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N Scale - Athearn - 10487 - Gondola, Bathtub, Bethgon Coalporter - Norfolk Southern

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N Scale - Athearn - 10487 - Gondola, Bathtub, Bethgon Coalporter - Norfolk Southern Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby


Brand Athearn
Stock Number 10487
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Athearn Gondola Bethgon Coalporter
Prototype Gondola, Bathtub, Bethgon Coalporter (Details)
Road or Company Name Norfolk Southern (Details)
Reporting Marks NS
Road or Reporting Number multi
Paint Color(s) White
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 5
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



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 Norfolk Southern Railway (reporting mark NS) is a Class I railroad in the United States; began in 1982 and 1990. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 36,200 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia, and has rights in Canada from Buffalo to Toronto and over the Albany to Montreal route. NS is responsible for maintaining 29,000 miles, with the remainder being operated under trackage rights from other parties responsible for maintenance. The common commodity hauled on the railroad is coal from mines in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The railroad also offers the most intermodal network in eastern North America.

NS is a major transporter of domestic and export coal. The railroad's major sources of the mineral are located in: Pennsylvania's Cambria and Indiana counties, as well as the Monongahela Valley; West Virginia; and the Appalachia regions of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In Pennsylvania, NS also receives coal through interchange with R.J. Corman Railroad/Pennsylvania Lines at Cresson, Pennsylvania, originating in the "Clearfield Cluster". NS's export of West Virginia bituminous coal, begins transport on portions of the well-engineered former Virginian Railway and the former N&W double-tracked line in Eastern Virginia to its Lambert's Point coal pier on Hampton Roads at Norfolk. Coal transported by NS is thus exported to steel mills and power plants around the world. The company is also a major transporter of auto parts and completed vehicles. It operates intermodal container and TOFC (trailer on flat car) trains, some in conjunction with other railroads. NS was the first railway to employ roadrailers, which are highway truck trailers with interchangeable wheel sets.

The Norfolk Southern Railway's parent Norfolk Southern Corporation is a Norfolk, Virginia-based parent company. Norfolk Southern Corporation was incorporated on July 23, 1980 in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbols NSC. The primary business function of Norfolk Southern Corporation is the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods across the Southeast, East, and Midwest United States. The corporation further facilitates transport to the remainder of the United States through interchange with other rail carriers while also serving overseas transport needs by serving several Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports. As of October 1, 2014 Norfolk Southern Corporation's total public stock value was slightly over $34.5 billion.

Read more on Wikipedia.

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: Chance on 2016-09-07 11:18:12. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-19 15:13:18

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