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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 27240 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel - Montana Rail Link - 25058

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Stock Number 27240
Secondary Stock Number 027 00 240
Original Retail Price $11.15
Brand Micro-Trains
Manufacturer Micro-Trains Line
Body Style Micro-Trains Boxcar 50 Foot Rib Side Plug Door No Roofwalk
Prototype Vehicle Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Montana Rail Link (Details)
Reporting Marks MRL
Road or Reporting Number 25058
Paint Color(s) Bue
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Standard
Release Date 1995-04-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Steel, Rib-Side, Plug Door Without Roofwalk
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Model Information: Introduced in September of 1983 with ATSF 151900 and 151951, Micro-Trains has produced 83 different versions of this car (as of March, 2016). Body style 027 represents a 50 foot prototype "Plug" single-door Box Car. Unlike the "Sliding" door, the plug door system closes with a final inward movement (similar to most van sliding doors) that seals the door flush with the interior of the boxcar. This provides a much better seal than the sliding door boxcar. A rotating lever on the door activates a gear system to "plug" and "unplug" the door.

Unfortunately for collectors, this means that in order to accurately portray the prototype, this body style does not feature doors that actually open. All other hallmark features of Micro-Trains quality are present. This includes high quality tooling, crisp printing and the ubiquitous knuckle coupler.

Prototype History:
While the 40-foot boxcar was a standard design, and it did come in different setups depending on the type of freight being transported, it was not large enough for efficient mass commodity transportation. The 50-foot boxcar made its first appearance in the 1930s and steadily grew in popularity over the years, which further improved redundancies by allowing for even more space within a given car. Today, the 50-footer remains the common boxcar size. After the second world war ended, and steel became once again readily available, steel became the go-to choice for construction of boxcars. Pullman Standard and ACF were some of the most prolific builders of these cars.

These cars came in many variations. For instance, double-doors became practical for large/wide loads, end-doors useful for very large lading such as automobiles, and interior tie-down equipment was helpful in keeping sensitive products from being damaged in-transit. In 1954 the Santa Fe developed its "Shock Control" (and later "Super Shock Control") technology for new boxcars with upgraded suspension systems to further improve the ride-quality and reduce the chance of damaging freight.

In the 1960s, the flush, "plug" style sliding door was introduced as an option that provides a larger door to ease loading and unloading of certain commodities. The tight-fitting doors are better insulated and allow a car's interior to be maintained at a more even temperature.

Road Name History:
Montana Rail Link (reporting mark MRL) is a privately held Class II railroad in the United States. MRL, which operates on trackage originally built by the Northern Pacific Railway, is a unit of the Washington Companies, and is headquartered in Missoula, Montana.

The railroad runs between Huntley, Montana and Spokane, Washington, largely within Montana, and the main line passes through the towns of Missoula, Livingston, Bozeman, Billings, and Helena. Montana Rail Link connects with the BNSF on both ends and also in Garrison, Montana. The railroad has 937 miles (1,507 km) of track, serves over 150 customers, and employs 1,200 personnel. The main yard is in Laurel, Montana, with smaller yards located in Missoula, Billings, and Helena.

Montana Rail Link's present status and main line date back to 1987, when MRL under Missoula businessman Dennis Washington agreed to lease Burlington Northern's southern Montana main line between Sandpoint, Idaho and Huntley, Montana, near Billings. This spin-off was controversial as it happened during contract negotiations between Burlington Northern and the United Transportation Union. MRL workers are represented by various unions. Montana Rail Link trains operate between Billings, MT and Spokane, WA using trackage rights over BN successor BNSF Railway's tracks connecting those points.

Montana Rail Link still uses cabooses, which are used to carry remote control switching equipment on Laurel switch engines. A significant number of MRL movements are actually BNSF trains, complete with locomotives, that MRL receives at one end of its track and forwards back to BNSF at the other end. MRL also operates trains of its own to gather and distribute local freight along its lines. Forest products and grain are primary commodities, and MRL also operates a special train, called the Gas Local, between Missoula and Thompson Falls, Montana, to bridge a gap in a long-distance gasoline pipeline.

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.

Please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide

Item created by: Lethe on 2015-05-31 17:46:30. Last edited by gdm on 2020-07-24 07:29:25

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