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N Scale - Aurora Postage Stamp - 4728 - Passenger Train, Diesel, North American, Transition Era - Penn Central - 6-Unit Set

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Stock Number 4728
Original Retail Price $35.00
Brand Aurora Postage Stamp
Manufacturer Minitrix
Body Style Aurora Train Set North America
Prototype Vehicle Passenger Train, Diesel, North American, Transition Era (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks F9
Road or Reporting Number 6-Unit Set
Additional Markings/Slogan Transcontinental Express
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 6
Release Date 1968-01-01
Item Category Freight Train
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety F9A
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Contains one dome car, three coaches and one observation car. With Power Pack.

Prototype History:
The transition era (1939 - 1957) was the heyday for passenger rail. The industrial boom triggered by the second world war created tremendous capacity for production which was no longer needed for war production. The North American factories turned to consumer goods and services and the rail system was a major recipient of this ouput.

The interstate highways system as we know it now was still a thing of the future and long distance travel by highway was simply not practical and aircraft travel was still a luxury for the well-to-do. People traveled the country by rail and there was a huge variety of railroads and services available to the traveler. Innovation was constant, and the materials and machinery employed by the railroads was evolving as fast as the engineers could think of new things to entice the fickle consumer to ride a particular route or particular service.

This all came to an end when the automobile and airplane replaced the passenger train as the preferred vehicles of transportation in the 1960s.

Road Name History:
The Penn Central Transportation Company, commonly abbreviated to Penn Central, was an American Class I railroad headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1968 until 1976. It was created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was added to the merger in 1969; by 1970, the company had filed for what was, at that time, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The Penn Central was created as a response to challenges faced by all three railroads in the late 1960s. The northeastern quarter of the United States, these railroads' service area, was the most densely populated region of the U.S. While railroads elsewhere in North America drew a high percentage of their revenues from the long-distance shipment of commodities such as coal, lumber, paper and iron ore, Northeastern railroads traditionally depended on a mix of services.

As it turned out, the merged Penn Central was little better off than its constituent roads were before. A merger implementation plan was drawn up, but not carried out. Attempts to integrate operations, personnel and equipment were not very successful, due to clashing corporate cultures, incompatible computer systems and union contracts. Track conditions deteriorated (some of these conditions were inherited from the three merged railroads) and trains had to be run at reduced speeds. This meant delayed shipments and personnel working a lot of overtime. As a result, operating costs soared. Derailments and wrecks became frequent, particularly in the midwest.

The American financial system was shocked when after only two years of operations, the Penn Central Transportation company was put into bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. It was the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history at that time. Although the Penn Central Transportation Company was put into bankruptcy, its parent Penn Central Company was able to survive.

The Penn Central continued to operate freight service under bankruptcy court protection. After private-sector reorganization efforts failed, Congress nationalized the Penn Central under the terms of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. The new law folded six northeastern railroads, the Penn Central and five smaller, failed lines, into the Consolidated Rail Corporation, commonly known as Conrail. The act took effect on April 1, 1976.

Read more on Wikipedia.

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.

Item created by: gdm on 2017-03-09 09:16:38. Last edited by gdm on 2020-03-08 08:03:45

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