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N Scale - Ak-Sar-Ben - 9019 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, Offset Side - PBS Coals - 1991

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Aftermarket Decorator Aksarben
Stock Number 9019
Original Retail Price $14.49
Brand Ak-Sar-Ben
Manufacturer Micro-Trains Line
Body Style Micro-Trains Hopper Open 2-Bay Offset Side
Prototype Vehicle Open Hopper, 2-Bay, Offset Side (Details)
Road or Company Name PBS Coals (Details)
Reporting Marks PBSX
Road or Reporting Number 1991
Paint Color(s) Brown
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Release Date 1990-01-01
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



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:
PBS Coals, Inc. has its corporate office in Friedens, PA and operates coal mining and processing facilities throughout Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Since it was founded in 1963 PBS has operated continuously and grown to be the fourth largest coal producer in Pennsylvania. PBS has gained the reputation as a reliable supplier of high quality coal to the electric power industry regionally and to the steel industry throughout the world.

We operate 5 surface mines, 5 deep mines and 2 coal preparation plants. The total annual coal production is currently 3.3 million metric tonnes raw coal. Annual breakdown of production: 55 percent coking coal and 45 percent steam coal. Two coal preparation plants, fully operational with an 1,100 raw tonnes per hour processing capability.

Brand/Importer Information:
Ak-Sar-Ben Hobby Co
Information on AkSarBen Hobby and their history is sketchy at best. Of course, AkSarBen is Nebraska spelled backwards so one might assume that they got their start in the Husker state. The most recent evidence of their existence, however, was in the 2010 Model Retailer Hobby Industry Directory listing them in Jacksboro, TN. The phone number listed is disconnected, so, who knows for sure? What is known is that AkSarBen Hobbies was owned by Allen Miller and got their start in the 1980's producing very high quality custom, limited edition HO and N Scale products. They probably have left the model train business for more than 20 years ago.

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.

Please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide

Item created by: gdm on 2021-02-18 16:46:11. Last edited by gdm on 2021-02-18 16:46:12

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