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N Scale - Aurora Postage Stamp - 4886-360 - Open Hopper, 4-Bay Steel - Elgin Joliet & Eastern - 70127

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N Scale - Aurora Postage Stamp - 4886-360 - Open Hopper, 4-Bay Steel - Elgin Joliet & Eastern - 70127 Image Courtesy of David K. Smith


N Scale - Aurora Postage Stamp - 4886-360 - Open Hopper, 4-Bay Steel - Elgin Joliet & Eastern - 70127 Larry A Moquin contributed this image


Stock Number 4886-360
Secondary Stock Number 4886
Original Retail Price $1.75
Brand Aurora Postage Stamp
Manufacturer Roco
Body Style Roco Open Hopper 4-Bay Offset Side
Prototype Vehicle Open Hopper, 4-Bay Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Elgin Joliet & Eastern (Details)
Reporting Marks EJ&E
Road or Reporting Number 70127
Paint Color(s) Black
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Release Date 1968-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Open Hopper
Model Subtype 4-Bay
Model Variety Offset Side
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Model Information: This Roco tooling was imported by various brands starting in the late 1960s. The Aurora Postage stamp line looks to be the earliest importer. Following that, in the early 1970s, it was imported using Minitrix branding (presumably by American Tortoise). It has also been seen in at least one example imported by AHM in place of the more common Rib Side version that AHM mostly imported. Walthers later imported the same model in the 1990s using Roco labeled boxes. These models are stamped "Trix Austria" on the bottom.

Prototype History:
The 1960s brought about a growth in car size (and capacity). Railroads that transported coal moved away from the older 2-bay 55-ton USRA standard to newer 90- and 100-ton three bay hoppers. These cars were effective and long-lived. Many railroads swapped out the trucks on these cars to increase the capacity to 100 tons. Many companies produced these, including Pullman, Bethlehem, Evans, Greenville, Trinity and Ortner. The offset side variant of these hoppers carried a little more capacity than their rib-sided cousins.

Road Name History:
The EJ&E dates from 1888. For most of its history, it was owned by US Steel whose Gary Works is near the east end of the line. Another company owns the mill now.

The EJ&E traces a wide arc around the Chicago area between 30 and 40 miles from the city center from Waukegan on the north, around Walker and Joliet, then east as far as Porter, Indiana. Because of this, the EJ&E was known for years as “The Chicago Outer Belt.” It also had the nickname, “The J”.

EJ&E’s two biggest missions have been moving steel and acting as a transfer road for all of Chicago’s Class 1’s and shortlines. As a result, the line was heavily trafficked with 100 locomotives required to serve just 230 route miles. In addition, EJ&E had over 10,000 freight cars, a huge fleet for a line that size.

In the early diesel days, EJ&E stuck mostly with Baldwin and EMD with a few Alco RS2’s thrown in. The J had more Baldwin center cab transfer engines (DT 6-6-2000) than anyone else, in fact more than just about everyone else combined. Ballasted EMD SD7’s painted in green over orange were also used in transfer service. EMD NW2’s were the primary switchers. In 1970, the Baldwins were replaced by EMD SD38-2’s, delivered with dual controls to they could just as easily run long hood forward. By that time, EJ&E had gone to solid orange with silver trucks and fuel tanks with various striping and logo placement variations over the years. They would also toy with gold and yellow and green and yellow schemes.

In 2009 the Elgin Joliet & Eastern was acquired by Canadian National in order to link their former Wisconsin Central, Illinois Central, Chicago Central & Pacific, and Grand Trunk Western lines. These lines approached the city from different directions and had required trackage rights and terminal roads to reach each other so acquiring the EJ&E was a logical move.

Brand/Importer Information:
In 1967, Aurora Plastics Corporation started importing the Minitrix N Scale product line. These trains were marketed as Postage Stamp Trains. It was a bold entry into what would become a very active market in the new N-Scale model train market. The basic starter set took advantage of N-Scale’s small size by packaging everything necessary for a small model railroad in a book-like box. The larger starter sets were packaged in more conventional boxes. Aurora went out of business in 1977.

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.

A lot of information can be found on All about Aurora Postage Stamp Trains web site by David K. Smith.

Manufacturer Information:
The company was founded in 1960 by Ing. Heinz Rössler and started with a plastic Minitanks series of military vehicles. After export to the USA became successful, the model line was expanded with model trains in HO scale and the smaller N scale. TT scale was also subsequently added to the product line. The model rail product line covers many European countries including Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands, and also the USA.

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.

From Wikipedia

Item created by: gdm on 2017-03-06 15:06:22. Last edited by Powderman on 2021-02-21 16:06:32

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