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Model Information: Roco first produced this model for Minitrix. It appears in the Minitrix 1970 catalog priced at $2.50 each in four road names. It has also been imported by Aurora (and Model Power) for their Postage Stamp Trains brand.
Depressed center flat cars are of a special construction having the portion of floor extending between trucks depressed to provide necessary overhead clearance for lading. When large and heavy loads need to be moved long distances railroads are often the best choice for the job. These loads are often tall enough that they wouldn't pass safely under bridges or other obstacles if carried on conventional flat cars. To provide extra clearance, railroads use heavy-duty, depressed center flat cars. The lower center deck provides several inches of extra clearance, and since the cargo does not have to be lifted as high, loading and unloading is easier.
Road Name History:
Its predecessor, the Rock Island and La Salle Railroad Company, was incorporated in Illinois on February 27, 1847, and an amended charter was approved on February 7, 1851, as the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. Construction began October 1, 1851, in Chicago, and the first train was operated on October 10, 1852, between Chicago and Joliet. Construction continued on through La Salle, and Rock Island was reached on February 22, 1854, becoming the first railroad to connect Chicago with the Mississippi River.
In 1980 Rock Island was liquidated. The railroad's locomotives, rail cars, equipment, tracks, and real estate were sold to other railroads or to scrappers. William Gibbons (the trustee) was able to raise more than $500 million in the liquidation, paying off all the railroad's creditors, bondholders and all other debts in full at face value with interest. Henry Crown was ultimately proven correct, as both he and other bondholders who had purchased Rock Island debt for cents on the dollar during the low ebb in prices did especially well.
Read more on Wikipedia and Rock Island Technical Society.
The Body styles of this product line were made in Austria by Roco, imported into the United States by Minitrix and then rebranded by Aurora. Some of the exact same molds were also produced by Roco for Atlas who branded them using their own name.
On July 15, 2005 ROCO Modellspielwaren GmbH was declared bankrupt. From July 25 the company continues as Modelleisenbahn GmbH, but still uses the Roco brand and associated logo. On October 1, 2007, distribution of the 'Minitank' product series was assigned to the German model car manufacturer Herpa.
Since February 2008 Modelleisenbahn also owns Fleischmann, which like Roco had gone bankrupt. The two companies continue as separate brands under Modelleisenbahn GmbH, while benefiting from economies of scale through joined development projects, marketing and procurement.
Item created by: gdm on 2017-03-23 08:20:48. Last edited by gdm on 2018-04-23 09:01:58
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