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N Scale - Athearn - 10933 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Berwick - Chicago & North Western - 155795

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N Scale - Athearn - 10933 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Berwick - Chicago & North Western - 155795 Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby


Stock Number 10933
Brand Athearn
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style MDC Boxcar 50 Foot BFF Youngstown Door
Prototype Vehicle Boxcar, 50 Foot, Berwick (Details)
Road or Company Name Chicago & North Western (Details)
Reporting Marks CNW
Road or Reporting Number 155795
Paint Color(s) Brown and Aluminum
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety BFF Youngstown Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Specific Item Information: N RTR 50 foot Berwick Box, C&NW #155795

Model Information: Boxcar, 50 Foot, Youngstown Single Sliding Door, Rib Side, Without Roofwalk, modeled after a prototype produced by BFF (Berwick Forge and Fabricating). MDC has released this model both in 'kit' and RTR (Read-to-Run) packaging. None of the features on the model actually match the Berwick prototype. Athearn acquired this tooling from MDC in 2004, and has since re-released it more than once. Athearn markets BFF models with both door styles (Pickens and Youngstown) as 'Berwick Boxcars'. The Athearn models feature magnetically operated couplers and are always RTR.

Prototype History:
The US government came up with a scheme to create an artificial incentive for railroads to buy new boxcars. If a railroad increased its boxcar fleet it was allowed to charge other railroads (not the customer) more for their daily use. (That's Per Diem). As an example, if the Crab Orchard and Egyptian acquired a fleet of 500 boxcars (up from zero) , and got them loaded on the ICG, it could charge the ICG for their use at an "Incentive Per Piem" rate that more than paid the CO&G's cost of ownership. So new boxcars got pumped into the system while old boxcars sat idle.

To cater to this demand, Berwick introduced its 50-foot boxcar in 1972 and sold the exterior-post car to more than 35 railroads. Though Berwick stopped production in 1982, the boxcars are still commonly seen throughout North America.

Road Name History:
The Chicago and North Western Transportation Company (reporting mark CNW) was a Class I railroad in the Midwestern United States. It was also known as the North Western. The railroad operated more than 5,000 miles (8,000 km) of track as of the turn of the 20th century, and over 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of track in seven states before retrenchment in the late 1970s.

Until 1972, when the company was sold to its employees, it was named the Chicago and North Western Railway. The C&NW became one of the longest railroads in the United States as a result of mergers with other railroads, such as the Chicago Great Western Railway, Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway and others.

By 1995, track sales and abandonment had reduced the total mileage back to about 5,000. The majority of the abandoned and sold lines were lightly trafficked branches in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Large line sales, such as those that resulted in the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad further helped reduce the railroad to a mainline core with several regional feeders and branches.

The company was purchased by Union Pacific Railroad (UP) in April 1995 and ceased to exist.

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: Chance on 2016-09-16 15:09:00. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-16 09:06:17

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