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N Scale - Con-Cor - 0001-04012G - Passenger Car, Smoothside, 85 Foot Sleeper - Kansas City Southern

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Stock Number 0001-04012G
Secondary Stock Number 4012G
Tertiary Stock Number 1-04012G
Original Retail Price $9.50
Brand Con-Cor
Manufacturer Con-Cor
Body Style Con-Cor Passenger Smoothside 85 Foot Sleeper
Prototype Vehicle Passenger Car, Lightweight, Smoothside (Details)
Prototype Passenger Car, Smoothside, 85 Foot Sleeper
Road or Company Name Kansas City Southern (Details)
Paint Color(s) Black, Yellow and Red with Silver Roof
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Multipack ID Number 0001-004025
Release Date 1981-01-01
Item Category Passenger Cars
Model Type Lightweight/Streamlined
Model Subtype Smoothside
Model Variety 85 Foot Sleeper
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)



Model Information: This model has been around for a while. The originals were produced by Kato Japan operating as Sekisui Kinzoku. Later versions were made in China. The models are based on prototypes from the late 1950's and reasonably accurate though somewhat "generic". As of 2016, these have been produced in 40 road names across 7 different varieties for a total of 280 cars. Each road name has a Baggage-Mail, Baggage, Coach, Sleeper, Dome, Diner and Observation variety

The models are currently available in both Micro-Trains Magnetmatic? couplers as well as Con-Cor's "Rigid Face" couplers. They are fully assembled "RTR" models with detailed interiors, and add-on lighting kits are separately available.

Prototype History:
In the post-war period, passenger rail service boomed. In order to increase efficiency, the railroads set to replacing their old wood, steel and concrete heavyweight passenger cars with newer lightweight, streamlined cars. The new cars were made from stainless steel, aluminum and Cor-Ten steel. These cars required less motive power to pull and were cheaper to manufacture. Production was also concentrated in a few manufacturers rather than each railroad making its own. This led to standardization which further reduced costs. The new "lightweight" cars were also given "streamlined" designs to make them more visually appealing. Budd, Pullman Standard and ACF were all well known manufacturers of these cars.

Smoothside cars are typically painted, unlike their corrugated brethren. This meant that they typically required more maintenance, but this also allowed the railroads to apply distinctive paint schemes to their fleets, typically matching the paintwork on their locomotives.

Road Name History:
KCS began (with a different name) in 1890 under the direction of Arthur Stilwell for the purpose of building a railroad from Kansas City directly south along the Missouri – Kansas, Arkansas – Oklahoma, and Louisiana – Texas borders to the Gulf of Mexico. At the point where the railroad met the Gulf, Stillwell built a port complex and named it after himself, Port Arthur, Texas. Two years later, the company defaulted on a loan, Stilwell was kicked out and they changed the name of the railroad to Kansas City Southern. Stilwell went on to build the Kansas City Mexico & Orient.

The KCS steam fleet was, well, peculiar. They were the only railroad to use 0-6-6-0’s, not as heavy switchers, not as pushers, but as mainline road engines. 2-8-8-0’s were also used for heavy road service with Santa Fe types and Consolidations filling out the freight roster. 11 Pacifics handled the passenger trains. They were odd first in that they had 2 sand domes (rare on passenger power.) Second, they had a high mounted headlight but without a number plate in the middle of the smokebox door, giving the front a strange “faceless” appearance. A few of these Pacifics assigned to the Kansas City – Port Arthur “Flying Crow” were equipped with air horns that sounded like a cawing crow… Really! KCS also had 2 Shays used to muscle cars up and down the 10% grades of many Kansas City industrial spurs. (If you’ve been to Kansas City, you will understand why.) The pinnacle of the fleet was the J class 2-10-4’s, purchased to replace the 0-6-6-0’s in 1937. These were the last Texas types built by Lima and had sleek, jacketed boilers and enclosed cabs.

In 1939, the KCS acquired the Louisiana & Arkansas which ran from Dallas east to Shreveport and then New Orleans. Actually, it was the owners of the L&A that bought the KCS but for charter reasons, the deal was arranged so that KCS took control of L&A. L&A remained semi-autonomous in an SP-Cotton Belt sort of way. This brought the KCS system to over 1,660 miles (between Grand Trunk Western and Delaware & Hudson in relative size.) The L&A image began to fade away in the 1960s but it wasn’t fully merged into KCS until 1992.

Dieselization came primarily from EMD with E’s pulling the Flying Crow and Southern Belle, and F’s in freight service. These were delivered in the classic red, black and yellow with red being dominant on the freight units and yellow on the passenger units. A-B-B-A sets of Erie Builts were also used in freight service but were notorious for breaking knuckles on the hog-back hills of the Ozarks.

Switchers and first generation hood units were delivered in black with white trim (much like Illinois Central) with the name spelled out on the long hood. Hood units and switchers came from EMD, Alco, Baldwin and FM.

In the 1960s, the paint scheme was simplified to a solid red. This became known as Deramus Red after the line’s CEO William Deramus II. Deramus’s son (William III) was head of Chicago Great Western and later M-K-T, both of which used similar reds. While William II was a reasonably adept CEO, his son William III was less successful, at least as far as the railroad was concerned. Under William III, track deteriorated and customers fled, which in turn permitted him to cut more service and staff. Fewer, longer trains were dispatched. Meanwhile William III was pouring available cash into diversifying into less regulated industries. By the 1970s, KCS faced a triple threat. Track condition was at an all time low, the first generation diesels were wearing out and tonnage was increasing. A new CEO began to turn the railroad around. The red paint scheme was dumped for white with red lettering. Grain moving down from Kansas City was joined by petro-chemicals moving up from the coast. Powder River Coal joined the mix during this period.

KCS’s diversified holdings, including the Janus Fund, made KCS ripe for takeover. In 1985, leftist fundraiser George Soros attempted a hostile takeover but was foiled first by a real estate developer and then by a Deramus successor who had since moved to Hallmark Cards and then bought a large block of KCS stock.

Now a rousing success, KCS spun off Janus and other holdings and kept the railroad because that is where the REAL money was! In 2006, the Southern Belle red, yellow, and black paint scheme was re-introduced. A version of it was even applied to some new KCS freight cars (KCS freight cars had been notorious dull for decades with few having anything more than reporting marks to trumpet their owner.)

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 2020-07-28 14:19:35. Last edited by Alain LM on 2020-11-01 05:04:37

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