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Drop-bottom gondolas were equipped with dump doors that operated via a mechanism located in the center of the car body. The drop bottom door provided a time-saving unloading method compared to the usual, labor-intensive procedure. Instead of equipping workmen with shovels to muck out the car’s content, the lever system was used to open the doors thus immediately dumping the load on the ground. Various commodities could be carried in the drop bottom gons, but coal loadings were most common. Many coaling towers had elevated trestle style delivery ramps where the drop bottom gondolas would be spotted and workmen could simply open the dump doors to spill the contents into the coal bins. At facilities with the elevator bucket style of coal dock, a ramp was used that led up to an open grate where the coal would spill through and into the lower coal bins. The gons were “tailor made” for company service such as dumping ballast directly onto track roadbed during maintenance, as well as hauling cinders out of various engine service facilities. Handy they were!
Road Name History:
The railroad had about 6800 miles of track and served a large area, including extensive trackage in the states of Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. In addition the company had an international branch to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main activities were shipping wheat and other farm products, cattle, timber and minerals; bringing in consumer goods, transporting passengers; and selling land.
The company was headquartered first in Brainerd, Minnesota, then in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It had a tumultuous financial history, and in 1970 it merged with other lines to form the Burlington Northern Railroad.
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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.
Item created by: Lethe on 2015-05-31 17:46:30. Last edited by gdm on 2018-03-03 12:39:25
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