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N Scale - Athearn - 11589 - Reefer, 50 Foot, RR-30 - Santa Fe - 37355

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Brand Athearn
Stock Number 11589
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Athearn Reefer 50 Foot Ice
Prototype Vehicle Reefer, 50 Foot, RR-30 (Details)
Road or Company Name Santa Fe (Details)
Reporting Marks SFRD
Road or Reporting Number 37355
Paint Color(s) Orange and Black
Paint Scheme El Capitan
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Reefer
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Ice
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Model: Introduction: 2006. ERA: 1940s to 1960s. This model features: Razor-sharp printing and painting, Santa Fe style "reversed" ice hatches, Separate brake rigging, McHenry N scale couplers installed, Super detailed car body - first time ever produced. These colorful cars are intended to capture the flavor of vintage 50 foot Ice Reefers.

This is a fairly accurate model of a Santa Fe RR-30 reefer. The prototypes were made in 1939 (or 1940 depending on source) and 100 of them were made in total. George Irwin shared with me "My understanding is that it is an accurate model of the Santa Fe's RR-30 class. It is prototypical for all of the Santa Fe paint schemes Athearn has done on it-- and absolutely none of the other paint schemes Athearn has used." Furthermore the fan detail is only accurate for the first 75 models in the prototype series as the final 25 had Preco fans.

Prototype History:
Santa Fe ordered 100 (37290-37389) of these cars in 1939. The last 25 of these had Preco fans installed. These cars were not specifically intended for frozen food service. If not particularly frozen food service, then what? Well, there's frozen juice, flowers, wine, fish and other commodities which were high volume, low weight, making the 50 foot cars more suitable.

All were delivered with a Super Chief slogan and early straight line map opposite. Of course, when they were repainted at various times, typically ten years out, they would have gotten any of the Ship and Travel slogans (post 1947), and after 1959, the Big Circle Herald.


Road Name History:
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (reporting mark ATSF), often abbreviated as Santa Fe or AT&SF, was one of the larger railroads in the United States. Chartered in February 1859, the railroad reached the Kansas-Colorado border in 1873 and Pueblo, Colorado, in 1876. To create a demand for its services, the railroad set up real estate offices and sold farm land from the land grants that it was awarded by Congress. Despite the name, its main line never served Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the terrain was too difficult; the town ultimately was reached by a branch line from Lamy.

The Santa Fe was a pioneer in intermodal freight transport, an enterprise that (at one time or another) included a tugboat fleet and an airline (the short-lived Santa Fe Skyway). Its bus line extended passenger transportation to areas not accessible by rail, and ferryboats on the San Francisco Bay allowed travelers to complete their westward journeys to the Pacific Ocean. The ATSF was the subject of a popular song, Harry Warren & Johnny Mercer's "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe", written for the film, The Harvey Girls (1946).

The railroad officially ceased operations on December 31, 1996, when it merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Paint Scheme: The Santa Fe El Capitan offered coach travel between Chicago and Los Angeles using hi-level coaches along with a diner and lounge, its double decker hi-level cars providing a greater passenger capacity than traditional single-level trains. The El Capitan was revolutionary in that it offered excellent service and a train schedule that matched the speed of first class sleeper trains such as the "Super Chief" while remaining affordable to the every-day passenger. In fact, in January 1958 the "El Capitan" and "Super Chief" trains were consolidated to run together, though in peak traffic times such as Christmas or the summer months the two would still keep separate train schedules to accommodate the increased ridership.

Based off of the C&NW Bi-Level commuter cars, the El Capitan Hi-Level cars were the first of their kind to be used in long distance service, pioneering the concept of affordable, reliable service and providing the basis for today's modern Amtrak fleets (the Amtrak Superliners were, in fact, built off the design of the original Santa Fe Hi-Level coaches and many Santa Fe cars ran alongside Superliners in the early days of Amtrak).

In the late 50's, the Santa Fe would run the Super Chief and El Capitan as a combined train, with consists that could vary but were often upwards of 18-20 cars. Kato USA has put together a small video presentation featuring this combined consist, as accurately reproduced using cars from both of the classic name train series sets and their supporting add-on packs of cars. Click the image to the left or HERE to visit Kato USA's youtube page and see this train in motion!

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 2016-09-08 12:05:34. Last edited by gdm on 2018-04-03 11:29:10

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