in-transit. In 1954 the Santa Fe developed its "Shock Control" (and later "Super Shock Control") technology for new boxcars with upgraded suspension systems to further improve the ride-quality and reduce the chance of damaging freight.
In the 1960s, the flush, "plug" style sliding door was introduced as an option that provides a larger door to ease loading and unloading of certain commodities. The tight-fitting doors are better insulated and allow a car's interior to be maintained at a more even temperature.
Road Name History:
Wisconsin Central Ltd. (WC) started in US in the mid-1980s using most of the original Wisconsin Central Railway's rights of way and some former Milwaukee Road rights of way after the Soo Line Railroad acquired the Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Minnesota holdings of the bankrupt Milwaukee Road and divested its older railway trackage in Wisconsin. In 1993 the Wisconsin Central also acquired the Green Bay and Western Railroad and the Fox River Valley Railroad.
At the time of its sale to Canadian National, Wisconsin Central operated over 2,850 miles (4,590 km) of track in the Great Lakes region. The railroad extended from Chicago into and through Wisconsin to Minneapolis/St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota, to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, and north (through the Algoma Central Railway) to Hearst, Ontario.
A condition of Soo Line’s acquisition of Milwaukee Road was that they had to sell a number of lines in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They established Lake States Transportation to separate these lines from the rest of Soo Line. In 1987, Lake States was sold to a group of investors and Wisconsin Central was born. Much of the track had belonged to the original Wisconsin Central, a Soo subsidiary which had been merged into Soo in 1960. In 1993, WC acquired Fox River Valley Railroad and Green Bay & Western. In 1995, they founded a Canadian subsidiary and acquired the Algoma Central. Then in 1997, they picked up another 200 miles of former C&NW line running north from Green Bay from Union Pacific. At this point, the 2,850 mile WC (between GM&O and Erie Lackawanna in relative size) linked: Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Minneapolis/St.Paul, Duluth/Superior, then down Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Sault Ste. Marie where they connected to Algoma Central north to Hearst, Ontario. WC’s parent company also went on a buying spree of railroads in other countries including New Zealand, Britain, and Australia. Wisconsin Central was sold to Canadian National in 2001. It operates as a paper railroad under CN’s flag today.
From Wikipedia and Bluford Shops
Brand/Importer Information: Con-Cor has been in business since 1962. Many things have changed over time as originally they were a complete manufacturing operation in the USA and at one time had upwards of 45 employees. They not only designed the models,but they also built their own molds, did injection molding, painting, printing and packaging on their models.
Currently, most of their manufacturing has been moved overseas and now they import 90% of their products as totally finished goods, or in finished components. They only do some incidental manufacturing today within the USA.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-10-22 15:42:59. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-01 09:47:16
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