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N Scale - Aurora Postage Stamp - 4864-450 - Open Hopper, Ore, 70 Ton - Bessemer & Lake Erie - 20090

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N Scale - Aurora Postage Stamp - 4864-450 - Open Hopper, Ore, 70 Ton - Bessemer & Lake Erie - 20090 Image Courtesy of David K. Smith


Stock Number 4864-450
Secondary Stock Number 4864
Original Retail Price $1.75
Brand Aurora Postage Stamp
Manufacturer Roco
Body Style Roco Open Hopper Ore Car
Prototype Open Hopper, Ore, 70 Ton
Road or Company Name Bessemer & Lake Erie (Details)
Reporting Marks B&LE
Road or Reporting Number 20090
Paint Color(s) Light Gray
Print Color(s) Red
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Release Date 1968-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Open Hopper
Model Subtype Ore
Model Variety 70 Ton



Model Information: This model was built by Roco for Aurora and Minitrix starting in the late 1960s. It appears in the 1968 Aurora Postage Stamp catalog for $1.75 each in Bessemer & Lake Erie livery.

Road Name History:
The Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad (reporting mark BLE) is a class II railroad that operates in northwestern Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio.

The railroad's main route runs from the Lake Erie port of Conneaut, Ohio to the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, a distance of 139 miles (224 km). The original rail ancestor of the B&LE, the Shenango and Allegheny Railroad, began operation in October 1869.

Rail operations were maintained continuously by various corporate descendants on the growing system that ultimately became the B&LE in 1900. In 2004 the B&LE came under the ownership of the Canadian National Railway as part of CN's larger purchase of holding company Great Lakes Transportation. As a subsidiary of CN the B&LE has been largely unchanged (though repainting of B&LE locomotives into CN paint with "BLE" sub-lettering began in April 2015) and still does business as the B&LE. Bessemer and Lake Erie's locomotives, especially the former Souther Pacific SD40T-3 "Tunnel Motors", have been scattered across the CN system lately; ironically, many are being used in the line that feeds most of B&LE's traffic, the former Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range lines in Minnesota. The iron ore that originates on these lines is transloaded to ships at Twin Harbors, Minnesota, then sent by ship to Conneaut, Ohio, where it is again transloaded to B&LE trains. It is then taken down to steel mills in the Pittsburg area, mainly to the blast furnaces at US Steel's Edgar Thompson Plant in Braddock, Pennsylvania, part of the Mon Valley Works. As of summer 2015, most of the locomotives on the B&LE are former Illinois Central standard cab SD70's, although B&LE Tunnel Motor 905 and a few SD38's, still in B&LE orange, are being kept on the line. Also, a few Canadian National locomotives, especially SD60 5422, are assigned to the line.

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 2017-03-23 09:37:25. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-05-12 14:57:16

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