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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 021 44 590 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door - Cotton Belt - 300--

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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 021 44 590 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door - Cotton Belt - 300-- Image Courtesy of Micro-Trains Line


N Scale - Micro-Trains - 021 44 590 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door - Cotton Belt - 300--


Production Type Regular Production
Stock Number 021 44 590
Secondary Stock Number 021 44 590
Original Retail Price $33.90
Brand Micro-Trains
Manufacturer Micro-Trains Line
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Micro-Trains Boxcar 40 Foot Steel Plug Door
Prototype Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door (Details)
Road or Company Name Cotton Belt (Details)
Reporting Marks SSW
Road or Reporting Number 300--
Paint Color(s) Red and Gray
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Standard
Body Material Plastic
Series Name Weathered
Announcement Date 2017-06-01
Release Date 2017-06-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 40 Foot
Model Variety Steel, Plug Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



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Specific Item Information: These 40’ standard box cars with plug door and red with grey lower band and white lettering run on Roller Bearing trucks. Built in 1959, these unique 25 Compartmentizer-equipped cars wore an experimental paint scheme similar to the red and grey paint scheme of Southern Pacific diesels. Ultimately vetoed by management for use on freight cars, these cars continued to wear this paint for years to come.

Prototype History: Plug-Door boxcars are usually insulated and typically carry products such as canned goods that require protection from extremes of temperature but do not require refrigeration. Plug-style doors were normally used to ensure a tight seal in the insulation. Designed for transport of both perishables and large loads, plug doors allowed box cars to be sealed from outside dust and dirt. Cars like these were manufactured during the 50s and 60s.

Whether you consider this a reefer or a boxcar is a matter for angel-pinhead-counters. There seems to be a bit of a blurry line during the transition era between the idea of a steel ice reefer and an insulated boxcar. I guess an ice reefer was meant to hold ice for cooling but I doubt this is a cut-and-dry distinction. Modern "mechanical" reefers are a different breed as they contain a refrigeration unit which quite distinctly sets them apart from "boxcars".

Road Name History: The St. Louis Southwestern Railway (reporting mark SSW), known by its nickname of "The Cotton Belt Route" or simply Cotton Belt, is a former US Class I railroad which operated between St. Louis, Missouri, and various points in the states of Arkansas and Texas from 1891 to 1992.

The Cotton Belt was one of the lines comprising the railroad empire acquired by financier Jay Gould in the last quarter of the 19th century; according to the Handbook of Texas, By 1890 Gould owned the Missouri Pacific, the Texas and Pacific, the St. Louis Southwestern, and the International-Great Northern, one-half of the mileage in the Southwest.

The railroad was organized on January 15, 1891, although it had its origins in a series of short lines founded in Tyler, Texas, in 1870 that connected northeastern Texas to Arkansas and southeastern Missouri. Construction of the original Tyler Tap Railroad began in the summer of 1875.

On October 18, 1903, the Cotton Belt gained trackage rights via the Thebes Bridge and the Missouri Pacific Railroad along the eastern shore of the Mississippi River to reach East St. Louis, Illinois, and then used Terminal Railroad Association trackage rights into St. Louis. The Cotton Belt also operated a yard and a locomotive servicing facility in East St. Louis, just east of Valley Junction, and south of Alton and Southern Railroad's Gateway Yard, and north of Kansas City Southern's East St. Louis Yard. They also had a freight station in downtown St. Louis. Union Pacific Railroad now operates the yard (still named "Cotton Belt Yard"), but the engine servicing facilities have been demolished.

The Cotton Belt and subsidiary St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas together operated 1,607 miles of road in 1945; 1,555 miles in 1965; and 2,115 miles in 1981 after taking over the Rock Island's Golden State Route. In 1925 SSW and SSW of Texas reported a total of 1474 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 75 million passenger-miles; in 1970 it carried 8650 million ton-miles and no passengers.

The Southern Pacific Company gained Interstate Commerce Commission approval to control the Cotton Belt system on April 14, 1932, but continued to operate it as a separate company until 1992, when the SP consolidated the Cotton Belt's operations into the parent company. Cotton Belt diesel locomotives from 1959 on were painted in Southern Pacific's "bloody nose" scheme - dark gray locomotive body with a red "winged" nose. "Cotton Belt" was painted on the sides and in later years the letters "SSW" were painted on the nose.

In 1996 the Union Pacific Railroad finished the acquisition that was effectively begun almost a century before with the purchase of the Southern Pacific by UP in 1901, until divestiture was ordered in 1913. The merged company retains the name "Union Pacific" for all railroad operations. Many former SSW locomotives are used by Union Pacific today, although few still sport unmodified "Cotton Belt" paint. Most of the remaining units have been repainted into the UP scheme, while others wear patched SSW paint with a UP shield logo and new numbers applied over the SSW number.

From Wikipedia

Brand/Importer Information: Micro-Trains is the brand name used by both Kadee Quality Products and Micro-Trains Line. For a history of the relationship between the brand and the two companies, please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide.

Manufacturer Information: Micro-Trains Line split off from Kadee Quality Products in 1990. Kadee Quality Products originally got involved in N-Scale by producing a scaled-down version of their successful HO Magne-Matic knuckle coupler system. This coupler was superior to the ubiquitous 'Rapido' style coupler due to two primary factors: superior realistic appearance and the ability to automatically uncouple when stopped over a magnet embedded in a section of track. The success of these couplers in N-Scale quickly translated to the production of trucks, wheels and in 1972 a release of ready-to-run box cars.

Micro-Trains Line Co. split off from Kadee in 1990 to form a completely independent company. For this reason, products from this company can appear with labels from both enterprises. Due to the nature of production idiosyncrasies and various random factors, the rolling stock from Micro-Trains can have all sorts of interesting variations in both their packaging as well as the products themselves. When acquiring an MTL product it is very important to understand these important production variations that can greatly enhance (or decrease) the value of your purchase.


Item created by: gdm on 2017-06-17 08:09:41. Last edited by Powderman on 2018-10-08 09:33:08

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