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Specific Item Information: Body Style 125
Model Information: Many times since Micro-Trains/Kadee first started producing cars in 1972, they have sold 'multipacks' of cars in shrink-wrapped bundles. These releases have bundles several different items with the same theme together in a single shrink-wrapped packaged. However, in April of 2007, due to demand for groups of cars with the same paint scheme yet with different road numbers, the "Runner Pack" was born.
Runner pack number one got a special presentation box instead of simple shrink wrap and contained four different Pennsy boxcars with identical paint schemes yet different road numbers. These releases were intended for people who like to "run" their cars yet like each car to have a different road number. The 4-car runner packs have been very successful and were joined later by 8-car packs as well as 3-packs of larger, more expensive cars. Over 100 different box sets in this series have been produced by MTL as of 2017.
The FEC was historically a Class I railroad owned by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) from 2000-2006, FOXX Holdings from 1983-2000, and the St. Joseph Paper Company prior to 1983.
Built primarily in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, the FEC was a project of Standard Oil principal Henry Morrison Flagler. Flagler originally visited Florida to aid with the health issues faced by his first wife, Mary. A key strategist who worked closely with John D. Rockefeller building the Standard Oil Trust, Henry Flagler noted both a lack of services and great potential during his stay at St. Augustine. He subsequently began what amounted to his second career developing resorts, industries, and communities all along Florida's shores abutting the Atlantic Ocean.
The FEC is possibly best known for building the railroad to Key West, completed in 1912. When the FEC's line from the mainland to Key West was heavily damaged by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the State of Florida purchased the remaining right-of-way and bridges south of Dade County, and they were rebuilt into road bridges for vehicle traffic and became known as the Overseas Highway. However, a greater and lasting Flagler legacy was the developments along Florida's eastern coast.
During the Great Depression, control was purchased by heirs of the du Pont family. After 30 years of fragile financial condition, the FEC, under leadership of a new president, Ed Ball, took on the labor unions. Ball claimed the company could not afford the same costs as larger Class 1 railroads and needed to invest saved funds in its infrastructure, fast becoming a safety issue. Using replacement workers, the company and some of its employees engaged in one of the longest and more violent labor conflicts of the 20th century from 1963 until 1977. Ultimately, federal authorities had to intervene to stop the violence, which included bombings, shootings and vandalism. However, the courts ruled in the FEC's favor with regard to the right to employ strikebreakers. During this time, Ball invested heavily in numerous steps to improve its physical plant, installed various forms of automation,was the first US Railroad to operate two man train crews, eliminate cabooses and end all of its passenger services (which were unprofitable) by 1968.
In modern times, the company's primary rail revenues come from its intermodal and rock trains. Since 2007, it has been owned by Fortress Investment Group, which acquired it for over US$3 billion (including non-rail assets). Fortress previously owned conglomerate short line railroad operator RailAmerica, which for a time operated FEC but the two companies never merged; Fortress no longer owns RailAmerica and RailAmerica no longer operates FEC. A former CSX official, James Hertwig, was named as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company effective July 1, 2010.
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: gdm on 2016-03-06 16:28:32. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-13 04:37:45
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