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N Scale - Bowser - 37041 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, GATX Airslide 4180 - Gulf Mobile & Ohio - 85000

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N Scale - Bowser - 37041 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, GATX Airslide 4180 - Gulf Mobile & Ohio - 85000 Image Courtesy of Micro-Trains Line and irwinsjournal.com
Image Courtesy of Bowser Trains


Brand Bowser
Stock Number 37041
Manufacturer Bowser
Body Style Delaware Valley Covered Hopper 50 Foot Airslide
Prototype Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, GATX Airslide 4180 (Details)
Road or Company Name Gulf Mobile & Ohio (Details)
Reporting Marks GM&O
Road or Reporting Number 85000
Paint Color(s) Gray
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Injection Molded Plastic
Release Date 1998-07-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Covered Hopper
Model Subtype Airslide
Model Variety 4180
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This model was originally created by Delaware Valley. It was later acquired by Bowser. It has also been used by Eastern Seaboard Models models.

Prototype History:
The first Airslide covered hopper was introduced by General American Transportation Corporation (GATX) in 1953 and had a capacity of 2600 cubic feet. The Airslide is primarily designed for the bulk shipment of dry, granular or powdered commodities. The design of that car is such that it can be loaded and unloaded quickly and with little spillage through the use of air pressure. The most common commodities carried include: flour, sugar, starch, plastic pellets, cement, powdered chemicals and carbon black.

Due to customer demand for larger covered hoppers capable of handling bulk commodities, General American Transportation Corporation introduced the larger 4180 c.f. model in 1963. GATX produced more than 5,000 of the 4180 cubic foot Airslide covered hoppers between 1963 and 1980. These very common cars continued General American’s “Airslide” family innovations from the 1950s, and proved valuable to bulk shippers who wanted a larger car than the earlier-design 2600 cubic foot cars provided.

Road Name History:
The GM&O was the product of the 1940 merger of Gulf Mobile & Northern and the Mobile & Ohio. During these early years, the GM&O consisted of a route from St. Louis south to Jackson, Tennessee where it then split into 2 routes to the port of Mobile, Alabama. In addition, there were routes to Memphis, Tennessee; Jackson, Mississippi; and Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama. GM&O also served New Orleans and Paducah via trackage rights. The merger was championed by Ike Tigrett from the GM&N and Ike would lead the GM&O for most of its history.

In 1947, GM&O acquired the Alton Railroad. This linked Chicago and Peoria with St. Louis and Kansas City. This acquisition made GM&O a Great Lakes to the Gulf carrier and pushed the mileage up over 2,700. GM&O tried to sell the Kansas City line in the 50’s to Santa Fe and Burlington but there was tremendous pressure from other lines to keep Santa Fe out of St. Louis. In the end, GM&O kept the route and Burlington got trackage rights on a portion of it to shorten its own route.

GM&O dieselized early with the last steam locomotive retired in 1949. The first generation freight diesel fleet included Alco switchers, road switchers (all of which were long-hood-forward,) and FA series cab units and EMD F units. For passenger service, GM&O had power from both Alco and EMD. Everything was painted red and maroon with gold lettering. Both Alton and GM&N had used red in the past so this was appropriate. The oddball of the fleet was #1900, a cab unit model 4-S built by Ingalls Shipbuilding. It was the only locomotive Ingalls would ever build.

The 60’s brought fleets of GP30’s and 35’s. These were delivered on Alco trucks from traded in FA’s and wore a new black and white paint scheme designed by EMD. A few years later, more new power arrived from EMD, this time GP38’s and SD40’s wearing two variations of red and white. First generation diesels still on the roster received solid red or maroon in some cases. The diesel fleet consisted of around 260 units.

As for passenger service, The Rebels ran south of St. Louis with a train each to New Orleans and Mobile. Seven trains a day connected St. Louis and Chicago – more than all other railroads combined between those cities. These included the Abraham Lincoln, Ann Rutledge, and Alton Limited. They also had a single daily Chicago commuter train called The Plug. Amtrak took over three of the Chicago – St. Louis departures in 1971.

By contemporary accounts, GM&O was a class operation with a thin layer of responsive management, esprit de corps in the ranks, and good track - all of this despite serving one of the poorest regions of the country. As the 1960s drew to a close, GM&O faced the impending retirement of the original management team. Because the management layer was so thin, there were few young up-and-comers being groomed to take their places. So, to protect the shareholders, GM&O began shopping for merger partners. In 1972, Gulf Mobile & Ohio merged with Illinois Central to form Illinois Central Gulf.

Brand/Importer Information:
On May 1, 1961, Bowser was purchased by Lewis and Shirlee English and moved from Redlands, CA to their basement in Muncy, PA. The original Bowser Manufacturing Co first advertised in the model railroad magazines in November 1948. At that time, the company had only one (HO Scale) engine, the Mountain, which had a cast brass boiler that is no longer available. It was sometime later that Bowser (Redlands) developed the NYC K-11 and the UP Challenger. The molds were made by K. Wenzlaff who introduced himself at the MRIA Show in Pasadena, CA in 1985 These two locomotives are still current production.

Bowser entered into N Scale in 1998 with their acquisition of the Delaware Valley Car Company, a manufacturer of N scale freight cars.

Item created by: Lethe on 2015-10-02 10:12:16. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-05-07 00:00:00

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