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N Scale - Centralia Car Shops - CCS7506-04 - Passenger Car, Lightweight, ACF Observation Lounge - Great Northern - Missouri River

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N Scale - Centralia Car Shops - CCS7506-04 - Passenger Car, Lightweight, ACF Observation Lounge - Great Northern - Missouri River


Brand Centralia Car Shops
Stock Number CCS7506-04
Original Retail Price $49.95
Manufacturer InterMountain Railway
Production Type Regular Production
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Centralia Car Shops Passenger Observation Car
Prototype Passenger Car, Lightweight, ACF Observation Lounge (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Road or Reporting Number Missouri River
Additional Markings/Slogan Empire Builder
Paint Color(s) Green and Orange
Print Color(s) Yellow
Paint Scheme Empire Builder
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Item Category Passenger Cars
Model Type Lightweight/Streamlined
Model Subtype ACF
Model Variety Observation Lounge
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: The 2-1-1 Observation – Buffet Lounge is a new N scale release from Centralia Car Shops. This new model is painted silver, to represent the Pullman car Muskingum River. The lettering is black. The new car is tooled with interior details and lights. The car is equipped with Micro-Trains® trucks and couplers.

I am not overly impressed with the delivery of this model. It looks great but mine arrived broken. It came with a damaged antenna wire and the pull-strip for activating the batteries was unreachable without disassembly of the body. For a $50 model this is pretty bad to have not one but two defects. I was only able to remove the battery activation strip after removing the batteries. I then discovered that the batteries were dead or the wiring was defective. Furthermore the batteries had leaked, damaging the battery storage plate. After trying to repair the antenna and failing, I threw the model in the spare parts bin.

Prototype History:
American Car & Foundry was a prominent player in the post-war lightweight streamlined era. They produced many different models for most of the major players in the passenger space. Most of these cars were of the 'Smoothside' style. Being lightweight, they were equipped with 2-axle high-speed bogies. One example of this period is the Observation-Lounge car built for the Great Northern by Pullman Standard in 1951 for the Empire Builder as the “Mountain” series observation cars. The cars were configured as 2 Roomette-buffet-lounge-observation units. These cars were moved to other GN trains such as the Western Star in 1955, and replaced by the “Coulee” series 6-4-1-observation cars.

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:
Centralia Car Shops is an N-Scale manufacturer based in Des Plaines Illinois. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Des Plaines hobbies. Des Plaines Hobbies was founded by Ron Sebastian in 1984. Centralia subcontracts its manufacturing to InterMountain and 'piggy-backs' the production runs onto the InterMountain runs using the same factories in China as InterMountain. Shipping from factories in China is also coordinated with InterMountain as is distribution to retailers.

Des Plaines Hobbies is a old fashioned hobbyshop with an emphasis on Model Railroading. It was started 33 years ago when you could purchase a tube of glue and sticks of balsa wood. That is still true today, although we have added a few items. About 20 years ago we ventured into some light manufacturing and are also home to Centralia Car Shops, S Scale America, and O Scale America lines of kits, decals and parts. Also along the way we have purchased a few small lines that we still offer such as Microscale's S Scale decal line and Mullet River Model Works HO and S lines.

Des Plaines Hobbies is located 3 1/2 miles north of O Hare International Airport at 1524 Lee/Mannheim (US 12-45). Pace buses conveniently run north and south on Lee/Mannheim from O Hare and the Des Plaines Metra station (1 mile north). For drivers, there is parking for a couple hundred cars out front and on the right side of the store. We are located on the south side of the Jewel food store under the red awning. Come for a visit. ADA restroom available. Coffee is usually hot, if not, ask and we will put a pot on.

Item created by: gdm on 2019-10-17 14:00:11. Last edited by gdm on 2020-05-14 19:42:20

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