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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 20870 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, PS-1 - Erie - 78960

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Stock Number 20870
Secondary Stock Number 020 00 870
Original Retail Price $9.00
Brand Micro-Trains
Manufacturer Kadee Quality Products
Body Style Micro-Trains Boxcar 40 Foot PS-1
Prototype Vehicle Boxcar, 40 Foot, PS-1 (Details)
Road or Company Name Erie (Details)
Reporting Marks ERIE
Road or Reporting Number 78960
Paint Color(s) Brown, Black and White
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Standard
Release Date 1988-03-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 40 Foot
Model Variety Steel, PS-1
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Model Information: This is Micro-Trains first body style. It was introduced in 1972. Its is a model of a Pullman-Standard PS-1 boxcar from circa 1957. Micro-Trains does not market it as a PS-1 so as to allow themselves some latitude so they can use this car to model non-PS prototypes. Hundreds of different releases have used this body style in various paint schemes and road names. They are equipped with 6' sliding doors, either Youngstown (4/5/4 rib pattern) or Superior (7 panels). It is not a model of a "modern" steel boxcar as the length (40 foot) and the roofwalk are more typical of the transition era (1939 - 1957).

In 2019, Micro-Trains started releasing this model with new body-mounted couplers attached to a new underframe.

Prototype History:
The 40' Boxcar is widely known as one of the most popular freight cars used by railroads as they transitioned from steam to diesel. In particular the Pullman Standard or PS-1 design was one of the most popular and was widely used by North American railroads. These boxcars were built beginning in 1947 and share the same basic design, with certain elements such as door size, door style or roof type varying among the different railroads and production years. When production of these cars ceased in 1963, over 100,000 had been produced.

So just what is a PS-1? Well the simple answer is it is any boxcar built by Pullman Standard from 1947 on. The design changed over the years – sometimes subtly, sometimes for customer request, and sometimes in a larger way. In general, most PS-1’s built from 1947 to 1961 share the same dimensions and basic construction techniques. These cars all had a length of 40′, a height of 10’5″ or 10’6″, welded sides and ends and roof of Pullman’s own design. The greatest variation was in the size and style of doors used. Pullman Standard also offered 50′ and later 60′ boxcars – also with the PS-1 designation.

Road Name History:
The Erie (the second railroad by that name) was formed in 1895 from the reorganization of the New York Lake Erie & Western which had cobbled together a Jersey City (across the Hudson from New York City) to Chicago route from the original Erie, the Chicago & Atlantic, Atlantic & Great Western and a few smaller lines. The route had been built to 6’ gauge and had been standard gauged in 1880.

The New York – Chicago main was all double track with big rail. However, the mainline managed to miss every major city along the way. Binghamton, New York and Akron, Ohio were the biggest cities on the mainline between New York and Chicago. Buffalo, Rochester, Youngstown, Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati were all at the end of branches from the mainline. Some said that “you could forget how much unpopulated land there was in the Northeast until you rode the Erie.”

Erie and its predecessors were early victims of “robber barons” that saddled the company with debt that it would carry for over 100 years. The companies went bankrupt 3 times in the 19th Century and once during the Depression (in 1938, after most other lines ironically.) Erie promoted exclusively from within and management was rife with nepotism. It was called “Weary Erie”, and “The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street.”

Erie’s steam fleet was varied although not terribly modern. The Erie passed through Pennsylvania’s anthracite region so camelback locomotives were part of the mix. In fact Erie had the largest camelbacks ever built – 0-8-8-0’s delivered in 1908. Erie was also one of only two roads to employ Triplexes, in this case with the 2-8-8-8-2 wheel arrangement. Their most modern steam consisted of heavy Berkshires delivered in 1929 when the company was under the influence of the Van Sweringen brothers who also controlled Nickel Plate, C&O, Pere Marquette and Hocking Valley. As a result, they dieselized fairly early primarily with EMD, and Alco road and passenger units and switchers from nearly every builder. Like future dance partner DL&W, Erie road switchers were setup for long-hood-forward operation.

Other than heavy commuter operations in New Jersey, passenger operations paled in comparison to other eastern trunk lines. Erie concentrated on freight. From about 1947 until 1955, the Erie was fairly healthy, although still paying way too much for debt service. They even paid dividends for much of this period. Quartets of F units dragged freights over 185 cars long across New York’s scenic Southern Tier. Erie’s big clearances (due to the original 6’ track gauge) made Erie the go-to road for highly lucrative over-size loads. The Erie was much loved by communities along the line.

The mid-to-late 50s presented one disaster after another. Twin hurricanes damaged track (although not as bad as neighbor DL&W who really took it in the teeth), then strikes in the cement and steel industries cut traffic dramatically. Labor trouble in the tire center of Akron (where Erie was a major carrier) led to much of the tire industry leaving the area. Erie’s net income fell in half the next year and then they began to lose money. Combining parallel routes and Jersey Shore terminals with the Lackawanna helped but not enough. In 1960, The Erie merged with the Delaware Lackawanna & Western. Here are Erie’s stats in their final year: 2,215 route miles (about the same length as competitors Nickel Plate and Wabash); 484 diesels; 535 passenger cars; 20,028 freight cars.

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:
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.
In October 1990 Kadee separated in two companies, with the newly created Micro-Trains® Line Co. continuing the Z, Nn3, and N Scale product ranges, with Kadee retaining the HO range.

Item created by: Lethe on 2015-05-31 17:46:30. Last edited by gdm on 2020-06-04 19:27:35

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