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N Scale - Con-Cor - Special Premier Set #5 - Passenger Train, Diesel, North American, Transition Era - Gulf Mobile & Ohio - 9-Unit

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N Scale - Con-Cor - Special Premier Set #5 - Passenger Train, Diesel, North American, Transition Era - Gulf Mobile & Ohio - 9-Unit


N Scale - Con-Cor - Special Premier Set #5 - Passenger Train, Diesel, North American, Transition Era - Gulf Mobile & Ohio - 9-Unit


Brand Con-Cor
Stock Number Special Premier Set #5
Original Retail Price $99.98
Manufacturer Con-Cor
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Con-Cor Box Set North American Prototype
Prototype Passenger Train, Diesel, North American, Transition Era (Details)
Road or Company Name Gulf Mobile & Ohio (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 9-Unit
Paint Color(s) Maroon & Orange
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 9
Series Name Special Premier Set
Series Release/Issue Number 5
Release Date 1982-03-01
Item Category Passenger Trains
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype Alco
Model Variety PA-1 9-Unit Set
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)



Specific Item Information: Gulf Mobile & Ohio "The Alton Route and Rebel" "Special Premier Set" #5: 3 locomotives and 6 streamlined cars.
- Diesel locomotives PA-1 #290 (powered), PB-1 #291 (dummy), PA-1 #290 (dummy) - not a mistake, same road # twice for the A units
- RPO #46-1 "The Alton Route"
- Coach #3060
- Pullman Sleeper "I.B Tigrett"
- Diner #2107 "Springfield"
- Dome "Illinois"
- Observation #5998 "The Alton Route"

Series Information: Con-Cor "Special Premier Sets" were put together from new paint schemes that were to be added to the Con-Cor open stock line. These sets were limited to 300 each and supplied with the same wood-grained cardboard box that was used for the "Limited Edition sets'.

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 GM&O was the product of the 1940 merger of Gulf Mobile & Northern and the Mobile & Ohio. During these early years, the GM&O consisted of a route from St. Louis south to Jackson, Tennessee where it then split into 2 routes to the port of Mobile, Alabama. In addition, there were routes to Memphis, Tennessee; Jackson, Mississippi; and Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama. GM&O also served New Orleans and Paducah via trackage rights. The merger was championed by Ike Tigrett from the GM&N and Ike would lead the GM&O for most of its history.

In 1947, GM&O acquired the Alton Railroad. This linked Chicago and Peoria with St. Louis and Kansas City. This acquisition made GM&O a Great Lakes to the Gulf carrier and pushed the mileage up over 2,700. GM&O tried to sell the Kansas City line in the 50’s to Santa Fe and Burlington but there was tremendous pressure from other lines to keep Santa Fe out of St. Louis. In the end, GM&O kept the route and Burlington got trackage rights on a portion of it to shorten its own route.

GM&O dieselized early with the last steam locomotive retired in 1949. The first generation freight diesel fleet included Alco switchers, road switchers (all of which were long-hood-forward,) and FA series cab units and EMD F units. For passenger service, GM&O had power from both Alco and EMD. Everything was painted red and maroon with gold lettering. Both Alton and GM&N had used red in the past so this was appropriate. The oddball of the fleet was #1900, a cab unit model 4-S built by Ingalls Shipbuilding. It was the only locomotive Ingalls would ever build.

The 60’s brought fleets of GP30’s and 35’s. These were delivered on Alco trucks from traded in FA’s and wore a new black and white paint scheme designed by EMD. A few years later, more new power arrived from EMD, this time GP38’s and SD40’s wearing two variations of red and white. First generation diesels still on the roster received solid red or maroon in some cases. The diesel fleet consisted of around 260 units.

As for passenger service, The Rebels ran south of St. Louis with a train each to New Orleans and Mobile. Seven trains a day connected St. Louis and Chicago – more than all other railroads combined between those cities. These included the Abraham Lincoln, Ann Rutledge, and Alton Limited. They also had a single daily Chicago commuter train called The Plug. Amtrak took over three of the Chicago – St. Louis departures in 1971.

By contemporary accounts, GM&O was a class operation with a thin layer of responsive management, esprit de corps in the ranks, and good track - all of this despite serving one of the poorest regions of the country. As the 1960s drew to a close, GM&O faced the impending retirement of the original management team. Because the management layer was so thin, there were few young up-and-comers being groomed to take their places. So, to protect the shareholders, GM&O began shopping for merger partners. In 1972, Gulf Mobile & Ohio merged with Illinois Central to form Illinois Central Gulf.

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.


Item created by: Alain LM on 2019-06-16 13:21:14. Last edited by Alain LM on 2019-06-16 13:22:51

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