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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. 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).
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 company was incorporated in 1891 to combine the lines of the former Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad and the Bangor and Katahdin Iron Works Railway. It was based in Bangor and lines extended from there to Oakfield and Houlton in 1894. The line was extended from Houlton to Fort Fairfield and Caribou in 1895. A parallel branch line was extended from Oakfield to Ashland in 1896. A branch was built from Caribou to Limestone in 1897, and the main line extended from Caribou to Van Buren in 1899. The Ashland Branch was extended to Fort Kent in 1902. A southern extension was completed in 1905 through Northern Maine Junction to Searsport on Penobscot Bay. The Medford Cutoff from Packard to South Lagrange was completed in 1907; and a branch was built from Millinocket to a new paper mill in East Millinocket. Rails were extended up the Saint John River from Van Buren through Madawaska and Fort Kent to St. Francis in 1910; and Mapleton was connected to Stockholm and Presque Isle on the main line, and to Squa Pan on the Ashland branch. An international bridge was constructed over the Saint John River between Van Buren and St. Leonard, NB in 1915 to connect with the Canadian Pacific Railway and National Transcontinental Railway (later merged into the Canadian National Railway).
BAR began hauling potatoes in heated box cars in 1895. Potatoes provided a stable income source through the great depression, and provided 50% of the railroad's revenue following World War II. BAR had the 2nd largest United States railroad-owned reefer fleet (after Santa Fe) during the 1950s. BAR made an arrangement with Pacific Fruit Express whereby PFE reefers shipped Maine potatoes during winter months and BAR reefers carried California produce during the summer and autumn. While potatoes started moving by truck following completion of the Interstate Highway System into northern Maine in the 1960s, what actually resulted in the railroad losing its potato business forever was the Penn Central Transportation Company (PC), whose interchange service became so bad during the winter of 1969?70 that a large portion of the 1969 potato crop was spoiled by freezing when car heaters ran out of fuel. The claims process against PC was not resolved prior to PC's bankruptcy declaration the following June. As a result, several potato farms went out of business; and those that survived distrusted rail service and never returned to using the railroad.
Inbound chemicals and outbound paper from mills on the Penobscot River at Millinocket and East Millinocket were major revenue sources for the BAR from 1900. Another paper mill was built in Madawaska in 1925. Pulpwood and wood chips to the paper mills became increasingly important as potato loadings declined. The remote port facilities at Searsport were a preferred loading point for ammunition during World War II; and BAR transported heating coal and aircraft fuel to Loring AFB for Strategic Air Command bombers through the Cold War. BAR painted 2,500 box cars in the red, white and blue colors of the US flag during the 1950s. A less expensive oxide red paint scheme with large white reporting marks was adopted during the Vietnam War.
The line from Brownville Junction to Katahdin Iron Works was abandoned in 1922, but the rails remained in place until 1933. BAR passenger train service ended in 1961. Bus service, which began in 1936, continued with buses lettered for Bangor and Aroostook running on Greyhound Lines schedules between Aroostook County and New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal until 1984. The Greenville branch was dismantled from 1962 to 1964. Several Aroostook County segments were abandoned when potato traffic disappeared in the 1970s. In 1995, the BAR was acquired by Iron Road Railways. In 2002, the company was declared bankrupt, and in 2003 its lines were sold to Rail World, Inc., which initially incorporated them into the newly formed Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. In 2010, the 233 miles (375 km) of track from Millinocket north to the Canada-US border were sold to the state of Maine for $20 million to be operated by Irving's Maine Northern Railway. MM&A kept the line from the Millinocket paper mills south to Searsport; after its 2013 Lac-Megantic derailment and bankruptcy, the line was sold to Fortress Investments as the Central Maine and Quebec Railway.
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.
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.
Commissioner Information: Desiring to bring a creative and artistic approach to model railroad cars, Lowell Smith Signature Series was born in 1994. The first special run car commemorated the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the Golden Spike - "Wedding of the Rails". Since 1994, Lowell Smith Signature Series has continued to produce over one hundred and thirty-five unique cars or train locomotives to date.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon.
Following Lowell's passion of model trains, The Hobby Smith was built to be the community center for model railroaders - operators and collectors alike. Located in the Hollywood District of Portland, The Hobby Smith was the place to learn and to enjoy the camaraderie of others with the same passion.
Item created by: gdm on 2017-08-09 11:11:38. Last edited by Alain LM on 2018-06-17 08:06:51
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