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Specific Item Information: These 70’ husky stack well cars are yellow with black lettering and red herald and run on ASF Ride Control trucks. Built in early 1992, the 56575-56774 series DTTX well car accepted containers up to 48’ in length in its bottom well position.
Body Style Information: Micro-Trains first introduced this body style in February of 2017 and represents MTL's first venture into modern Intermodal railcars. This model features new ASF Ride Control Trucks.
There are some issues fitting 48 foot containers into the well. We suspect that Micro-Trains's measurements were extremely accurate in calculating the width of the well, but that some of the older container designs were not so accurate. Unfortunately this has resulted in some containers simply being to wide to sit in the well without filing or modification. We tested Walthers, Deluxe, Con-Cor, Micro-Trains and Kato containers. The Kato's, the MTL's and the Con-Cor containers all fit nicely. The Deluxe smooth side 48's and the Walthers rib side 48's are too wide. We also tested these same containers with the MDC-Roundhouse-Athearn GHC model as well as with the Walthers Thrall well car, and the same containers fit well in these other cars.
Prototype Information: Double-stack container trains first hit the rails for regular service in 1981. The Southern Pacific Railroad had developed the idea to provide service for the Sea- Land maritime shipping company. SP's pioneering double-stack service let Sea- Land's containers take a shortcut from the west coast to the Gulf of Mexico bypassing the Panama Canal. From prototype car to production order, the SP spent a little over four years on the double-stack development project. The SP's double-stack cars featured unwieldy bulkheads on each end to prevent the loose top container from blowing off of the car. A new group at Greenbrier Intermodal designed a similar bulkhead car, even as other companies were starting to leave the bulkheads off of their stack cars. The support for the upper container came from inter-box connectors (IBCs) which had been used for years in oceangoing container shipping. Greenbrier and their car builder, Gunderson, wanted to get in on that market, and did so with their Maxi-Stack cars. But there was another new market out there: developing a single, two-truck stack car. Almost all of the existing cars in service were articulated, with the exception of one SP prototype car.
David DeBoer, a co-founder of Greenbrier, had been seeking to fill this single-well stack car niche, despite the "intermodal experts" at Trailer Train Corp. insisting that the only single-well car that could ride smoothly was a European-style 2-axle car. (In fact, it was DeBoer who wrote the reference book I used for much of this background. His Piggyback and Containers is a highly recommended read, and it was my first review item for MRN.) DeBoer sought advice from his retired former boss at the SP. This pitted the Doubting Thomases at TTX up against Bill Thomford, who had developed the SP's double-stack prototypes. Thomford laughed off Trailer Train's existence, pointing out that his own single-well, two-truck stack car had a million miles of reliable service under its belt. DeBoer went back to Greenbrier and the company got to work designing the car that TTX said was doomed to failure.
In 1990, Gunderson turned out the Husky Stack. Test engineers proved Thomford right, and the cars tracked perfectly. Trailer Train ended up reversing their initial claims and ordering 150 Husky Stack cars built with 48-foot wells in 1991. The Burlington Northern also ordered 75 cars and other buyers lined up later. The original 1991 model cars are still going strong for many different owners, including Trailer Train.
Husky Stack development has continued today, with the introduction of 53-foot wells and the "All-Purpose" Husky Stack, with trailer hitches on each end. In Greenbrier terms, the car is named the HS53 for the 53-foot well version, making our Athearn model a HS48.
Owned by North America's leading railroads, TTX's free-running pools provide fungible assets that minimize total empty miles, further lowering costs and minimizing risk for the industry, helping the railroads conserve their capital for other critical infrastructure needs. Customers easily recognize TTX's bright yellow cars as a consistent, high quality, well-maintained fleet that serves many transportation needs.
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.
For an in-depth guide to the history and collecting information for Micro-Trains products, please consult our Micro-Trains History and Collector's Guide.
Item created by: gdm on 2017-01-30 15:54:46. Last edited by gdm on 2017-01-30 15:55:26
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