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N Scale - Athearn - 17543 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, FMC, 5077 - Northern Alberta Railways - 050116

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N Scale - Athearn - 17543 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, FMC, 5077 - Northern Alberta Railways - 050116 Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby


Stock Number 17543
Original Retail Price $22.98
Brand Athearn
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style MDC Boxcar 50 Foot FMC Offset Double Door
Prototype Vehicle Boxcar, 50 Foot, FMC, 5077 (Details)
Road or Company Name Northern Alberta Railways (Details)
Reporting Marks NAR
Road or Reporting Number 050116
Paint Color(s) Yellow
Print Color(s) Blue
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Release Date 2019-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety FMC Offset Double Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Boxcar, 50 Foot, Offset Double Sliding Door, Rib Side, Without Roofwalk, FMC. Originally designed by MDC Roundhouse, this tooling was acquired by Athearn in June of 2004. It has since been re-released with Accumate and/or McHenry couplers. This body style has two doors offset from center of the car.

Current versions features: Scale profile brake wheel; Roller bearing trucks; Fully-assembled and ready-to-run out of the box; Accurately painted and printed; Highly detailed, injection molded body; Machined metal wheels; Screw mounted trucks; McHenry knuckle couplers; Weighted for trouble free operation; Clear plastic jewel box for convenient storage; Operates on Code 55 and 80 rail; Minimum radius: 9-3/4".

Prototype History:
In the 1970's with the growth of the Per Diem business model, FMC produced a series of 50 foot box cars in different configurations. The single-sliding-door configuration is one of the best known and used widely by many different railroads. These cars were produced using the Gunderson metal works which FMC had acquired in 1965. In late 1975, FMC began producing a 5,077-cubic-foot Plate B box car for IPD and Railbox service. FMC's 5077s have seven panels to either side of the 10-foot door, an X-panel roof, and non-terminating ends that are slightly different from those used on FMC's earlier cars. Note how the sidesill is notched all the way back to the bolsters, a key feature of FMC's mature design.

The main difference between the 5077 cu. ft cars built by FMC vs the 5277-5347 cu. ft cars built by the same manufacturers is the overall height of the car, the smaller 5077 cars were Plate B while the larger 5277-5347 cars were Plate C. Over 4,300 cars were produced from 1975-1979 by FMC's Portland, Oregon plant. The cars were delivered in numerous colorful shortline paint schemes, as well as the nationwide car pool fleet of Railbox. Many secondhand cars were later seen in Class 1 railroads and large leasing company fleets under additional shortline reporting marks.

Road Name History:
NAR came together in 1929 when several railroads were combined under joint ownership of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. One line ran from Edmonton, Alberta northeast to Lac La Biche and then Fort McMurray. The other line ran northwest from Edmonton to Smith where it turned west for Grande Prairie and ultimately to Dawson Creek just over the British Columbia border. A branch came off that main at McLennan north to Peace River then west to Hines Creek. Traffic on these lines was mostly grain.

In 1958, Pacific Great Eastern finished their line to Dawson Creek from the Pacific coast. This and new highways in the area syphoned traffic from NAR. In 1964, CN opened their isolated (from other CN lines) Great Slave Lake Railway from a junction on the NAR near Peace River to mines in the sub-Arctic region. This added considerable lead and zinc ore traffic to the NAR. Nevertheless, trains were infrequent on the NAR. With 923 route miles, NAR required just 21 diesels. The diesel fleet consisted of 10 GP9’s, 7 GMD1’s, and 4 SD38-2’s. To put that into perspective, the busy Clinchfield Railroad required nearly five times as many locomotives to run less than a third of the mileage.

In 1980, Canadian Pacific sold their half of NAR to Canadian National and on the first day of 1981, NAR operations were folded into CN.

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: gdm on 2019-01-30 09:19:24. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-06-01 00:00:00

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