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N Scale - Athearn - 10455 b - Gondola, Bathtub, Bethgon Coalporter - Burlington Northern Santa Fe - 668446

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N Scale - Athearn - 10455 b - Gondola, Bathtub, Bethgon Coalporter - Burlington Northern Santa Fe - 668446 Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby


N Scale - Athearn - 10455 b - Gondola, Bathtub, Bethgon Coalporter - Burlington Northern Santa Fe - 668446


Stock Number 10455 b
Brand Athearn
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Athearn Gondola Bethgon Coalporter
Prototype Gondola, Bathtub, Bethgon Coalporter (Details)
Road or Company Name Burlington Northern Santa Fe (Details)
Reporting Marks BNSF
Road or Reporting Number 668446
Paint Color(s) Gray and Brown
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 5
Multipack ID Number 2
Release Date 2003-10-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Gondola
Model Subtype Bathtub
Model Variety Bethgon Coalporter
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era V: Modern (1979 - Present)
Scale 1/160


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Specific Item Information: Multipack 10455 (5)
Car#s 667992, 668446, 668476, 668595, 668729

Prototype History:
Since 1982, the BethGon Coalporter has been hauling "black diamonds" across the United States. The largest selling Coal Gondola in the world, the car's double tub design increases hauling capacity while reducing maintenance requirements. Tubs below the car lower the center of gravity, providing a smoother ride.

Today, coal is no longer sold at the volume it once was in the United States, and many coal carrying railroad cars have sadly been left to rust. Bethgon Coalporters could transport 44,000 pounds of these “black diamonds,” a necessity for the railroad in the era of a coal-driven country; therefore, a need of recycling these cars had to be found!

Since the use of grain for animal feed is popular for farmers in the western part of the United States, Bethgons proved up for the challenge and some were converted for use as a Protein Gondola. These covered gondolas are used in freight trains in the western and southern parts of the states in long, endless fleets providing useful feed for farm animals. Since the load of feed is biodegradable and therefore needs to be delivered as quickly as possible, trains carrying these long loads are given top priority on the rails.

Road Name History:
The BNSF Railway (reporting mark BNSF) is one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America, second to the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) (its primary competitor for Western U.S. freight), and is one of seven North American Class I railroads. It has 48,000 employees, 32,500 miles (52,300 km) of track in 28 states, and over 8,000 locomotives. It has three transcontinental routes that provide high-speed links between the western and eastern United States. BNSF trains traveled over 169 million miles in 2010, more than any other North American railroad.[2] The BNSF and UP have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the Western U.S. and share trackage rights over thousands of miles of track.

According to corporate press releases, the BNSF Railway is among the top transporters of intermodal freight in North America. It also hauls bulk cargo. For instance, the railroad hauls enough coal to generate roughly ten percent of the electricity produced in the United States.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the railroad is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The creation of BNSF started with the formation of a holding company, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation on September 22, 1995. This new holding company then purchased the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (often called the "Santa Fe") and Burlington Northern Railroad, and formally merged the railways into the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway on December 31, 1996. On January 24, 2005, the railroad's name was officially changed to "BNSF Railway," using the initials of its original name.

In 1999, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Canadian National Railway announced their intention to merge and form a new corporation entitled North American Railways to be headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The United States' Surface Transportation Board (STB) placed a 15-month moratorium on all rail mergers, which ended this merger.

On November 3, 2009, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced it would acquire the remaining 77.4 percent of BNSF it did not already own for $100 per share in cash and stock - a deal valued at $44 billion. The company is investing an estimated $34 billion in BNSF and acquiring $10 billion in debt. On February 12, 2010, shareholders of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation voted in favor of the acquisition.

Read more on Wikipedia. A very nice booklet "History and Legacy" is available on BNSF official website.

Brand/Importer Information:
Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.

The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.

Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.

Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.


Item created by: Powderman on 2018-01-10 11:56:34. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-19 15:13:18

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