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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 055 00 550 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, Offset Side - Baltimore & Ohio - 1B12

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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 055 00 550 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, Offset Side - Baltimore & Ohio - 1B12 Image Courtesy of Micro-Trains Line


Brand Micro-Trains
Stock Number 055 00 550
Secondary Stock Number 055 00 550
Original Retail Price $31.95
Manufacturer Micro-Trains Line
Production Type Regular Production
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Micro-Trains Hopper Open 2-Bay Offset Side
Prototype Open Hopper, 2-Bay, Offset Side (Details)
Road or Company Name Baltimore & Ohio (Details)
Reporting Marks B&O
Road or Reporting Number 1B12
Paint Color(s) Yellow
Print Color(s) Blue
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Standard
Body Material Plastic
Announcement Date 2019-07-01
Release Date 2019-07-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Open Hopper
Model Subtype 2-Bay
Model Variety Offset Side
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Epoch II (1920-1945)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: This 33’ twin bay hopper with offset sides is yellow with black lettering and runs on Bettendorf trucks. Built as an N-41 hopper in the early 1950s, it was converted into an icebreaker/clearance device car in the mid-1960s. This helped prevent impact damage to automobiles being transported in open autoracks. It featured large vertical frames to clear icicles from the inside of tunnels and low bridges.

Model Information: The 33' Offset-Side open hopper was introduced in 1979. It is known by collectors as body style '055' or '55000 Series'. This model has been produced in over 100 different varieties since then, making it a fairly popular body style. Newer versions may come with a factory supplied load and low profile wheels.

Prototype History:
The late 1920s saw the introduction of the AAR standard “offset-side” 50- and 70-ton hoppers. The design went through several variations in the late 1920s and early 1930s before settling on two versions of the 50-ton car and one 3-bay, 70-ton car in 1935. Most roads went for the AAR standard designs, but the N&W, VGN, and Pennsy were notable holdouts. World War II brought the famous “war emergency” hoppers (only the N&W and MP bought the 70-ton version) and several composite versions of existing designs. After the war, AC&F found some brief success with a welded outside-stake hopper design, but the weld joints broke under the stress of loading and unloading rather than flexing like riveted joints. The offset-side design also had problems: the inside stakes were more prone to corrosion, and they suffered worse from loading and unloading stress than outside-staked hoppers. The design waned in the 1950s and was all but abandoned for new cars by 1960. Some roads (notably the C&O, the B&O, and the L&N) made the best of a bad situation by rebuilding their offset-side cars with all new outside-staked sides in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Road Name History:
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (reporting marks B&O, BO) is one of the oldest railroads in the United States and the first common carrier railroad. It came into being mostly because the city of Baltimore wanted to compete with the newly constructed Erie Canal (which served New York City) and another canal being proposed by Pennsylvania, which would have connected Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. At first this railroad was located entirely in the state of Maryland with an original line from the port of Baltimore west to Sandy Hook. At this point to continue westward, it had to cross into Virginia (now West Virginia) over the Potomac River, adjacent to the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. From there it passed through Virginia from Harpers Ferry to a point just west of the junction of Patterson Creek and the North Branch Potomac River where it crossed back into Maryland to reach Cumberland. From there it was extended to the Ohio River at Wheeling and a few years later also to Parkersburg, West Virginia.

It is now part of the CSX Transportation (CSX) network, and includes the oldest operational railroad bridge in the USA. The B&O also included the Leiper Railroad, the first permanent horse-drawn railroad in the U.S. In later years, B&O advertising carried the motto: "Linking 13 Great States with the Nation." Part of the B&O Railroad's immortality has come from being one of the four featured railroads on the U.S. version of the board game Monopoly, but it is the only railroad on the board which did not serve Atlantic City, New Jersey, directly.

When CSX established the B&O Railroad Museum as a separate entity from the corporation, some of the former B&O Mount Clare Shops in Baltimore, including the Mt. Clare roundhouse, were donated to the museum while the rest of the property was sold. The B&O Warehouse at the Camden Yards rail junction in Baltimore now dominates the view over the right-field wall at the Baltimore Orioles' current home, Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

At the end of 1970 B&O operated 5552 miles of road and 10449 miles of track, not including the Staten Island Rapid Transit (SIRT) or the Reading and its subsidiaries.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Brand/Importer Information: Micro-Trains is the brand name used by both Kadee Quality Products and Micro-Trains Line. For a history of the relationship between the brand and the two companies, please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide.

Manufacturer Information:
Micro-Trains Line split off from Kadee Quality Products in 1990. Kadee Quality Products originally got involved in N-Scale by producing a scaled-down version of their successful HO Magne-Matic knuckle coupler system. This coupler was superior to the ubiquitous 'Rapido' style coupler due to two primary factors: superior realistic appearance and the ability to automatically uncouple when stopped over a magnet embedded in a section of track. The success of these couplers in N-Scale quickly translated to the production of trucks, wheels and in 1972 a release of ready-to-run box cars.

Micro-Trains Line Co. split off from Kadee in 1990 to form a completely independent company. For this reason, products from this company can appear with labels from both enterprises. Due to the nature of production idiosyncrasies and various random factors, the rolling stock from Micro-Trains can have all sorts of interesting variations in both their packaging as well as the products themselves. When acquiring an MTL product it is very important to understand these important production variations that can greatly enhance (or decrease) the value of your purchase.

Item created by: gdm on 2019-07-01 13:16:02

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