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N Scale - Athearn - 14388 - Autorack, Open Side, Bi-Level, F89-F - Wabash - 910212

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Stock Number 14388
Brand Athearn
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Athearn Autorack Open Side Bi-Level F89-F
Prototype Autorack, Open Side, Bi-Level, F89-F
Road or Company Name Wabash (Details)
Reporting Marks BTTX
Road or Reporting Number 910212
Paint Color(s) Sapphire Blue
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date 2015-09-01
Release Date 2016-06-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Autorack
Model Subtype Open Side
Model Variety Bi-Level
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This Athearn N-scale model was designed from the start to incorporate as many prototype details and variations as possible, based upon field measurements and builder diagrams, in order to appeal to modelers of multiple eras. You can rest assured of its smooth performance, thanks to a heavy die-cast frame for reliable tracking, and our N-scale 70-ton ASF Ride-Control trucks.

Operationally, these cars are appropriate for any layout set from the 1960s to the present day. The Auto Racks would be fastened to the 89' flatcar for auto service from Detroit. The Athearn N-scale Auto Rack features a Bethlehem Steel F89FH with a Whitehead and Kales bi-level rack. High level of detail ensures authenticity to the prototype.

Features: Die-cast underframe - Weighted for trouble free operation - Athentic undulating safety railing - Accurate Whitehead and Kales Auto Rack - End bridge plates per prototype and era - Use for dedicated intermodal trains or mixed freight - Detailed deck - Decorated models fully-assembled and ready to run out of the box - Highly-detailed, injection-molded body - Separately applied hand brake per prototype - 70-Ton roller bearing trucks with 33" scale machined metal wheels operate on Code 55, 70, and 80 rail - Body mounted McHenry operating knuckle couplers - Clear blister packaging for easy viewing - Minimum radius: 10" - Recommended radius: 12"+

Prototype Description: Introduced in the early 1960s, the Trailer Train (now TTX Company) F89F flatcar has been a mainstay of contemporary railroading. A product of Bethlehem Steel Company's (BSC) Johnstown, PA plant, over 9,000 of these (89' 8" over the strikers) cars were built throughout the 1960s. Visually distinctive from other long flatcars of their era thanks to their "C" channel side sills, these versatile cars were adapted for many types of service and loadings over the years, ranging from Trailer-On-Flatcar (TOFC), to autoracks, to structural steel loading. While the majority went to Trailer Train, many were built for various railroads, typically for autorack service. Many were "de-racked" in later years, being reassigned and equipped for other service - TOFC, vehicle loading, pipe service, etc.

Road Name History:
Wabash was the product of an 1889 restructuring (under the leadership of Jay Gould) of several railroads centered around the Wabash St. Louis & Pacific. Wabash was unusual in that it evenly straddled the border between “eastern railroads” and railroads west of the Chicago-St.Louis-Memphis-New Orleans border. In the west, Wabash connected Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines. Heading east from those points, Wabash reached St. Louis, Decatur, and Chicago. Then, clearly in the eastern territory, Wabash reached Fort Wayne, Detroit, Toledo and finally Buffalo. Total length was about 2500 miles. The Detroit to Buffalo line cut though southern Ontario, Canada on Canadian National trackage rights. That route also required a car float operation across the Detroit River. As a result, Wabash’s Buffalo traffic was a fraction of that of competitors Nickel Plate and New York Central. However, Wabash’s Detroit-Kansas City and Detroit-St. Louis service was a force to be reckoned with and well patronized by Michigan’s automakers. The Wabash Cannonball was the name of the daytime passenger run between Detroit and St. Louis. The song of the same name was a hit long before it was ever applied to the train itself. Wabash bought control of the Ann Arbor in 1925 and soon after, Wabash and Delaware & Hudson jointly bought control of the Lehigh Valley (Wabash’s principle connection in Buffalo.) This got the attention of the Pennsylvania Railroad who bought control of Wabash under the auspices of their “Pennsylvania Company” subsidiary in 1928.

As PRR planned their merger with New York Central, it became obvious that they could not take Wabash with them. The first step was to transfer control of Ann Arbor from Wabash to Detroit Toledo & Ironton (also in the Pennsylvania Company family.) Up to that point, Ann Arbor was routinely included in the official Wabash system map. Then PRR arranged for Wabash to be included in the Norfolk & Western-Nickel Plate-Pittsburgh & West Virginia merger that was being planned. PRR didn’t overtly control the N&W but they did have considerable influence over them. The deal was made and the new, larger Norfolk & Western leased the Wabash for 50 years in October of 1964. At that point, Wabash became a paper railroad. They were finally merged out of existence by N&W successor Norfolk Southern in the 1990s.

Brand/Importer Information:
Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.

The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.

Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.

Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.

Item created by: nscalemodeler160 on 2016-06-13 13:48:16. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-09 10:48:17

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