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N Scale - Con-Cor - 0001-003801 - Locomotive, Steam, 4-8-4 GS-4 - Great Northern - 2587

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Stock Number 0001-003801
Original Retail Price $298.98
Brand Con-Cor
Manufacturer Con-Cor
Body Style Con-Cor Steam Engine GS-4/S-2
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Steam, 4-8-4 GS-4 (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 2587
Paint Color(s) Green with Black Smokebox
Print Color(s) White
Paint Scheme Glacier
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
DCC Readiness Ready
Release Date 2002-01-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Steam
Model Subtype 4-8-4
Model Variety S-2 Northern
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Model Information: Con-Cor introduced this model in 1985. The locomotives were originally made by Kato under contract with Con-Cor. In 2001, Con-Cor moved the tooling to China and made some modifications. The early versions of this engine were an S-2 configuration. In 2002, Con-Cor used the same platform to develop a GS-4. The chassis is made of either brass or a zinc alloy and the shell is plastic. They have a fair amount of detail and they run pretty well. They handle surprisingly well on tight curves.

DCC Information: The original mechanism is DCC-Friendly at best. The redesigned version (2001+) is fully DCC-Ready and supports a 8 Pin NMRA Socket PC Board decoder.

Prototype History:
The GS-4 is a streamlined 4-8-4 "Northern" type steam locomotive used on the Southern Pacific Company from 1941 to 1958. They were built by the Lima Locomotive Works and were numbered 4430 through 4457. "GS" stands for "Golden State" or "General Service."

Road Name History:
The Great Northern was born in 1881 with the consolidation of several railroads of the northern plains under the leadership of James J. Hill. By 1893, the mainline from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River to Seattle was complete.

The GN had two distinctly different characters. The eastern half was a largely flat, grain producing region serving cities like Fargo, the Twin Cities, Grand Forks, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Sioux City and even Winnipeg in Canada. The east end also included the iron ore rich regions of Minnesota. Half of North Dakota was blanketed by GN branchlines (21 in all) serving every imaginable grain elevator.

The western half is the mountainous portion that most people identify with Great Northern. This included crossing the northern Rockies and the even more difficult Cascade ranges. Cities on the western half included Billings, Butte, Helena, Havre, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. In 1931, a connection to the Western Pacific was completed from Bieber north to Bend, Oregon. This line was disconnected from the rest of the Great Northern. They used trackage rights on the Oregon Trunk and SP&S to bridge the gap. The Cascade Tunnel, the longest on the continent at 7.8 miles, wasn’t completed until 1931. Construction included a massive sluiceway and hydro-electric power station to feed the electrified line through the tunnel and several miles of railroad on either side. This replaced the original Cascade Tunnel which was a third as long but 500 feet higher up the mountain. That replaced the original route that was another 700 feet higher, had 4% grades and 50 miles of snowsheds. All told, Great Northern had about 8,300 route miles.

The steam era was especially unkind to the Great Northern. They seemed to go out of their way to make their locomotives ugly. Belpaire fire boxes were the norm (made famous by the Pennsylvania, made hideous on the GN.) Headlights were often mounted just above center giving them a spinster look. Cab fronts were often at odd angles. The tender coal bunkers were often taller than the engines. But it wasn’t just aesthetics. GN had a knack for buying the wrong engines for the job. 150 Prarie type 2-6-2’s were so unstable at speed that they were busted down to branchline duty almost straight away and none survived after about 1930. Their first 4-8-2 Mountains built for passenger and fast freight were such a disaster, they were rebuilt into 2-10-2’s. Many railroads had built Mountains out of Mikes but no one had ever started with a Mountain and had to build something else from it. The first 2-6-6-2’s were so under-powered, the boilers were used to make Mikados instead. They did manage to build the largest, fastest, and most powerful Mikados in the country however. Their articulated fleet included 2-6-6-2, 2-6-8-0 (later rebuilt into Mikes), 2-8-8-0, 2-8-8-2 types as well as a pair of Challengers originally delivered to SP&S. Many engines were dressed up with green boilers and boxcar red cab roofs.

For the first generation of diesels, GN bought like many large railroads did: a sampling from everyone. Cab and hood units from EMD and Alco and switchers from EMD, Alco, and Baldwin populated the roster. GN’s first generation geeps and SD’s were delivered with the long hood as the front. This included their GP20’s which had high short hoods and the long hood as the front. Aside from an early black scheme for switchers, the GN fleet was delivered in Omaha Orange and green with yellow piping.

Beginning with the arrival of GP30s in 1962, the paint scheme was simplified by dropping the bottom orange band and the yellow piping. For the second generation, General Electric replaced Alco as a supplier of new road engines.

In 1962, some GN freight cars began to appear in Glacier Green which ran along side the vermilion paint adopted in 1956. In 1967, they went for a major shift. Sky Blue, white, and dark gray were joined by a new version of the Rocky the goat logo. There was talk that this would become the paint scheme for Burlington Northern. The GN name and logo was painted on a steel panel bolted the the hand railings of hood units, making it easier to remove after the merger. For whatever reason, they went with green, black and white, a version of which was simultaneously being tested on the Burlington Route. In 1970, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland & Seattle, and Burlington Route merged to form Burlington Northern.

Brand/Importer Information:
Con-Cor has been in business since 1962. Many things have changed over time as originally they were a complete manufacturing operation in the USA and at one time had upwards of 45 employees. They not only designed the models,but they also built their own molds, did injection molding, painting, printing and packaging on their models.

Currently, most of their manufacturing has been moved overseas and now they import 90% of their products as totally finished goods, or in finished components. They only do some incidental manufacturing today within the USA.

Important Note: The Con-Cor product numbering can be very confusing. Please see here in the article how to properly enter Con-Cor stock numbers in the TroveStar database.

Item created by: CNW400 on 2019-05-02 09:00:29. Last edited by CNW400 on 2021-08-21 11:03:31

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